By education and by trade, I was a drug chemist. My passion for science motivated a successful career in drug design and synthesis - in both academia and industry. As a scientist, I witnessed firsthand the priorities of international pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma), which ranked wealth first and health a distant second. In the pharmaceutical industry, making money supersedes science. Science no longer prevails in medicine. Instead, modern medicine has been democratized. Drug approval is a simple matter of 51% telling the other 49% that a prescription drug is safe and necessary. The outcome: deadly drugs are approved for use among misinformed medical doctors and patients. Herein lies a story of deceit and a chemists abandonment of modern medicine. My suspicion of modern medicine began while I was employed by Eli Lilly to design a new generation of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) drugs. Such drugs include tamoxifen and raloxifene. Initially, these drugs were thought to block estrogen receptors (excess estrogen can initiate cancer growth) and thereby halt cancer.
As time progressed, though, it was learned that they were also capable of activating estrogen receptors. The end result was a biochemical environment favorable to cancer growth among users. The Journal of the American Medical Association recognized this trend and stated "our data add to the growing body of evidence that recent long-term use of HRT is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and that such use may be related particularly to lobular tumors." The risk of cancer associated with HRT drugs was obscured from doctors by drug companies. This can be seen by the fact that tamoxifen is the gold-standard used by medical doctors to fight cancer among their patients, particularly breast cancer. This explains why medical doctors might not notice its ability to cause cancer - the patient already has it. At any rate, my task was made clear: Design HRT "knock-offs" that are effective without causing cancer. My attempt to design safer alternatives was unsuccessful. And after one year, the project was ended.
However, access to HRT drugs like tamoxifen was not. They remained on the market. The fuel driving the continued use of HRT drugs was disinformation via Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) advertising. Since 1962, monitoring DTC advertising has been the sole responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But in a ghastly conflict of interests, the FDA granted the duty of DTC advertising to the pharmaceutical companies in 1997. Officially, this was done as a means of "promoting health awareness to ensure health and safety." Unofficially, it was done to sell more drugs. DTC advertising dictated that all women over 50 should use HRT to remain healthy. Women scurried to their doctors to ask if "HRT was right for them." My suspicion grew into conflict. The disinformation campaign behind HRT drugs was not an isolated case. I learned that drug advertising and science are frequently in direct opposition to each other.
- DTC advertising dictates that lowering cholesterol prevents heart disease. Science proves otherwise.
- DTC advertising dictates that an aspirin a day will keep heart attack away. Science proves otherwise.
- DTC advertising dictates that depression is a disease that must be treated with prescription drugs. Science proves otherwise.
- DTC advertising dictates that ADHD is a disease and that our children must be treated with amphetamines. Science proves otherwise.
- DTC advertising dictates that infants must be vaccinated to prevent childhood illness. Science proves otherwise.
- DTC advertising dictates that blood pressure must be controlled via a lifetime of servitude to prescription drugs. Science proves otherwise.
- DTC advertising dictates that chemotherapy is your first line of defense against deadly cancer. Science proves otherwise.
- DTC advertising dictates that Type II diabetes must be treated with daily insulin use. Science proves otherwise.
By spreading the aforementioned health myths, DTC advertising forges a belief among the general public which asserts that drugs - not lifestyle habits and nutrition - confer health and longevity. And although, in reality, medicine is only necessary for sick people in times of emergency, DTC advertising has been wildly successful in convincing people that being healthy requires a lifetime of prescription drug use. While it's true that the advertising usually mentions the potential side effects of drugs, doctors tend to discount them. They simply regurgitate the pharmaceutical-company line that "the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks." Dont believe it. Western Medicines plague of deception is deadlier than any virus, illicit drugs, and terrorism combined. Well-documented in scientific journals and reported by media outlets nationwide, FDA approved drugs are killing an estimated 106,000 people every year. That equates to one individual dying every five minutes from "approved" drugs - 300 people dying every day.
Which is twice as many deaths in a single year from "approved drugs" as the total number of U.S. deaths from the Vietnam War. This does not count death by hospital medical error, which adds 98,000 deaths to the atrocity. If not killed, an estimated 2 million people are victims of drug-induced illnesses. These may include drug-induced obesity, cancer, kidney disease, autism, depression and heart failure. Hypnotized by DTC advertising, people are oblivious to the ill effects of prescription drug use. This is evidenced by their willingness to swallow whatever "the doctor ordered." They drug their children, hop the borders to smuggle inexpensive prescription drugs back into the U.S., beg their congressman for discounts and pay a lifetime of insurance fees in order to snatch up these silent killers. The avalanche of DTC advertising has smothered common sense. For the general public and medical doctors to fully grasp the effect of Modern Medicines Deceit, they have to judge the situation by what a drug is actually accomplishing, rather than what the drug company ads and pharmaceutically-compliant politicians insist.
The health benefits of prescription drugs are illusory. Step away from the hypnotic drug ads, close the ghost-written medical journals, discard research studies dominated by statistical contortionists and give yourself a prescription-drug reality check: Very few prescription drugs have any value outside of emergency medicine and those that do can usually be replaced with safer and less expensive natural medicine. This was a troublesome lesson for me, as an aspiring drug chemist, to learn. Unfortunately, it was not the only one. Humanitarianism among Big Pharma has been abandoned. The technical skills of chemists are not being used for humanitarian purposes. They are being used in a deadly game of profiteering. Those at risk are not the misinformed, high-paid medical doctors but rather their patients. Becoming aware of this ripple effect of DTC advertising led to my abandonment of modern medicine. I had to face the cold, hard facts: Western Medicine has become a billion dollar empire not out of keen science, but rather deceit. The end result has been one nation under drugs.
This subjugation has set a standard of health in America that, by definition, is sick care disguised as health care. Forward thinking chemists recognize the deadly trend. But few have the luxury of speaking out or resigning. The majority of chemists in the U.S. are foreigners. Their career secures them the right to live and work in the U.S. This demands allegiance to their employer, regardless of the end result of their labors. Admittedly, that this is an intentional act of Big Pharma is speculative. Individuals outside of the drug industry often question my conflict with Big Pharma. How can a single person denounce a philosophy adhered to by millions of medical doctors? That is simple: I ignore the majority thinking that is steeped in disinformation. I stand firm in science. Truth in science requires only one scientist to verify reproducible results in the face of pharmaceutical tyranny. Science proves that habits, not drugs, create and eradicate disease. The current devastation of prescription drugs is a warning that healthy lifestyle and nutrition habits must replace blind worship of prescription drugs in the pursuit of life-extension. As people obtain better health intelligence and heed this warning, drug use will recede. A new model of health care based on common sense, not profiteering, will emerge.
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3, There were an estimated 58,000 U.S casualties in the Vietnam War
4, Moride Y, Haramburu F, Requejo AA, Begaud B. Under-reporting of adverse drug reactions in general practice. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1997 43: 177-181.
5, Tejal K. Gandhi. et al. Adverse Drug Events in Ambulatory Care. The New England Journal of Medicine. Volume 348:1556-1564. April 17, 2003. Number 16.
Greg Ciola (Crusador Editor) Interviews Shane Ellison, M.Sc.
Shane Ellison, M.Sc. is former pharmaceutical chemist and author of the new book "Health Myths Exposed".
Rogue Chemist Blows Whistle on Big Pharma!
Shane Ellison's new book, Health Myths Exposed, is a timely and scathing expos about the war on deadly FDA approved drugs. Ellison felt it was his responsibility to reveal the truth about the sordid tactics of the pharmaceutical industry after he witnessed firsthand, how they deceive the public. In revealing these myths, he also promises to deliver information that will bring you closer to good health and longevity. Ellison is boldly blazing a trail as he divulges the ten most devastating health myths. During this hard-hitting interview, Ellison discusses several examples of the unethical relationship between BigPharma and the FDA. Ellison is amongst many scientists who are coming forward warning consumers about the inadequacies of the FDA and the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs. This interview is a summary of Ellison's new book in which he reveals many examples of the conflicts of interest, propaganda and poor science surrounding the pharmaceutical drug racket.
This groundbreaking interview serves as a key weapon against the relentless promulgation of deadly health myths by those who stand to profit from them. Rather than giving blind loyalty to FDA approved drugs and medical doctors, the wisdom you gain from reading this interview will motivate you to take your health into your own hands. Applying the knowledge from this interview could directly affect the quality of your life, or the life of a loved one. Get ready to be shocked. Get ready to become angry. But most importantly, get ready to learn some amazing things about yourself and how to live naturally healthy, despite medical doctors and pharmaceutical drugs. Shane Ellison is part of the growing number of whistle-blowers in the scientific community who are warning consumers about prescription drugs. At the same time, he brings forth information about safe and effective natural alternatives. Ellison is a menace to those medical doctors who have staked their careers on asserting that FDA approved drugs are safe and effective.
Greg: Shane, can you give our readers a brief background of your history? I understand you used to work for a large pharmaceutical company. Apparently your disgust over what was going on led you to leave and eventually expose some of what you saw.
Shane: I am a drug chemist. I studied biology and chemistry at Fort Lewis College. I continued my education at Northern Arizona University where I earned a Masters Degree in organic chemistry. My research focused on medicinal chemistry, the making of drugs.
After graduation, I worked for Array Biopharma designing Tamoxifen derivatives for Eli Lilly. Because Tamoxifen was shown to ignite higher cancer rates among women, Eli Lilly hoped to replace it by developing a new "chemical cousin." We were unsuccessful in our attempts. Despite its known danger, Tamoxifen remained on the market. I noticed that ads from Eli Lilly for Tamoxifen insisted that it might decrease cancer risk. This was the exact opposite of what biochemists found in the lab and reported. This paradox was the catalyst for my investigation into health myths. Ultimately, it resulted in my resignation from corporate drug making.
Greg: Do you know any other colleagues in your field who feel the same way you do?
Shane: Yes, other colleagues felt the same and shared their thoughts with me. However, most scientists find it difficult to "escape" from the pharmaceutical wrath because they are locked into home loans and/or wrapped up in the stigma attached to being associated with this industry. Therefore, most choose to keep their thoughts to themselves. Also, going against the status quo in the drug industry can make life difficult. Committing such an act can risk a scientist's professional career forever. This is best shown by FDA whistle-blower Dr. Graham. After warning of the dangers associated with Vioxx he described his work environment as one of hostility, threats, and intimidation. This same hostility applies to the environment at a drug company when, as a chemist, you disagree with a given drug's safety and efficacy.
Greg: Are you prohibited from speaking out about anything that went on where you worked?
Shane: No. I am beholden to no one. I have no more ties to the corporate world and can speak freely. This is what makes my book so hard-hitting in relation to other health-related books.
Greg: What kind of collusion did you discover between the FDA and the big drug companies?
Shane: I discovered that top scientists at the FDA have financial conflicts of interest with respect to the drugs that come under their scrutiny. These ties are often in the form of stock options. Such conflicts are commonly waived and hidden from the general public. Allowing these conflicts of interest is a result of lobbying by drug companies. Additionally, as reported in the Washington Times, many scientists are pressured to design and recommend approval of a new drug despite reservations about its safety, effectiveness or quality. This has been going on for years. The results have been, and will continue to be, disastrous.
Greg: Do you think the top executives of the drug companies have any interest whatsoever in curing disease?
Shane: No. Drug design is based on identifying symptoms of a disease and synthesizing a molecule to offset those symptoms. Typically, these molecules are derived from plants or other natural sources. They are simply "copy-cats" of Mother Nature. Unfortunately, because they are slightly altered, they carry large amounts of risk due to fast absorption into the bloodstream. These copycats are also very toxic because the body does not recognize them as being natural.
To reiterate, drug companies do not look for "cause." The drug company business model is based on "sustainability." Rather than find a cause and cure, patients are simply sustained. There is not a single prescription drug that offers a "cure" to any ailment. Curing a disease versus treating its symptoms does not make "business sense" to drug companies. Just like government can only profit from criminals, the drug industry only makes money from sick people - sick people with insurance. This business model enables drug companies to make huge profits and guarantees dependency among users. This dependency allows drug companies to pay for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising, drug trials, university research, government lobbying, and "ghost writers." Combined, these strategies are used to deceive the general public as well as medical doctors. To further increase profit, drug companies invent disease and subsequently, offer a solution. Herein lies the origin of deadly health myths.
Such myths include, but are surely not limited to, that of high cholesterol being the culprit of heart disease, insulin being the only treatment for diabetics and that AIDS, rather than starvation, is killing Africans. Through "junk science" and "ghost writing," the general public and some of the world's most respected health experts have fallen victim to these myths. Inventing disease is not a "far out" conspiracy theory. It is a simple matter of finding ailments that naturally occur due to poor lifestyle habits and labeling them as a disease. Once "big-pharma" steals jurisdiction over the general public's common sense, they convince them of the necessity of their drugs. In reality, most so-called diseases can be remedied with lifestyle changes. That is why I stress that habits create and eradicate disease, not drugs. One such habit might be to stop taking FDA approved drugs, which are known to cause a myriad of afflictions. This fact is copiously documented in my book. The biggest health threat to Americans are FDA approved drugs and medical doctors who mandate prescription drug addiction for both adults and children.
As a side note, some would argue that antibiotics cure infection. This is almost true. Antibiotics make us feel better. Inevitably though, their use leads to other infections. And in the long run, man-made antibiotics act as a growth medium for producing stronger and deadlier bacteria. This is hardly a cure, especially when Chinese medicine has successfully and inexpensively cured bacterial and viral infections for thousands of years (see the shrub andrographis).
Greg: Currently the word "CURE" can only be used by medical doctors. Do you think this interferes with other forms of healing?
Shane: Yes. Unfortunately the word "cure" is the sole property of the drug companies. If a nutritional supplement company uses this term they are attacked judiciously. This often leads to bankruptcy. As a result, many natural cures are buried.
Greg: Let's touch briefly on each of the 10 myths that you've outlined in your new book. The first myth you expose is the lack of safety and effectiveness amongst FDA approved drugs. Is the FDA really allowing dangerous drugs on the market that they know will harm people?
Shane: The FDA is comprised of well-meaning and dedicated scientists. Unfortunately, this has not stopped the release of drugs that were known to be dangerous prior to their approval. Vioxx is the most recent example.
In my book, before the news headlines, I called Vioxx the "silent killer". After 100,000 injuries, the dangers of this pain reliever became public. The FDA and Vioxx drug maker, Merck, knew of these dangers for at least 4 years prior to its removal. Instead of removing the drug immediately, they kept it on the drug market for matters of wealth not health. In this chapter, I document a myriad of drugs that were proven dangerous prior to their approval. These drugs are still on the market today. Reading the book will enable millions of people to avoid becoming a victim to the next Vioxx. Another good example of this is the FDA approved drug known as Posicor. Posicor was approved in 1997 for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). Prior to approval, the data from the congestive heart failure trials presented at an FDA Advisory Committee meeting on Posicor showed that more patients treated with Posicor died than those taking a placebo. This did not stop the FDA's approval of this drug. These injustices to our health and many others are a simple matter of good people, bad politics.
Pharmaceutically compliant politicians have democratized the drug industry. This means that drug approval is a matter of 51% telling the other 49% that deadly drugs are safe and necessary. Science and choice no longer prevail at the FDA or at pharmaceutical companies. To go against the 51% means losing your career. Therefore, the majority of scientists choose to please drug companies, not the general public. To better substantiate this, we can look to Dr. Curt Furberg. A member of the FDA's drug safety advisory committee and a well-known authority on drug safety, Dr. Furberg, recently came forward to announce that Bextra (valdecoxib), a chemical cousin of Vioxx, also causes heart attack and stroke. Published by the British Medical Journal, Dr. Furberg insists that his studies "showed that Bextra is no different than Vioxx, and Pfizer is trying to suppress that information." Immediately thereafter, Dr. Furberg was barred from serving on the panel that is responsible for considering the safety of cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX 2) inhibitors. The end result being more votes in favor of COX 2 inhibitors, the drug company wins by votes - not science.
Dr. David Graham, an FDA employee, has described this type of democracy as a "culture of the FDA". As a result of this culture, the FDA cannot protect Americans from dangerous drugs made by pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Graham told CNN, "The FDA, as currently configured, is incapable of protecting America against another Vioxx. We are virtually defenseless." This is not a revelation that has been discovered by Dr. Graham, it is simply a reminder from a hero in the drug community. As early as 1833, the New York Star wrote that prescriptions serve "as a cloak to ignorance and legalized murder." The true definition of the FDA must be known. The FDA is an organization that is only qualified to dictate what is legal and illegal with respect to the business of prescription drugs. Despite what most people erroneously believe, this does not mean that the FDA properly defines what is right and wrong with respect to health. This is an import distinction. Drug laws do not dictate what is right and wrong.
Greg: Is there anything that can be done to change what the FDA is doing or do you believe the drug companies hold too much power that will never allow things to change?
Shane: Yes, something can be done to change the deception and fraud committed by the FDA and drug companies. While both organizations hold enormous power, it could be drained overnight if the general public and professionals stopped taking part in prescription drug worship and relied more on common sense.
The power held by drug companies is derived from FDA approved drug addiction amongst the people. People need to stop begging their doctors for drugs. Medical doctors need to rely on their own knowledge and stop taking orders from unqualified drug company sales reps. That these reps assert the safety and effectiveness of drugs to medical doctors is absurd. Rarely, if at all, does a drug rep have any formal training in biochemistry, physiology or medicine. They lack the intelligence needed to make informed decisions on prescription drugs. When making a sales pitch, they simply regurgitate what they have been trained to do by their employer. They are actors, filling the role of real scientists. Drug companies prefer this. They seek out those people with non-science backgrounds. This ensures that their fraud goes unquestioned. Most fail to recognize this. America's effort to break the FDA approved drug addiction must be distilled in order to have an impact. This means that people must seek natural alternatives to prescription drugs. Natural alternatives to prescription drugs are abundant.
Unfortunately, the education of using natural products as medicine was taken out of the medical school curriculum 80 years ago! This was another motivator in writing my book - to expose some amazing natural alternatives. Adding to this, patients MUST question doctor's orders. Admittedly, questioning doctor's orders will be difficult. Doctors insist that medicine can only be understood by licensed professionals. To maintain this, medicine is littered with intentional obscurity and complexity (such as using cryptic, unpronounceable terminology to name a disease or a drug). Doing this has created a gap between the knowledge of medical doctors and that of the general public. Health knowledge has been removed from the reach of the general public. As shown by Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Starr, the job security of medical doctors rests in the disparity between doctors and patients. In reality though, medicine can be reduced to the principles of common sense. Once done, patients can hold their doctors accountable for FDA approved drug deaths as well as do away with them all together, outside of emergency medicine of course. The people will then be able to take their health back.
This pulls power away from the FDA and drug companies. Sadly, the idea of relying on one's self for health is revolutionary in America, yet logical in most other countries. To date, the gap or ignorance of FDA approved drugs has created hypochondriacs. This can be seen by the fact that people now pay exorbitant amounts of money on health insurance their entire lives to ensure they have access to prescription drugs. Or, careers with paltry wages are rationalized by having health insurance as a benefit. In this case, health insurance acts as a "Velcro package" sticking people to a false sense of security at the same time stripping them of their free will. Having health insurance to obtain prescription drugs is not a benefit, it is a liability. Simply because a poison is inexpensive via health insurance doesn't mean it is good for you. Health insurance is an illusion. In reality, it is a means by which medical doctors and drug companies monopolize their power. It dictates the use of prescription drugs and nothing else.
When a person has "health insurance" they must, by default, choose prescription drugs. This is the only way their investment can be returned. Therefore, most will never question doctor's orders or seek alternatives; they will simply swallow the pill that makes them ill. Having health insurance eliminates choice in health care. Consumer choice is the solution to a flawed health care system fueled by health insurance. Having insurance based on choice would enable policyholders to use nutritional supplements, acupuncture, personal trainers, and/or massage therapy in place of prescription drugs. If done, drug companies would crumble and people would begin to see the benefits of alternatives. Such a plan could be as simple as a "health fund." A fund could earn interest while at the same time provide money toward individualized health care when needed. If it was not used over a lifetime, it could be passed on to a person's heirs. This is a novel approach that would allow for both economic and health freedom. Drug companies, insurance companies and politicians would be forced to take huge pay cuts! At the same time, Americans would become the healthiest industrialized nation on the planet, rather than one of the sickest.
Greg: The 2nd myth you expose in your book is that drug advertising promotes health awareness for consumers. Are these drug companies lying about their products and if so, how are they getting away with it?
Shane: Drug companies take part in what is known as Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising. This advertising is relatively new and was previously illegal. It was thought by the FDA that DTC advertising would promote health awareness amongst consumers. Therefore, in an outrageous conflict of interest, the FDA granted this responsibility to the drug companies.
Supporters of DTC advertising say that it bridges the gap between doctors and patients. This is only true if DTC advertising were honest. Sadly, we find drug companies are in clear violation of the law due to making false and exaggerated claims about effectiveness and safety. To better illustrate this, we can look to Pfizer. Pfizer falsely advertised that a condition known as rhabdomyolysis (muscle pain) occurred at a much lower rate among Lipitor users relative to their competitor's drug. Consequently, millions of patients were prescribed Lipitor at dosages higher than recommended in an effort to plummet cholesterol levels faster. The result was disastrous, thousands suffered unnecessarily from rhabdomyolysis. The pain killer, OxyContin, is another example of false advertising.
Makers of the drug, Purdue Pharma L.P., falsely advertised that the addiction rate among the opium-based drug was a mere 1%. Approved only as a "last resort" drug for cancer patients, nave medical doctors began to prescribe the drug as a "first resort". Prescriptions for Oxycontin rose from 300,000 to nearly 6 million. At the same time, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported that deaths from OxyContin rose 400%. Instead of bridging the gap, DTC advertising has increased the number of people who have fallen victim to FDA approved drugs. It is hard to decipher which is more dangerous, the ads or the drugs? To date, no drug company has EVER been prosecuted for false advertising. The FDA simply ignores these violations. To avoid the prescription drug trap, it is important to understand how drug ads are designed to deceive us.
Greg: The 3rd myth is that pharmaceutical drugs improve the quality of human life. You actually open the chapter up with this fact: "When used as prescribed, pharmaceutical drugs kill more people than terrorism, car crashes, AIDS, and street drugs combined." Can you expound on this subject further for our readers?
Shane: Many health professionals have come forward in the Journal of the American Medical Association to highlight the fact that prescription drugs are one of the biggest killers in the U.S. Despite this coverage, the general public is largely unaware of the death toll brought about by prescription drug use - this can be seen by their ravenous appetite for prescription drugs.
Apparently, most people do not see the link between prescription drugs and early death. The link is not strikingly noticeable to medical doctors either as most write these deaths off as worsening health. Never will you read a death certificate that says, "Death by FDA approved drug". Instead, it is, "Death by cancer" or, in the case of Vioxx, it was, "Death by heart disease". If death is not an outcome, then many prescription drug users are forced into drug servitude simply to offset negative side effects from the initial drug they were prescribed. After reading this chapter, anyone can clearly see the link between FDA approved drugs and early death. The magnitude of this is highlighted in detail.
Greg: The 4th myth is that professional medicine reporting is honest and trustworthy. Are you saying this is all just one big huge scam?
Shane: Professional medicine reporting has no doubt tainted the once respected scientific method. Today, drug companies utilize a large majority of their profits to pay for and design their own studies. Additionally, "ghost writers" are hired to write favorable reviews of drugs despite their known dangers. These reviews are published in peer reviewed medical journals, which are used by medical doctors to get information on FDA approved drugs. Ultimately, doctors are hoodwinked into thinking that a given drug is safe and effective when, in reality, it poses great risk without benefit.
In this chapter, I outline the exact mechanism by which medical doctors are falsely convinced that a given FDA approved drug is safe and effective. I hope medical doctors are listening.
Greg: The 5th myth is that nutritional supplements are dangerous and ineffective. That seems to be the standard line often parroted by the media, FDA, and the drug companies. If nutritional supplements really were dangerous, we would be seeing thousands of deaths a year, which in comparison to drugs is miniscule. But the truth is there's hardly any deaths ever reported with supplements, if any at all. What do you get into in this chapter of your book?
Shane: I highlight the importance and history of some of the most beneficial nutritional supplements available and compare their efficacy and safety to current FDA approved drugs. I also discuss strategies that are used to convince Americans that nutritional supplements are dangerous and ineffective. These strategies are known as "controlled opposition" and are used to ban nutritional alternatives that tread on pharmaceutical turf.
This chapter is a blessing for those looking for nutritional supplements to aid in longevity, childhood development, prevention and reversal of heart disease, as well as cancer.
Greg: The 6th myth is that high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. I'm sure this chapter will be a serious eye opener for many people because high cholesterol is used to scare millions into a lifetime of drug use. What's the real truth about cholesterol and what should people really be looking for?
Shane: Myth 6 is dedicated to disproving the myth that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. If low cholesterol levels prevent heart disease, then victims of heart attacks should have high cholesterol. This is not so. Over half of all heart attack victims (those who suffer from heart disease) have low cholesterol. This logic is too simple. Highly educated folks totally miss this one. Therefore, the entire chapter reveals evidence, which disproves this myth. It also highlights how to avoid early death from heart disease using scientifically proven, natural approaches.
To further implement an attack on the cholesterol myth, I dedicated a separate chapter to stress the importance of cholesterol. This is chapter 7. According to studies over the last hundred years, the higher our cholesterol, the longer we live. This might be a revelation for most. As such, it will be hard to comprehend. Yet, science has consistently shown this to be true.
The most widely respected medical journal, the Journal of the American Medical Association, published a study entitled: Cholesterol and Mortality. 30 Years of Follow-up from the Framingham study. Shocking to most, this in-depth study showed that after the age of 50, there is no increased overall death associated with high cholesterol! There was, however, a direct association between low levels (or dropping levels) of cholesterol and increased death. Specifically, medical researchers reported that death rates increased by 14% for every 1mg/dl drop in total cholesterol levels per year. These results, and many others, have not stopped medical doctors from making blanket prescriptions for cholesterol lowering drugs to anyone with a heart beat...This must be why medical doctors carry a stethoscope around their neck (laughs).
Greg: Myth 8 is that cholesterol-lowering drugs are effective at preventing heart disease. Tell us why this isn't true and tell us how dangerous these statin drugs really are?
Shane: Millions of people insist that because their new statin drug (i.e. Lipitor, Pravachol, Crestor) or nutritional supplement (i.e. red yeast rice, policosanol) plummeted their total cholesterol level from 225 to 180 mg/dL, they are safe from the pandemic killer heart disease. Despite the statin drug addiction, the death rate from heart disease has not changed over the last 75 years and mortality from heart failure is more than double what it was in 1996. Most shocking is that the cholesterol lowering drug trials even failed to show a correlation between low cholesterol and heart disease!
If low cholesterol prevented heart disease, then studies would show a correlation between drug-induced low cholesterol and prevention of heart disease. The earlier cholesterol lowering drugs, known as "fibrates," failed to show such a correlation. The U.S. General Accounting Office recognized this and intervened. In their report to Congress, entitled Cholesterol Treatment - A Review of the Clinical Trials Evidence, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) stated: "With respect to total fatalities-that is, deaths from CHD [heart disease] and all other causes - most meta-analyses show no significant difference and thus no improvement in overall survival rates in the trials [using fibrates] that included either persons with known CHD or persons without it."
The "fibrate" drugs have been replaced by new cholesterol lowering drugs known as "statins." These drugs ALSO show no correlation between drug-induced low cholesterol and the prevention of heart disease! Looking at 5 major statin drug trials, these being PROSPER, ALLHAT-LLT, ASCOT-LLA, AFCAPS and WOSCOPS, statin drugs provided an Absolute Risk Reduction in total mortality of 0.3%. These facts go ignored. Medical doctors and drug companies hide the truth with complexity and obscurity via statistical contortionists. Don't be fooled. It is the "spin" created by the media that has convinced the masses that these drugs prevent heart disease, not the science.
In reality, the only thing that cholesterol-lowering drugs do is lower cholesterol. Users will have to face the negative side effects of both the drug and of having low cholesterol. This is a crucial point! Combined, these side effects include, but are not limited to, lack of energy and sex drive, cancer, heart disease, and loss of short-term memory. That people have relinquished their health to cholesterol lowering drugs is a great reminder that advertising hype often supercedes common sense.
Greg: Myth 9 is that ephedra causes heart attacks, strokes and seizures. What's the real reason for the FDA's ban of ephedra?
Shane: Interestingly, most of the negative side effects attributed to the plant ephedra were caused by the commonly used FDA approved drug ephedrine. This was well documented by the U.S. General Accounting Office. Ephedra posed huge competition for drug companies in the areas of obesity, asthma and bronchitis. Drug companies were losing millions of dollars, literally. Like all natural medicines that step on pharmaceutical turf, ephedra was banned. To date, there is not a single study which proves ephedra to be dangerous or that can document a single death from the use of ephedra. The same cannot be said for ephedrine. The ban of ephedra is a great example of how people are falsely convinced of dangers associated with natural medicine.
Greg: Myth 10 is that dieting is the cure for obesity. Given that we're getting into diet season, what do you feel is the real cause of obesity and what do you find to be most effective for losing fat?
Shane: Contrary to popular belief, the cure to obesity is not the antiquated model of working off more calories than you consume via exercise. This model is still heavily promoted despite its inability to conquer obesity. Don't we all know somebody who eats whatever they want yet remains rail-thin despite their lack of exercise? To know the cure, one must understand the cause.
There are definitive causes of obesity. They may include, but are not limited to, FDA approved drugs such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) drugs. Or it could be a sedentary lifestyle, caloric restriction from dieting, excess sugar intake or genetics - factors that can compromise thermogenesis. Thermogenesis could be considered a person's God-given right to be thin. It regulates excess calories consumed via heat production. Instead of storing calories as fat, thermogenesis rids them from our body by converting them to heat. It is our innate ability to get rid of food that our body does not need. Activating thermogenesis is the most effective way to lose fat, regardless of the cause. Doing so, allows a person to burn fat without exercise. Activating thermogenesis can be done by consuming certain foods or nutritional supplements.
The most important way to activate thermogenesis is by abstaining from sugar (sucrose and fructose), artificial flavors (aspartame and sucralose) and high glycemic index (GI) foods. To further simplify, a person could simply stop drinking soda, this includes diet soda. All of the aforementioned factors block your body's ability to burn fat. As a result, your body only burns carbohydrates while storing fat. I call it a biochemical nightmare. Over time, the nightmare is irreversible and results in what is known as insulin resistance. To digress, the glycemic index (GI) is an important concept to comprehend. It is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the rate at which they spike blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating. Foods that have a low glycemic index have GI ratings of 1-55. High glycemic index foods spike insulin and therefore block a person's ability to burn fat.
Meal planning among those wanting to lose fat should be based on quality protein and fats from healthy sources (nuts, seeds, grass fed animals, eggs and wild fish) as well as low glycemic index carbohydrates (with the emphasis on vegetables and careful amounts of whole, unprocessed grains). The relative ratio of each should be determined by age, gender, lifestyle, and health condition.
Greg: When someone has a "sick" car and they take it to a mechanic, the mechanic is accountable. The car owner shows some accountability by bringing the car in to the mechanic. If the mechanic doesn't do his job by repairing the car, he/she is not paid. If the mechanic replaces a faulty part, he makes the supplier accountable; in the same manner, a doctor should make the drug companies accountable for selling faulty drugs. Ideally, doctors should not be paid when people are sick; they should only be paid when people are well. If drugs don't work (and side effects are created), refunds and compensation should be given. In the analogy of the car, the patient must also be accountable by proving to the doctor that they are taking initiatives in their health (by eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising, drinking more water etc.). We have surrendered to a system that causes people to be complacent. Patients are looking for "duct tape" rather than being proactive in taking control of their health. With all that being said, how would you recommend that the FDA be changed so that honesty, integrity and trust can be restored to what has become one of the most corrupt institutions in our government?
Shane: The FDA should be banned all together. It is an example of an organization that has failed in its regulatory process. Like any government agency that fails to fulfill its mission statement, it must be done away with. Otherwise, more people will die. Those not in agreement with this do not see the full devastation of their actions or, perhaps, do not understand them. Regulation doesn't work with illicit drugs and it does not work with prescription drugs. If the FDA were independent, I doubt that this would solve any problems. It would be a minority of people trying to decide what is right for the majority. This is tyranny. Political tyranny results in angry people. Health tyranny results in sick people.
The FDA is accountable to the people yet they have failed in their sole objective of being the custodian of our health. We are the ones who have voted for their existence and they have failed to protect us. Therefore, it is up to the people to decide upon their fate. As we all start taking more initiatives towards our wellness, we can also express our concerns over their competency by saying "no" to the drugs that they approve. As a reminder, their drugs kill over 100,000 people every year. This would be akin to the entire population of Buffalo, New York being wiped out every year. If a car company like Chevrolet were responsible for this death toll there would be blood in the streets.
In a perfect world, people would take responsibility for their own health. Also, medical doctors would be left to practice emergency medicine, not health care.
Greg: How can people contact you if they'd like to learn more about your work or set up an interview?
Shane: Their best bet would be to go to my website at www.healthmyths.net. All my contact information is there. They can also order my book from my site but I would strongly encourage people reading this interview to order my book through CRUSADOR in order to help support the fine work you're doing Greg.
Greg: Well Shane, it's been a pleasure hearing your thoughts. You have an urgent message to deliver to the world and I hope this interview helps alert more people to these deadly deceptions.
Shane: Thanks for interviewing me Greg. I wish your fine organization nothing but the best. You're one of the few media sources left that isn't afraid to proclaim the truth.
You can order a copy of Shane's powerful book, and see published articles
Shane holds a Masters degree in organic chemistry and has first-hand industry experience with drug research, design and synthesis. He understands that Americans want and deserve education rather than prescriptions. His shocking ebook surrounding cholesterol lowering drugs can be downloaded for FREE as a pdf file at www.health-fx.net/eBook.pdf. His book "Health Myths Exposed" is available at www.healthmyths.