The cover of the May 24th issue of Newsweek magazine ran the following headline in big, black, and bold lettering: “Desperately Seeking Cures.  Medical Research Isn’t Making Progress Rapidly Enough.  Here’s Why – and How To Push Things Forward.” 

The main article stated plainly enough: “…frustration is growing with how few seemingly promising discoveries in basic biomedical science lead to something that helps patients, especially in what is supposed to be a golden age of genetics, neuroscience, and biomedical research in general…More and more policymakers and patients are therefore asking, where are the cures?”

Using the term “golden age” to describe the current status of science is, at best, misleading and, at worst, down right ludicrous.  What Newsweek meant to say was that there’s lots of money available to do research, and lots of scientists are being funded to do studies in the health sciences.  Universities and research centers are getting rich, to be sure, but there are few if any cures to show for it. 

The problem, Newsweek reported, is that there is this enormous chasm between the discoveries being made in the laboratory, and the act of turning those discoveries into various forms of medicine.  The reason is simple: the big institutions are willing to fund o fund research, but don’t want to spend money in order to turn biomedical discoveries into medicines.  Which means great storehouses of knowledge aren’t doing us much good. 

The drug companies, on the other hand, have a different motive.  There are no profits in curing or eradicating an illness from the face of the earth.  The real money is in drug-dependency. 

Thus, none of the drugs being approved today are actual cures.  On the contrary, they are palliatives – drugs designed to provide temporary relief from a set of symptoms, but guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.  Not only do they fail to cure the underlying disorder, but the ailments caused by the drugs themselves create the need for even more drugs. 

Needless to say, the pharmaceutical industry is thriving, with revenues in excess of $300 billion.  In the U.S. alone, prescription drug usage rose 71 percent between 1994 and 2005.   That trend is expected to continue.  Prescription drug use in the U.S. is expected to increase 148 percent over the next six years in the U.S. alone, and much of the world is expected to follow.  Each year, the worldwide population is becoming more drug-dependent. 

That’s bad news for the sick, but good news for shareholders.  And given the worldwide epidemics in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome, and AIDS, the future looks bright indeed for stockholders.  Drug company profits are going to continue to soar, unless people start taking their health into their own hands. 

Why There Are No Cures

What Newsweek and other mainstream publications won’t tell you is that the research that gets all the glory are the studies looking for genetic and biomedical answers to cancer, heart disease, diabetes (especially type 2), Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis, just to name a handful of research areas.  This kind of research is exciting and lucrative, and – in all too many cases – pretty much worthless to the average person suffering from a major illness. 

Meanwhile, there is plenty of good research that points directly to the real cause of these and other diseases, as well as their cure. 

The real disease that most people suffer from today is poisoning.  We’re being poisoned to morbidity and death by the food we’re eating, our lack of exercise, and the stress levels we endure.  The accumulated poisons from these sources push the body past its limits.  Each of us has genetic weaknesses, which translate into vulnerabilities to one illness or another.  When the toxic load in our blood and tissues goes beyond a certain threshold, one or another weakness is triggered.   A good example is the effects of high insulin which triggers an enormous rage of cellular and genetic changes – all of which are detrimental to health and life. 

Under these conditions, one person gets heart disease, another gets breast cancer; this person gets prostate cancer, while that one gets diabetes; this person gets Alzheimer’s disease, while another suffers a stroke and atherosclerotic dementia. 

Yes, there are genetically-driven diseases, and even if everyone ate perfectly, we would still have sickness and premature death.  But the numbers of people who contract the major degenerative diseases and die prematurely would drop like the apple that fell on Isaac Newton’s head. 

The reason is, simply, that the vast majority of diseases today flow from the same source: A poisonous stream of saturated fat, poor quality oils and trans fats, excess animal protein, rapidly absorbed sugars and processed foods, nutrient-depleted foods, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, hormones, growth factors, and a plethora of synthetic colors, flavors, and preservatives – all of which are foreign to human biology and have dramatic effects on our health.

Of course, most of us chase all of these poisons down with a cocktail of soft drinks, alcohol, and prescription and recreational drugs – which is basically like pouring gasoline on a blazing fire. 

At the same time, we deprive our bodies of the very substances that nature has offered us from millennia, and made us dependent upon: cooked whole grains, a vast variety of vegetables (green and leafy, round, sweet, and roots), mineral-rich sea vegetables, fruit, low-fat fish and other low-fat animal foods, traditionally processed foods (intended to retain their nutrients), fermented products, and minimally processed sweets and sweeteners.  

Part of the problem in today’s world is that stress drives people to eat the standard Western diet.  We need the anesthetic that McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King delivers.  Which is one reason why McDonald’s profits are up 11 percent this quarter. 

The pharmaceutical and food industries are working hand-in-hand, but they are aided and abetted by so many doctors who are on the drug-company dole for free or low-cost drugs, or fancy junkets and gifts. 

Yes, your doctor may have some kind of pill for your high cholesterol level, or a new drug for your diabetes, and both are going to turn you into a loyal customer. 

Why does medical science fail to find a cure?  Where’s the incentive to find one? 

Inspired Goals And Human Ingenuity

On May 25, 1961, a young American President, John F. Kennedy, gave a speech to the joint houses of the U.S. Congress that inspired a nation and much of the world.  He challenged American ingenuity and determination to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.  To the average man or woman, the feat didn’t seem possible, but on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed their Apollo 11 spacecraft on the lunar surface.   A great goal was set and within a decade achieved. 

Ten years later, on January 21, 1971, then-President Richard Nixon declared War on Cancer and devoted $100 million to launch a campaign to find a cure for this terrible killer. 

One of the very acts that that money was used for was to convert the U.S. Army base, Fort Detrick, in Maryland, into a cancer research center.  One of the more telling ironies about the war on cancer is that Fort Detrick had been a research facility for biological warfare.  We’ve been performing biological warfare on people with cancer ever since.   And nearly four decades later, we’re still looking for a cure for cancer. 

In 1976, Nathan Pritikin, a scientist with only two years of college but a vast knowledge of the health-related science, opened the Pritikin Longevity Center in a Howard Johnson’s motel in Santa Barbara, California.  There he began using a plant-based diet and light exercise program to treat people with life-threatening heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, various forms of arthritis and gout, circulation disorders, obesity, sight and hearing impairment, and a multitude of other serious illnesses.  His results were nothing short of miraculous.  According to researchers from Loma Linda University in California, 80 percent of those who arrived at the Longevity Center with diabetes and taking oral medication left free of medication and cured of their diabetes.   Half of those who arrived with diabetes and taking insulin left insulin-free.  The average drop in cholesterol was 25 percent – accomplished in a 30-day period.  Those who arrived with exceedingly high cholesterol levels — between 260 mg./dl. (milligrams per deciliters of blood) and 279 mg./dl. – left, on average, with cholesterol levels of 190 mg./dl., well out of danger.  Some people who arrived in wheelchairs and even on stretchers left walking and even running.  People who arrived blind from plaques in their eyes left with their vision restored.  Similar healings occurred for those who couldn’t see. 

Later research showed that a plant-based diet, similar to Pritikin’s or macrobiotics, could reverse coronary heart disease – meaning it could cure the number one killer-disease in the world today.  

I wrote about Pritikin when he was alive and, after he passed, I wrote his biography.  On more than one occasion, he told me that he thought his diet could cure cancer, under the right conditions.  In any case, he said that if people adopted a plant-based diet, most of the cancers we suffer from could be prevented.  Later research proved him right, of course. 

Hundreds of millions of people suffer from the same disease that goes by many different names.  Its true name is poisoning.  There is a cure for it — if not for every individual, than certainly for our society.  It’s inexpensive, universally applicable, and easy to manage.  It does require some vision and change, however.  Unfortunately, no one has found a way to make $300 billion in revenues from it yet.