Disease Studies Continue to Lack Holistic Insight

by drnorton on December 17, 2012

In my last post I discussed the foolishness of the positive conclusions drawn from a recent study that used a dangerous cholesterol-lowering medication in an attempt to prevent heart attacks and strokes in supposedly high-risk people who don’t even have elevated cholesterol levels.

Using a poison as a proactive cardiovascular health measure seems to me to be like giving a drug that blocks emotional expression to everyone who might ever become angry (which would be everyone) because anger increases heart attack risk. In another arena it might be like banning marriage to save lives since most women homicide victims are killed by their husbands. All of these ideas are ridiculous although they appear rational.

Atomistic approaches divide people into separate pieces that can be treated without consideration for the impact on their whole system. In this world it somehow makes sense that we should spend most of our resources attempting to find disease solutions that are based upon toxic chemicals that don’t belong in our bodies.

We claim progress toward cures when studies show reduced signs or symptoms as though health and wholeness were produced by less expression or awareness of underlying conditions. All we really accomplish through this is fostering the illusion of well-being in people who are still sick and have disturbed function.

From this mindset, holistic approaches get dismissed when they fail to adequately manipulate disease indicators within limited atomistic study designs. Allow me to share a few examples from the Associated Press news source in November.

While an artificial drug with harsh side-effects is stated to provide protection against heart attack and stroke, vitamins C and E (essential for a vast array of vital functions foundational for health) are found not to be helpful in preventing heart disease or cancer. So say the bold headlines that lead people to conclude that their poor diet and lack of quality supplementation don’t really matter anyway. All they really need is another medication to save them once crisis ensues.

The atomistic orientation of these studies arrived at a very concrete conclusion through very generic methods that failed to consider the many contextual variables of a chaotic human system. The article headlines categorically declared these key antioxidant nutrients useless in heart and immune support or protection. But let’s examine a few flaws inherent in these studies from a more holistic approach.

Study Flaws

First of all, how did they arrive at the dosages used?

Current research recommendations for vitamin E are 400-800 international units daily depending upon stress levels and overall health status, whereas the study only provided 200 IU. Only 500 milligrams of vitamin C were used daily rather than the 1300 mg. now considered to approximate our needs.

Not only is dosage an important variable but the study doesn’t consider the form or quality of the supplement used. For example, using a blend of mineral ascorbates rather than simply the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C has shown to make a major difference in how much gets into the blood serum where it counts and how long those levels are maintained. The same is true for the form of vitamin E, which has shown greater bioavailability with a blend of the d-alpha and mixed tocopherols and mixed tocotrienols.

Were these distinctions taken into account in study design or before rendering the sweeping no-benefit verdict?

In addition to dosage and bioavailability of form, there is the factor of purity. Were they pharmaceutical-grade or merely food-grade supplements? There are also the synergistic effects of supplemental nutrients that are lost when extracted out as one or two individual vitamins.

How about the incomprehensible number of individual variables in each person? What was their general state of health? What did the rest of their diet consist of? What was their work or home environment like? Were they leading happy, vital lives? What was the extent of their physical, mental, and environmental stress, especially given the fact that the study participants were all male medical doctors?

Protective nutrients are used up more quickly under high stress conditions.Life context is a critical factor in health and illness. It is rarely taken into account, partly due to the atomistic lack of understanding of this issue, but also because it is nearly impossible to account for in large studies.

How do you best prevent any disease? It’s always the same. Provide everything necessary for optimum body, mind, and spirit functional wholeness. Then you make it nearly impossible for disease to develop regardless of your genetic inheritance, because you optimize the expression of your genetic possibilities.

Be careful about what you read. Read between the lines and think more holistically, in your health and the rest of your life.

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