Traditional Naturopath Podcast #48

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 48 – (09/27/08)
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Show Notes:
Cholesterol Drugs linked to cancer, the benefits of Olive Leaf Extract, arthritis drugs can cause fatal fungus infections, and a fond farewell (at least for now) to the podcast!

Arthritis Drugs Can Cause Fatal Fungal Infections

Again we see that the “unintended consequences” of drugs designed to fight one problem, can cause other problems! The drugs in question here lower the operation of the natural immune system (a bad idea on it’s face, it seems to me!) That leaves one open to various types of infections.

Arthritis Drugs Cause Fatal Fungal Infections

“The U.S. FDA has ordered stronger warnings on four medications widely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, saying they can raise the risk of possibly fatal fungal infections. Enbrel, Remicade, Humira and Cimzia work by suppressing the immune system to keep it from attacking your body. For people with rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment provides relief from swollen and painful joints. But the drugs also lower your body’s defenses against various kinds of infections. The FDA became concerned after discovering that doctors seemed to be overlooking a particular kind of fungal infection called histoplasmosis. The infection is prevalent in much of the middle part of the country, and it can have grave consequences if it isn’t caught early and spreads beyond the respiratory system to other organs of your body. Of 240 cases reported to the FDA in which patients taking one of the four drugs developed this infection, a total of 45 (or about 20 percent) died.”

Again, I see the need for watching these types of medications closely, and looking for safe, natural alternatives!

Olive Leaf Extract… Lowers BP and “Bad” Cholesterol!

I love reports of research that confirms that natural supplements are as effective as drugs, with no side effects. Why? Because herbs are food! They are natural and gentle to the system.

Olive Leaf Extract Lowers Blood Pressure

“The leaves of the olive tree have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, and research has suggested that olive leaf extracts have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Now it also appears that a supplement containing olive leaf extract could help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. A study looked at 20 sets of identical twins with ‘borderline’ hypertension — blood pressure that is above the optimal level of 120/80, but below the cutoff of 140/90 used to diagnose high blood pressure. One member of each twin pair was given tablets containing olive leaf extract, while the other received no supplements but did get lifestyle advice on lowering blood pressure. After eight weeks, supplement users taking 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract per day showed a substantial dip in their blood pressure overall, and lowered levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol. The twins who received no supplements showed no significant change in their blood pressure and a smaller improvement in cholesterol. The medicinal use of the leaves from the olive tree (Olea europaea) dates back thousands of years. In fact, it’s the first botanical healing herb cited in the Bible (Ezekiel 47:12): ‘The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.’ There’s also recorded evidence that the ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean cultures used the leaves to treat a variety of health conditions.”

God Himself recommends the “leaf thereof for medicine!” I can’t think of a higher recommendation! Olive Leaf extract is also said to have anti-viral and anti-fungal properties and can be beneficial in stopping colds and flu from developing by taking Olive leaf when the first symptoms begin to appear.

Cholesterol Drug Linked to Cancer!

Staton drugs have been touted as a great advance due to their cholesterol lowering properties… but now research is demonstrating that they can increase the risk of cancer! And, as we will see, the “hype” of the importance of lowering your cholesterol numbers should be called into question anyway!

Cholesterol Pill Taken by Thousands Causes Cancer

Dr. Mercola writes: “A pill intended to lower cholesterol levels has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing data from a trial which found a ‘larger percentage’ of patients treated with the drug Inegy died of cancer. The FDA is expected to issue its conclusions within six months. Inegy combines the widely-used statin drug simvastatin with a new medication called ezetimibe. Ezetimibe works in a different way from statins. Statins block cholesterol made in the liver, while ezetimibe blocks the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. Back in 2004, the U.S. Government’s National Cholesterol Education Program panel advised those at risk for heart disease to attempt to reduce their LDL (bad) cholesterol to very low levels. It’s been a health disaster ever since. Before 2004, a 130-milligram LDL cholesterol level was considered healthy. The updated guidelines, however, recommended levels of less than 100, or even less than 70 for patients at very high risk. These updated guidelines instantly increased the market for cholesterol-lowering drugs. Not surprisingly, eight of the nine doctors who were on the approval panel for these absurdly low guidelines had been making money from the companies of the cholesterol-lowering drugs they were suddenly pushing onto a much larger (oftentimes healthy) segment of the population. Now, in order to get to these outrageous and dangerous low levels usually requires multiple cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as Inegy, which combines two cholesterol-lowering drugs into one. Folks, it is VERY rare for anyone to need a cholesterol-lowering drug, let alone multiples. Among the more than 20,000 patients who have come to my clinic, only four or five of them truly needed these drugs, as they had genetic challenges that required it. But if you or someone you know is taking them, odds are very high — greater than 100 to 1 — that you or they don’t need them, and they may even create more health challenges than what you started out with. Inegy combines two different medications — simvastatin and ezetimibe — into one pill. Although the Daily Mail article above claims statins ‘should lead to a drop in heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems,’ that is not necessarily the case. Statin drugs can actually increase your risk of heart disease because they deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which can lead to heart failure. They have also been linked to:

* Weakness
* Muscle aches
* An increase in cancer risk
* Immune system suppression
* Serious degenerative muscle tissue condition (rhabdomyolysis)
* Potential increase in liver enzymes so patients must be monitored for normal liver function

Is ‘Bad” Cholesterol Really ‘Bad?’

It’s important to remember that you actually NEED cholesterol in your body – including LDL, or so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol — in order to maintain your health. There is actually no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ cholesterol. Both HDL and LDL cholesterol perform vital functions in your body, which is why it’s actually dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low. HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are actually proteins that transport the cholesterol to and from your tissues. Cholesterol in turn is a precursor to steroid hormones. For example, you can’t make testosterone or estrogen, cortisol, DHEA or pregnenolone, or a multitude of other steroid hormones that are necessary for health, without cholesterol. Even more importantly, you can’t make new cell membranes without cholesterol. So, the major reasons your body makes cholesterol in the first place, and why you have LDL, is to take the cholesterol to the tissue so you can make new cells or repair old damaged ones.”

This information from Dr. Mercola’s article is stunning, and I suggest that you do more personal research into the issue… check out this book:

The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease

The truth is amazing!