Recently, I found a press release from 2003 by the Lewin Group entitled “New study finds increased multivitamin use by the elderly could save Medicare $1.6 billion”.
The release states: “While evidence supports multivitamins’ beneficial effects in improving immune function and in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers reviewed literature which examined preventive benefits as they relate to colorectal, prostate, and diabetes cancers.
Imagine what this could mean for people in nursing homes. It is unlikely that daily vitamins are given to residents. Poor nutrition is one of the reasons COVID has killed so many residents in nursing homes. The virus couldn’t be handled by their immune systems because they were lacking in nutrients.
This article was first published in 2003. Since then, little has changed. Americans still eat a diet dominated by fast foods and out-of-a box meals that are nutritionally deficient. Many people are taking supplements to make up for nutritional deficiencies, but they are only taken occasionally and the recommended doses are not always followed.
According to Mayo Clinic guidelines, 90 milligrams of vitamin C is recommended for men over the age of 18. Adult women should take 75 milligrams, with caution to not exceed this amount. I’ve taken mega-doses of vitamin c for decades and it’s not killed me. Who follows the “crazy advice” of Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University? It is unlikely that you will get 400 mg/day of vitamin C in your daily diet. What’s the problem? There is an overall animosity towards adequate nutrition supplementation.
The nutrition education provided in medical school is completely inadequate. We read in “Status on nutrition education at medical schools”, “numerous entreaties were made during the last two decades for improving the nutrition skills and knowledge of physicians and medical students.” Most graduating medical school students still rate their nutrition education as inadequate.
It is not adequate. Please don’t ask your doctor what you should eat unless he is self-taught. Your doctor may laugh at the idea of you taking vitamins, telling you to “just eat well and be fine.” It is possible that he ate cold pizza as breakfast on the way to work, which shows he doesn’t know what a healthy diet looks like.
Our “healthcare” system is the best in the world. The term “healthcare” is used to describe the medications of the pharmaceutical industry, not health care, but a for-profit enterprise. Big Phama produces a barrage of dangerous and expensive drugs. Many have side effects that are worse than the conditions they treat. It is disgusting that the pharmaceutical industry advertises their products in TV ads (“Ask you doctor if XYZ will work for you”)
Consider this in relation to what was said above: In the US, 34% older adults are given potentially inappropriate medications. A new study shows that inappropriate medication given to elderly adults leads to more hospitalizations and costs the patient, on average $450 every year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that 100,000 Americans are killed each year by reactions to drugs prescribed. This is the 4th leading cause of deaths in the U.S.
The charming doctor that you trust and love may prescribe such potentially harmful drugs, but he/she might know very little about the new drug. He/she could have only learned the buzzwords and script from the salesperson who visited the office.
What can you do to improve your diet and increase the chances that you will live a longer, healthier life? Start by cleaning up your diet. As many refined carbs as you can, eliminate. Check the labels of products to see how many carbohydrates they contain. Sugar is a deadly poison. I understand how hard it can be to get rid of it. Stevia is used sparingly instead.
Fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry free of antibiotics and hormones, and fresh fish. Hemp hearts are delicious on Coach’s Oatmeal. Both are available at Costco. Costco sells frozen organic blueberries. Please try almond milk if you’ve never done so. If you focus your grocery shopping on the fruit and vegetable aisle instead of the middle aisles, then you’re on the right path.
Start slowly if you have never taken supplements before. Start by taking a daily multivitamin of high quality, such as Centrum. Life Extension magazine is one of my favorite resources. Don’t be scared by the articles if you are new to this. We all have a lot to learn to achieve optimum health and longevity. Your health is your responsibility and not that of your doctor.