John Snow, MD, is the genius who created the modern science of epidemiology.1
Dr. Snow demonstrated that feces-laden water consumed by the people of London in the mid-1800s was causing cholera and other epidemic diseases.1
Dr. Snow had no idea that microscopic bacteria were behind cholera. Doctors at that time had not yet recognized the “germ theory” of disease. He nonetheless concluded that contaminated water was the source of a self-replicating poison that was killing thousands of London residents.
Few people of the day followed Dr. Snow’s admonition to boil drinking water and avoid fluids that emanated from the bowels of cholera patients.
It might not surprise you that the medical establishment did not agree with Dr. Snow. Physicians in 1854 attributed cholera and other enteric diseases to the foul smelling gasses produced by piles of rotting garbage and raw sewage that characterized London at that time.1
Rational decision making by the medical establishment has not improved much on a relative basis since Dr. Snow’s time.
Mainstream medicine continues to overlook proven methods to prevent, mitigate, or eradicate chronic disorders. The result is that too many Americans needlessly suffer and die.
A fundamental purpose of Life Extension is to investigate and identify the underlying culprits behind today’s epidemics and devise practical protocols to circumvent them.
Over the past 10 years, Life Extension has accumulated a wealth of new lifesaving knowledge. This article describes the modern world’s leading cause of death. It then reviews the completely revised 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment, a textbook designed for professionals and the lay public alike.
One of today’s great misconceptions is how people die. Most believe disease is the leading cause of death. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While data is regularly published showing what diseases people die with, missing is what caused the disease to manifest in the first place.
The number one cause of death throughout the world is medical ignorance. Not just the Western world, but the entire world. This fact can be demonstrated by looking at the degree of ignorance in developing countries today.
In parts of Africa, for example, AIDS is not considered to be a viral disease.2 Instead, the belief is that one contracts AIDS by “thinking” they may contract AIDS. Therefore, according to this backward logic, to even “think” that practicing safe sex will prevent AIDS causes one to contract the disease. The result of this fallacy is that HIV infection has spread at epidemic proportions in Africa, as people freely engage in dangerous sex practices and intentionally pretend that there is no such thing as HIV-AIDS.3,4
One reason that new viral diseases keep emanating from China is that sanitary conditions are very bad in many parts of the country. Some rural Chinese farmers live under the same roof as their livestock, increasing the likelihood of transmitting animal viruses to humans. Apartment buildings constructed during the communist regime have such improperly installed plumbing that it is not unusual for the toilet contents of those living upstairs to wind up in their downstairs neighbor’s sinks. Rampant infectious disease involving the same organism has been known to strike virtually everyone living in these decrepit apartment buildings.
More than 1.8 million humans die annually from water-borne bacterial diarrhea including cholera.5 While many Third World populations have little choice, it’s not the cholera bacterium that is their enemy. The preventable culprit is their ignorance about the dangers of drinking contaminated water. 1,5,6
It’s Nearly as Bad in the Western World
Arrogant doctors in the Western world pretend that they have somehow lifted themselves out of the sea of oblivion that caused so many needless deaths in the past.
The unfortunate fact is that medical ignorance in the Western world is also the leading cause of death; it just consumes its victims in other ways. Doctors who would ridicule the stupidity of disease causation in developing nations don’t understand that their own oversight is also easy to criticize.
For example, hospitalized patients continue to die needlessly due to malnutrition even in industrialized countries.7 Despite numerous studies documenting the negative effects of hospitalization on nutritional status, very little is being done to correct this problem. 8-11 The result is that hospitalized Americans continue to perish from malnutrition, just as those in the Third World continue contracting water-borne infections at epidemic proportions—two diseases with the same underlying cause… medical ignorance!
If doctors can’t get it right in hospitals when it comes to something as easy as measuring the calorie intake of patients, then can we really expect them to optimally treat complex disease states? The answer is a resounding no!
In the brand new 2014 edition of the book Disease Prevention and Treatment, you will find out how medical ignorance in the so-called modern world deprives patients of life-saving treatments and contributes to unnecessary suffering and death.
Needless Cancer Deaths
Despite proclamations of progress, cancer continues to inflict an epidemic of disability and death on the aging American population.
When a primary tumor is surgically removed, the body produces growth factors to heal the surgical wound. The problem is that these same growth factors also promote the proliferation of cancer cells that may have already spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. 12,13 If drugs that suppressed these growth factors were administered prior to cancer surgery, many lives could be spared. The sad fact is that most oncologists do not even consider prescribing drugs and nutrients before surgery that not only suppress growth factors, but also markedly reduce the metastatic potential of the primary tumor. In the 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment, we discuss new approaches to treating cancer both before and after surgery that could result in many more successful long-term outcomes.
Cancer cells are uniquely able to adapt to toxic environments, which is why chemotherapy drugs have such a high failure rate. Researchers have identified survival mechanisms that cancer cells employ to avoid obliteration by chemotherapy drugs and other conventional therapies, yet few practicing oncologists incorporate these synergistic strategies into clinical practice. The 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment identifies therapies that may complement cancer treatments to improve patient outcomes.
Radiation has been used to kill cancer cells for over 100 years, but doctors continue to overlook novel methods to enable this therapy to better treat the disease. The 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment contains voluminous data on how cancer patients may achieve better results when having to undergo radiation therapy.
Don’t Let Viruses Get You
Each year, tens of millions of Americans suffer acute viral outbreaks that result in debilitating cold-flu sicknesses, herpes, and shingles recurrences, and lethal episodes of influenza.
While effective therapies exist to combat these diseases, the delay in initiating treatment too often results in failure to contain the virus. The 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment identifies novel drug-nutrient-hormone cocktails that can quickly suppress or destroy a broad array of common viruses.
The most important recommendation, however, is to encourage patients to initiate these comprehensive therapies at the very first symptom of a viral infection. Few doctors understand that treatment delay past 48 hours renders even the most advanced anti-viral approaches virtually useless.
Victims of HIV and hepatitis know how difficult it is to kill a virus once it gains a foothold inside the cells of the body. For those afflicted with chronic viral infections, the 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment provides a plethora of immune-boosting strategies designed to contain difficult-to-manage viruses.
Control High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a silent epidemic that threatens the lives of one in every three American adults.14 Of those taking blood pressure medications, optimal control rates are typically less than half.14,15 This means that the majority of those diagnosed with hypertension spend most of their day with blood pressure levels that are dangerously elevated.
Since increased blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease, it acts as an accomplice in millions of deaths each year.16
Mainstream medicine has fallen fatally short of relieving high blood pressure. A major problem is that conventional medicine’s definition of what constitutes acceptable blood pressure levels is far too high. In the 2014 edition of Disease Prevention & Treatment, readers will learn about a dangerous assumption made by doctors regarding anti-hypertensive drugs, optimal blood pressure targets, and ways to better manage blood pressure.
Avoid the Dangers of Chronic Stress
Chronic and unremitting stress can increase our risk of suffering from a barrage of anxiety- and pressure-related diseases ranging from high blood pressure to dementia to depression.
Regrettably, while chronic stress produces significant adverse health effects, conventional medicine often relies upon psychoactive drugs to mask stressed patients’ symptoms. At the same time, mainstream stress management strategies often fail to address biochemical abnormalities, such as imbalanced adrenal hormone levels, that contribute to the detrimental health effects of chronic stress.17-19
At the core of chronic stress is deregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, an interconnected network of physiologic command terminals that governs the production of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Chronic stress leads to desynchronization of the HPA axis and subsequent imbalances in stress hormone levels, a critical feature of stress-related illness.
The 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment describes the dangers of chronic stress, how it contributes to various diseases, and how one can optimize their stress response by combining healthy lifestyle habits with scientifically studied natural therapies.
Overlooked Multiple Sclerosis Therapy
More than three decades ago a natural intervention was hypothesized to be an environmental determinant of multiple sclerosis incidence.20,21
Since then, numerous scientific studies have shown that this common natural compound can dramatically modulate the cascade of autoimmunity and inflammation that claims the lives of so many multiple sclerosis patients.22,23 Moreover, evidence shows many multiple sclerosis patients have very low levels of the natural substance in their blood.24
Despite robust findings suggesting this inexpensive natural therapy should be an integral part of every multiple sclerosis patient’s treatment plan, conventional medicine still fails to recommend it. In the 2014 edition of Disease Prevention and Treatment, you will learn about this underappreciated multiple sclerosis therapy as well as a multitude of other innovative disease treatments that conventional medicine continues to overlook.