12 not-so-proven health tips that will keep you from REALLY living
You and I both know that USA Today is written for the average American vidiot with an IQ hovering at room temperature. But every once in a while, even I am surprised by the bogus advice they spread to the innocent public. The latest example of bad science is an article written by Liz Szabo-”Proven Steps to a Longer Life.” Let’s take a closer look at each of these miracle steps to see just how “proven” they are.
1). Avoid tobacco. According to the American Cancer Society, 30 percent of all cancer deaths are caused by cigarette smoking. That’s a preposterous lie born of statistics. As Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” And there is no place in science where statistical lies, masquerading as science, are used as effectively to bamboozle the public than in “medical research” cobbled together by epidemiologists who think they are doctors.
2). Maintain a healthy weight. As always, bogus medical practitioners continue their vendetta against fat people by claiming that extra weight increases tumor risk. It’s such stupid, statistical garbage that I can’t believe even an avid fan of “Desperate Housewives” would swallow it. So if you are fat and you smoke, how did you ever manage to live to the age of 60? (And you look pretty good to me.)
3). Eat more fruits and vegetables. The American Institute for Cancer Research says that because plant foods could possibly work best when combined, you should eat a variety of the green stuff. Since practically everybody eats “lots of different plant foods,” how is eating more plant foods going to protect against cancer? And what about real food, such as prime rib, hot dogs, and chicken liver?
4). Avoid saturated fats. Contrary to what the American Society of Clinical Oncology might say, saturated fats do not cause colon cancer or any other cancer. You can eat all the animal fat you want. You don’t have to limit your intake of high-fat dairy products to protect against prostate cancer or any other cancer.
5). Cut back on meat. See what I mean? Vegetarians have an agenda, not a scientific program. And the pathetic part is they are backed and financed by the federal government and pinko foundations loaded with ideology and money but no common sense. You need protein to survive, and protein means meat. Forget about tofu and beans and all of the supposed “substitutes” the pasty-faced vegans will tell you are just as good as meat. They’re not. In fact, tofu and other soy products contain plant estrogens, which can have disastrous effects on male sexual development and prostate health.
6). Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day. Some research suggests that exercising could help you survive colon or breast cancer. Szabo says, “A study in JAMA found that breast cancer patients who walk three to five hours a week cut their risk of dying in half compared with sedentary women.” If that’s true, does it mean I cut the risk to zero if I walk six to 10 hours a week instead of three to five?
7). Practice safe sex. Gee, why didn’t we think of that?
8). Stay out of the sun. Other than dermatologists, I don’t think many people, including doctors, still believe the discredited “the-sun-causes-malignant-skin-cancer” myth. This is the mantra the skin docs have been promoting for 50 years. Malignant melanoma, the cancer they are worried about, is more commonly seen in northern climes, such as Boston and Boise, than in Miami or Mobile. Plus, recent research shows that sunlight doesn’t cause cancer-it prevents it (see the June 2005 issue of RHB).
9). Use alcohol in moderation. Ralph Coates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that to reduce their risk of cancer, women should only have one drink per day, and men should only have two. I think we have a new specialty on the horizon-”Puritanical medicine.” Who are you, Ralph, to tell us working slobs that we can only have one drink a day? Are you crazy? There is no proof that alcohol consumption increases cancer. Heavy drinking contributes to a lot of bad things, such as depression, broken homes, suicide, cirrhosis of the liver, impotence, and death by accident in automobiles or by falling off a park bench. All of this is obvious. So why pick on alcohol as a cause of cancer, which is not proven?
10). See a doctor regularly. Why? Regular checkups have proven to be ineffective in improving survival rates in cancer patients. When confronted with this awful truth, the consensus among doctors tends to be: “Well, they should get a checkup anyway.” Sure, it’s the doctor’s back pocket that takes the hit if people stop coming in once a year “to be on the safe side.” The truth is that you’re no safer for being poked and prodded once a year at a physical. Save your trips to the doctor’s office for the times when you’re out of options.
11). Floss. Who knew flossing and brushing could reduce the risk of cancer in people who have damaged their mouths by the evils of smoking and drinking? At least that’s what Carolyn Runowicz, co-author of The Answer to Cancer, says. There’s that Puritanism again. I agree that good oral hygiene can go a long way in keeping you healthy, but most people brush and floss too hard and end up doing more damage to their gums than they’re preventing. Plus, most commercial toothpastes are loaded with the rat poison otherwise known as fluoride.
Forget the toothbrush and paste: Use a mechanical water irrigator, such as Waterpic or Hydrofloss, to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. Mix 1/2 an ounce of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (the kind you get at the grocery store) with the water you put in the machine. It will probably taste a little funny to you the first few times, but don’t rinse your mouth out with water afterwards. Rinsing negates the effects of the peroxide. I also recommend keeping some floss around for emergencies and for travel. There will be times when a piece of steak gets lodged under a molar and only a fire hose or floss will get it out. (And if you try to carry a water pick in your suitcase when you travel, chances are you’ll be arrested on a terrorism charge.)
12). Take drugs. Szabo says, “Scientists also are studying a number of drugs that could reduce cancer risk: aspirin for colon cancer, tamoxifen and raloxifene for breast cancer, finasteride for prostate cancer.” Tamoxifen? Raloxifene? Finasteride? These drugs are hardly the miracles the mainstream press and medical community would like to make them out to be. They pose serious risks of their own. Szabo says, “Runowicz advises people to talk to their doctors about ways to address their individual risks.” How is the doctor going to address the individual risks of these killer drugs? Is he the second coming of Nostradamus?
Since no one knows the cause of cancer, bogus advice like this certainly won’t prevent you from getting the disease. But it just might prevent you from REALLY living.
“Proven steps to a longer life,” USA Today (www.usatoday.com), 9/11/05