Health headlines from BBC the past week are ironically contradictory,  profits  or  prophets of gloom.

Sugar- including cane sugar and excess fruit sugar- and cooked/processed fat – are perhaps the greatest slow “foodstuff” poisons commercialised and concentrated by “civilization”.
The industrial society and it’s omnipresent (TV- cellphone) media deliberately ruin children’s health by introducing them early to profitable sweeteners, cooked fats, fast food, TV and computer addictions, instead of natural fresh foods, exercise, playing and books. The inevitable tidal wave of obesity and chronic degenerative disease then becomes further wealth- The Disease Industry for whom Only Disease Pays. .

Obesity may thus be partly genetic, but is not inevitable with sensible habits:
A new twin study from UK found that “Becoming overweight as a child is more likely to be the result of genes than lifestyle”. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7230065.stm.

But as the Child Growth Foundation says: “Even if someone has a gene which predisposes them to obesity, it doesn’t mean they will become obese if they work hard to eat healthily” . The National Centre for Eating Disorders carefully analyses how much can be done by the individual to reduce genetic risk http://www.eating-disorders.org.uk/docs/obesity.doc .

The only safe intense sweeteners are those which are both plant-sourced and which reduce insulin resistance – eg stevia. The artificial sweeteners that have been proven 100% safe are cyclamate-saccharine – but they do not reduce insulin resistance.

The only OBESITY “drug” that has been proven in major trials and long term follow up to reduce all major chronic diseases and premature deaths – by 1/3- and HALVE new diabetes (and thus cholesterol-lipid- problems) when started well before overweight and hypertension are established, is the 80year old plant extract METFORMIN. This is THE ONLY widely available low cost prescription drug that safely produces an average of 8% weight loss sustained for as long as it is taken consistently at tolerated dose.
In Canadian experience, metformin halves all deaths in type 2 diabetics followed up for a decade; and in preventative trials, it approximately halves the incidence of new type 2 diabetes. Metformin is 100% safe provided it is started at low dose eg ~125mg/day- and increased gradually over 2 weeks to the maximum dose that is well tolerated without excessive diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal bloating or pain. This dose averages about 2.5gms a day in westerners, but (due to genetic variation) may be as low as 250mg/day. It should always be stopped briefly with any acute symptoms or acute illness, and resumed at a tolerated lower dose. It must thus always be taken in consultation with a health professional.
It is understandably rarely promoted by the Disease Industry because it is out of patent, too cheap- and it work too well. For this profitable Industry, Only Disease Pays! So only expensive new drugs are heavily promoted.

Due to the destructive combination of stressful indolence- hours spent every day watching TV instead of playing outside/ sport- and stress (cortisol) and fast food stuffed with sugar and fat, even preteen children (never mind adults at all ages) suffer increasingly from overweight and teenage type 2 diabetes, and girls from polycystic ovary- infertility-hairiness problems.

Synthetic patent weight-reducing and anti-diabetic drugs eg sbutramine, orlistat, the glitazones, have major adverse effects, and have none of the global long term advantages of metformin. The only reason for their prescription is the intensive drug industry marketing imperative.

Apart from correcting the causes outlined above, preventing and treating overweight and diabetes can be easily achieved with a permanent safe low cost natural multicombination of supplements like appetite- and insulin-resistance reducing agents eg vitamins, minerals and biologicals eg metformin/galega, 5HTP, and fish oil tailored to individual tolerance. http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/83/6/S1499?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=1&title=n-3+fatty+acids+and+the+metabolic+syndrome.&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

Health advisors who argue against this are rarely un-informed, they have usually chosen ( for profit) to promote drug industry new drugs rather than healthy truth. The Disease Industry will never invest in trials to prove the obvious, since the supplements are not patentable ie not profitable. So they pay cynical lobbyists to argue loudly that such evidence-based natural safe supplements must first be proven in vast longterm trials – although such trial proof is not required for new designer drugs by the Regulators eg the FDA, Medicines Control Councils who are funded by the drug industry! And politicians, governments don’t argue because the drug industry is a huge creator of jobs and revenue.

Modern drugs for chronic disease allowed by the FDA to be freely prescribed are withdrawn only when enough people die: The Americans have just had to stop the glitazone arm of the massive ACCORD trial in diabetics after 25% more deaths occurred on Avandia than in controls. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23029191/. But- lo and behold- there is still no announcement yet about the withdrawal of the unnecessary glitazones that have no overall longterm health benefit except for the investors!.

Thursday, 31 January 2008, 10:27 GMT
Obesity drug use rises eight-fold
Obesity levels are increasing
More than 1m prescriptions are made for obesity drugs a year – eight times the number dispensed seven years ago. The majority of these were for two treatments – sibutramine and orlistat.

Friday, 1 February 2008, 00:14 GMT
Gout surge blamed on sweet drinks


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