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Another Voice: Food, not drugs, is the key to good health

By Dr. Richard Ruhling

Medical care is the diagnosis and treatment of disease and has nothing to do with health care. Proof comes from the inverse relationship – the more one takes prescriptions to relieve symptoms, the worse one’s health becomes.

While teaching at Loma Linda University in California, I did yearly physicals on executives. One said that sugar gave him joint pains; another said cheese bothered his joints; a third said meat caused his arthritis. They were smart men who had figured it out.

Most people don’t figure it out because foods cause a delayed reaction. People suspecting a food problem should eliminate it 100 percent for five days.

Textbooks show most medical conditions as of “unknown etiology.” That means they didn’t know the cause, so how can a drug be the cure?

An example is an FDA bulletin in 1970 reported deaths from heart disease were double for patients taking either of the two most commonly prescribed drugs for diabetes in eight university medical centers.

The names of the drugs have changed, but drugs still have high risk compared to wise eating. Dr. Nathan Pritikin’s diet in the 1970s got 85 percent of patients off their diabetic drugs and a similar percentage off blood pressure drugs.

Ninety seven percent of people are born normal. If they have a problem 40 or 60 years later, in most cases, they did it to themselves by what they put in their mouths. The good news is it’s reversible.

The late Dr. Lester Breslow of UCLA found that seven simple health habits were good for a 30-year difference between the people who broke them all, compared to people who live by healthy habits.

People with health problems should watch the best physicians on YouTube discussing a plant-based diet. These include Daniel Amen for brain health; Neal Barnard for diabetes; T. Colin Campbell for cancer; Caldwell Esselstyn for the heart, and Joel Fuhrman and Michael Greger for many conditions.

I visited U.S. Senate offices with medical literature stating that prescription drugs were a leading cause of illness and death until one senator said I was wasting my time.

“They own us,” he said, referring to donations by drug companies to their re-election campaigns.

This is a disgrace and the reason why Congress let the drug companies play a major role in writing the Affordable Care Act.

The end result can be an early death or a nursing home where the average number of drugs prescribed is nine to 13. Half die in the first year – blamed on the heart with no autopsy.

Dr. Richard Ruhling taught health science at Loma Linda University. His website is

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