1. Doctors Don’t All Take the Hippocratic Oath.
I learned about the Hippocratic Oath from my parents, who believed all physicians took a Hippocratic Oath that bound them to serve the patient and “do no harm.” Only recently did I revisit this information. I learned that only about 11% of contemporary physicians even take the oath. Furthermore, the oath itself does not necessarily state “do no harm.” While some medical schools require revised or updated oaths, it is wrong to assume that a physician you visit has taken any sort of vow to protect your health to the best of his or her ability. Physicians, like all professionals, are human first, professional second. Like the rest of us, they are influenced by distractions, financial concerns, job pressures, family worries, and their own health and welfare. Your personal health is of course on their radar, many other thoughts are there as well. Like any hired hand, a physicians stake in your health is limited, and other priorities fill his or her plate.
This is why patients must take charge of their own health. Use the doctor’s expertise, but don’t blindly absorb every directive. Afterall, it is you, not him or her, who will live with the consequences.
2. Doctors Don’t Study Toxicology (very much)
The differences between Pharmacology and Toxicology may seem subtle. Pharmacology explores therapeutic benefits of chemicals (aka drugs). Toxicology explores the adverse effects of drugs and other chemicals. Medical schools emphasize pharmacology. This means many physicians have not seriously explored the toxic effects of drugs, and may be prone to ignore side effects that increase oxidative stress and damage health.
3. Doctors Don’t Study Nutrition (very much)
According to the Journal of Biomedical Education, 71% of medical schools fail to offer recommended hours of nutritional education. We’ve known since the era of ancient Greece that food is the best medicine, but we’ve known since the days of the Flexner report that pharmaceutical approaches are more profitable because they can be more easily reproduced at a massive, industrial scale. Hard science is easier to apply to defined and purified chemicals than to food products whose nutritional values are modified by soil, management, and handling practices. Therefore, the decision to base medical practice on hard science is destined to promote a chemical, rather than nutritional approach to health, even if food is the best medicine.
4. It Matters Where Your Food Comes From, and How it is Grown.
The variability of food cannot be understated. Good healthy food comes from healthy living soils that are rich in minerals and organic carbon. In our Microbial Analysis for Growers class,we teach growers how to evaluate microbial diversity and density in their soils because we recognize that diverse microbial food webs are powerful indicators that a soil has the minerals and biota necessary to support nutritious crops. We also work one on one with large and small growers to improve soil health. Notably, most of the soils we have examined to date are missing major classes of microbes, and many of the trace minerals critical for producing nutritious crops. This, combined with global agricultural data, reinforces our belief that most of the food you are buying in the grocery store is failing to meet your nutritional needs. An nutrient depleted apple a day is unlikely to keep any doctors away.
Unfortunately, doctors are as likely as other consumers to limit their understanding of nutrition to the information found on food labels. Keep in mind that most of the trace minerals, phytochemicals, and vitamins known to be necessary for living cells to thrive are not listed on food labels. If you are not purchasing fresh, local food grown on healthy soils, it is unlikely that you are meeting your nutritional needs with your diet.
5. Supplements that meet nutritional deficits can reduce healthcare expenses
The supplement industry is booming, and promises tremendous growth in the future. To maintain product integrity and become more competitive with the pharmaceutical industry, many nutraceuticals are being subjected to peer reviewed studies that demonstrate powerful biological effects. New analytical techniques permit screening of nutraceuticals to validate levels of active components and verify purity, so that consumers can be confident of the products they choose.
Direct marketing models allow patients to access high quality nutraceuticals at wholesale prices. For those willing to promote products within their networks, profits can potentially be generated. While not everyone is open to the approach, some find this form of network marketing helpful for addressing rising healthcare costs. Done right, it allows a patient to turn their greatest financial liability (failing health) into a financial asset (commissions from product sales).
Other benefits abound. In a direct marketing company, product users are supported by teams with personal and financial stakes in their success. These teams work with the user to achieve goals which may include wellness milestones like weight loss marathons, or community development goals, like (my favorite) raising money to support new soil health and local food initiatives. These larger, more holistic benefits are difficult to put numbers on, because they speak more to right brain emotions and feelings. Yet any physician recognizes that the potential to recover without side effects, earn income to support other healthcare expenses, and be embraced by supportive community ads value to any recovery plan.
The author and her organization participate in direct marketing opportunities that offer products which can safely address nutritional and dietary concerns from the soil to the gut. We use these opportunities to serve customers seeking healthier microbiomes, to support growing networks of farms with healthy soils, and to cover costs associated with our online outreach and educational efforts. Health claims above have not been evaluated by the FDA and we do not diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease. We make no guarantees of financial success.