Most of our chronic diseases are caused by diet and lifestyle. People have a hard time believing how many serious health problems are caused by a non-evolutionary congruent diet. Every year Center for Disease Control and Prevention updates the list of leading causes of death in the United States and for all other developed countries statistics are very similar. When you are developed as a nation, then you have more money to spend on processed food and meat. In the 10 most top leading causes of death, most are caused by life choices. The data is alarming. It is beyond that.
I will try to translate data from the chart to be more clearly understood. When data shows that 24 percent of people are going to die from heart disease what that means is that for example if you have a family of four, one of them will probably die from heart disease and one from cancer. Two left. Then after that, go and take your pick, you have diabetes, stroke, different neurological conditions, or liver cirrhosis, crld is 5% (tobacco smoking is by far the most critical risk factor for chronic bronchitis and emphysema, accounting for about 80% of all cases). All of these diseases are chronic diseases. They didn’t exist in the past in such large numbers. When someone says chronic diseases what they actually mean lifestyle diseases.
The other side of the coin is that normal painless death by natural aging, just forget about it. Doesn’t exist anymore. The problem is not just about the way we are going to die, it is more about when because life expectancy is dramatically shortened and our quality of life is destroyed. We are not going to just drop dead from cancer. There is going to be a lot of chemotherapy and depression and again cancer goes away then reappears again after a couple of years. When you have a stroke and still manage to survive, you can lose a big chunk of your brain, and before you die from a heart attack, there are going to be a lot of treatments.
What treatments include is all the lifestyle changes to correct the bad habits that have lead to the creation of chronic diseases in the first place that we do not like, plus drugs and surgery. Quitting of smoking, physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress (getting upset or angry can trigger a heart attack). No salting of food and of course cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statins are the standard line, and almost all patients will be prescribed one of them but what they do not like to tell is that statistically when we look at real numbers they are only useful in the early stages in treating heart disease. They are effective also in those patients that are at elevated risk but still without cardiovascular disease as some sort of prevention. Statins also and that is rarely mentioned have side effects that are no joke. They include muscle pain, the risk of diabetes mellitus, and abnormalities in liver enzyme tests.
Who wants to be in constant pain? What they in reality do is block something known as s HMG-CoA. They inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA that has a crucial role in producing cholesterol. However, again if you go and eat it blocking enzymes in your own liver and your own production has no point.
That means no meat, no eggs, no dairy. If we look at what these diseases do, it is a life of despair.
It is not just:” Well ok I will live the way I like then if I die in 60 instead of 65 who cares, a will die happy.” If you think that, you are in dangerous delusion. Today 5-year-old children already have signs of arteriosclerotic plaque with approximately 50% of children having it at 2-15 years-of-age to 85% at 21-39 years-of-age (1). This is not normal. Arteriosclerosis does not usually happen in aging like cholesterol confusionists would like us to believe because of all of the stressful blood flow.
Arteriosclerosis is a disease, not the aging process.
Diseases start early and could last for decades before we finally go. The death rate of heart disease and stroke will probably be much higher, but some patients literally get scared to death. And they are right. They are about to die when they hear the news of cardiovascular disease, so some percentage of them do make lifestyle changes and manage to avoid a heart attack. However, again this is just a chart of diseases that will kill us.
The real, bigger, and more advanced chart is the one with the whole list of chronic diseases that would not necessarily kill us, although some can do that too, but will “just” keep our lives in misery. These are so-called chronic diseases like arthritis, asthma, allergies, back pain, Crohn’s, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions like psoriasis, different forms of lupus, multiple sclerosis, a wide variety of mental diseases like add, depression, bipolar, epilepsy, addictions of different forms, or just “regular” conditions like anxiety, acne vulgaris, low level of energy and fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.
All of this is well-accepted science and recognized as a scientific fact. These diseases didn’t exist in the past and in rural areas of the undeveloped world until recently. Thousands of studies on the topic have been done by now. For example over the past 40 years, two Adventist health studies have been conducted involving more than 50,000 Californian Adventists. The famous China study was maybe one of the best known among common people. There was also Harvard’s Meat & Mortality Studies (2). In Harvard studies, more than 100,000 people for two decades was followed. The biggest one so far followed half of million people for ten years.
It is not easy to follow a half million people for ten years. It was The National Institutes of Health study so far the largest study of diet and health in history (3).
There was actually no real need to do all of these studies. Diet wars of today all or artificial. The science was well aware of mortality risk even in the ’50s. Even before WW2, there was knowledge in the scientific community but it was mostly ignored. You can read more about the topic in Part 1 and Part 2 of the book series (Go Vegan? Review of Science: Part 1 [Milos Pokimica]).
All of the chronic diseases today are known as diseases of affluence. When the standard of living goes up so does meat consumption. Today there is only a resistance in common people and industry and government that does not want to implement new dietary guidelines because of a variety of reasons.
Standard American animal product dominated diet is extremely nutrient deficient. With all of the meat and eggs and dairy, more than 60% of people eating it are deficient in magnesium. More than 90% of people eating it are potassium deficient and more than 80% deficient in vitamin E. Animal products do not contain magnesium and vitamin E in adequate amounts. On top of that, there are other “non-essential” nutrients that are not present in animal products like non-essential minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, iodine, vitamin D, selenium, and so on. Minimal recommended values are in many cases deliberately low. An example would be an RDA for iodine.
This story is the story of quality of life. Treatment is expensive.
It is the same story as once was with smoking. Until dietary guidelines are changed and they will be, it would be the responsibility of every individual for himself to learn about diet and nutrition.
This is hard to do with all of the conflicting information. Today people still smoke but at least they are consciously aware of the associated risks.
No one should force anyone into doing something. The risks should be acknowledged and it should be conscious decision.
Passages selected from a book: “Go Vegan? Review of Science: Part 1” [Milos Pokimica]
- Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Beginning in Childhood doi: 10.4070/kcj.2010.40.1.1
- Red Meat Consumption and Mortality Results From 2 Prospective Cohort Studies doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2287
- Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.6