Synthroid, Natural Cellular Defense, zeolite, true lies

True Lies

True Lies

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of

Mark Twain is remembered as much for his witticisms as for his stories. One of his famous statements is on the subject of lying. “There are three kinds of lies,” he suggested, “Lies, cursed lies, and statistics.”

Twain was undoubtedly correct in his time, but were he alive today he would need to add a fourth type, one worse than statistics. Today we must contend with true lies.

The true lie is insidious by its very nature. A true lie is the most deceptive of all lies precisely because it is, well, true. To detect a true lie one must be alert, vigilant, resourceful, and even a bit skeptical.

The secret to succeeding as a true liar is to know when to stop speaking. The trick is to divulge enough information to create the desired impression, while withholding any particulars that would adversely affect the belief that has been so generated.

An example of a classic true lie is that of a swimmer in frigid water who calls to someone at the edge of the pool, “Come on in, the water’s fine.” The statement is true in many ways. The water is clear. It is unpolluted. It is wet. It is everything one wants for swimming except for one little detail that is left unsaid. The unsuspecting newcomer jumps in and immediately leaps from the near freezing water with a yelp while the true liar laughs uproariously.

True lies used to play practical jokes may represent a warped sense of humor, but true lies used to create wealth at the expense of the health of others surely signifies a withered conscience. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of true lies concerning health today.

One of the greatest marketing coups of the twentieth century was accomplished by deftly creating and widely circulating a true lie. When I entered medical school, thyroid deficiencies were routinely corrected with thyroid hormones derived from animal sources. These provided a combination of both forms of thyroid hormone, levothyroxine (T4) and triiodthyronine (T3). The response was almost always excellent and, because the agents were by-products of the meat processing industry, the cost was low.

Shortly after I began my studies, however, a way to synthesize T4 was discovered and patented. The drug, Synthroid, was soon introduced. The distributor faced a challenge, however. How could a product that was only a partial solution and was significantly more expensive than established competitors such as Armour Thyroid or Westhroid be effectively introduced to the marketplace?

The solution was clever, but devious. The company’s marketing representatives were instructed to sell the new drug to physicians by telling them a true lie. The campaign consisted of telling physicians, “Because we are synthesizing our product we can tell you exactly how much is in each tablet. You want to know how much thyroid replacement your patients are getting, don’t you doctor?”

The company hoped that by emphasizing the fact that their drug was being synthesized to precise standards, physicians would assume that the animal-derived products were not. That is exactly what happened. Physicians did not bother to ask the question, “Do the suppliers of Armour Thyroid and Westhroid know exactly how much hormone is in each tablet?”

If they had done so they would have been assured that those companies also knew exactly how much thyroid was in each of their tablets. By the time the marketers of animal-based thyroid replacement products realized what had happened, it was too late. The idea that synthetic thyroxine is manufactured to tighter specifications than its competitors had become a part of the mythology that guides medical practice in the United States. Despite studies demonstrating that many, if not most, individuals with hypothyroidism fare better with a combination of T4 and T3, United States’ physicians consider the prescribing of a whole thyroid product an act of gross negligence or even malpractice.

The prevailing attitude toward whole thyroid products was exemplified by a seminar speaker several years ago. After completing her lecture on the management of thyroid disease she asked if there were any questions.

“Yes,” replied one of the physicians in the audience. “Every so often I inherit a patient from an older physician who has retired. I attempt to bring the patient into the twentieth century by changing her from Armour Thyroid to Synthroid. Inevitably she returns a month or two later and tells me how horrible she feels. What do you recommend?”

“There are a lot of things you could give her to maker her feel good!” the speaker responded. “You could give her morphine, you could give her amphetamines, you could give her any number of harmful and dangerous drugs. Your patient has been feeling abnormally good for too long, and it’s time for her to get a dose of reality!”

The success of the Synthroid marketing program was not lost on the pharmaceutical industry at large. Today, nearly all pharmaceutical sales are driven by the true lie technique. Potential benefits of the products are trumpeted loudly while their possible adverse effects are not mentioned or are obscured. The adverse effects are listed in the product literature, to be sure, but very few physicians take the time to read the material.

The effect of these true lies is evident in physicians’ failure to recognize drug side effects when they are present. In one study 18 % of patients reported that they were experiencing side effects from their medications, while their physicians noted adverse drug effects in only 3 % of the patients. Another survey found that 63 % of drug related symptoms that could be eased by a change in dosage or medication were not recognized as such by physicians when patients reported them. In many cases, patients do not report adverse drug effects because they have not been instructed to watch for them and they do not associate their symptoms with the medications they are taking.

True lies marketing is not limited to the pharmaceutical industry. Any company can use the technique to drive sales and generate growth. One of those currently using the technique very successfully is a relatively new entity called Waiora.

Waiora representatives tell a compelling story: An independent researcher, after years of dedicated effort, discovered and patented a non-toxic drug that is 100 % effective against cancer. Facing the prospect of several additional years of research at an enormous cost to gain FDA approval for the drug, he chose to make his marvelous discovery available immediately as a nutritional supplement. “Of course I can’t say that it’s a drug that cures cancer, because it hasn’t been approved by the FDA,” the promoter will say, “but you can read the patent for yourself.”

Waiora representatives are telling true lies. Yes, the substance, a mineral complex called a zeolite that is derived from lava, is patented as a cancer treatment. What the representatives do not state is that the patent is related more to the method of administration than to the substance itself. They hope that the people to whom they are promoting their product will assume that the “nutritional supplement” they are taking will produce the results reported in the drug’s patent.

What the promoters of Natural Cellular Defense do not state is how the drug’s success against cancer was achieved. In most of the studies, cancer cells growing in a laboratory were directly exposed to the zeolite. This direct contact produced a 100% kill rate of the cancer cells. This is not too surprising, since many substances will kill when directly applied to cells growing under laboratory conditions.

When the drug was used to treat actual tumors, it was injected directly into the cancer by means of a catheter over several 24 hour periods. The dosage of the drug reaching the tumor in this manner was much, much higher than what is found in its nutritional supplement form.

Natural Cellular Defense is not administered directly into tumors, nor is it injected intravenously. People are simply advised to place a few drops in a beverage several times a day. The effects of oral administration of the patented substance have never been tested. Similar zeolites have been investigated, however, and it has been found that when they are taken by mouth most of the substance remains in the intestinal tract. It is therefore folly to believe that placing drops of Natural Cellular Defense in a cup of coffee or glass of tea will have any anti-tumor effect whatsoever.

Natural Cellular Defense is promoted as being completely non-toxic, but there are reasons to question this claim. The complex is bacteriocidal, meaning that it kills bacteria with which it comes into contact. While this is promoted as a strong plus for the product, I could not recommend it to anyone, knowing that it is likely to destroy the bacteria in the intestinal tract that are needed for manufacturing of B vitamins and protecting the body from disease.
The zeolite also neutralizes stomach acid, which is also promoted as a plus. The stomach is designed to contain acid, however, and without exposure to stomach acid minerals cannot be absorbed well. Chronicly low stomach acid levels predispose to a condition called atrophic gastritis, which can ultimately lead to stomach cancer. While there is no direct evidence linking zeolite consumption to these conditions, the product has only been in use for a short time and these conditions take years to develop.
Zeolites are aluminum-based complexes. While the company states that the product is stable and does not release aluminum in the body, European studies on zeolites have shown that they do break down when consumed, releasing aluminum, a toxic substance, into the body.
Other concerns about zeolite consumption include decreased absorption of micronutrients, adverse effects upon the intestinal lining, and carcinogenic effects similar to those of asbestos. Although unproven, these are reasonable concerns that have not been addressed by the manufacturers and marketers of Natural Cellular Defense.

True lies are all around us. The ancient Romans knew this, and coined a phrase to alert people to the challenge. That phrase is Caveat Emptor, which means “Let the buyer beware.” Caveat Emptor is the principle that the buyer is ultimately responsible for determining the quality of the goods or services being offered. This concept has been diluted in modern times by laws that protect the buyer in many instances. Nevertheless, consumers of health care, whether “traditional” or “alternative”, should develop the habit of personally examining, judging and testing the claims and recommendations of those marketing their products and services.

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