Why Do Americans Have Such Poor Health?

By James A. Howenstine, M.D.
Reprinted with permission from the Well Being Journal>, July/August, 2004.

In order to understand the current status of medical care in the U.S.,
Canada and Europe it is vital to understand that health care in these
three regions is nearly completely under the control of the
pharmaceutical industry. All major pharmaceutical firms have
interlocking boards of directors so there is no real competition among
these companies. In the United States the primary function of the
Federal Drug Administration (I think he means Food and Drug
Administration or FDA) is to ensure the profitability of pharmaceutical
firms, chemical firms and large agricultural conglomerates.

A competent Scientist, Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, was the architect of the
first Pure Food and Drug Law in the United States. His intention in 1906
was to protect the purity of food from additives and refined white
flour. The pressures from the food and pharmaceutical industries caused
him to resign [1] in disgust from the FDA in 1912. (We still have have
nutritionally worthless white bread 90 years later.) It is foolish to
think that the FDA is concerned about the health care of the citizen
when their primary allegiance is to the pharmaceutical industry and
allied monopolistic businesses.

All appointments to the FDA are carefully screened to be certain that
the appointee will be controlled by the drug companies. An FDA memo [2]
admitted that they would never permit an independent researcher to come
up with a cure for cancer; that it would have to come through a drug
company. Many cancer cures have come and gone since 1906. None has
received any publicity in the national media. Curing cancer is far
removed from the plans of the drug companies as the sale of chemotherapy
drugs is so lucrative.

An example of the stranglehold that the FDA has over medicine is
provided by our attempt to sell red yeast. Red yeast is used to prepare
Peking duck. This yeast contains many statins that lower cholesterol.
The pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of this by isolating
single statins from the yeast that they are able to patent (Mevacor,
Lipitor, Xocor, etc.). Red yeast is safer and much cheaper than the
statin drugs. When I called to order red yeast from Nature’s
Distributors in Fountain Hills, Arizona, the salesperson advised me that
they could not sell red yeast to us because the FDA had called them and
told them to stop selling red yeast. The FDA gave them no reason for
this action, but it is obvious that red yeast was hurting the statin
sales of large drug companies.

A group of concerned physicians has filed a petition with the FDA to
require pharmaceutical companies to place a package insert advising the
buyer that statin drugs cause depletion of the critical nutrient CoQ 10
from the body. CoQ 10 deficiency appears to cause a rare patient on
statins to experience muscle breakdown, lactic acidosis, kidney failure
and death. The lack of CoQ 10 in heart muscle also probably is
responsible for the rising incidence of heart failure in the U.S. This
package insert would recommend that persons taking statins should take
100 to 200 mg. of CoQ 10 daily to prevent these problems. Obviously the
drug companies oppose this package insert because it implies that statin
drugs are not entirely safe, which is, of course, the truth.

A major battle over the direction that medicine would travel was fought
in the early 1900s in the United States between the pharmaceutical
industry and homeopathy. This fight ended in complete victory for the
pharmaceutical industry aided by the financial clout of Rockefeller
interests. Since that time drug companies have influenced the
curriculums taught in medical schools, have controlled the content of
most medical meetings, and have major input into what topics are not
permitted in medical journals (articles about successful use of natural
therapies that could replace drugs usually will not get published).
Programs that will develop large profits for drug and agricultural firms
are approved without serious study and the public suffers (GMO foods,
irradiation of foods, vaccines released without safety testing, placing
fluoride in water supplies, using growth hormone to increase cow milk
production, injecting cattle with hormones, continuing use of mercury
amalgams, recycling nuclear wastes, metals and toxic substances as
“fertilizer,” [3] etc.).


American physicians are convinced that our medical services are the
finest in the world. I know I was. We do not read the world literature
so it comes as a surprise to learn that German physicians have been
administering natural products for more than 100 years.

The truth is shocking! The United States is 17th of 32 developed
nations, with a life expectancy of 75 years. Japan is the highest, with
a life expectancy of 79.1 years. One of the major factors contributing
to slightly improved longevity figures in the U.S. is the improving
survival of the 40% of U.S. citizens who are using supplements to keep
themselves healthy and out of hospitals. If these 40% of U.S. citizens
who are using natural products to keep themselves well were factored out
of the statistics the U.S. might rank near the bottom among all
developed nations.

The United States spends twice as much money per capita on health care
as the average of the developed nations. We have advanced technology to
diagnose and perform very expensive coronary bypass surgery. Many years
ago the eminent Harvard cardiologist Eugene Braunwald, M.D., expressed
grave concern that coronary bypass surgery was becoming an established
procedure without any solid evidence that it was effective. This very
costly and somewhat dangerous procedure (coronary bypass surgery) is no
more effective than good medical care that attacks the causes of

The “war” on cancer has been lost as chemotherapy and radiation are no
more successful now than they were 25 years ago. Fortunately, a few
people have heard about natural approaches to malignancies and are
recovering without the terrible side effects of conventional cancer
therapy. When the general public learns that most oncologists would
refuse to undergo chemotherapy in the event they developed cancer, more
persons will look for far safer natural treatments of malignancy that
provide better results.

Immense amounts of money are expended on pharmaceutical drugs that are
heavily publicized but have no ability to cure a disease . A good
example of this is the use of expensive toxic anti-retroviral drugs for
HIV when the simple repletion [4] of selenium, niacin, tryptophane and
glutamine appears to be very successful in stopping this
nutrient-consuming illness from progressing.

Conventional medicine has no good therapy for the common lung disease
emphysema. The effective alternative therapies for emphysema of
intravenous glutathione, intravenous hydrogen peroxide, and cetyl
myristolate remain unknown to most practitioners.

Pharmaceutical firms are spending large sums of money to develop new
drugs that will correct the blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, when an
electronic engineer, Thomas Smith, has pointed the way to eliminating
[5] this problem by dietary measures.

Multiple sclerosis is being stabilized or improved by hyperbaric oxygen
in most English patients whereas the United States does not authorize
this therapy.

The true status of U.S. medicine is dismal. Does this reflect arrogance
and chauvinism? My suspicion is that it is all about money. We are
spending large amounts of money and getting poor health. Patients who
get treated with drugs and do not get cured are enormously profitable
for pharmaceutical firms, physicians, hospitals, pharmacists and medical


In 1902 Sit William Osler stated, “The greater the ignorance the greater
the dogmatism.” At this time approximately 40% of U.S. citizens have
taken the responsibility for their health care into their own hands and
are taking vitamins and supplements that they feel will preserve their
health and help them avoid illness. The significant fall in death rates
from heart disease (585 to 268 per 100,000) and strokes (181 to 62)
almost certainly reflects the benefits of these supplements. There are
no pharmaceutical drugs that reverse the causes for this disease
(arteriosclerosis) [free radical damage, atrocious diets, and exposure
to a multitude of very toxic substances: mercury, xenoestrogens,
fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, aluminum, etc.).

There are many good reasons why physicians have not started to use
natural therapies:

  • Physicians receive no Education in medical school about the merits of
    natural treatments. Medical meetings and medical journals are heavily
    subsidized by the pharmaceutical industry so no information about the
    virtues of natural treatments will be brought forth in these arenas.
    Review articles about diseases will either omit information about
    natural therapies or the material about natural treatments will be
    presented in such a biased {6}or negative way that no physician would
    want to use it.
  • Most physicians believe that the only valid therapies are
    pharmaceutical and everything else is a scam. I was in this camp for
    more than 30 years.
  • Powerful governmental agencies exist to protect the earnings of the
    pharmaceutical industry and are not very interested in the health status
    of the general populace. Money wins out so dangerous therapies are
    released on the public without any attempt to prove safety (genetically
    modified foods, irradiation of food, fluoridation of water, vaccines,
  • Supposed tax-free foundations concerned about public health set up
    research studies to disprove the value of natural therapies, which is
    easy to do by using impotent products, stopping the study before
    sufficient time has elapsed, and using statistics to skew the results.
    Unfortunately some research scientists are just like accountants and
    lawyers and their services can be bought. When these unfavorable results
    come forth they are widely disseminated on television and other media by
    skilled public relations experts to convince the public there is no
    value in the substances they are using. The key to unraveling the truth
    about these sordid pieces of research lies in discovering whose funds
    set up the foundation (aluminum, tobacco, agribusiness, etc.).
  • Physicians who decide to try natural substances are forced to learn
    new skills, which is not easy.
  • Inertia can be a strong influence. When things are going well for
    physicians why would they want to rock the boat? Human nature tends to
    oppose change so medical advances often take 50 or more years until they
    are implemented.
  • Several alternative medical practitioners have been badly harassed by
    governmental authorities (Stanislaw Burzynski, M.D.; Max Gerson, M.D.;
    Carl Reich, M.D.; Royal Rife, Ph.D.; etc.) forcing them to leave the
    country or defend themselves in expensive lawsuits to avoid losing their
    licenses. A leader in natural health, Jonathan Wright, M.D., had his
    office ransacked by Gestapo-like federal agents who seized all his
    patient records.
  • There is a legal concept that is widely appreciated by physicians as a
    way to avoid lawsuits. This concept is you are at risk if you are using
    treatments that your colleagues are not using. Naturally this impedes

    In the light of all the negative influences mentioned above it is not
    surprising that so few M.D.s and other practitioners have embraced
    natural therapies. However, truth always dispels darkness and lies. As
    stated, when the general public learns that most oncologists would
    refuse to take chemotherapy if they developed cancer, fewer persons will
    consent to this dangerous therapy.

    My guess is that fewer than one infectious disease specialist in a
    hundred have ever heard of Sulfoxime and Dioxychlor. These two
    remarkable antimicrobial substances are very effective in eliminating
    systemic fungal infections, mycoplasma, yeast and anaerobic infections
    without side effects and at minimal cost. Their developer, Robert W.
    Bradford, D.Sc., will probably never be invited to speak at an
    infectious disease seminar as dissemination of news about Sulfoxime and
    Dioxychlor would have an adverse effect on antibiotic sales.

    There may not be a single chest physician in the United States who knows
    that Umckaloabo is a highly effective safe herbal therapy for advanced

    Veterinarians in the United States have learned that treating animals
    prior to conception with vitamins, minerals and nutrients nearly
    completely eliminates congenital anomalies. This biologic concept would
    almost certainly work in humans but may never be introduced because it
    would eliminate too many profitable diseases.

    The future for natural products appears to lie with the continuing
    education of the general public about the virtue of natural approaches
    to health problems. Word of mouth about successful results can be a
    powerful factor promoting change. As this proceeds the revenue of drug
    companies will fall. Many pharmaceutical firms are already positioning
    themselves for these changes by buying natural health product companies.
    Unfortunately this certain progress in medicine will, of necessity, come
    without benefit of the medical profession and medical schools who will
    probably be unable to shed their strong bondage to the pharmaceutical
    industry. The pharmaceutical approach to medicine, with the exception of
    antibiotics, does not prevent or cure diseases.


    The status of research in the U.S. is just as grim as the health status
    of the U.S. population. Enormous amounts of money are expended on
    research projects by the U.S. government and large corporations.
    Projects that look for evidence in support of new ideas [7] do not get
    funded. Projects that funded efforts to find new information could
    endanger the earlier research by members of the committees deciding who
    gets the grants. In this manner the system perpetuates itself with
    mediocrity. Most research ends up being aimed at getting an income
    rather than seriously trying to uncover new knowledge. Considerable time
    is wasted trying to find grant money. The creative innovative thinker
    could be a risk to established researchers and does not get funded.
    Donald Goodwin, M.D., chairman of psychiatry at the University of
    Kansas, remarked, “If is’s trivial you can probably study it. If it’s
    important, you probably can’t.The status of research in the U.S. is just
    as grim as the health status of the U.S. population. Enormous amounts of
    money are expended on research projects by the U.S. government and large
    corporations. Projects that look for evidence in support of new ideas
    [7] do not get funded. Projects that funded efforts to find new
    information could endanger the earlier research by members of the
    committees deciding who gets the grants. In this manner the system
    perpetuates itself with mediocrity. Most research ends up being aimed at
    getting an income rather than seriously trying to uncover new knowledge.

    This huge influx of grant money has led to incorrect thinking that the
    best teacher was the best researcher and the one who got the largest
    research grants was the best teacher, which is obviously silly. The end
    result of this process was the conversion of medical schools into a
    kennel of researchers who secondarily teach medical students. To survive
    in this academic milieu one must “publish or perish” Naturally the
    quality of most of these publications are mediocre or worse, and much
    fraudulent research is yet to be uncovered.

    Many researchers are receiving money from pharmaceutical firms. This, of
    course, colors their results. Even the highly respected New England
    Journal of Medicine has become contaminated. They have established a
    policy that they will only accept papers from authors who are receiving
    less than $10,000 annually from a pharmaceutical firm. Naturally a
    researcher getting only $9,999 would not be tempted to alter his
    research to please the drug firm. Incidentally, I am as guilty of taking
    money from drug companies as anyone, having attended wonderful meals and
    golf tournaments, received medical bags, etc., at the expense of
    pharmaceutical companies.


    Serious efforts to improve public health must begin with stopping the
    sale of disease-causing margarine and trans fats, removing fluoride and
    chlorine from drinking water, ending the use of mercury for dental
    amalgams, encouraging grazing of cattle instead of feedlots, banning
    irradiated and genetically modified foods, ending hormone injections
    into cows and cattle, and massive education campaigns to warn the public
    about the danger of sugar excesses, aluminum, and processed foods. All
    these steps will be vigorously resisted by powerful entrenched special
    interest groups. Physicians who offer the public alternative health
    therapies need to be protected from harassment by governmental agencies.

    James A. Howenstine, M.D., is a board certified specialist in internal
    medicine who spent 34 years caring for office and hospital patients.
    After 5 years of studying natural therapies he became convinced that
    natural therapies are much better tolerated by the human body than
    drugs. They also are in general safer, more effective and less expensive
    than pharmaceutical drugs. Dr. Howenstine’s research culminated in
    publishing his book, A Physician’s Guide to Natural Health Products That
    Work. This book, which costs $17.95, may be purchased by calling
    1-800-416-2806 (U.S.) or by going to www.naturalhealthteam.com
    . This website contains a wealth of
    information about health conditions and recommended natural solutions.
    Dr. Howenstine can be reached by email at jimhow@racsa.co.cr

    1. Casper, David, Modern Foods: The Sabotage of Earth’s Food Supply,
    Center Point Press, 12463 Rancho Bernardo Road, San Diego, CA 92128
    2. Spotlight, October 30, 2000, p. 11
    3. Wilson, Duff, Fateful Harvest: The Story of a Small Town, a Global
    Industry, and a Toxic Secret, Harper Collins, 212-207-7520, ISBN 0060193697.
    4. Foster, Harold D. What Really Causes AIDS? Trafford Publishing, 2333
    Government St., Victoria, B.C. V8T 4P4, Canada, Toll-free 1-888-232-4444
    (Canada & U.S.)
    5. Smith, Thomas, Insulin: Our Silent Killer, P.O. Box 7685, Loveland,
    CO 80537, 970-669-9176
    6. Gaby, Alan R. “The New England Journal of Drugs” (Editorial),
    August-September 2003, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, p. 152
    7. Becker, Robert O., Selden, Gary, The Body Electric, pp. 332-335

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