Supplements blamed for drug problems
I don't know about you, but if given the choice between fish oil and rat poison, I'll swim with the fishes every single time.
Both are effective blood thinners... but while fish oil is safe and natural, the mainstream would much rather you take warfarin, the anticoagulant that also happens to be the active ingredient in rat poison.
A new study, however, finds that too many people are taking both--and that has the potential for disaster no matter which side of the drugs-vs-supplements debate you're on.
Researchers interviewed 100 heart patients in Utah, and found that two thirds of them were taking dietary supplements along with their blood thinners--and 63 percent of them didn't discuss those supplements with their doctors.
That's a mistake in any case, because supplements such as gingko, garlic, fish oil, cranberry and glucosamine can all thin the blood. Combine them with warfarin, and your blood could get too thin--putting you at risk for serious bleeding problems.
Other popular supplements such as ginseng and green tea extract can negate the rat poison. The word "antidote" comes to mind, but if you need to thin your blood, that could actually increase your clot risk.
Now, there's an obvious answer here: Work with a good naturopathic doctor on a supplement regimen that can help you to reduce and ultimately eliminate warfarin and other blood-thinning meds.
Dr. Jonathan Wright has been treating his patients with fish oil instead of warfarin for years--and you can read more about his approach on his Web site.
But since safe supplements won't help Big Pharma earn the money it needs to keep spending billions on drug ads, don't expect the mainstream to mention them favorably.
In fact, they're taking the opposite approach. Just look at how this story is being covered at CNN.com, which is typical of how the survey was handled by the drug-loving media:
"Herbal and dietary supplements are found in the aisles of supermarkets and health-food stores rather than behind a pharmacy counter, and they can be dangerous when mixed with the wrong drug," according to the report.
You read that right--it's the supplements that are dangerous. There's even an implication in there that supplements don't belong in the aisles of supermarkets and health-food stores.
The story also came with a link showing all the "dangerous" things heart patients shouldn't take.
It's funny how garlic and grapefruit juice made the list--but rat poison didn't, despite the fact that warfarin comes with serious risks even when used correctly.
In fact, warfarin patients face such a high risk of hemorrhage that they need close monitoring. The drug has also been known to cause hives and other skin problems as well as swelling, bruising, pain, numbness and painful erections.
A daily serving of salmon, on the other hand, tastes real good.
But it does have its limits--it won't kill any rats.
About the author
Edward Martin writes House Calls, a daily letter chronicling the most cutting-edge alternative methods for beating diabetes and cancer, to the latest FDA foul-ups and Big Pharma conspiracies.
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