Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review: More Natural Cures Revealed

A Fair Trade Book

Title: More Natural Cures Revealed

Author: Kevin Trudeau

Date: 2006

Publisher: Alliance Publishing Group

ISBN: 978-0-9755995-4-9

Length: 358 pages

Quote: “I am routinely attacked for suggesting that people not take drugs.”

Well...not exactly, I conclude after studying Trudeau's second book, a "gift" from someone who knows nothing about the value of books. I think it's more likely that this writer is denounced as a raving paranoid because he writes like one, and that the effect of his “suggestions” may be, and may even intentionally be, to disparage the prevention and natural cures that may actually help people. He's done some research, and could have written this book as a research project; instead he's chosen to toss just a line about "Reader X thinks product Y helped him/her" onto some, not all or even most, of the page after page about "I'm a brilliant man with good intentions and I'm being denounced by mean, greedy people who hate me." 

Trudeau is not qualified to prescribe diet-based rather than drug-based treatments for diseases, as legitimate physicians like John McDougall and Stephen Sinatra do. Some of McDougall's and Sinatra's claims are as wide-sweeping as Trudeau's. Some make harsh judgments on pharmaceutical companies and the doctors who prescribe their pills. Some might, in fact, be considered grandiose; both the McDougall diet (basically vegan) and the Sinatra diet (plant-based not vegan) have helped thousands of people with classic cardiovascular disease, but neither help people whose blood pressure is being raised by multiple myeloma, so the claim that either diet will cure hypertension is...a loss of precision due to popularization. And plenty of doctors have disagreed with McDougall and Sinatra, although over the years the disagreement has shifted from “No waaay that can work” to “Very well, it works for rich people in California who are always into special diets, but it wouldn't work for my patients because they'd never stick with it.”

(At this point may I suggest that, if you have consulted a doctor about hypertension, diabetes, varicose veins, or anything else associated with classic cardiovascular disease, and that doctor has handed you a prescription for medication rather than a diet book, you may well be working with a doctor whose assumption is that you couldn't discipline yourself to use natural cures that work. If so, it can't hurt and will probably help you to use either the McDougall or the Sinatra diet, with your prescription until you have to complain that your meds are now pushing your blood pressure too low, which will probably be the case in a few weeks. At this point your doctor will shift to “Very well, a diet-based treatment for cardiovascular disease works for rich people in California and for my patient A and possibly even also B, but patients C through ZZZZ would never stick with it.” The cognitive dissonance will be less painful and the doctor less likely to quarrel with you.)

So why, although McDougall and Sinatra and other doctors have taken plenty of hostile questions from their peers, has the FDA not “attacked” them in the way it's “attacked” Trudeau? Because Trudeau is so blatantly flogging his own books and web sites, with so much airing of his paranoid grievances and so little actual information you the reader can use...because McDougall's books were groundbreaking when they were new and controversial, but this book is frankly just tacky.

I do not recommend More Natural Cures Revealed to people seeking information they can use for their own immediate medical benefit. Believe me, I would if I could...not just because I'd have a chance to make a profit on a sale, but because this book came to me from a very special source.

The dreaded breast cancer gene is not found in my family. There are less deadly types of cancer that can also form in breast tissue. A relative I've nicknamed “Aunt Dotty” was treated for breast cancer in 1970 and survived through almost all of 2006. She was an aunt you don't meet every day. It's also possible that, although she was definitely ill, she may not have had breast cancer, or not have had the deadly kind. In any case, she beat the odds. Most people treated for breast cancer still have less than five years to live.

One of my schoolmates, not a close relative although there may be some connection, was treated for breast cancer in the late 1980s. The mutual acquaintance who told me actually said “She's dead now,” that being an assumption the mutual acquaintance felt safe in making. But the woman is still alive; she's an active grandmother with reasonable hopes of living to be a great-grandmother; she's still driving up to visit her mother—who still runs with large boisterous dogs every morning, too—every summer. By now my schoolmate has become another phenomenon like Aunt Dotty, a sleek, active, well preserved woman who had breast cancer thirty years ago. And the gene for the deadly kind does run in her family; her younger sister is also an active, healthy, well preserved breast cancer survivor by now, and some aunts and cousins....

That is the family from which I acquired the copy of Trudeau's book I'm holding now. And they are health-conscious. And they have created the local market for flaxseed meal and flaxseed oil, although I like flaxseed meal too. Trudeau claims that eating flaxseed oil daily will cure breast cancer. Is it really that simple? Duh. Of course not. Flaxseed oil does contain a healthy balance of fatty acids that will prevent vegans from developing depression, or seeing aggravated symptoms of dyslexia, from lack of dietary fat; it does contain a protein that helps hold gluten-free corn or rice breads together; it does have a pleasant nutty flavor; and it's one of the more nutritious oils, and may have other beneficial effects on the body. Flaxseed oil may help some women survive breast cancer. But here I stand to testify that Aunt Dotty credited her survival to having the full medical treatment, including a radical mastectomy that scraped the muscle tissue off the bones of an entire quadrant of the body, and did not use flaxseed oil at all; the family who passed Trudeau's book on to me are more health-conscious than Aunt Dotty was, generally, but I've spent days with them and not observed any consumption of flaxseed oil.

It should also be noted that there's a genotype, and it seems fairly common among people of mixed Irish and Cherokee ancestry, that just seems to go with vitality. My school friend and her sister, the breast cancer survivors, and their parents who lived with a greyhound long enough to make a pet of him after they were seventy, most definitely belong to that type. Things don't always work the same way for this type that they work for other people (some medications have paradoxical effects). If you have a different type of body you can try something that worked for someone who survived a deadly disease and/or seems outrageously perky and well preserved for whatever age s/he currently is, but Your Mileage May Vary. 

And meanwhile, in order to get a tip about flaxseed oil that may or may not help any particular body survive cancer or recover from chemotherapy, Trudeau's readers have to wade through page after page of “I'm right and they're wrong, they're picking on me because they're a lot of crooks and jerks,” and even in the printed word he manages to choose a nonverbal communication style that just sounds as if it ought to cause a little sign to pop up saying “HE'S LYING.” Flaxseed oil does happen to be a healthy food but Trudeau recommends trying it in the same breath that he recommends trying hydrogen peroxide, which happens to be poisonous, and shark cartilage.

Trudeau's claim to fame seems to be that he took the position, alongside Robert Kennedy Jr., that vaccines containing thimerosal cause autism. That's another distortion caused by popularization. This web site has corrected it time and again: Anything that causes a fever, as most vaccines may do, can potentially cause brain damage, which may include autistic-type brain damage in some cases. For somebody like Trudeau to start repeating this message, in Trudeau's fashion, was the worst thing that could have happened to RFK.

Notice, though, how much refuting the simplistic claim that thimerosal causes autism does not do. It doesn't even actually disprove that thimerosal may be the whole and sole cause of some cases of autism. It doesn't prove that thimerosal is safe, or that anyone at any age should ever be vaccinated against any disease in the absence of a high probability that that disease will kill them, or that adults have any right to force vaccines on children. And it doesn't make the vaccine pushers look better than it makes Trudeau look. 

Actually there's a big split between logic and vaccine pushing. Logic says, “If a vaccine is known to produce immunity to a disease, and your natural immunity to that disease or type of diseases is low, you as an individual should have that vaccine.” Vaccine pushers say, “If a vaccine is known to produce immunity to a disease, and you have already been exposed to that disease and built up natural immunity to it anyway, you still ought to have that vaccine because that disease might harm someone else.” Wrong. Only the people at risk should even be advised to have the vaccine, and nobody should ever be forced to have any vaccine. But the vaccine pushers have pushed even harder: “Trudeau is a jerk! Just read his book and see how badly he presents himself! You should force this vaccine on your children, because the writer opposing it is an unscientific jerk!” And they seriously think that that's a “scientific” argument that fails to make them look more unscientific, and more jerkish, than Trudeau...

Anyway: I recommend this book for its historic interest only. If you're interested in the history of Kevin Trudeau, of free speech, or of the Food & Drug Administration, here is a document you need. If you're interested in health, there are literally dozens of better books out there.

Most of what Trudeau recommends is not actually very radical. He recommends good preventive self-care, sensible eating, stress management, using drugs only when necessary, talking to doctors who don't automatically prescribe pills or surgery for everything. If you're a regular reader of this web site you already knew that. The doctors to whose web sites this site has often linked, McDougall, Sinatra, Desmaisons, Mathews-Larsen, explain it better than Trudeau does. Everyone should also have a copy of Jethro Kloss's book Back to Eden (even though it takes a reasonable amount of nurse's training to get the full benefit from this shorthand-form reference book). I'm not sure about some of the unproven ideas in More Natural Cures Revealed, like flaxseed oil for cancer, and I'm 99% sure that a few other things Trudeau recommends are pure flimflam, like shark cartilage, but I believe that those five professionals explain every valid medical fact Trudeau cites in clearer, more useful ways than Trudeau does. Buy their books and leave his to the historians.

If you want a copy for research purposes, More Natural Cures Revealed can be purchased here for the usual $5 per book, $5 per package, + $1 per online payment, and despite our mixed feelings, this web site will be fair and send $1 to Trudeau or a charity of his choice.