Much information is disseminated today regarding the dos and don'ts and gold standards to better health. This includes guidelines for supplementation, pharmaceutical use, screenings and lifestyle changes. But some of the information being relayed to us may not be in our best interests or promote better health.
Here are 5 Medical Myths you might want to reconsider:
1. Calcium supplements are good for you and essential: Calcium supplements may increase heart attack risk by as much as 47%, according to studies.
Calcium deposits may lead to atherosclerosis and stiffening of the arteries that affect cardiovascular function and can contribute to heart disease. Supplementing with calcium has also shown minimal benefit in preventing cardiovascular disease. It is best to get calcium requirements from diet (green leafy vegetables) and support healthy bones by supplementing with magnesium, K2 and vitamin D. Weight bearing exercise, such as lifting weights has also shown improvement in bone density, which is why most people take calcium supplements.
2. The sun causes cancer and is deadly: It’s quite the opposite. Avoiding sunshine is deadly. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with various chronic illnesses, poor immune function and increased development of serious diseases including cancer. What you may want to avoid, however, is sunburn, but get your fill of sunshine because your life depends on it! Approximately twenty-thirty minutes of sun exposure daily without sunscreen provides you with a good supply of sun-driven vitamin D. If you plan to be in the sun for longer, be sure that you use a natural sunscreen that is free from toxins. It's the ingredients in sunscreen that may increase your cancer risk! Supplementation may also be needed to achieve optimal levels. Vitamin D acts like a hormone in the body. It supports every system, preventing heart disease risk, supporting lung function and preventing serious risk factors for stroke.
And don’t forget to supplement with vitamin K2! Vitamin K2 works together with vitamin D to help support multiple systems. In your body, K2 works like an air traffic controller, helping to guide calcium away from soft tissue and into bones and teeth where you need it most.
Magnesium is also essential for vitamin D’s absorption. Without optimal levels of magnesium, your body cannot utilize vitamin D properly and achieve optimal levels. In turn, supplementing with vitamin D without magnesium may result in a magnesium deficiency. It is important to take both of these supplements but at different times of day to help attain optimal results.
3. NSAIDs are safe and can be used daily: Are you popping ibuprofen daily to manage inflammatory issues such as arthritis? It might be a good idea to stop now. This class of over the counter medication kills approximately 30,000 Americans each year due to bleeding ulcers and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Natural remedies such as turmeric, are backed by numerous double-blind, controlled studies proving their anti-pain and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is associated with a 66% reduction in cancer and Alzheimer’s. Other natural remedies, such as frankincense are linked to reduced pain and inflammation as well as additional health benefits.
4. Women should have yearly mammograms: False positives are common with mammograms. Even the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has changed their recommendations for yearly mammograms after age 40 to every other year, unless you are at increased breast cancer risk. Radiation from mammograms is a concern. Radiating breasts through mammography increases the risk of cancer cell growth, according to research.
Safer alternatives include thermography. A study found no relation at all between start of screening (via mammography) and the reduction in breast cancer mortality. For cancer prevention, you may want to also research the role of iodine and breast health.
5. Modern Medicine Science is Settled: Here’s the truth-- your doctor doesn’t know everything, so it’s important to be your own health advocate and do your own research. No one knows your body better than you do, so pay attention to symptoms because this is how your body speaks to you when something is wrong. While modern medicine has made great strides in trauma and acute care, chronic illness is best addressed with natural remedies that target the root cause and help your body to heal itself.
It is estimated that 75% of all health costs in the USA can be saved by utilizing natural remedies to address root causes as well prevention. Autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and fibromyalgia are some of the health issues that western medicine does not manage well with pharmaceuticals and can be addressed with natural herbs, supplements, acupuncture and lifestyle changes.
Being your own health advocate is more important than ever. Don't fall for the glitzy headlines and news cover stories. It's time to dig deeper than the first Google search queries and read clinical studies--read many of them. Ask questions. Be a critical thinker. Look toward natural remedy sources, herbalism books and leading naturopaths in their field. Our bodies have the innate power to heal themselves if we give them the necessary natural tools to do so. Trust your intuition, and trust nature.