Here’s why I don’t buy into the new study about how sick everyone in the world is

According to a new study–published in one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals–more than 95 percent of the worldwide population suffers from at least one of five common health problems. And about 33 percent of people worldwide suffer from five or more medical conditions.

Furthermore, we spend more of our lives sick or disabled. For example, in 1990, Americans spent 21 percent of their lives, on average, battling disability and illness. But they now spend 31 percent of their lives battling it.

But–as I always say–you have to consider the source…and always look below the surface for the full story.

When I looked closely at the details of the study, I noticed one major issue right off the bat: The leading causes of poor health have hardly changed over the last 15 years. The top-five major causes of “years lived with disability” remain:

1. Low back pain
2. Depression
3. Anemia
4. Neck pain
5. Hearing loss

The fact that these health problems are still the world’s top problems highlights the huge failures of mainstream medicine.

First, let’s look at low back and neck pain.

Studies show time and time again that Spinal Manual Therapy (SMT) safely and effectively cures these two common problems. 10 years ago I reviewed more than 700 studies worldwide on back pain. My team and I came to the same conclusions, like many other researchers before and since. SMT is safe, effective, and cost-effective. In fact, chiropractors and many physical therapists provide this reasonably-priced and proven treatment. And most insurance plans will cover it.

But, as I reported last month, the government just can’t leave it be. It keeps funding more studies on back and neck pain. Of course, they always reach the same conclusions as we did 10 years ago.

Clearly, the endless, repetitive studies need to stop. We can solve at least 80 percent of the world’s problems with back and neck pain by doing simple, safe, affordable, and available spinal manual therapy.

(If you have arthritis in your neck and back, that’s a different problem altogether. But you can help make it go away with a supplement that includes the “ABCs of joint health:” Ashwaganda, Boswellia, and Curcumin. Forget about tired, old chondroitin or glucosamine, which do nothing to address inflammation.)

Now, let’s move on to the more complicated issue of depression.

Studies continue to show the failures and hazards of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the prescription drugs commonly doled out to treat depression. In fact, these drugs only help in about one in seven cases. By contrast, the drugs increase the patients’ risk of suicide, and possibly homicide, including mass shootings. (Guns don’t kill people; people on antidepressant drugs kill people. I’ll tell you more about this problem in Friday’s Dispatch.)

As a practicing forensic medical specialist, I worked over the years on case after case of people who were somehow battling their depression and getting by. Then, their doctors put them on an antidepressant drug. Within a few weeks or months, while under the care of prescribing psychiatrists, the patients suddenly committed suicide.

Some families noticed the strange coincidence and brought malpractice lawsuits against the psychiatrists. But from what I personally observed, these malpractice cases were quietly settled out of court, or in “arbitration hearings.” I explain how and why these dangerous drugs have such disastrous effects in my book with Mike Jawer, Your Emotional Type.

Fortunately, you do have many natural treatment options if you suffer from depression. In a previous Daily Dispatch, I presented some very encouraging findings about the role of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and vitamin D for improving the health of both the brain and the mind.

When it comes to hearing loss, the fifth most common cause of disability on the list, you have many natural approaches. We know the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, and carotenoids like lutein and lycopene all support healthy hearing. Though, in all fairness, this research (after long neglect) is relatively new. In fact, the role of carotenoids in human metabolism and nutrition was only just discovered 30 years ago. I should know since I helped discover them.

On the other hand, the benefits of all these nutrients for brain and nerve tissue have been known for a long time. In Europe, they call B vitamins “neuro-vitamins.” Since the hearing apparatus of the ear is essentially specialized nerve tissue, it makes sense B vitamins would help protect, preserve, and even restore hearing. And now we finally have the research, as I just reported in June 2015’s Insiders’ Cures newsletter. (This issue is available to all paid newsletter subscribers in the archives on my website. Simply log in under the Subscriber area, and all the back issues will come up. If you’re not yet a subscriber, you can sign up here.)

Finally, that brings us to the last major “problem” of anemia.

In the 1970s, a team of human biologists and I studied red blood cell and iron levels in worldwide populations. We found many people who would be classified as “anemic” by western standards. But these people were perfectly healthy at those lower levels.

Believe it or not, what experts today consider “normal” when it comes to red blood cell and iron levels is based on what half-a-dozen white, male medical students from the mid-20th century reported in one influential medical textbook.

Furthermore, a lot of evidence shows higher blood cell and iron levels increase the risks of cancer, infections, and heart disease. I reported on the risks of cancer with Nobel laureate Baruch Blumberg (1925 – 2011) and colleagues in the New England Journal of Medicine back in the early 1990s.

For me, the fact that anemia was listed as a top-five major health problem certainly set off red flags. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, we should consider the source.

It turns out, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded this worldwide health study.

Ah, now it all makes sense. I know the Gates Foundation well.

Representatives from the Gates Foundation asked to meet with me about 10 years ago in Washington, D.C., when they were just beginning to embark on their “international health” initiative.

They listened politely, but they had not the slightest interest in the traditional health approaches already available in every “developing” country around the world. (Real experts in international health called these traditional, “low-tech” approaches “appropriate technology.”) Gates et al turned their backs completely on these traditional and readily-available health approaches.

Ironically, at the same time, these very same low-tech approaches began to generate an explosion of interest in the U.S. Of course, in the U.S., most people call these traditional approaches “complementary/alternative medicine.” (I like to call it natural and nutritional medicine for our readers.)

Instead, Gates et al drank the Kool-Aid about high-tech health care. (They even make some of the flavors themselves.) They believe in doling out antibiotics, multiple mass vaccinations, and more drugs to treat everything that ails people in the developing world.

Indeed–the Gates Foundation never saw a health problem they thought they couldn’t solve by throwing more technology at it. (It certainly worked for Bill Gates himself.)

So now, we have this Gates Foundation study that finds everybody in the world is basically sick. They say we can only solve it by throwing more high-tech, western medicine at the problems.

When they say “everybody is sick,” it works well for promoting more drugs, more vaccines, more medical procedures, and more “high-tech” medicine.

To paraphrase what Ronald Reagan said about the government: high-tech, western medicine is not the solution to the problem; it is the problem.


Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, Lancet, June 18, 2015