Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Jim Fain

"Getting a disease or having a heart attack is caused by genetics or is just a role of the dice." "If it runs in your family, then it's going to get you too." These are common beliefs that are not as true as you may think. Medicine knows there are many cofactors that go hand in hand with any illness.

  As for genetics, something has to flip the genetic switch for illness to happen. The thing that flips or stops the switch is called a cofactor. As for the role of the dice, chance does come into play but cofactors are a big player as well. Here are some examples according to Julian Whittaker, M.D.

  He says in his August, 2007 newsletter that if everyone 65 and older took calcium and vitamin D about 776,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures could be avoided. He estimates savings at $16.1 billion.

  If people in the same age group took 1,800 mg of fish oil daily, 374,301 hospitalizations for coronary artery disease would be cut back. Estimated total savings: $3.2 billion.

  If just a quarter of the women of childbearing age not taking 400 mcg of folic acid a day did use it, 600 mothers could be spared certain birth defects, saving about $1.4 billion.

  And he says that if those with macular degeneration took 6 to 10 mg of lutein with zeazanthin daily, 190,927 of them might be able to remain independent and stay out of nursing homes due to vision loss. Estimated savings: $3.6 billion.

  Just a few supplements would cause a huge improvement in health and a huge reduction in cost. There are many, many more beneficial supplements. For instance, a study I found published by the University of Victoria in Canada shows this from an entirely different point of view. The authors were from the Department of Geography. Geography? It seems people are more likely to have different diseases, or not, due to the cofactors found in the geographic areas in which they live.

  They looked at the global diffusion pattern of HIV/AIDS and stated that there is a strong suggestion of a protective role for selenium and glutathione. In areas of the world where people have more of these two substances naturally in their systems, exposure to the virus didn't necessarily cause the person to catch HIV/AIDS.

  Both selenium and glutathione are inexpensive supplements. It is likely that 200 to 400 mcg of selenium and 600 to 1,200 mg of N-acetyl Cysteine daily would give these protective benefits. Responsible and or protected sexual practices are still the most important factor. Apparently, selenium and glutathione are cofactors in being infected with HIV.

  According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. is number one in the world in cost but 37th in the world in overall quality. To me this is a scandal. Prevention of illness and quick access to good care are what gives the edge to higher-ranked countries.

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