A ridiculous new medical advisory just crossed my desk. It’s a perfect example of what’s wrong with “the system”– and just how disconnected our policy makers are from what’s really going on in research … and reality!
The report is straight out of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), part of the National Academy of Sciences. The IOM is an “independent, nonprofit organization” that is supposed to work outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision-makers and the public.
According to their website, “The IOM asks and answers the nation’s most pressing questions about health and health care.” But if you ask me, who’s grading the answers?!
Much of their research is ordered by Congress and ends with the release of these advisory reports, which outline their recommendations based on “the evidence.” (Here we go again with “evidence-based medicine.”) Of course, when it comes to the “evidence” and their recommendations…I’d give them a huge “I” for incomplete.
Case in point … their latest report is all about what they’re calling “cognitive aging” and includes An Action Guide for Health Care Providers.
The IOM believes they have “best evidence” for promoting cognitive health in people of all ages. Oh really? Let’s see just how good their “answers” are. Starting with their top three recommendations:
- Be physically active.
Ok, so at least they got one thing right. Two and a half hours of light exercise per week (and we’re just talking walking), or 20 minutes a day, will make a huge impact (that’s MY detailed recommendation, by the way, since the IOM didn’t bother providing specifics).
- Reduce and manage cardiovascular disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.
Sounds good. And this is a big one that encompasses some very serious, and substantial, risk factors. But exactly HOW do they recommend addressing these risk factors? The “Action Guide” provides no specific recommendations on how to actually take action against these things! Awfully convenient if you ask me … and it leaves the door wide open for big pharma to step in with “solutions”!
- Regularly discuss and review with a healthcare professional health conditions and medications that might have a negative effect on cognitive function.
Is it just me? Or does this one seem kind of obvious?
None of these three actions is wrong, per se, but I’m saddened (though not shocked) that diet and supplements aren’t even on the list (and in fact, are discouraged, as you’ll see below).
Let me keep going. Other actions the IOM says may promote cognitive health include the following:
- Being socially and intellectually active and continually seeking opportunities to learn.
Of course! While this is yet another obvious one, I can’t argue with it.
- Getting adequate sleep and seeking professional treatment for sleep disorders, if needed.
I couldn’t agree more with this one. I reported on the importance of this in the January 2015 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives monthly newsletter. Though again, the IOM stopped short of specifics. And I can’t help but notice how it also leaves the door open for more “solutions” from big pharma.
- Taking steps to avoid a sudden acute decline in cognitive function (delirium) associated with medications or hospitalizations.
Valid. The sixth leading cause of death in the US is over-prescription of medications. But I’m confused how someone is supposed to take any specific action based on this statement. Except: stay out of the hospital as much as possible by doing as much as you can to stay as healthy as possible. I’ve written before about hospital horror stories.
- Carefully evaluating products advertised to consumers to improve cognitive health, such as medications, nutritional supplements, and cognitive training.
I take especially major offense to this one. What’s wrong with nutritional supplements or programs such as Lumosity, or my personal favorite — crossword puzzles? The real cutting-edge science and research on cognitive health is actually happening in the world of nutritional supplements. And the REAL evidence behind the value of some very simple supplements, like B vitamins and fish oil, is overwhelming.
The problem with institutions like the IOM is that they are so swayed by big pharma they’ll stop short of saying anything actually useful … to be sure they won’t step on the toes of any special interests and their big pocketbooks.
Meanwhile, this report about how to counter cognitive aging came out just a couple of weeks after a groundbreaking new study that’s turning Alzheimer’s research on its head! A story that should have been in the lead of the IOM’s press release, if you ask me …
This shocking report out of the Mayo Clinic reveals a huge leap forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, which, let’s face it, is really what we’re all most worried about — not simply “cognitive aging.”
After decades of research, this new, large-scale study reveals the true cause of Alzheimer’s disease … and the fact that researchers have been barking up the wrong tree for years …
As it turns out, it has to do with a special type of protein called Tau, and NOT the amyloid beta protein all the drug companies have focused on for decades. Talk about breaking news that’s truly worthy of a press release and medical advisory!
And guess what research shows actually stops this tau protein?
You guessed it…a very simple supplement. And when combined with other proven supplements, diet, and exercise … some patients are seeing all symptoms of cognitive decline actually reversed. This is a method I’ve recommended countless times to my patients.
Unfortunately I’ve run out of time and space to give you all the details today. So I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow.
In the meantime, if you simply can’t wait … I’ve just finished updating my newest book that includes all the details, including the latest research on new natural approaches to cancer as well — it’s called The Natural Healing Master List. And you can actually get a free bonus copy today. Click here for details.
Take Action to Promote Brain Health: IOM Report. Medscape Medical News, April 14, 2015.