One of the biggest surprises for me in pharmacy school was learning how crude most pharmaceuticals are in comparison to what I perceived as the awesome and infinite complexity of the human body. That crudeness is evidenced by the 50 to 200 (or more) possible adverse effects associated with almost every drug in The Physicians’ Desk Reference. It is important to understand that most drugs in the pharmacy are highly synthetic substances that have never before existed during the long course of human evolution. Do they really run counter to nature?
From the Perspective of Mother Nature, Pharmaceuticals are Foreign Substances:
Pharma seems to have a bizarre belief that as long as these highly synthetic substances are used for benevolent purposes (to treat disease), Mother Nature will give them a pass. In fact, Mother Nature likely sees pharmaceuticals as foreign to evolution.
In contrast to pharmaceuticals, whole foods from a farmer’s market are not accompanied by leaflets describing precautions, warnings, contraindications and adverse effects. I view the long lists of potential drug side effects as an indication that the human body is rebelling against the dictatorship of these foreign substances known as pharmaceuticals, just as occupied populations rebel against dictatorship by a powerful oppressor.
Blockers, Antagonists and Inhibitors:
Pharma has been wildly successful in promoting the view that health depends on the prescribing of alpha blockers, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, H2 antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, HMGCoA reductase inhibitors, etc. The very names (blockers, antagonists, inhibitors) imply that they run counter to nature. Pharma believes that the human body cannot thrive without constant governance and control by pharmaceuticals prescribed and dispensed by professionals in white coats. In my opinion America’s medical schools and pharmacy schools have become enablers of this mechanistic and reductionist view held by Pharma.
Pharma Is at War with Human Biology:
The Physicians’ Desk Reference divides drugs into a large number of categories according to their use. By far, the biggest categories are those with the prefix “anti.” That includes anti-inflammatories, anti-histamines, anti-depressants, anti-hypertensives, anti-nauseants, anti-obesity, anti-psychotics, anti-hyperlipidemics (lipid lowering), anti-spasmodics, anti-acid (antacid), anti-pyretics (fever reducers), anti-pruretics (anti-itch), anti-neoplastics (anti-cancer), anti-arrhythmics (heart rhythm), anti-coagulants, anti-anxiety, and antibiotics. Shouldn’t that be a clue that these compounds run counter to nature?
Thus Pharma’s bible, The Physicians’ Desk Reference, primarily consists of agents that are at war with the complex biological systems in the human body. So it’s not surprising that concepts of power and war dominate modern medicine with terminology like defeat cancer, destroy cancerous cells, War Against Cancer, fight depression, control blood pressure, etc.
Pharma Views Normal Biological Processes as Pathological:
Pharma’s mechanistic and reductionist view of the human body often leads to simplistic solutions in highly complex biological systems.
Did Mother Nature make an error by giving cholesterol an essential role in the functioning of every cell in the human body?
Pharma’s war on cardiovascular disease is largely a war on cholesterol. It doesn’t seem to matter to Pharma that cholesterol is essential for the functioning of every cell in the human body or that, for example, cholesterol is essential in the production of hormones.
Thus statins, one of the most popular classes of drugs in the world, target a substance (cholesterol) that is critical for human life. Like elevated blood pressure and elevated blood sugar (in type 2 diabetes), elevated cholesterol is a disease of modern civilization. So it is more logical to try dietary/nutritional and lifestyle approaches rather than drugs like statins.
2 Stomach Acid:
Is stomach acid an error in human evolution?
Pharma seems to view the existence of stomach acid as an error Mother Nature made during the course of human evolution. How else can one view the widespread use of proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Nexium, Aciphex, Prevacid and Protonix), acid suppressors (Zantac, Pepcid, Axid and Tagamet) and antacids (Rolaids, Tums)? Stomach acid performs many essential functions including the digestion of food and killing noxious organisms in that food.
Is the ability to feel pain an error in human evolution?
Pharma seems to view pain as something to be attacked and defeated. Advertisers for OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen often promote the concept that this drug allows athletes to “power through pain” (participate in sports while injured). In truth, pain is an important signal telling us to stop engaging in the activity that is causing the pain until our body has time to heal on its own schedule. Similarly, back pain should be viewed as our brain telling us to get a firmer mattress, or to sit in chairs with more lumbar support, or to get a job that doesn’t require standing all day on a hard floor, rather than simply attack the pain with analgesics.
Is the ability to raise body temperature an error in human evolution?
Pharma seems to view fever as another error in human evolution. The reality is that mild to moderate fever is often a defense mechanism to fight infection. Mild to moderate fever is in fact protective and should not be routinely treated unless it is more severe, potentially causing brain damage. In many cases, fever should be viewed as your friend during an infection. Lowering a fever with drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may prolong the infection and thus delay recovery. That’s why overusing these medicines runs counter to nature.
Is the ability to rapidly empty the contents of the intestines an error in human evolution?
Pharma seems to view diarrhea as another error in human evolution. The reality is that diarrhea is a protective mechanism analogous to fever and pain. The purpose of diarrhea is to remove harmful organisms or other noxious substances from the lower digestive tract. Diarrhea should not be routinely treated with anti-diarrheal products unless it is severe.
Replenishment of fluid and electrolytes with products like Pedialyte is more logical than using products that halt diarrhea like Imodium and Kaopectate.
Is the ability to expel phlegm from the respiratory tract an error in human evolution?
Cough can be seen as a natural defense mechanism to expel phlegm from the respiratory tract. Does it make sense to routinely interfere with this reflex by using a cough suppressant such as dextromethorphan?
Is the ability to rapidly expel stomach contents through vomiting an error in human evolution?
Should vomiting be viewed as a remarkable mechanism to quickly expel contaminated food from our stomach? The drug name Emetrol comes from emesis (vomiting) + control. This drug is intended to control vomiting.
“Emetrol is intended specifically for nausea. It treats the source of the problem by calming the stomach muscle contractions that can lead to vomiting.”
Doesn’t that run counter to nature?
8 Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT):
Did Mother Nature make a grievous physiological error with the major decline in estrogen at menopause?
Estrogen Replacement Therapy (or HRT—Hormone Replacement Therapy) was based on the theory that Mother Nature has made a huge mistake in the design of female physiology with the major decline in estrogen at menopause. The problem is that estrogen supplementation at menopause increases the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and cardiovascular disease.
9 Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Having apparently learned nothing from the debacle of widespread estrogen replacement therapy in women, Pharma is now pushing testosterone supplementation (testosterone replacement therapy—TRT) for “Low T” in men.
After age 30, most men begin to experience a gradual decline in testosterone. A decrease in sex drive sometimes accompanies the drop in testosterone.
Here is the problem: Just as the risks of uterine cancer, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease increase with Estrogen Replacement Therapy in women, prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease are a risk with Testosterone Replacement Therapy in men.
As regards the cancer risk with Testosterone Replacement Therapy in men, an article in the Journal of Carcinogenesis says:
“Animal studies using rat models, however, provide clear evidence that testosterone can induce prostate cancer and can act as a strong tumor promoter in concert with genotoxic carcinogens.
“…animal model data indicate that testosterone is carcinogenic for the rat prostate and acts as a strong tumor promoter.”
As regards the cardiovascular risk with Testosterone Replacement Therapy in men, a webmd article from July 23, 2019, says:
“Taking testosterone might sound like a good idea for an older man, but a new study suggests the treatment might be bad news for his heart. …
“Those who took testosterone replacement therapy had a 21% higher risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or mini-stroke than those who did not take the therapy.”
Perhaps Mother Nature intended lower testosterone levels in men to discourage procreation with age because birth defects may increase when men procreate at an older age.
“Data from more than 40 million births showed that babies born to fathers of an “advanced paternal age,” which roughly equates to older than 35, were at a higher risk for adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, seizures and need for ventilation immediately after birth. Generally speaking, the older a father’s age, the greater the risk. For example, men who were 45 or older were 14 percent more likely to have a child born prematurely, and men 50 or older were 28 percent more likely to have a child that required admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.”
Did Mother Nature make a mistake in allowing humans to be depressed?
Is depression one of Mother Nature’s smart strategies to focus our mind toward resolving an important problem in our life? For example, some critics of the biochemical imbalance explanation of depression say that depression is adaptive in evolutionary terms because it helps focus our mind on our life circumstances and perhaps prompts us to make some change in those circumstances.
This might include such adaptive behaviors as getting a different job or a divorce, getting out of a relationship in which one is abused or in a subordinate relation to another person, etc. Or consider the possibility, for example, that depression might be an adaptive behavior that causes us to focus our mind on ways to avoid things like coronavirus infection.
Is depression a result of a chemical imbalance in our brain as Pharma and psychiatrists claim? Or is it a reaction to our life circumstances as psychologists claim? A huge number of books on Amazon.com are critical of modern medicine’s biochemical / mechanistic / reductionist explanation for depression.
Biological reductionism as it pertains to depression refers to reducing behavior to a physical level and explaining it in terms of neurons, neurotransmitters, hormones, brain structure, etc. Pharma’s simplistic understanding of the human body reduces depression to a brain chemical imbalance (primarily serotonin) and ignores the critical role played by one’s life circumstances in the causation of depression. But that does suggest that using antidepressants widely could run counter to nature.
In conclusion, shouldn’t pain, fever, diarrhea, cough and vomiting be viewed as miraculous protective mechanisms which should not be routinely interfered with or attacked? Similarly, shouldn’t stomach acid, cholesterol, depression and age-related decline in sex hormones be viewed as integral to the brilliant design of Homo sapiens?
Do you believe that Mother Nature performed as poorly in the design of the human body as Pharma evidently believes? Why else would Pharma be obsessed with interfering with or overriding natural biological processes on such a massive scale?
Pharma Has No Reverence for the Brilliant Design of Homo sapiens:
In my opinion, Pharma has absolutely no reverence for the brilliant design of Homo sapiens. From my perspective, Big Pharma has the shocking and disturbing hubris to believe it is more intelligent than Mother Nature and hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.
My Money Is on Mother Nature:
When Mother Nature and Big Pharma disagree or are in conflict, my money is on Mother Nature. That is, if we would stop hindering or hampering Mother Nature with our terribly unhealthy diet and lifestyles. Is our epidemic of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, etc. really unavoidable, as Pharma seems to imply?
Our medical system is based on sickness, not health. We desperately need a revolution in health care in the USA, one that benefits people, not corporations. We should focus on bolstering our natural strengths, not taking medicines that run counter to nature.