It challenges us to revisit our most basic notions

Agus says he is unaware of any clinical trial demonstrating a general health benefit of taking vitamin supplements and has, in fact, come across some studies which show some negative effects. Getting vitamins through food has benefits that don’t necessarily occur when they are taken as a supplement. Cancer treatment is the place where China frozen green beans Suppliers we take the most risks in medicine because, frankly, there is little hope for survival in many cases, and the cure is as evasive today as it ever was.. And it helps that the 300-page book is not a dry read about cancer.There is rarely a week when we are not bombarded with exhortations on how we will be healthier and feel better if only we boost our intake of vitamins and nutrients through pills, powders and such like.Patralekha Chatterjee writes about development issues in India and emerging economies. In his book, Agus explores how we may possibly live longer by ignoring what we have been taught about health. Better to eat fresh-frozen produce, Agus advises. There is a huge hoopla around the benefits of antioxidants and vitamin supplements. “Rather than popping pills and looking for external solutions, you could focus on your body’s inherent self-healing mechanisms by regulating it naturally “The book busts many other fond myths.Normally, I don’t expect a book about illness to cheer me up. But The End of Illness by Dr David Agus, one of the world’s leading oncologists and medical thinkers, was thought-provoking and hugely reassuring.

It challenges us to revisit our most basic notions about healthy living, and what makes it gripping is Agus’ skilful use of research and lively anecdotes.At a time when cancer has become one of India’s top killers, it is worth paying heed to what a top cancer researcher is saying. Like juices are good for you and the benefits of supposedly fresh produce that has travelled hundreds of kilometres, leaking its nutrients all the way. I’m infuriated by the statistics, disappointed in the progress that the medical profession has made, and exasperated by the backward thinking that science continues to espouse, which no doubt cripples our hunt for the magic bullet.. Now with this book, I am taking a moment to step away from that ledge and share what I have learnt, which has everything to do with all things health-related,” says Agus in his introduction to the book.chatterjee@gmail. Much of this messaging comes from the anti-ageing and fitness industry gathering momentum across the world and of late in urban India. Indeed there is something to be said for doing nothing ” Agus is not trying to discredit known and necessary treatments for certain ailments and diseases but for purposes of arguing in favour of another perspective. But what do medical practitioners have to say about this It is useful to get a sense of Agus’ thoughts about some widely held beliefs.Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times after having survived testicular cancer, called the book “a tour de force in its delivery and message”. “I feel I have been dangling out on the edge of a cliff with fellow physicians searching for better treatments to this ravaging disease that claims more lives today than it should. The book is the good doctor’s prescription for preventive medicine and has been a New York Times’ bestseller.”

This is because little data, if any, shows that ingesting more vitamins or antioxidants benefits health or changes the effects of free radicals in the book’s central message is “Get to know yourself. As for the “why”, read the book.” That is not quite the psychobabble that one may be tempted to think it is.I particularly liked the chapter “The Art of Doing Nothing” where he pays tribute to the body’s natural healing powers. In a chapter titled “The Truth about Synthetic Solutions”, Agus tells us that “to look at the multivitamin as an insurance policy is like looking at a marriage licence as a guarantee of the union’s permanence. Nobel laureates like Al Gore and Murray Gell-Man have heaped praises on it. For example, phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring compounds in plants that may have disease-fighting properties that can protect our health, are best delivered to the body through real foods. It is, quite frankly, naive and overly trusting. She can be reached at patralekha. “People get well for any number of reasons, none of which may be due to any prescribed treatment or elixir. We are, the author says, finally entering an exciting time in medicine where we have the technology to custom-tailor treatment and preventive protocols just as we custom-tailor a suit. At the end, there is that warm, snug, comfortable feeling — I discovered that all the things I did not do, out of sheer laziness, were best not done.If this is what a leading doctor believes, why do we fall for all the hype dished out by the vitamin and supplement industry, which remains largely unregulated Why do so many of us believe that supplements and natural food sources are the same and that the naturally occurring folate in one’s spinach can be substituted by synthetic folic acid in a vitamin pill The reason, Agus tells us, is that we are out of touch with our own reality. In other words, junk all the sweeping, general guidelines that one has heard about health and fitness because one size does not fit all. The doctor is simply pitching for “personalised medicine” which refers to customising one’s healthcare to one’s specific needs based on one’s physiology, genetics, value system and unique conditions

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