Natural Foods Merchandiser

What the drug companies won’t tell you--and your doctor doesn’t know

Michael Murray, N.D., provided red meat for those who subscribe to the conspiracy theory that Big Pharma both exaggerates the benefits of its prescription drugs and undermines the natural products industry.

During Saturday’s session “What the Drug Companies Won’t Tell You,” Murray spoke of the conflicts of interest that abound in medical journals and the Faustian bargain that allows pharmaceutical drugs throughout American society.
“Americans ingest over 40 percent of all prescription drugs made in the world, yet America ranks 42nd in the world in terms of life expectancy,” said Murray. “Drug companies are pervasive in controlling our medical choices. The price we pay is a reliance on these drugs and great profit for these companies.”

Murray cited the example of statin drugs, which lower cholesterol levels and are routinely prescribed for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease. “Eighty percent of people receiving statin drugs are receiving them because of the marketing efforts of drug companies and not the science,” he said. “There are no studies that show statins are effective for women. Fifty people have to be treated with statins for a minimum of 10 years to prevent one heart attack.”

Murray noted that fish oils can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by more than 50 percent at 1,000 milligrams per day of DHA and EPA. He said the natural branded ingredient Sytrinol has been shown to lower cholesterol at levels equivalent to statin drugs. And another branded ingredient, PGX, at 1,500 milligrams with meals, can flatline blood-sugar levels.

Todd Runestad
Science editor
Functional Ingredients

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