[Commentary by Ralph Campbell, MD]
What happened to curiosity as it pertains to searching for causes of poor health? Maybe it's payback. Lack of curiosity leads to the next step: complacency. Some doctors and patients have retained their curiosity, but many more have not.
Over the last several decades, there has been a cultural shift in attitudes about healthful living from seeking core causes of ill health over to pharmaceutical treatment. This extends from a clash between "anecdotal (experiential) evidence" and "evidence-based" science. There is little evidence of altruism in the pharmaceutical industry, as profit is the driving force. The industry has maximized the use of the new communications technology to assure the public that drugs and immunizations are effective (with caveats included in the 60-second TV commercials) and provide most of all one needs to know to prevent illness.
Although the medical/pharmaceutical industry does admit that avoidance of tobacco and moderation of alcohol intake is a good idea, it dismisses questions of the toxicity of many things in our environment and of the importance of understanding either deficiencies or excesses of nutrients, with "more studies are needed." The medical approach seems to require especially rigorous methodology to be employed in evaluating health claims of nutrients. However, the fact is that there already is a robust scientific literature on the use of excellent nutrition to prevent and reverse many progressive diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer [1-6] and acute diseases such as pneumonia and septic shock [7-15].
Many are satisfied with symptom relief provided by drugs. Faith is put in technology and the way doctors use it and in our government agencies that are designed to protect our health. There seems to be little curiosity to search for the "why" of disease..