You may have noticed fewer Health Tips about Covid-19 recently, which might have struck you as odd given our dreadful numbers here in the US. Well, there was a reason for this.
WholeHealth Chicago was one of hundreds of health-oriented websites that were sent cease-and-desist warning letters from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging widespread promotion and selling what they called “unproven therapies.”
In other words, there’s nothing wrong with recommending vitamin C for immune support, but recommending vitamin C to protect you against Covid-19 is unproven (which is true) and thus forbidden, according to the FTC.
However, even when a specific nutritional deficiency increases Covid-19 risks, as in the case with vitamin D (click here for a Medscape article entitled “Low Vitamin D Linked to Increased Covid-19 Risk”), it’s apparently OK to inform the public about the study, but not OK to sell vitamin D as a possible aid in Covid-19 prevention. This is because vitamin D is not officially FDA-approved for Covid-19 prevention.
Are you following this?
Since the penalties for ignoring the FTC warnings include significant fines and the bank turning off the offending company’s charge-card system, virtually everyone receiving a cease-and-desist letter cooperates immediately, as did we.
Exemptions of note
It’s worth mentioning that Donald Trump is exempt from FTC rules and is allowed to continue his enthusiastic support of hydroxychloroquine, ultraviolent light, and household cleaners as Covid-19 cures.
Also, without FTC repercussions, he can retweet the deeply concerning notions of Houston physician Stella Immanuel, MD, who is opposed to masks, has a theory that many medical conditions occur as a result of demons and witches having sex with us while we sleep, and says that alien DNA is inserted in vaccinations, which are being produced in order to immunize people from religion. No, I’m not making this up.
Since the First Amendment (free speech, in case you forgot) is not affected by the FTC, I can write about Covid-19 provided I don’t offer a product or service. If I suggest that deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals (including vitamins C, D, E, and zinc) are known to impair immunity, you may choose to buy some of these supplements, but you will do so on your own.
I neither wish to compose future Health Tips from a jail cell nor want to feel the gentle tug of a tracker around my ankle.
Biking around, looking ahead
Read any report on Covid-19 and you’ll see that the US isn’t managing the pandemic even moderately well. Also, our future doesn’t look all that bright.
Last week I took a six-hour bike ride (masked and helmeted) throughout the city. Whether I was cruising along the lakefront, gliding through a park, or traversing a street, at best maybe 30% of the people I saw were wearing masks.
In beautiful Humboldt Park, with a mainly Latinx population, there were large family picnics, mainly unmasked. The same held true for Black families and couples in Jackson Park and White game-players in Lincoln Park. (You really become aware of how segregated Chicago is when you tour it on a bike.)
When I walk to and from our WholeHealth Chicago office, about 30% of the people I see are wearing masks. Last week a bevy of clearly well-off young mothers (you can tell when the baby stroller is the size of an Escalade) were chatting it up in front of Starbucks and not one was wearing a mask. As were none of a team of Latinx tuck-pointers setting up in front of a building across the street.
Well, at least Chicago beaches are closed, unlike in Texas, Florida, and the UK. This June 24 video of Bournemouth in the UK is especially chilling.
I know you’re all tired of hearing the advice about masking, handwashing, and social distancing, but that’s precisely what it will take to quash this virus. Please click this CDC link and read the information again, keeping in mind that being outside is always less risky than being indoors.
Germ theory, terrain theory
Now, a brief nod to Louis Pasteur and someone you’ve likely never heard of, his archrival Antoine Bechamp. Pasteur, as we all know (or should know), is the father of microbiology, the germ theory of disease. Anthony Fauci, MD, is a natural heir to Pasteur.
Rather unkindly, Bechamp has been relegated to history as a scientific nut case. He disbelieved the germ theory to the very end, instead maintaining that it wasn’t the bacteria but rather the strength (or weakness) of where the bacteria sets up house—the terrain–that matters. He called this terrain theory.
If you’ve got a healthy terrain, your immune system is stronger and your chances of becoming ill with any infection are reduced. Science has completely proven that you have better resistance to infection (i.e., a healthy terrain) when you:
–Get enough sleep.
–Maintain a healthy weight (avoid obesity).
–Eat a healthful diet (avoid all processed/junk foods and eat nutritionally sound whole plant and animal foods).
–Eat more healthy fats (anti-inflammatory fats like olive oil and salmon).
–Live an anti-inflammatory life. Chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, so follow these anti-inflammatory guidelines.
Just by reviewing that list you can guess what contributes to an unhealthy terrain:
–Poor nutritional choices.
–Virtually any chronic illness (cancer, COPD, kidney disease, heart disease).
–Using immune-suppressing drugs.
–Type 2 diabetes.
—And many others.
Although my heart leaped when Dr. Fauci said he felt there might be a vaccine by the end of 2020, it crashed again when a recent survey said that 50% of Americans would refuse a vaccine were it available.
Regular Health Tip readers know I’m an advocate of immunizations and, yes, every time I confess that I get a bevy of unpleasantries from the anti-vaxxers, who threaten to unsubscribe. Since it’s often the same anti-vaxxers who do this, I guess they’re hoping I’ll change.
But actually, putting my money where my mouth is, I signed up for the vaccine trials over at Northwestern. If you’re interested, click here for a report.
David Edelberg, MD