Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters CAM

What to do about CAM?

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39360.446528.BE (Published 11 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:736

Food is live medicine. Medicine is dead food.

In recent years, health-care has become so complex, that it is
almost
incomprehensible. Many physicians have a hard time keeping up
with their
own specialty, let alone other specialties. There are 24 medical
specialties
and 88 sub-specialties. How can the average person choose or
afford so
much health-care?


If you surf the internet, you will find many websites that relate to
health-care.
These websites can be divided into three categories: traditional
medicine,
alternative medicine, and complementary medicine.
Complementary medicine
(also called integrative medicine) combines traditional medicine
with
alternative medicine.


Traditional medicine relies on prescription pharmaceuticals, such
as
antibiotics, tranquilizers, vaccines, and chemotherapy. Alternative
medicine
relies on over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, such as vitamins,
minerals,
herbs, and enzymes. Complementary medicine relies on both
prescription
and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Since all three categories
rely on
pharmaceuticals, society is led to believe that health depends on
pharmaceuticals. This is fortunate for the pharmaceutical
companies, but is
this fortunate for the patient?


Pharmaceuticals are a mixed blessing. They can prolong life, but
they can
also shorten it. Pharmaceuticals are semi-poisons that interfere
with the
body's normal functioning. This is why most pharmaceuticals
have a long list
of side effects. In contrast, food is nutrition that enhances the
body's normal
functioning. This is why food is live medicine, but medicine is
dead
food.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 October 2007
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA