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In This Issue:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A Big Step Forward
Should You Be Taking Daily Aspirin? And How Much?
Report from the February 19 to 21, 2010
Advanced Study Weekend

Featured Recipes

April 2010
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Vol. 9 Issue 4

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A Big
Step Forward

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. In addition to expanding healthcare coverage to 31 million currently uninsured Americans, medical care will become more focused on helping people become truly well and avoiding unnecessary treatments. Here are some of the provisions that fit well with the McDougall Program, along with my comments:

Support comparative effectiveness research by establishing a non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to identify research priorities and conduct research that compares the clinical effectiveness of medical treatments.

McDougall’s Response: Research performed before the 1980s was largely untainted by the food and pharmaceutical industries. Observational studies published in respected medical journals demonstrated the curative benefits of a healthy starch-based diet for diseases as wide ranging as arthritis, angina, atherosclerosis, colitis, constipation, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Over the past three decades industry has bought and paid for the patients, researchers, doctors, and medical journals that have produced the bulk of the published medical research. These papers are actually advertisements for their products and services. Big businesses have convinced the scientific community that only research performed by a double blind, placebo controlled methodology is acceptable—which means only medications can be properly tested and proven scientifically to be effective. (Diet and other lifestyle changes cannot be blinded for research purposes—whole foods cannot be hidden from the subjects, thus double blind studies are not possible. There is no placebo for food.)


Should You Be Taking Daily Aspirin? And How Much?

Tens of millions of people taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes, often with doctor’s advice to do so, are making a serious mistake. I recommend that people who have not already suffered heart disease (a heart attack or heart surgery) or an ischemic brain event (TIA or stroke) not take aspirin for prevention. This type of therapy is called primary prevention. Meaning, prevention before any vascular events have occurred. There is much controversy surrounding this topic. However, I would not be telling you my medical view unless I believed it was correct.

One of the chief effects of aspirin is to “thin the blood” by inhibiting the activities of blood-clotting elements called platelets. With inhibition, a blood clot (thrombus) is less likely to form suddenly within an artery, causing a heart attack or stroke. Along with beneficial effects come adverse effects. “Blood-thinning” increases the risk of hemorrhage. Low-dose aspirin therapy substantially increases the likelihood of gastrointestinal (primarily stomach) bleeding and bleeding within the brain tissues. In the daily routine practice of medicine, the benefits of aspirin for a reduction in risk of heart attacks, primarily in men, and strokes in women, must be weighed against an increase in the risk of major bleeding and, in men, an increase in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Weighing the benefits and risks means guessing—and hoping that more good than harm will have been done at the end of the day.


Report from the February 19 to 21, 2010
Advanced Study Weekend

Over 230 people attended this biannual McDougall event in Santa Rosa, California. As always the enthusiasm, education, food, and friendship were over the top—far greater than anyone expected. The event was sold out. The high points for me (Dr. McDougall) were having two of the world’s most respected physicians, Dr. Hadler and Dr. Lundberg, talk about the malpractices perpetrated by medical doctors on the public—nice to hear someone else talking about these costly and painful wrongs besides me.


Featured Recipes

  • Tofu Lasagna

  • Jeff's Longevity Soup

  • Polenta with Lemony Asparagus and Chickpeas

  • Lovely Collard Wraps

  • Double Chocolate Brownies

  • Kale Slaw

  • Asian Greens

  • Sesame Greens

  • Noodles and Greens




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