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What everyone should know about prescriptions (NNT)


When we receive a prescription from our doctor, most of us trust and hope the benefits of the drug will outweigh any side effects. It may be shocking to learn however, that most drugs don’t do any good for the majority of people taking them. This is probably because when we think of the medications used to treat chronic diseases, we think of drugs such as the antibiotics used to fight infections. In reality though, chronic illnesses involve a complex chain of biochemical interactions. The idea that we can take a simple drug that only creates the desired effect we’re looking for to alleviate a symptom, or hinder the development of a chronic disease is a myth and not reality. That said, I wanted to write about NNT. NNT stands for number needed to treat. This statistic is used for pharmaceutical companies to have a statistical understanding of the number of people that have to take a drug in order for one person to receive the benefits.

It may astonish people to learn that many popular drugs have NNT’s of over 100. A drug with an NNT of four or less would be considered a magical pill – which unfortunately doesn’t exist. When we go to the doctor most of us don’t have the vaguest idea that we might not receive any benefits from the prescribed drugs. We might think that our doctor would never give us something that may not help, and we consider any side effects as something that always accompanies the benefits of the drug. This simply is not true.

The reason we may not have ever heard of NNT is because the pharmaceutical industry ignores it when marketing. For example, Statin, a drug for cholesterol problems, has an NNT of 300. That means that 1 in 300 people that take Statin for five years are actually going to prevent a fatal heart attack. It also means that of the remaining 299 people, not a single one of them is going to prevent a fatal heart attack through using Statins.

It gets even more intriguing when you begin to look at the numbers when compared against other controlled experiments. For example, there was a study done in which a control group of 1,000 people took no heart medication. This group suffered 20 heart attacks over a five-year period. Meanwhile the group on Statins suffered 18 heart attacks. Interestingly enough, pharmaceutical campaigns will claim that Statin “reduces heart attacks by 30 percent.”  One would have to question how they got to that number when their NNT is 300.  Clearly the percentage used in their campaign is used for marketing purposes.

If this wasn’t enough, it gets worse. The side effects of such drugs are measured by percentages. In the case of Statin, 10% will suffer from side effects. Considering the NNT is 300, for every 1 person who prevents a fatal heart attack there will be 30 people who use the drug who will see adverse, negative side effects. Some of these side effects include type 2 diabetes, muscle pain and weakness and in severe cases muscle breakdown. In short, 1 person will see benefits, 269 will see no effects and 30 people will develop type 2 diabetes or severe muscle problems.

Satin however is not the only kind of drug or treatment with lopsided NNTs. Another example includes prostate surgical treatment, which has an NNT of 50. While the NNT here is not as extreme as Satin, the side effects for the remaining 49 people who see no results is very alarming. Out of those 49 people, 50% of them are left with drastic effects for the rest of their lives.

There are of course other examples I could mention. Such as how blood pressure medications have NNT of 568 with a 10% side effect rate. What’s saddening however is that beyond the numbers themselves, people are made to believe that a drug can actually cure and treat an illness on its own. Because of this, many people believe they are on the right course of action by simply taking a drug. Meanwhile, the lifestyle that brought about the onset and development of the disease itself is never addressed. Great fortunes are made as marketing campaigns push the idea of treating a disease through a miraculous pill.

So why don’t these drugs work?  Isn’t there a science to them? The truth of the matter is that there is a science; however we have to remember that the body rejects anything that is not organic to its environment.  Additionally, the synthetic components in drugs and their ingredients create problems when they interact with important nutrients such as lipids (fats). Even as the drug enters the bloodstream it has the possibility of interacting with biochemicals in our body which can lead to problems; or it can interact with cells that the drug is not supposed to be targeting.

What the body truly needs to reverse and cure itself is to stop living the lifestyle that created the problem in the first place. All illnesses can be traced back to two things- chronic stress and bad nutrition. Synthetic drugs simply can’t provide a remedy or replace lack of good nutrition or fix neurotransmitter imbalances produced by chronic stress. If these areas of concern are dealt with the body will heal itself because of the build in genetic expressions that activate mechanisms that heal and repair cells, tissues and organs.

As a final remark, I thought it would be appropriate to review the results we’ve seen with Phytotherapi’s solution for type 2 diabetes.  It’s been our experience that the program has an NNT of 1 when the person follows the protocols and guidelines as outlined in our protocol.  I should also add that the NNT is 1 with no side effects. This is simply remarkable, but in large part is due to the fact that the protocol contains an emphasis on nutrition and stress management. Since our products are all natural, the body recognizes the components and doesn’t reject them. Rather the body does what it’s programmed to do, and through its healing mechanism, important biological processes such as mitosis, apoptosis, reparation, and detoxification are all done to bring equilibrium and homeostasis while moving away from inflammation and cellular chaos.

For more information on the science behind how our products work to promote healthy body function, click here: http://bit.ly/1JUJ3zH

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