Now that Kevin Trudeau’s book Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About has hit the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list for the past few weeks, the media is starting to sharpen their knives for him. If you don’t know who Kevin Trudeau is, you don’t watch much television because he is all over the airwaves with an infomercial about his book, which is about how the government, the drug companies, physicians, people who sell vitamins, insurance companies, grocery stores, the list goes on and on, are all out to get you. Who can you trust? Mr. Trudeau, of course. He tells you so right on the infomercial. According to him, he is the only true source of honest information out there. And for only a small monthly fee, Mr. Trudeau will provide you with the unvarnished truth as he sees it. As Dave Barry says: I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Watch the infomercial yourself.
Just to see what all the fuss was about I got a copy of the book and read a little here and a little there and found it to be in part a jihad against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in part a collection of a host of “cures” for various disorders, most of which, in my opinion, are hogwash.
The parts about his dealings with the FTC and FDA I found interesting and true, at least according to people I know who do know how the system works. I’ll blog on Trudeau’s ongoing battles with these two government agencies sometime down the road and just stick now to my impression of the contents of his book from a health and scientific perspective.
In a book this large – over 500 pages – the law of averages militates that there are bound to be at least a few things that are correct, and indeed there are. Mr. Trudeau comes down hard on sugar and especially high-fructose corn syrup. He rails against processed white flour; he is down on trans fats; he encourages the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables; he even recommends sunlight. In fact, the book is basically a book of lists of all the things Mr. Trudeau believes that you should or shouldn’t do or take or eat to achieve and maintain good health. Problem is most of the stuff he writes about is, in my humble opinion, absolute idiocy. But, of course, I’m a part of the unholy alliance between the government, drug companies, and doctors that is out to fleece you of your health and your cash, so I would take everything I have to say with a grain of salt.
Even when Mr. Trudeau gets something right, his rationale is totally wrong. For example, he advocates sunlight and sunbathing. So do I. It provides a number of benefits, not the least of which is the active form of vitamin D. Mr. Trudeau doesn’t believe that people should use sunscreen. Neither do I. But there the similarity in our views on the sunlight issue part company.
I don’t like sunscreens because the vast majority of them only block the UVB spectrum of sunlight, the spectrum that causes sunburning. Most people use sunscreens so that they can stay out in the sun longer than they should without burning. Problem is, most sunscreens don’t block the UVA spectrum of sunlight very well, and UVA is the spectrum that causes the development of melanoma, an extremely virulent skin cancer. So if you slather on the sunscreen and hit the beach on vacation for a week, you don’t get burned, but you get ungodly amounts of UVA. It is exactly these people who develop melanoma–people who normally work indoors then have massive amounts of sun exposure over the short term. People who work in the sun and have a tan have a much lower incidence of melanoma. A good tan, which you get from graduated exposure to the sun, blocks both UVB and UVA.
Mr. Trudeau has a little different take on the issue of sunlight, sunscreens, and skin cancer. He says, “Don’t use sun block.” Why not? I’ll let him tell it in his own words:
This is one of the greatest frauds in history. The sun does not cause cancer. Sun block has been shown to cause cancer. The ingredients in sun block are now strongly believed to be the number one cause of skin cancer. There is no skin cancer in Africa. People stay in the sun all day long with no sunscreen. It is not the pigment in the skin, as some suggest. People of African heritage living in America have the highest rate of skin cancer, and they stay in the sun the least.
And on and on. I read the medical literature all the time, and I’ve never seen a report on sun block causing skin cancer. Maybe somewhere lurking in some journal is a paper or two speculating a connection, but that is a long way from scientists believing that the ingredients in sun block are “the number one cause of skin cancer.” As to the people of African heritage having the highest rates of skin cancer, a quick trip to the statistics section of the American Cancer Society gives the lie to that.
Melanoma is primarily a disease of whites, and rates are more than 10 times higher in whites than in African Americans.
Mr. Trudeau’s book could have benefited greatly from the services of a fact checker. Had he hired one, however, the book wouldn’t have been nearly so long.
Let’s look at a couple of other small sections to get the true flavor of the book. Mr. Trudeau admonishes his readers to avoid pork.
Remember, you are what you eat. Pork is a highly toxic diseased animal. A pig eats anything in its path, including its own feces. Whatever it eats turns to meat on its bones in just a few hours. All pork products are laced with disease and viruses. It is toxic and unhealthy. The human body virtually goes into toxic shock by consuming pork. Massive amounts of energy go to the stomach and intestines to help breakdown and digest this toxic material. Pork is never fully digested in the human body; however, the human digestive system works nonstop in overdrive for up to eighteen hours attempting to neutralize and digest pork. If you didn’t eat pork for thirty days and then had some, there is an excellent chance you would be violently ill. Eliminating pork, or at least reducing it dramatically, can have a profound impact on your health an sense of well-being. Try and see.
No thanks. As I said before, in the words of Dave Barry, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. It’s right there on page 150-151. I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered a single paragraph anywhere containing as many incorrect statements. Except maybe this next one from page 183 under the heading: Most Fat People Have a Clogged and Sluggish Liver.
The liver is a detoxifying organ. When it’s clogged up, your metabolism slows down. What causes the clogging up of the liver? The number one reason your liver is clogged and not operating properly is the nonprescription over-the-counter drugs you have taken your entire life, and all the prescription drugs you have taken. Most notably, if you take any cholesterol reducing drugs, your liver is absolutely categorically clogged. Chlorine and fluoride in the water is another cause of a clogged liver. Food additives used in processed food and fast food dramatically clog the liver. Refined sugar and white flour clog the liver. Substances such as artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate, and preservatives all clog the liver. The bottom line is the pharmaceutical companies clog your liver and the publicly traded food industry clogs your liver!
You get the picture.
One of the statements that Mr. Trudeau makes on his infomercial is that there is a simple herbal cure for cancer that is being suppressed by the “cancer industry.” According to Mr. Trudeau, the multi billion dollar “cancer industry” is practically quaking in its boots in fear that this inexpensive, readily available substance will become known and destroy their empire. I searched for such a cure in the book so I could have it on hand just in case, but, alas, couldn’t find it.
If you’ve contemplated buying this book, I think you should save your money.