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The Franciscan in me tries to restrain me from gloating and saying I was right all along, but for now I'll allow myself the pleasure of saying about Vioxx and the rest of the COX 2 crowd, “I told you so”!
It was some 6 or so years ago when the folks from Searle, a pharmaceutical company owned by Monsanto, came over to a booth I was working at a American Academy of Sports Medicine convention and proudly proclaimed that their new COX 2 drug Celebrex would put the enzyme company I was then working for out of business. Heady with their latest research, they said the COX 2 drugs did not have ANY of the side effects of the COX 1 (i.e. Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxin etc), and that no one would need such a crude and natural thing as enzymes to control inflammation when just a couple of doses per day of their new wonder drug would do so with out all the fuss of having to take large numbers of enzyme pills per day. (Pfizer bought Searle from Monsanto some years ago and now owns Celebrex).
Their initial research was shown to be false by actual use of the drug. As the Wall Street Journal article on Celebrex recounted on April 19th of 1999, Celebrex was not side effect free, and indeed in the 3 weeks since its release 11 patients taking it had died of the very things that were not supposed to happen from using COX 2 drugs i.e. kidney failure and intestinal hemorrhage! So the lab eggheads at the drug companies were wrong in their conclusions about COX 2 inhibitions and its lack of side defects. So much for knowing biology over physiology.
Now medical research says, that the egg heads were not only wrong about the COX 2 drugs not having the kidney damage, liver toxicity and intestinal wall thinning effect of the COX 1's, as they first claimed; one COX 2 drug, Vioxx, has now been shown to cause heart attacks and strokes! And, it stands to reason that if one drug that works on the COX 2 pathway has those bad effects, the others can't be far behind. So thinks the US FDA, the British National Health Service and Dr. Garret FitzGerald of the University of Pennsylvania who wrote in an article on that for the New England Journal of Medicine. (1).
Now here I'm going to step on some natural health toes; I've said for some time that the natural COX 2 inhibitors such as boswella and turmeric would have the same side effects as the COX 2 drugs if used long term and if they truly work as claimed in the COX 2 pathway. Some will tell me that these herbs won't do that because they are natural and natural things can't hurt you! That is a grave misconception! Tobacco is natural, opium is natural, and coca plants that make cocaine are natural. Vitamins A, D and Niacin are all natural and naturally toxic with the ability to cause death by liver damage if taken in excess! Just because something is natural does not mean that it is harmless!
Since all the methods to control inflammation from COX 1 and COX 2 to Corticosteroids are dangerous, deadly and have seriously bad side effects, does it not make sense to control inflammation, with non-toxic enzymes! (2). Inflammation we now know is the major cause of heart and vascular disease; it is the root cause of pancreatic dysfunction leading to diabetics and pancreatic cancer. Inflammation has been found to be the root cause of Alzheimers and various other life threatening diseases. (3). But in the search to control inflammation we should not take something that will kill us faster than the inflammation!
Systemic proteolytic enzymes are nature’s non-toxic way to control inflammation! Over and above that they are the only way medical, natural or other wise to eat away at fibrosis (the second major cause of blood clots and internal organ dysfunction). Systemic proteolytic enzymes have over 200 peer reviewed hospital and university studies to prove their effectiveness and safety. Over and above that, there is over 40 years of clinical experience in Central Europe and Japan where oral systemic enzymes are used widely in standard medicine. Given the choices of death by inflammation, death by COX 1 drugs, death by COX 2 drugs, or death by Corticosteroids would it not make sense to choose life by lowering inflammation and fibrosis naturally and without toxicity using systemic enzymes? There is no need to kill Peter to help Paul because when we do so both Peter and Paul die.
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