Dr. Edward Rosick
Author of Optimal Prevention: Common-Sense Ways to Avoid the Five Most Common Killer Diseases TodayMarch 2017
By Garry Messick
Dr. Edward Rosick believes that illness should be stopped through prevention before it has a chance to infiltrate our bodies.
As a triple board-certified (in preventive medicine, holistic medicine and public health), physician and writer living in Michigan, Dr. Rosick says he is committed to helping as many people as possible to reach a state of optimum health and well-being, which he describes as “truly the basis for a joyful life.”
Dr. Rosick’s medical philosophy is simple and common-sense, yet grounded in cutting edge science. As he explains it, “Through a well-balanced diet, the appropriate supplements and hormones, a regular exercise regime and some type of stress reduction (be it meditation, prayer, yoga, etc.), the vast majority of chronic diseases, which are the top killers in the western world today—Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, strokes, and type II diabetes—can be prevented, allowing people to live long, healthy, productive and happy lives.”
In this interview with Life Extension®, Dr. Rosick kindly consented to an in-depth discussion of his fascinating new book, Optimal Prevention: Common-Sense Ways to Avoid the Five Most Common Killer Diseases Today.
LE: What kind of a role can supplements play in preventive medicine? You occasionally see articles critical of them in the mainstream press.
ER: Yesterday, as I was checking out at my local grocery store, I picked up a copy of Reader’s Digest and read an article warning people about the “dangers” of supplements. I don’t know where Reader’s Digest gets the authors to write these articles, but I do know from writing over three hundred articles on supplements and integrative medicine that not only is the wise use of supplements not harmful, it can help protect you from the diseases that affect and kill millions of people every year. Recently, the Lewin Group, a leading analytical firm, released information showing that the use of some simple, safe supplements could save over $24 billion in healthcare costs.
LE: What were some of the health benefits they found, and what would be the overall savings in healthcare costs for each?
ER: For example, if the 25% of American women of childbearing age who don’t take folic acid would do so, the number of neural tube defects in their children could be substantially reduced, saving $1.4 billion over the span of five years.
Another example—if men and women on Medicare began regularly taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, almost 800,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures could be prevented, saving more than $16 billion, again, over a five-year span.
One more—if more middle-aged and elderly people began taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, about 375,000 hospitalizations and visits to doctors for heart disease could be prevented, saving over $3 billion a year.
LE: Let’s talk about some other specific supplements and their benefits. Magnesium, for instance.
ER: This common mineral has been shown in a number of studies to play an important role in preventing or treating a number of cardiovascular illnesses, including atherosclerosis, congestive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, sudden cardiac death, and cardiac arrhythmias. With an impressive résumé like that, it’s no wonder that magnesium is a front-line therapy for heart-disease prevention and a supplement that I recommend to almost all my patients.
LE: How about some relatively overlooked nutrients such as zeaxanthin?
ER: Zeaxanthin may be important in maintaining a healthy brain and avoiding Alzheimer’s. Researchers in France conducted a nine-year study on over 1,300 elderly men and women. The results showed that those men and women who had a decline in their cognitive abilities, which is often an early sign of Alzheimer’s, also had the lowest levels of zeaxanthin in their blood.
LE: There are also a lot of studies showing the benefits of carnosine, aren’t there?
ER: Carnosine is an extremely safe compound that’s composed of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine and should be on your daily supplement list. Carnosine may help prevent Alzheimer’s by inhibiting advanced glycation end-product formation and fighting free radicals. It has also been shown (at least in lab studies) to protect against the ravages of beta-amyloid formation. While more definitive human studies need to be done to confirm its potential, I see no reason why carnosine shouldn’t be used in the fight to prevent Alzheimer’s.
LE: Diabetes is a growing problem in the US. Is it true that testosterone can help keep it at bay?
ER: The evidence shows that optimal testosterone levels protect men against Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and strokes. But it also helps protect men against the ravages of diabetes, yes.
A review article in The Diabetes Educator gave a succinct overview on the use of testosterone replacement therapy to prevent diabetes in aging men. Studies have consistently shown that testosterone levels are significantly lower in men with type II diabetes. Just as important, other studies have shown that men with higher testosterone levels had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes! Now I don’t know about you, but if a drug came out that could not only protect men against Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and strokes—and could decrease your chance of developing diabetes by 42%—men and their significant others would be breaking down their doctors’ doors to get a prescription for it. Fortunately, that substance—testosterone—is already here, so make sure your doctor is willing—and knowledgeable—about testosterone replacement therapy, then start preventing diabetes now!
LE: Let’s talk about pesticides. How hazardous are they?
ER: Walk into the gardening section of any large store and you’ll see row after row of pesticides. While you might think they must be safe or the government wouldn’t allow them to be sold, think again. A report published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows that pesticide exposure may increase your risk of brain cancer. Yet despite this information, pesticides are still sold in abundance at most local gardening stores.
In a study of almost 700 adults with brain tumors in France, researchers found that in agricultural workers—who have a high exposure to commonly used pesticides—risk of developing brain cancer was 29% greater than it was in people without exposure to pesticides. Even more frightening, the researchers found that people who used pesticides around their house were twice as likely to be diagnosed with brain cancer as people who didn’t use pesticides.
LE: In closing, what message would you like to send to readers of your book?
ER: I hope you read it from cover to cover and implement whatever is right for you. On a larger scale, learn more about prevention and then educate your friends, your relatives, and even your physician. Finally, in a perfect world, the government would wake from its bureaucratic stupor and realize that putting money into preventive medicine would save both lives and money. So write and call your congressional representatives and senators at both the state and national level—if there’s one thing politicians respond to, it’s an active and engaged populace!
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.
To order a copy of Optimal Prevention, call 1-800-544-4440 or visit www.LifeExtension.com