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Swanson's Exclusive Interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola

Take Control of Your Health Naturally!

Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products,® and Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Taking Control of your Health

Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products, and Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Take Control of your Health

Dear Friends and Valued Customers:

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Chicago, Illinois, to visit with a man I’ve long admired. Dr. Joseph Mercola has dedicated virtually his entire adult life to helping people live happier, healthier, more productive lives through simple, easy-to-follow programs of proper diet, exercise and nutritional supplementation. I consider Dr. Mercola to be the world’s #1 expert on natural health and wellness, and I’m pleased and honored that he has agreed to partner with Swanson Health Products. He’ll share his wealth of knowledge through an ongoing series of columns and personal interviews appearing in our monthly catalogs.

To kick off this series, we feature the following interview in which Dr. Mercola discusses the revolutionary message contained in his latest book, Take Control of Your Health. Through simple language explaining the important health concepts behind his program, Dr. Mercola makes it easy to overcome your own personal obstacles to optimal wellness and shows you how you can live better, and live longer, naturally.

I urge you to read the important information contained here. Then, order the book for yourself at America’s best price and learn from a true modern-day genius in health and wellness how you really can take control of your health once and for all.

Lee Swanson signature

SWANSON: Dr. Mercola, I’m honored that you’ve agreed to partner with us to provide our valued customers access to your incredible wealth of information on natural health and wellness. I’ve been a big fan of your web site, www.mercola.com, for years.

DR. MERCOLA: Thank you, Lee. You too are a revolutionary with your pioneering efforts to “bring wellness to the world,” as you say, through Swanson Health Products. I’m very much looking forward to a long-term educational partnership that will enable us to bring important health information to your customers around the world.

SWANSON: In this month’s interview I’d like to discuss the information in your best-selling book Take Control of Your Health. In the first chapter you discuss your evolution from a doctor steeped in traditional medicine into a health practitioner who embraces a wide range of natural health modalities. Please tell our readers how you started your journey into natural health.

DR. MERCOLA: Many people wonder how I became such a rebel and began bucking the conventional medical care system. It’s been my experience that most people start their journey into natural health from one of two paths. The most common way is that they develop a serious disease and the conventional medical system fails them. They are then forced to seek out alternative treatment options. The other common entry is by growing up in a family that teaches natural health principles. Certainly that was not my case at all.

SWANSON: How did your family background influence you in this regard?

DR. MERCOLA: I am the first-born son and the oldest of five children. Childhood was difficult for me at times. Formal education for my parents ended before either of them graduated from high school. As far back as I can remember they each worked day and night at more than one job to feed our family of seven. I also worked at odd jobs starting in junior high in order to have the money I needed for bus fare and lunch at school. My parents were gone much of the time. One “consolation” for me was a never-ending supply of sugary snacks that were at my disposal. Twinkies,® Ding-Dongs,® Pop Tarts® and various sugary cereals lined the cupboards of our house. By the time I reached college, I paid a price for this. I had a mouth full of mercury fillings from all my cavities, and I had severe cystic acne.

SWANSON: In your teen years you became interested in exercise, isn’t that right?

DR. MERCOLA: Yes. One of the books I read when I was 14 years old was written by Dr. Ken Cooper. This was in 1968. I was inspired by the book to get fit, and I chose running as my exercise. So I started running on the streets of my inner-city Chicago neighborhood, and the older kids would jeer at me and throw rocks and bottles. I persisted in spite of the challenge and have continued to exercise and run for nearly 40 years now.

SWANSON: After college you went to medical school. Is that when your interest in natural health and nutrition really took off?

DR. MERCOLA: Yes, I did begin to think differently at that time, even though I received a conventional education. I entered medical school in 1978 and did a three-year residency in family medicine from 1982 to 1985. I graduated as a major drug-prescribing physician just like all my classmates. I must have put thousands of people on antidepressants, because nearly everyone I saw was depressed. Shortly after I finished my residency program, I read Dr. William Crook’s book The Yeast Connection. His premise was that yeast caused a variety of common diseases. His theory seemed plausible, so I tried to work with it. Unfortunately, I disregarded his diet recommendations and went straight for prescribing antifungal drugs. Needless to say, it didn’t work and I therefore completely discounted his work. To make a long story short, about seven years later I reexamined Dr. Crook’s approach as a result of caring for some patients with challenging problems who were simply not improving with conventional methods. I determined yeast was part of the problem. This time I was a bit wiser and used his diet, which consisted of rigid sugar restriction. Lo and behold, it worked! From that point on I began to devote a great deal of my time to an understanding of using natural medicine to treat the cause of poor health rather than the symptoms.

SWANSON: As many of our customers probably already know, your website at www.mercola.com is now the world’s most visited natural health website. It’s a phenomenal resource and I urge all of our readers to go there and sign up for your free weekly newsletter. How did your website come about?

DR.MERCOLA: I started the website in 1997 in order to educate others about taking back their health with natural methods. Little did I know that mercola.com would become the most visited natural health site in the world. The only problem is that the site has grown to over 100,000 pages of content, and it becomes somewhat daunting to know where to start with all that information. So I chose to write the book so that I could bring the best of that information into one simple program that’s easy for everyone to follow.

SWANSON: There’s such a tremendous amount of wonderful information in your new book that it’s impossible to cover it all in this interview but, can you give our readers a general overview of what Take Control of Your Health is all about?

DR. MERCOLA: Certainly! One of the major principles I would like your customers to understand is that their bodies have an enormous capacity for self healing. It is designed for and will move in that direction once you provide it with all the essential building blocks. I’ve had many patients over the years whose doctors gave them frightening disease labels and told them there wasn’t anything they could do to help them except, of course, to prescribe drugs. When these patients began to follow a healthy lifestyle program, they typically experienced enormous improvement. They rapidly became aware of the truth that it’s about removing the obstacles to allow your body to heal itself. Remember that your body wants to move toward health and away from disease as long as you provide the environment for it to do so.

SWANSON: In your book you make a very strong case against sugar. What’s wrong with it?

DR. MERCOLA: For many people sugar is an authentic addiction similar to cigarette dependency, but it affects our health even more severely. Some would disagree with my position, but those who do are failing to appreciate the enormous influence insulin levels have on virtually all chronic diseases, including cancer. When a person eats a sugary snack or drinks a can of sugary soda, it generates a rapid rise in blood glucose. To adjust to this rise, your pancreas secretes the hormone insulin into your bloodstream, which lowers your blood sugar. Insulin is essentially a storage hormone developed over thousands of years to help you store excess calories from carbohydrates in the form of fat. It’s a biological protection mechanism against famine. Given the fact that the per person intake of sugar in America is now 175 pounds per year and sugar stimulates the fat storage hormone insulin, it’s no surprise that our high sugar intake is the major cause of the epidemic of obesity and overweight we’re experiencing in America today.

SWANSON: Many people who are watching their weight avoid sugar and choose artificial sweeteners. Are they safe?

DR. MERCOLA: You’re right to ask that question, but the answer is no. In my opinion sweeteners are just about the worst of all possible worlds, as far as dietary choices go. They are completely unnatural, insufficiently tested for safety, unnecessary in the diet and have a long history of causing health problems. They are powerful examples of diet gone mad. I cover this topic in much greater detail in my 2006 book Sweet Deception, and also on a special website I created on the subject, www.sweetdeception.com. My book and the website will give you a good idea of why artificial sweeteners are so harmful. You’ll also learn about some of the shocking ethical decisions that big business has made, which have allowed these dangerous chemicals to become part of the human diet.

SWANSON: I was fascinated by the chapter in Take Control of Your Health entitled “Sunlight and Health.” For decades now the media and virtually every healthcare expert has told us that the sun is our enemy—that it can accelerate our risk of cancer, wrinkle our skin and age us prematurely. You say that’s been a distortion of the truth. Why?

DR. MERCOLA: I’m not saying that sunlight can’t be harmful; of course it can be. The sun is a powerful source of energy and needs to be respected. Anyone who has ever gotten a sunburn knows that sunlight, in large quantities, most certainly can be dangerous. But there’s a big difference between sun exposure and excessive sun exposure. Three facts everyone should know are: Long-term, excessive exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer; but regular, limited sun exposure is actually less harmful than intermittent exposure. Sunburn can increase the risk of melanoma, but there is little to no evidence that exposure without burn poses the same risk. There is a good deal of evidence that regular sun exposure without sunburn significantly decreases the risk of cancer.

SWANSON: So a person who has a good deal of exposure but doesn’t stay in the sun long enough to get sunburned actually has less of a risk of developing skin cancer?

DR. MERCOLA: Yes, that’s right. Sunlight has, in fact, been shown to protect against as many as 16 types of cancer, among which are breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancers.

SWANSON: How does sunlight produce this anti-cancer effect?

DR.MERCOLA: Sunlight’s anti-cancer effects come primarily from the fact that it stimulates your body to produce more vitamin D. There are thousands of studies supporting the role of vitamin D in cancer. The evidence is absolutely overwhelming, so much so that it should be considered malpractice that vitamin D levels are not measured on every single cancer patient.

SWANSON: You state in your book that vitamin D, while it is called a vitamin, is more accurately classified as a hormone. Why?

DR. MERCOLA: Like all hormones, vitamin D is part of a family of chemicals called steroids. Other steroids include cortisone and cholesterol. In fact, vitamin D is very closely related to cholesterol. Recently it’s been shown that vitamin D receptors exist in tissues throughout our bodies and that vitamin D signals our genes to produce hundreds of crucial enzymes and proteins that affect our organs, systems and other health parameters in hundreds of different ways. This means that vitamin D has a function in nearly every part of our bodies. Since the discovery that vitamin D receptors are present in so many bodily tissues, the evidence has been pouring in regarding the many, many uses and benefits of this vitamin. In fact, vitamin D is by far the most potent steroid hormone in the human body.

SWANSON: You’re obviously not a fan of sunscreens or sunblockers.

DR.MERCOLA: Although you should take care not to get burned, most sunscreens should be avoided and, in fact, are the last thing you should put on your body. Ideally it is best to use strategically placed clothing to limit sun exposure so you don’t burn.

SWANSON: What are your recommendations for safe sun exposure?

DR.MERCOLA: The most important recommendation is you must exercise caution and be careful not to burn. At the beginning of the season, go out gradually and limit your exposure to perhaps as little as 10 minutes per day. Progressively increase your time in the sun so that, after a few weeks, you will be able to have normal sun exposure with little risk of burning or developing skin cancer. You can further avoid damage from the sun by staying out of it during the most potentially damaging times, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Be careful to avoid sunburn; that is the key. Having said that, I must again emphasize that rather than being a terrible killer, the sun is actually an amazing healing force. Sunlight is the ultimate source of energy in the food chain and in humans, and it’s an essential supplier of the wonderful vitamin D.

SWANSON: To me the most wonderful aspect of your book is that, as the title implies, it empowers us to take control of our health and dispels many popular health myths that are propagated in the mainstream media. In fact, one chapter in your book is entitled “Seven Common Health Myths.” Let’s talk about a few of them. Myth number one: If you get sick your doctor can solve your problem with drugs and surgery.

DR. MERCOLA: Drugs, surgery and hospital are oftentimes not the answer to chronic health problems. Preventive care, not treatment, is the answer. As your readers have discovered throughout this interview, I believe the key to good health and wellness is to facilitate the natural health capacity that all of us have within. This can be done to a remarkable degree through changes in lifestyle, diet and exercise. Nonetheless, many people immediately assume that a drug or a procedure is the necessary “cure” for their illness. This prevailing myth in our society has led to countless unnecessary medical procedures.

SWANSON: You’re saying that many of the surgeries and whatnot performed at hospitals are not needed. How much of an issue is this? How many unnecessary procedures would you say are performed each year?

DR. MERCOLA: There’s actually good data on this, so it’s not what I think; it’s what the data bears out. According to a definitive review compiled by careful analysis of peer-reviewed medical journals and government health statistics, the annual number of unnecessary procedures performed in the U.S. is approximately 7.5 million per year. The number of unnecessary hospitalizations is about 8.9 million annually. The bottom line is that most health problems are a result of unhealthy lifestyle. Regrettably, rather than addressing health problems through education and understanding, our medical system gives people drugs and performs surgeries, often unnecessary, to counteract their symptoms. The principles I outline in my book are not quick fixes to superficially cover up your symptoms. Instead, I teach how to make natural lifestyle changes to restore and revitalize your body. Most people will be able to regain their health and in some cases even reverse disease.

SWANSON: Another health myth you discuss in your book regards the benefits of fluoride in our water supply and toothpaste to prevent tooth decay.

DR. MERCOLA: Yes, well, imagine a drug prescribed to the entire U.S. population without consent and no way to track dosage or individual reactions, and with no concern for some people’s increased vulnerability to the drug. It sounds crazy, but that is exactly what is happening with water fluoridation in this country.

SWANSON: But doesn’t fluoridation work to prevent cavities?

DR. MERCOLA: Fluoride has been added to the U.S. water supply for over 50 years in order to prevent dental cavities. Not only is the practice unsafe; but to add insult to injury, it is also ineffective. Data compiled by the World Health Organization shows absolutely no difference in tooth decay in countries that use fluorinated water compared to countries that do not. Furthermore, several studies have found that tooth decay rates do not increase when water fluoridation is stopped and, in some cases, the rates even decrease.

SWANSON: What are the negative effects of fluoride in the body?

DR. MERCOLA: Fluoride can accumulate in your bones, making them brittle and more easily fractured. It can depress your immune system by inhibiting antibodies from forming in your blood. Fluoride has also been found to increase the uptake of heavy metals such as aluminum and lead into the brain and bloodstream.

SWANSON: You recommend people avoid fluoridated tap water and drink pure water, the best being water that has been filtered by reverse osmosis.

DR. MERCOLA: Yes, that’s right.

SWANSON: How about fluoridated toothpaste?

DR. MERCOLA: I do not recommend fluoridated toothpastes. If you look on a tube of fluoridated toothpaste you see a warning label. There is enough fluoride in a typical tube of toothpaste to kill two small children if they consumed the entire tube all at once. Clearly not something you want to be ingesting regularly.

SWANSON: Finally, let’s talk about cell phones. Are they potentially dangerous?

DR. MERCOLA: Yes. Media headlines seem to jump back and forth between reporting on the dangers of cell phones and then reporting on their safety, but it is my belief that cell phones are capable of causing harm. Cell phones can wreak havoc on your brain by exposing it to harmful radiation and electromagnetic fields. The studies are conflicting. Cell phones have been associated with exciting the brain cortex nearest to the phone, which could potentially cause a seizure. Cell phone use has also been linked to increasing the risk of brain cancer and brain tumors.

SWANSON: What’s the solution for people who need to use a cell phone daily in their business and family life?

DR. MERCOLA: The first step in protecting yourself from the negative health effects of cell phone use is to put some distance between you and the phone. The best is to use a cell phone with a speaker phone and not hold the phone or put it on your body. If this is inconvenient, then a headset can be used. There are now headsets available that have an air tube in them that will prevent the radiation from traveling to your brain. Personally, this is the type I use most of the time. I refuse to place a cell phone against my head.

SWANSON: What about the type of cell phones? There is one, I think it’s called “Bluetooth® technology,” that goes right into the ear.

DR. MERCOLA: It’s the worst! I recommend avoiding these phones completely.

SWANSON: Thanks very much for your time today and for sharing your wonderful insights on natural health with our readers. We could go on forever, but for further information on your work I highly recommend that people go to your website, www.mercola.com, and sign up for your free weekly health e-newsletter, and also buy a copy of your new book, Take Control of Your Health. I consider your book so important that by special arrangements with you, we’re offering your book to our valued Swanson customers at a special price of 57% off suggested retail, which is very near your cost. Your book comes with a five-star rating from me. I’ve read it twice and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read on natural health and wellness.

DR. MERCOLA: Thank you very much, Lee. It’s been a pleasure talking with you today. I very much look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to do all we can to change the health paradigm in the country from one that’s focused on treating the symptoms of poor health and disease to one devoted to developing optimal health and wellness through diet, nutrition and exercise. It’s all about each and every one of us taking control of our health, getting well and staying well—naturally!

Take Control of Your Health!

Dr. Joseph Mercola

Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Take Control of Your Health

I am saddened to see people struggle with health and weight issues—like low energy, obesity, diabetes, and other health issues. In my book, Take Control of Your Health, you’ll discover how to:

checkReduce your risk of diabetes, lose weight and slow signs of aging—all with just one activity.

check Transform fat into muscle with this simple program.

checkBullet-proof your immunity with one easy lifestyle change.

And more!

Now! Triumph over disease and win your weight battle forever!
Only $12.95. (Less than the cost of many supplements!) Plus, when you buy from Swanson you get the security of the famous Swanson guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, simply return the book in its original condition for a full refund.

You have nothing to lose. Order yours today!

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