Critical Health News

Nominalization: Is Disease a Noun or a Verb?

Dr. - Patient

In the book “God is a Verb”, Rabbi David Cooper makes the argument that the divine supernatural existence called “God”, is best thought of not as a thing but rather as a process. The rabbi suggests that rather than thinking about what is referred to as God as being some kind of “person” who lives in clouds, it might be more accurate to contemplate it as a movement or action, flowing through everything in the cosmos, from the smallest smallest subatomic quanta to the largest galaxies.

This dynamic of naming processes, making nouns out of verbs, in essence “thing-ifying” actions is called “nominalization” and it is nowhere more evident (and reaches a particularly egregious zenith) in the realm of medicine and medicinal diagnostics.

According to Wikipedia, medical diagnosis is the “…process of determining which disease…explains a person’s symptoms and signs.” Unfortunately, that is absolutely NOT what a medical diagnosis is. Rather, medical diagnosis, the major component of the “doctor’s office visit” is nothing more than a description of a patient’s symptoms and complaints recited back to the patient in Latin. This repetition of symptomology in the language of Ancient Rome is then proclaimed a “disease” and a protocol ensues that attempts to somehow “treat” the process being described. Not cure, but “treat” because, as Dr. Andrew Weil reminds us in his book “Spontaneous Healing” when it comes to degenerative diseases, no cures are possible. And of course, he is correct. No cure is possible because no one can “cure” a description!

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The Three Forms of Vitamin A

Vitamin A

While many topically applied vitamins have skin benefits, none can come close to the wide ranging salubrious effects provided by Vitamin A, a powerful and multifunctional oily nutrient that is available in three major forms.

The most common and the most stable form of Vitamin A is called retinyl palmitate. Retinyl is the Latin designation for Vitamin A and palmitate represents a carrying case or ferry for Vitamin A, acting to shuttle to the nutrient around in a protective bubble. This is the type that is absorbed into the body from the digestive system when we take supplements or eat Vitamin A containing foods. Topically it has some nice moisturizing and skin softening properties and there are enzymes in the skin that can break it down and activate it.

The second form of Vitamin A is known as retinol. It’s more active than retinyl palmitate and, in fact, if you use a high enough concentration of retinol (say 5 to 10 or even 20 percent) you can get a nice exfoliating Vitamin A skin peel. However retinol is quite unstable and for this reason you’re really not going to find these kinds of concentrations in topical products. At lower concentrations retinol can be “somewhat effective”, although the amount of retinol in most retail products isn’t going to get you much effect.

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Alternatives to the Latest Cholesterol Drugs

Praluent

There’s a new cholesterol fighting sheriff in town, called “Praluent”. The first of a class of drugs called PCSK9s (Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9) Inhibitors. These are biological type substances, cloned in a laboratory, that act to shut down the cholesterol processing machinery on the outside of cells. They’re derivatives of a type of chemical called an “Anti-Body”, a science fiction like component of the body’s immune (defense) system that can be thought of as a high tech biochemical weapon - Biology’s versions of seek and destroy missiles.

Over the past ten years, pharmaceutical companies have figured out how to economically produce these chemical weapons, colloquially referred to a “Biologics”. The idea is that by targeting specific problem causing biochemicals for destruction, troublesome symptoms can be reduced. The two best-selling PCSK9s, biologics Humira and Embrel, are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They work by targeting and destroying the inflammatory factors that are associated with joint deterioration and muscle pain. The third bestselling biologic Remicade aims for inflammatory factors in the colon and is used to treat Crohn’s Disease. Other biologics are used to treat Cancer, Psoriasis and neurological conditions. Research engines at pharmaceutical companies are firing on all cylinders searching feverishly for the next biologic blockbuster.

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