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Prevention is the new medicine...

I'm sitting on the train and involuntarily listening to the conversation of the people sitting opposite. Two elderly ladies sit opposite me, the topic is cooking at first, then they move on to their illnesses, getting new teeth, hearing tests, medicines, who's wrinkled, who's not. I sit there wondering why they are talking about this...

Because age does not necessarily go hand in hand with disease. Yet today's people spend a third of their lives ill. This is the downside of our civilisation. We are living longer and longer and getting sicker and sicker.

Three main factors play a role in the development of civilisation diseases: diet, environment and our lifestyle. Many people blame our genes for our illnesses, but fortunately genes usually don't play such a big role: studies show that faulty genes only cause illness if they are combined with an inappropriate lifestyle.

Our lifestyle

And our lifestyle is made up of so many parts: what we eat, how much exercise we get, what kind of house we live in, what our clothes are made of, what cleaning products we use, what cosmetics we put on our skin, what our human relationships are like, how much electrostatic pollution we are exposed to, how much sleep we get...

Out of this big pile, nutrition plays a terribly important role: a large part of our diseases today are caused by our civilisation's diet. Food that no longer contains what our bodies need, but contains many substances that our bodies do not need at all.

What are these diseases?

The diseases of modern civilisation began to appear in the second half of the nineteenth century. This was when the first large mills were set up to produce white, refined flour, when the technology was developed to turn sugar beet into refined sugar, when margarine was invented, when canned foods, soup powders and other preserved foods began to be introduced, when additives were added to our food and when fertilisers were applied to the land.

Diet-related diseases of civilisation

1. Tooth decay, gum disease, irregular dentition. The latter is a consequence of the poor diet of previous generations.

2. Diseases of the musculoskeletal system, so-called rheumatic diseases, arthritis, arthrosis, diseases of the spinal column and the intervertebral disc.

3. All metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, liver disease, gallstones, kidney stones, gout.

4. Most diseases of the digestive system, constipation, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small and large intestine.

5. Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, strokes.

6. Susceptibility to infectious diseases, as manifested by recurrent respiratory infections and hurts, as well as cystitis and inflammation of the kidneys.

7. Most so-called allergies.

8. Some diseases of the nervous system.

9. Nutrition is to some extent involved in the development of cancer.

Food, and nothing else

These diseases are caused by what we eat. Ethnographers have written that these diseases only occur where the food of Western civilisation is eaten. Where people have preserved their original dietary habits and do not consume artificial foods, there is no food industry and no intensive agriculture, there is no history of heart attacks, diabetes, obesity or even tooth decay.

Animal experiments can be used to induce all the diseases that afflict us: if animals eat what the average human eats every day, they will develop the same diseases as humans.

The time factor

British researchers have observed that it takes a longer period of time, usually at least two decades, for food-borne civilisation diseases to develop. This is because the body compensates, i.e. counteracts and masks the damage. Until the damage is so severe that it can no longer cover it up. This is when the first symptoms of disease appear. But by then the body is already severely damaged and it is very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse the process.


That's why prevention, changing our lifestyle before symptoms appear, is so important. There are three steps to disease prevention:

1. Primary prevention, where we prevent diseases from developing. This is the real prevention, because we are not sick yet.

2. Secondary prevention is the early detection of diseases at a stage when they have not yet triggered symptoms. So here the disease has already developed but is at an early stage. Screening tests can only diagnose these pre-existing diseases. At this stage, the extent to which the disease can be reversed or stopped depends on the disease and the patient.

3. Tertiary prevention tries to prevent complications of pre-existing diseases. For example, serious complications of established diabetes.

What is inherited

The earlier prevention starts, the better. In early childhood, and ideally even before conception, because the damage caused by civilisation is passed on to our offspring. Studies show that the damage done to parents is amplified in offspring. A significant proportion of childhood diabetes and birth defects are attributable to this.

Prevention is therefore of paramount importance not only for our own health but also for that of our children. Prevention that is not limited to our diet. The rest of our lifestyle is also terribly important.

Our destiny is in our hands, we just have to take advantage of our opportunities.

Finally, on the margins of 2021

The link between coronavirus and chronic diseases is very clear: coronavirus, like other infectious diseases, is almost exclusively a dangerous, sometimes fatal disease for people whose bodies have been weakened by diet-related civilisational diseases to the point where their immune systems cannot cope with the infection. The statistics show that victims of the coronavirus suffer on average from two and a half serious chronic diseases, mainly cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Therefore, the prevention of these diseases should be a priority. This is the most effective, cheapest and simplest way of protection. Without risks and side effects... I dare to say this as a pharmacist.

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