I stayed in London and Cambridge to study, and went back to Iran after graduation. I would tell my story to anyone, especially those who were having medical problems. I would strongly advise them to not exclusively rely on a doctor’s advice when it comes to one’s personal health, and also use common sense, treat your body with care, and follow a plant-based diet. Because after all, what is the downside of just eating healthier?
And soon sick family members, friends and colleagues reported back to me that their dietary changes had miraculously cured them. When I asked for any side effects of the plant-based diet, they appeared all to be positive.
Although it was simple, the health benefits were remarkable. And although the health benefits were remarkable, there was barely any literature on the health benefits of a plant-based diets, let alone part of the curriculum of medical courses that to-be doctors follow whose advice would be taken for granted by so many.
At the time I went to London in the mid-sixties to find a treatment for my kidney disease, there was hardly any scientific literature about how diet could reverse diseases. Not only was the importance of nutrition to human health played down, there was – and still is – a wrong understanding of what is proper nutrition.
My own experiments since the seventies repeatedly confirmed the significant benefits of plant-based diets to a wide range of diseases. And the side effects? An improved blood pressure, sugar level, stamina, fitness, skin, and weight loss to name a few.
But it wasn’t until the nineties that it was also scientifically demonstrated, using clinical methods with control groups and experimental groups, that diets can without a shadow of doubt slow or even reverse deadly diseases.
Dr. Dean Michael Ornish, an authority in the medical science used in the latest high-tech methods – PET scans, quantitative coronary arteriography, and radionuclide ventriculography – that only diet and lifestyle can reverse the number one killing disease in the United States: heart disease. In 2010, after former US president Bill Clinton’s cardiac bypass grafts became clogged, he followed Ornish’s advice and shifted to a mostly plant-based diet. Similar evidence has emerged for other deadly diseases, amongst which chronic kidney disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cancer.
Today, the science is so convincing that any doctor who is still minimizing the importance of plant-based diets is simply not looking at the cumulating evidence. And sadly, the medical practice has still hardly changed. Why are doctors still prescribing synthetic drugs to treat the symptoms of heart disease and other lifestyle diseases? Shockingly, only one in five smokers visiting their doctor is told to stop smoking. Why? The depressing fact is that there are other forces at play in medicine besides science and the quest for curing diseases: Money. Healthcare systems across the world commonly run on a fee-for-service model in which doctors get paid for the pills and procedures they prescribe, rewarding quantity over quality. Doctors don’t get reimbursed for time spent counseling patients about the benefits of healthy diets.
Thanks to the medical science we have prolonged life. But it has not improved our health, as we are just living longer, sicker and taking more medication. The annual pharmaceutical spending of an American has increase from $53 in 1980 to almost $1400 in 2019. We now have more old people in bad health than ever in human history. Ideally, though, we expand lifetime by slowing aging and the deterioration of our health.
But it wouldn’t be fair to blame all doctors – most of whom have good intentions – as they are only pawns in this self-sustaining system that prefers curing symptoms with patented pills than preventing diseases with natural products. Only a quarter of all medical schools appear to offer a single dedicated course on nutrition. You cannot provide nutritional advice, if you don’t have the expertise on nutrition.
Doctors are trained for so many years to approach medication in terms of pills, that it requires courage and a very open mind to question it from within. Students and medical professionals are invited countless times to diners and fancy events organized by the powerful Pharmaceutical Industry. How often would the Broccoli Industry invite them for similar events to encourage a balanced view? Behind the TV commercials about the latest drug are huge corporate marketing budgets. The reason there are no commercials for Fava beans is because there is little financial motive to commercialize products that cannot be patented.
The reality is that curing underlying diseases through activating the body’s self-healing system with natural products does not increase the shareholder value of pharmaceutical company. What does maximize shareholders value is easing symptoms with patented pills on a subscription basis until death. And the reality is that CEOs of large public pharmaceutical companies have a legally binding fiduciary obligation to their shareholders to maximize the value of the company’s assets.
This perverse incentive has culminated into the opioid crises. A thorough investigation by the Washington Post, known as The Opioid Files, has revealed criminal activities by multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical corporations through deliberately turning healthy people into opioid addicts. More than 800.000 people have died from opioid drug overdose.
Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid called OxyContin, pleaded guilty to criminal charges and admitted that it “knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with others to aid and abet” doctors prescribing medication “without a legitimate medical purpose.” They have settled with the US Justice Department for $12 billion. While this may sound a lot, the net worth of the owner, Richard Sackler, is still estimated at $13 billion, which mostly thanks to the sales of OxyContin.
Other established pharmaceutical giants, such as Johnson & Johnson that manufacture household medications, have also admitted guilt in this opioid crisis and have agreed to multi-billion settlements.
While the responsible pharmaceutical corporations have been hold to account, the financial incentives that have prompted this opioid crisis in the first place have been left untouched. Moreover, not one person has been put behind bars for this deliberate mass killing. Yes, that’s right. While a poor person is put behind bars for stealing food, an intentional criminal crime by the pharmaceutical industry that leads to hundreds of thousands of dead, does not lead to a personal sentence.
Besides the pharmaceutical industry, significant players in the food industry also have a vested interest in keeping the general public in the dark about the best nutritional advice and keeping butter, meat, eggs, sugar, and oil at the center of our diets. It’s to their advantage to make it seem that nutritional science is contradictory and confusing. That it is all too complex, that it all depends on our genes, or that we need meat for the proteins.
I don’t have any illusions that either the pharmaceutical sector or the food industry will change. Instead, I have faith that with the democratization of information, doctors will no longer hold a monopoly of knowledge about health. When it comes down to prolonging our lives through simple lifestyle prescriptions, it is more effective to inform individuals directly. After all, what ultimate interest do individuals have other than improving their health and increasing their life expectancy?
What began as a pigeon experiment by a curious boy, turned into a life mission to cure sick people with carefully studied diets. Half a century of treating patients with simple food-based therapies has blessed me with seeing thousands of lives transformed, families saved, and the so-called terminally ill recovered. This year I turned eighty and the number of people I will be able to treat personally will be limited.
I want to conclude my mission and give everyone access to the factual, peer-reviewed scientific knowledge of how to effectively prevent and reverse diseases. Moreover, for the first time ever I will present the proprietary Dansrokh method that has shown to swiftly and effectively reactivate the body’s self-healing system.
Powerful interests should no longer make money from our collective ignorance. No disease that can be treated by diet should ever be treated with synthetic pills anymore. And nobody should ever suffer emotionally and financially like I did, in my search for curing a chronic disease that medical professionals considered fatal.