A quote from a rapper – on a Health Blog? Lupe Fiasco is a rapper from Chicago whose words from the song, Words I Never Said just happen to fit perfectly for this post. Two recently published studies show how some of the seemingly innocent everyday choices we make (diet soda, aspirin) can have a tremendous impact on our health.
In the first study, published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, researchers recently evaluated data on 114,000 women ages 22-85. The women were free from breast cancer when they enrolled in the study a decade ago. At that time, the women informed researchers how often and how long they used aspirin and ibuprofen. During a follow up period, some 2,400 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.
The results of the research were as follows: Taking ibuprofen every day for at least five years increased a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer by 50 percent, compared to women who did not regularly take the drug. The daily use of aspirin for five years or more caused a woman’s risk of breast cancer to spike by 80 percent, compared to non-regular aspirin users.
In the second, a nine-year study that surveyed 2,564 New York City residents found that people who drank diet soda every day had a 61 percent higher incidence of circulatory problems, including stroke and heart attack. The research was presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference by the report’s lead author Dr. Hannah Gardener. The correlation between diet soda and vascular events persisted even after the scientists accounted for risk factors like tobacco/alcohol use, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
If something as seemingly harmless as aspirin and diet soda can cause a 50-80 % increase in cancer and a 61 percent increase of stroke and heart attack, then what kind of effect do all of the other prescription drugs have on our body? Is it any mystery why 1 out of 2 people die from cancer in the U.S.? We consume 80% of all the drugs in the world!
Truly, the medicalization of America, reclassifying problems as “medical” in nature so they can be addressed with drugs has not worked. It’s time we change our thinking – what we need is Better Living Through Better Lifestyle Decisions. What makes more sense, to cut down your intake of sugary soda by drinking more water or replacing it with 3 or 4 “diet” sodas made with toxic artificial sweeteners?
This latest research just solidifies what the Columbia University School of Public Health reported, that 95% of cancer is caused by poor diet and the accumulation of toxins. To be fair, the people who make diet soda and ibuprofen didn’t set out to kill people. It’s like the many drugs that have been taken off the market after being linked to awful side effects, we just need to strike a better balance with nature. We can learn this lesson the easy way or the hard way, but we will learn it nevertheless.