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Posts Tagged ‘healthy diet’

With my soapbox still intact I do have one more annoyance regarding Alzheimer’s information.  It appears that every other magazine or TV talk show guest has a theory for avoiding Alzheimer’s.  It’s as simple, it would appear, as the common cold, and “They” know the answer.

Who are “They?” For years I have wondered that. “They” seem to be everywhere and know everything; so much so that I’ve given them a proper status with a capital T. You’ve heard the references a zillion times: “They” say…., “They” are showing…., “They” know for sure…., “They” seem to be right. “They” set the fashion and home trends.  “They” tell you what colors to use, what sofa to buy, window covers which are the latest, what’s in or out, cold or bold, and what’s hot or not.  “They” have become so prevalent in our society, so controlling, so self-serving, and “so the last word in just about everything” it’s difficult to make a competent move without looking for their input. “They” even dabble in how to live a healthy life and how to prevent Alzheimer’s with numerous magazine and newspapers articles using, if available, some reputable references.       

In the medical field, though, the “Theys” seem to have lost some influence.  “They” have, however, passed on their clout using other pseudo names such as “Others” and “Studies.”  “Others agree” or “Studies show” or even “Studies prove” appears to carry more authority as to input or conclusion even though vagueness still prevails.  And we mustn’t forget “According” to.  Often the mysterious four appear in articles written by doctors with impressive degrees and in good standing, or pharmaceutical companies, who are also impressive and acceptable compared to the unidentifiable, common underling “They.”  Yet, even though what is presented brings hope to the reader, or viewer/listener, the information remains without a proven conclusion.  And, more often than not the statement is salted with what a former English teacher referred to as glittering generalities.

For example, on a slow news day you might hear that “studies show an Alzheimer’s breakthrough is right around the corner.”  “Studies prove that a good exercise regimen can prevent Alzheimer’s.”  “A healthy diet prevents Alzheimer’s.”  Generalizations I can deal with, it’s the absence of a disclaimer such as may or might that I find disturbing, because nothing is certain even though the healthy ideas offered are worth considering for everyone.  What is interesting about disclaimers such as may, might, possibly or perhaps is that several years ago when some of these health suggestions were becoming popular they did use the disclaimers.  Why not now when solutions are still no where in sight.

Today, Dr. Oz is going to be my fall guy.  Mind you, I love Dr. Oz and watch his program as often as I can.  Way back when he was a weekly guest on ABC’s “The Oprah Show” I seldom missed his day.  Wearing purple gloves and scrubs he was the absolute expert: smart, entertaining, cute, personable – cleaning out refrigerators for willing viewers he usually left a near-empty white box in the kitchen and the homemaker was delighted.  The good doctor proved his point and got folk’s attention: we need to eat a healthier diet.  For us “lay people” he was right on target, even updating us on any late news about Alzheimer’s.   In many ways, especially promoting a healthy diet, he is absolutely right, but he is not right about broccoli preventing Alzheimer’s.

Reading his column in the February 2010 issue of “O” magazine he wrote that eating broccoli prevented Alzheimer’s.  That’s what I found annoying and not true.  No one ate more broccoli than Ken and I did – do.  It being one of our favorite vegetables we consume the little green trees year round (prepared in many ways) and we enjoyed it long before our children tagged it “little green trees.”  Yet Ken is nearing the last stages of the disease. If the article had included “broccoli may prevent AD” I would have had no objections.  Who knows, possibly Ken’s consumption of broccoli may have delayed the disease. But without a disclaimer it appears to be a fact– which it is not.  I haven’t heard of any vegetable, including broccoli, being used in any clinical trials.

Perhaps someday, “studies” will prove, or “others” will have found, or far off in the future we may find that even the illusive “They” have evidenc that broccoli – and wouldn’t that be ironic — might be the secret ingredient to a successful cure.  Meanwhile, and trust me on this, broccoli, delicious and good for you though it is, doesn’t prevent anything — and that’s “according to” my very many and long years of experience with Alzheimer’s.

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