Nearly 20 percent of corporate crime is being committed by companies that make products for your health

by Dr. Mercola

Crimes committed by some of the top pharmaceutical companies include fabricated studies and hiding damaging research. A number of recent articles and books have delved into the practices of the drug industry, concluding it operates like an organized crime ring. Corruption of science is one of the most dangerous forms of corruption. Doctors rely on published studies to make treatment  recommendations, and large numbers of patients can be harmed when false findings are published.

A recent study concluded that a majority of American drug commercials—60 percent of prescription drug ads, and 80 percent of ads for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs—are either misleading or outright false

Warnings of adverse side effects in drug ads can backfire. While initially making viewers cautious, over the course of time people tend to ignore the warnings; some even see them as indications of honesty and trustworthiness.

How To Avoid Becoming a Disease Statistic

Ultimately, the take-home message here is that even if a drug or treatment is "backed by science," this in no way guarantees it is safe or effective. Likewise, if an alternative treatment has not been published in a medical journal, it does not mean it is unsafe or ineffective. Also, when a drug or treatment does come with warnings, do yourself a favor and don’t tuck that information into some recessed corner in the back of your mind!

You've got to use all the resources available to you, including your own sense of common sense and reason, true experts' advice and other's experiences, to determine what medical treatment or advice will be best for you in any given situation. I advise you to remain skeptical but open -- even if it is something I'm saying, you need to realize that YOU are responsible for your and your family's health, not me, and certainly not drug companies trying to sell their wares and convince you to take dangerous "symptom-cover-ups" disguised as science-based solutions.

When it comes to health, an ounce of prevention is certainly better than a pound of cure, especially when the cure comes in a pill. Please keep in mind that leading a common-sense, healthy lifestyle is your best bet to achieve and maintain a healthy body and mind. And while conventional medical science may flip-flop back and forth in its recommendations, there are certain basic tenets of optimal health (and healthy weight) that do not change, including the following:

Proper Food Choices: For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a good portion of your food raw.

Avoid sugar, and fructose in particular. All forms of sugar have toxic effects when consumed in excess, and drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of chronic disease and accelerated aging. I believe the two primary keys for successful weight management are severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet, and increasing healthy fat consumption. This will optimize insulin and leptin levels, which is key for maintaining a healthy weight and optimal health.

Regular exercise: Even if you're eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. HGH also helps boost weight loss. So along with core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching, I highly recommend that twice a week you do Peak Fitness exercises, which raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period.

Stress Reduction: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease -- from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using simple tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden, emotional problems.

Drink plenty of clean water.
Maintain a healthy gut: About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and research is stacking up showing that probiotics—beneficial bacteria—affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to ensure optimal gut flora.

Optimize your vitamin D levels: Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk of death from ALL causes. For practical guidelines on how to use natural sun exposure to optimize your vitamin D benefits, please see my previous article on how to determine if enough UVB is able to penetrate the atmosphere to allow for vitamin D production in your skin.

Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, andinsecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.

Get plenty of high quality sleep: Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss.