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Will Your Next Prescription be for the Pharmacy or the Farmacy?

This article was adapted from a publication in the Indiana Nurses Bulletin Feb-Apr 2021.

Almost 2500 years ago Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (Smith, 2004). These words are still relevant today.

The leading causes of death in the United States from disease are heart disease, followed by cancer, chronic lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. (National Center of Health Statistics, 2021, March 1). Diabetes is increasing at a rapid rate in the US. (Diabetes Research Institute, 2020).

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are over 20,000 prescription drug products approved for marketing (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2018).

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2015–2016 shows 45.8% of the U.S. population uses prescription drugs (Martin, et al., 2019). Nearly 40% of older adults take five or more prescription drugs. All medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription medications, may have side effects, including nausea, fever, chills, headaches, itching, wheezing, tightness in the chest, vomiting, red and irritated eyes, and the list goes on. Pharmaceutical companies are the ones that benefit the most from people being sick.

Is it possible that some chronic diseases could be prevented or reversed through nutrition?

There has been extensive research for well over 40 years showing how food can be used to treat and sometimes reverse, many chronic diseases. Campbell and Campbell (2006), Esselstyn (2008), McDougall (2013), Greger (2015), and Barnard (2020) have all discussed this in their publications.

Their research shows that plant-based nutrition prevents and reverses heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers; decreases cholesterol and reduces blood sugar levels; decreases obesity and complications from being overweight; improves mood, sleep, energy, depression, and anxiety; reverses many chronic diseases; and, increases work productivity.

In a research study conduct