Revealing the Truth about Natural Cures

Go Ahead, Drink Bacon Grease for Breakfast

Kevin Trudeau wants to save your life, and the Nazis at the FDA and FTC will stop at nothing to bring him down.  They have made it clear to him that their intent is to imprison him, confiscate his latest book, and burn it.

So begins Trudeau's self-published "More Natural Cures Revealed," a fascinating cross between a health book, fictitious novel, and a paranoid, hate-filled rant along the lines of "Mein Kampf."

Normally I wouldn't highlight such lunacy for risk of advertising it.  And at first glance, one would think that this book could only attract a fringe audience, like those websites advocating to drink your own urine.  But "More Natural Cures" is a follow-up to the self-published "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You To Know About," which sold several million copies and reached the New York Times best-seller list.

To put in perspective how sad this is for American scientific literacy, consider that the magazine Scientific American, which I would like to see as required reading for all high school seniors, has a circulation less than 700,000.   Both Scientific American and Trudeau's books are available at the big-name bookstores.  But millions of readers find Trudeau $25 paperweights the better buy.

Because I say so

Kevin Trudeau is fast becoming the nation's foremost consumer advocate.  I know this because it is printed in his books, on his website, and on every press release he issues.  He has in fact been fast becoming the nation's foremost consumer advocate for nearly a decade now.

Nearly every health claim in Trudeau's book is patently false or misleading, aside from the generic "eat right and exercise" advice. 

If there's a silver lining here, it's that all the worst claims of self-help, alternative medicine books are consolidated in "Natural Cures" for easy dismissal.  Let's examine a few.

First, it should be stated that Trudeau did not respond to repeated telephone calls and emails requesting an interview. His publicist said he is "temporarily holding off on interviews at the moment for an undetermined amount of time."

Animals in the wild never get sick.  Trudeau and others use this line to imply that heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other woos are not present in the natural world.  Two words:  Bubonic plague.  It has killed a lot of rodents.  Then there's West Nile, Lyme disease, bird flu, the Ebola plague killing mountain gorillas... The list is endless.  When animals get sick, they get eaten.  They don't live long enough to get serious arthritis because arthritis leads to either starvation or a predator's meal.  And sharks get cancer, despite the ridiculously titled book "Sharks Don't Get Cancer."

Bacteria and viruses don't cause disease, which is why you don't "catch" cancer or diabetes; disease is caused by an imbalance of vital energy.  Here Trudeau mixes the concept of communicable and non-communicable disease.  First, Trudeau needs to visit Uganda with his balanced vital energy and avoid malaria.  This denial of pathogens as the cause of many diseases is an insult to humanity.  Second, it is possible to catch some forms of cancer; the human papilloma virus can lead to cervical cancer.

The sun doesn't cause cancer.  This is often tied to the claim that microwaves and radio towers do cause cancer.  Trudeau appears to have no concept of ionizing radiation, or photons above a certain energy (ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray) that can knock loose electrons in a DNA molecule and cause cellular damage.  Trudeau claims that the sun keeps you wrinkle-free, draws out toxins from your body through your skin, and can cure the typical list of common diseases of the day, including erectile dysfunction.  I have to wonder whether he listens to the radio, despite the cancer-causing waves.

Medical science has completely failed to prevent or cure disease.  Well, on average people are living 30-some years longer than people did 100 years ago.  I don't think this has anything to do with reading Trudeau's book.  Small pox is on my short list of scores of diseases cured.  St. Vitus Dance is on my other list of diseases with funny names now gone.  Whooping cough only appears in groups who refuse the vaccine, which Trudeau is obviously against.

Bad fiction

Even as a work of fiction, "More Natural Cures Revealed" doesn't hold up.  Trudeau's own ludicrous claims start to conflict.  For example, he claims that Lyme disease is epidemic and is the underlying cause of most other serious diseases.  But if animals don't get sick, what animal harbors the deer tick that transmits Lyme disease?

The most disturbing aspect of Trudeau's book is the disclaimer, in which he states tongue-in-cheek to appease the FTC that his book "is for entertainment purposes only," that "truth is sprinkled in to spice things up," and that "the stuff in this book really doesn't work."

Maybe the book and the subscription-only website that Trudeau leads readers to for "more cures" will make him lots of money.  He'll need some, being a two-time convicted felon who has had to pay more than $2 million to settle claims about bogus cancer cures and pain relievers. Still, it's a tough sell.  The new book contains no new information, just a repeat of the last book, links to websites, his diatribe against the FTC and FDA, and his advice to not read newspapers.

Is he fraudulent or just delusional?  That's for Trudeau to answer.  He's the one that has to look at himself in the mirror every day and assess his value as a human being.

Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books “Bad Medicine” and “Food At Work.” Got a question about Bad Medicine? Email Wanjek. If it’s really bad, he just might answer it in a future column. Bad Medicine appears each Tuesday on LIveScience.

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Christopher Wanjek
Live Science Contributor

Christopher Wanjek is a Live Science contributor and a health and science writer. He is the author of three science books: Spacefarers (2020), Food at Work (2005) and Bad Medicine (2003). His "Food at Work" book and project, concerning workers' health, safety and productivity, was commissioned by the U.N.'s International Labor Organization. For Live Science, Christopher covers public health, nutrition and biology, and he has written extensively for The Washington Post and Sky & Telescope among others, as well as for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he was a senior writer. Christopher holds a Master of Health degree from Harvard School of Public Health and a degree in journalism from Temple University.