An oncologist by training, Dr. David Agus’ controversial tips to staying young and healthy have garnered a wide following. Many consider him an innovator in modern medicine. With his recommendations, he says that you can live longer, be disease-free, and feel younger than you ever thought possible.
Statins: Low-Cost Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
One of Dr. Agus’ most provocative beliefs is that the fountain of youth is attainable if everyone were to take statins, widely-used medications that are often used to lower cholesterol. Studies show that statins have surprisingly powerful anti-inflammatory actions that can slow the aging process and reduce your risk of many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. One study in particular showed that statins can reduce one’s overall risk of dying from non-cardiac events, particularly respiratory illness and infections.
He recommends that everyone over the age of 40 should discuss taking a statin with his or her physician, especially those who have any risk factors for cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Dr. Agus believes that anyone at risk for chronic inflammation should benefit from a statins’ anti-inflammatory effects, and should ask his or her doctor why he or she is not taking a statin.
Despite their side effects, Dr. Agus believes that the benefits of statins outweigh the cons.
Dr Oz’s Bottom Line on Statins
Though Dr. Oz believes that statins have positive health benefits and has prescribed statins for many of his patients who have heart disease and high cholesterol, he respectfully disagrees with Dr. Agus’ recommendations on statins.
First of all, though statins work for some, altering one’s diet and activity is much more powerful. Overall, Dr. Oz believes that the powerful effects of a healhty lifestyle dwarf the effects of any medication. Though statins do help, widely prescribing statins would mean that the doctor doesn’t trust his or her own patients to make needed lifestyle changes on their own.
Furthermore, statins, like all drugs, have side effects, which include:
- Muscle pain and damage
- Memory loss
- Livery toxicity
- Kidney failure
Antioxidants: Who Is Right?
In addition to a conflicting view on statins, Dr. David Agus also says that everything that Dr. Oz has mentioned about antioxidants, from common multivitamins and supplements, is wrong. Instead of fighting cancer, Dr. Agus believes that taking antioxidants may actually cause cancer.
First of all, Dr. Agus believes that antioxidants is a term made up by marketing and drug companies and means nothing. He believes that instead of combating "harmful" free radicals that build up in your body, antioxidants from multivitamins blocks the body’s natural ability to control antioxidants on its own, and it can disrupt a system of free radicals and natural antioxidants that we fully don’t understand.
Dr. Agus agrees that multivitamins help eliminate dangerous external free radicals that we get from daily pollution exposure, environmental toxins, sun exposure or smoking. However, unlike Dr. Oz, he believes that taking daily multivitamins provides an overdose of antioxidants, which removes too many free radicals - including the nautral free radicals your body produces. This hurts more than helps because without those free radicals, your body is actually more susceptible to diseases like cancer.
Dr. Oz Responds on Antioxidants
Unlike Dr. Agus, Dr. Oz does believe that because the body is constantly producing natural free radicals, the antioxidants from multivitamins don’t increase your risk of cancer. He believes that because we are exposed to dangerous external free radicals on a daily basis, taking a daily multivitamin to eliminate those dangerous substances does more help than harm.
Also, because today’s foods do not have the nutrient content they did 50 years ago, many Americans do not get their total nutrient requirements from their diet alone. Hence, taking a multivitamin can also help with nutritional deficits.
A study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that taking multivitamins may reduce one's risk of cancer among those with a prior cancer history. The researchers followed nearly 15,000 male US physicians over the age of 50 over 11 years. Compared with those who took a placebo pill, men who took a daily multivitamin had a modest but significant reduction in developing cancer. This difference was especially apparent among the 1312 men who had a baseline history of cancer.
However, despite their views on multivitamins, both Dr. Oz and Dr. Agus both believe that no pill can replace a balanced and nutrient-rich diet packed with fruits and vegetables. Try our 24-hour antioxidant diet to supercharge your nutrition.