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Originally published June 14 2005

Interview with Michael T. Murray, ND - natural alternatives to Vioxx

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Mike: Today Iím here with Dr. Michael T Murray [author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and many other books on naturopathic healing], and I want to ask you about the current situation with Vioxx. As you know, the FDA advisory panel has said we have to keep Vioxx legal because patients don't have any other alternatives. But patients do have alternatives. I'd like to hear about that.

Dr. Murray: Well, the first question to ask is: Why would somebody want to take Vioxx? You don't get arthritis, pain or inflammation because your body is deficient in Vioxx, right? Good medicine involves trying to identify the underlying cause. The most widespread use of Vioxx is in the treatment of osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition where the body does not manufacture sufficient quantities of cartilage. Eventually you get bone rubbing on bone. Natural medicine does extremely well in the treatment of osteoarthritis. In double blind, placebo controlled studies, a number of natural products have confirmed documented benefits. So there are a number of products that could be used.

Probably the most well documented product is glucosamine sulfate. It really addresses the underlying cause, that glucosamine is utilized by the body to manufacture cartilage components. Studies have shown that as people get older they lose the ability to manufacture sufficient quantities of glucosamine. So it's a virtual deficiency state. Giving them the glucosamine leads to growth and regeneration of the cartilage. That's good medicine. This addresses the cause with the solution.

In addition to glucosamine sulfate, there are a number of other products that can be used and have documentation. For example, MSM is a physiological form of sulfur that has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of glucosamine. Sulfur is most likely utilized in the manufacture of these cartilage components as well.

Mike: What about Celadrin?

Dr. Murray: Celadrin is a new product that has just hit the market. It's been shown in studies to be effective both topically and orally. This mixture of fatty acids appears to get incorporated into cell membranes, and they reduce the inflammatory products. The way Vioxx and many of these anti-inflammatory products work is they prevent the formation of inflammatory compounds from essential fatty acids. So by stabilizing the cell membranes, I think Celadrin is able to accomplish the same result without side effects. And like the glucosamine sulfate and MSM, there is some good documentation showing Celadrin to be both safe and effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis. And it's likely that Celadrin has many other applications because of this unique anti-inflammatory effect.

Mike: And it has been shown to be effective topically?

Dr. Murray: Yes, both orally and topically.

Mike: That's interesting, because there is a lot of talk today about C-reactive proteins and inflammatory causative factors of heart disease and other diseases. So could Celadrin potentially have use there as well?

Dr. Murray: Absolutely, and I think it all starts with diet, lifestyle, proper supplementation and proper attitude. We can use these natural compounds as adjuncts or supplements to those basic strategies for good health.

Mike: How about a brief on your new book?

Dr. Murray: My latest book is "How To Prevent And Treat Diabetes With Natural Medicine." This book really addresses a growing epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We offer a sound solution, a program that works. I love it when people come in to see me and tell me they have diabetes, because I know the program works. We treat a number (blood sugar levels), so it's something that obviously works or it doesn't. We know that the program we've put together really does work, and is based upon giving the body the right tools it needs to be healthy. Starting with diet, lifestyle and the proper use of supplements.

Mike: And on the cancer front?

Dr. Murray: I've written a book called "How To Prevent And Treat Cancer With Natural Medicine." I co-wrote this book with some colleagues that work on a day-to-day basis in the trenches with cancer patients. The book is endorsed by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. It offers a very comprehensive, holistic approach to both the prevention and the treatment of cancer. And it's not an "either or" situation with our book. If the patient wants to go the conventional route then we want to arm them with the tools that they need to make the conventional treatment less toxic to them. We don't want a situation where the cure is the cause of the death, right? So our program is about reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, while at the same time enhancing their effectiveness. We also touch on natural approaches for people with a cancer where conventional medicine may have little to offer, and their only alternative is a natural approach.

Mike: Thank you for your time and for your contribution. It's so important to inform people and give them the power to make decisions about their own health.

Dr. Murray: Absolutely.

Mike: You're a true pioneer in doing that.

Dr. Murray: Well, you know, for many people it's just a matter of making the commitment to good health and then following some basic principles. I just wish I could inspire more people to take that route.

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