Modern medicine is wonderful – every day a new discovery, invention or insight leads to the saving of lives. Yet, many Americans are dissatisfied with our health care system. They yearn for the days of old, the era when doctors made house calls, sitting patiently and caringly holding the hand of a sick or dying patient.

Americans long for the forgotten remedies, those that included the human element, as well as the cures of our ancestors. Many of our grandparents’ remedies seemed to work in miraculous and mysterious ways. Now we are often disconnected from these old cures. We are time and again told that “evidence-based medicine” is the only way to attack disease. Though there is merit in this viewpoint, it lacks the flexibility so important in optimizing health. It ignores the emotional and spiritual sides of true health and healing. There are always many sides to a story, and this situation is no different.

Modern medicine offers us much; I myself believe in a host of invasive procedures and pharmaceutical solutions. I also contend that complementary practices have their equal place in the mission to achieve and maintain ideal health. Who can deny the value of stress reduction techniques? Who can argue that a peaceful person is not a healthier person?

The same holds true for some nutritional supplements. Not all supplements have value, but even in our most stringent system of evidence-based medicine we see the value of the omega-3 fish oils DHA and EPA. They have been shown to help patients with many troubles such as cognitive disorders, inflammatory diseases and cholesterol problems.

These natural elements are so important that The European Society of Cardiology categorically advises all heart attack patients to take daily omega-3 oils. But why wait for the heart attack? Prevention is about avoidance of disease; it is the way to achieve better health before an event cuts us down. In the case of the omega-3s, enough data exist for us all to consume these gifts of nature. These are not the only supplements that have been shown to help us. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, appropriate daily multiples, and homocysteine lowering supplements are also supported by some powerful research.

And so, we come to the purpose of this 501C (3) public charity, The Foundation for Preventive and Integrative Medicine (FPIM). I began this foundation as a means to educate doctors and the lay public about the truths and myths of nutritional supplementation, to bring clarity to a cloudy and often misleading area of medicine. I also started this organization in the hope of funding studies to prove or disprove the value of natural remedies for health issues. I am proud to say that we have already embarked on such research and fully intend to expand our areas of research into many realms of medicine.

Please explore our site, give us your feedback and recommendations for future research projects, and if you are so inclined add financial support to this worthy cause. Thank you for your interest and support.

 

Wishing you the Best of Health and Happiness,
Seth J. Baum, MD, FACC, FAHA, FNLA
Medical Director, Foundation for Preventive and Integrative Medicine