The key to an Effective and Affordable Health Care System

By Dr Michael Ellis

These seven basic principles are the key to an effective and affordable health care system which will improve the health of people in any country of the industrialized world as well as the developing world. They can be implemented at the local, national and regional level and be put into action by patients and citizens as well as private and public institutions.Any government can save billions in health care costs.’

1 The prevention and treatment of diseases based on their root causes instead of the treatment of symptoms.

Seventy percent of pharmaceuticals alleviate symptoms without addressing the root cause of the disease. Future healthcare systems will focus on prevention and treatment based on the root causes of disease and the optimization of health.

2.Healthy functioning of body cells( preventive and lifestyle medicine and cellular nutrition )is a precondition of health.

In the human body, health and disease are determined at the level of cells. The main cause of cellular dysfunction is the insufficient intake of micronutrients essential for optimum cellular metabolism. For this reason, the optimum daily intake of essential micronutrients is essential for human health.

3. Health Benefits of a Healthy Diet ( see below)

4 The Health benefits of Nutritional Supplements( see below)

5 Ten social determinants of health( see below)

6 Independent Health Information and Education Is the Key to Health.

7 Comprehensive Research in Natural Health Is a Cornerstone of a New Global Healthcare System.

The implementation of Preventive Health principles can save billions in healthcare costs, and these dollars can then be reinvested into further research in natural health.

Health Benefits of a Healthy Diet

Weight loss

Decreased risk of diabetes

Decreased risk of heart disease

Decreased risk of almost all cancers

Decreased risk of high blood pressure

Lower cholesterol levels

Enhanced immune system

Increased sensitivity to insulin

Increased energy and ability to concentrate

What we eat has an enormous affect on our general health. Thousands of studies support the fact that diet is highly connected with the risk of developing various chronic degenerative diseases. Food is our greatest drug. Used incorrectly it can cause illness cause . Used correctly ,it will protect our health.

The Health benefits of Nutritional Supplements

    • Enhances the immune system
    • Enhances the antioxidant defense system
    • Decreases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cancer
    • Decreases the risk of arthritis, macular degeneration, and cataracts
    • Decreases the risk of asthma and hayfever
    • Decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and many other chronic degenerative diseases

Ten social determinants of health

Sir Michael Marmot is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the International Centre for Health and Society at University College London, as well as Adjunct Professor of Health and Social Behaviour at the Harvard School of Public Health. Professor Marmot produced ten social determinants of health for the World Health Organisation. These are:

  1. Social and economic circumstances strongly effect health throughout life.
  2. Stress harms health.
  3. The effects of early development in the neo-natal period and infancy last a lifetime.
  4. Social exclusion creates suffering and morbidity.
  5. Stress in the workplace increases the risk of disease
  6. Job security increases health, well-being and job satisfaction. Unemployment is deleterious to health.
  7. Social support, friendship, good social relations and strong supportive networks improve health at home, work and in the community.
  8. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is influenced by social determinants.
  9. Nutrition is a key determinant of health.
  10. Transport through the use of walking and exercise in a sustainable environment enhances health.

There is an urgent need to change attitudes and mind-set so that we may have healing in the broadest possible sense- healing not only of our Australian society, but of our Australian environment and our planet as they are all related and all vitally connected.

There is an absolute lack of public education in medicine. There is a lack of understanding of lifestyle. People no longer know how to live

The support of the community is paramount if we wish to begin to treat people in our society (most of whom end up sooner or later as patients) as human beings. This process requires not only the development of partnerships between the health providers and the community and service coordination but also educating the public in a general understanding of how to take responsibility for their lives and the prevention of illness. We also need to debate what quality of life is. In our society we forget what it is to be a human being. The answer does not lie in drugs alone. It lies in lifestyle, prevention of illness, modification of diet, cellular nutrition, relaxation and exercise.

Cellular Nutrition

Excessive production of free radicals caused by our polluted environment, stressful lifestyles, and over-medication affects our bodies constantly Free radicals can be reduced by not smoking, decreasing stress levels, and avoiding toxic chemicals. However ,we are still unable to cope with the overwhelming daily onslaught on the natural defense system.

. Oxidative stress has been shown through medical research to be a significant cause of most chronic degenerative diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s dementia and macular degeneration,.

Cellular nutrition provides the body with all the antioxidants along with the supporting B vitamins and antioxidant minerals at optimal levels. This form of "preventive and life style medicine is superior because it prevents oxidative stress from occurring.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): Recommended Daily Allowances of vitamins and minerals have nothing to do with chronic degenerative diseases. RDA’s were developed to avoid acute deficiency diseases The optimal levels of nutrients known to provide health benefits are significantly greater those suggested by RDA levels.

Vitamins and minerals are natural nutrients that our bodies get from our foods. The various antioxidants and supporting nutrients work on different types of free radicals and in different parts of the body. They work together or synergistically-- to control oxidative stressand enhace certain metabolic pathways. When the necessary nutrients are provided to the cell in a complete and balanced nutritional supplement, the combined effect optimizes our body’s natural antioxidant, immune, and repair and our health is protected.



Cardiovascular diseases are often the result of poor diet and lifestyle. Dietary factors and particularly nutritional antioxidants have been shown to be effective in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of cardiovascular disorders.

The WHO-MONICA study has revealed that the risk for coronary heart disease mortality decreases at high plasma vitamin E levels6.Key nutrients include essential fatty acids especially omega 3, vitaminE, folic acid, Vitamin B 6 , vitamin C and Co Enzyme Q 10 and grape seed extract

Cancer is the second greatest killer of Australians, and diet and lifestyle factors contribute to the cause of cancer and influence patient management and prognosis.In spite of the near 25 billion dollars spent on cancer research  ion the US in the past twenty years, cancer deaths have actually increased over that same time period.

Cancer research specialist, Dr. Gladys Block (Berkley) reviewed over 172 epidemiological studies from around the world on diet and cancer. She discovered a universal and consistent finding: those individuals who had the highest intake of fruits and vegetables (the main source of antioxidants) had a two to threefold decreased risk of developing most cancers when compared to those who had the lowest intake of fruits and vegetables.

More than 200 case-controlled or cohort studies have been published since 1982 on the relationship between vegetables, fruits or their antioxidant nutrients, and cancers at various sites. Consistent epidemiological data show an inverse relationship between those factors and the risk of at least 15 different cancer sites. Furthermore, over 80% of the studies show statistical significance2 Block G "Micronutrients and cancer: Time for action?" J Nat Cancer Inst 85(11): 1992. There is now definite epidemiological evidence supporting an inverse relationship between antioxidant micro-nutrients such as vitamins C and E and the carotenoids and cancer risks.


We are entering a new era in preventive medicine, which focuses on diet as a means to health. Folate has received much attention as a vitamin that can protect against many diseases.B vitamins, particularly folate, may give considerable protection against serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and birth defectsIs folic acid the ultimate functional food component for disease prevention? Mark Lucock, lecturer BMJ 2004;328:211-214 (24 January), oi:10.1136/bmj.328.7433.211 Clinical review

Folate status and common variations in genes that code for folate dependent enzymes are linked to many types of cancer, vascular disease, birth defects, and complications of pregnancyLucock MD, Yates Z. A differential role for folate in developmental disorders, vascular disease and other clinical conditions: the importance of folate status and genotype. In: Massaro EJ, ed. Folate and human development. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 2001: 263-98.

In September 1993, William Blot et al., published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a paper titled "Nutrition Intervention in Linxian China: Supplementation of specific vitamin/mineral combinations, cancer incidence and disease-specific mortality in the general population"23.

There was a significantly lower total mortality in those receiving supplementation with betacarotene, vitamin E and selenium

Blot W et al. "Nutrition intervention in Linxian China: Supplementation with specific vitamin/mineral combinations, cancer incidence and disease specific mortality in the general population." J Nat Cancer Inst 85(18):1993

Selenium prevents chromosomal damage and protects cellular function


Patients with symptomatic leukoplakia or dysplasia treated with 400 iu of alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) twice daily during a 24-week study period showed both clinical and histologic responses to treatment2 Benner S et al. "Regression of oral leucoplakia with alpha tocopherol. A community clinical oncology program chemoprevention study." J Nat Cancer Inst 85(1): 1993.


Greta Bunin published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 1993, titled "The Relationship Between Maternal Diet and Subsequent Primitive Neuroectodermal Brain Tumours in Young Children"28. The dietary patterns of 166 mothers whose young children developed brain tumours were compared to controls. It was shown that there was a significant protective trend observed in mothers who consumed vegetables, fruit, fruit juice, vitamins A and C and folic acid.

The use of vitamin C, calcium and iron supplements at any time during pregnancy and the use of multivitamins during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy, were also associated with a decreased risk of brain tumours.

Here an increased intake of fruit and vegetables containing antioxidant nutrients, plus the use of nutritional supplements, offered a protective effect not only in the subject taking the diet, but in their offspring.


Other studies have shown that among oral cancer cases, vitamin E supplementation appears to exert a protective effect which disappears after accounting for the smoking habit. However, vitamins A and B supplements are significantly protective against oesophageal cancer in current smokers cases.


Jaakkola has reported in the journal Anticancer Research32, a landmark study on the use of micronutrient supplementation combined with the usual conservative treatment of small cell lung cancer with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The researchers used pharmacologic doses of vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids and trace elements. They made special note that there were no side effects from the nutrients. The results of this study were stated as "antioxidant treatment in combination with chemotherapy and irradiation prolonged the survival time of patients with small cell cancer compared to most published combination treatments alone".


Neurological diseases can be improved with dietary changes.

Many studies have now shown that migraine can be managed nutritionally

Egger and co-workers provided evidence in 1983 that 93% of 88 children with severe, frequent, intractable migraine recovered on an oligo-antigenic diets specifically with the elimination of dairy products.


Asthma is a disease which is becoming more frequent and is associated with a significant morbidity. Diet and food sensitivities play a role in the majority of asthmatics. Many studies have shown that asthmatics can improve significantly by the elimination of certain foods. Lindahl O et al. "Vegan diet regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of bronchial asthma." J Asthma 1985, 22:45-55.

Ho L et al. "A double-blind controlled trial of elemental diet in severe, perennial asthma." Allergy 1981, 36:257-62.

A high salt intake is associated with increased bronchial reactivity May C "Objective clinical and laboratory studies of immediate hypersensitivity reactions to foods in asthmatic children." J Allergy Clin Immunol 58:500-512, 1978

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplementation has been shown to result in a dramatic decrease in the frequency, duration and severity of asthmatic attacks with concomitant reduction of the dosage and frequency of use of bronchodilators and steroids Collip P J et al. "Pyridoxine treatment of childhood bronchial asthma." Ann Allergy 1975, 35:93-97


Asthmatics are more likely to have lower plasma ascorbic acid (vitamin C) levels Anah C O et al. "High dose ascorbic acid in Nigerian asthmatics." Tropical Geograph Med 1980 32:132-137.

and vitamin C supplementation at high doses has been shown to significantly reduce the number of asthma attacks and decrease exercise-induced bronchospasm.

Vitamins C ,Polyunsaturated fatty acids ,Elemental magnesium,Bioflavenoids,amutivitamin preperation and avoidance of dairt priducts can all be of valye in the treatment of asthma


Numerous studies have now clearly shown the dietary factors are an important cause of the continuing inflammatory processes in arthritis and that saturated fat is a major contributor. Long-term remissions in rheumatoid patients may be achieved with low-calorie ‘fat-free’ formula diets the removal of inflammatory foods from the diet, or both Darlington L G et al. "Placebo-controlled, blind study of dietary manipulation therapy in rheumatoid arthritis." Lancet 1986, 1:236-8.

Lucas C, Power L "Dietary fat aggravates rheumatoid arthritis." Clin Res 1981, 29(4):754.

effects88. Glucosamine sulphate inhibits the breakdown of proteoglycans and double-blind studies have shown its effectiveness in this condition D’Ambrosio E et al. "Glucosamine sulphate: A controlled clinical investigation in arthrosis." Pharmatherapeutica 1981, 2(8): 304-8.Pujalte J M et al. "Double-blind and clinical evaluation of oral glucosamine sulphate in the basic treatment of osteoarthritis." Curr Med Res Opinion 1980, 7(2):110-114.

Fish oil capsules, Vitamin E ( natural ) chondrosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate as well as avoidind food intolerance especially dairy products are all of value in the treatment of arthritis



Female Disorders are related to hormonal imbalances which can be significantly influenced by diet.A recent study has shown that menopausal women who consume 60 g of isolated soy protein per day compared to casein placebo have a reduction of hot flushes by as much as 45% after a 12-week period. It is believed that the isoflavones in soy are the active agent .Sixty grams of protein contains approximately 76 mg of isoflavones. Higher doses of isoflavones may provide a better response, i.e. 200 mg/day in Japan where hot flushes, hormone-related cancers and osteoporosis are reportedly the lowest in the world Albertazzi P et al. "The effect of dietary soy supplementation on hot flushes." Obstetrics & Gynaecology 1998;91(1):6-11


Cervical dysplasia is associated with a number of nutritional deficiencies including folic acid, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and selenium, a deficiency of which is known to increase the risk of cervical cancer Butterworth C E et al. "Improvements in cervical dysplasia associated with folic acid therapy in users of oral contraceptives." Am J Clin Nutr 1982, 35:73-82.


Infectious diseases are widespread despite screening, antibiotics and vaccination programs There are many studies published supporting the use of single nutrients or nutrient combinations to stimulate immune function, even in ‘well-nourished’ individuals.

The elderly are at a greater risk for lower intakes of several vitamins and minerals are known to compromise the immune response. Recent studies have shown that supplementation with either a multivitamin and mineral or single nutrients greater than the RDA have improved the immune response. In one study in which multivitamin and mineral supplements were given, the enhanced immune response resulted in a decreased frequency of infection Meydani S "Vitamin/mineral supplementation, the ageing immune response and risk of infection." Nutr Reviews 51(4):1993.


Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to enhance resistance to post-race upper respiratory infection which occurs frequently in competitive, ultra marathon runners Peters E et al. "Vitamin C supplementation reduces the incidence of post-race symptoms of upper-respiratory tract infection in ultramarathon runners." Am J Clin Nutr 57: 1993.


Vitamin A ingestion either by appropriate dietary means or through supplementation has a major role in preventing morbidity and mortality in children in developing countries. Children in developed countries may also receive benefit from vitamin A supplementation during life-threatening infections such as measles and for relative deficiencies such as occur in premature infantsGlasziou P et al. "Vitamin A supplementation in infectious disease: A meta-analysis." BMJ 306:1993.

Sommer A "Vitamin A, infectious diseases, in childhood mortality: A 2 cent solution?" J Infec Dis 167:1993

The immune system is the body’s protection against damage from invading bacteria, viruses, and cancers. In order for it to function properly, it must have the support of proper nutrition. Nutritional immunology is the field of study dealing with this support.

The task at present is to define biomarkers (immunologic indices) that can predict resistance to infection and other illnesses associated with poor immune function with reasonable accuracy. We do know that the older we get, and the poorer our diet, the more susceptible we are to infection, tumor, and immune dysfunction. Free radicals have been linked to the immune system damage that accompanies normal aging. Vitamins play a critical role along with trace elements in maintaining the human immune system.  Herbs such as ( echinacea and grape seed-skin extract). probiotics, and CoQ10.  and esssential fatty acids all enhance immunity and quench the inflammatory response which accompanies poor immunity and stress.A good diet is essential for maximising immune response and wellness. A good diet includes  organic fruits, vegetables, and grains with cold-water fish and lean meats.Often food intolerance to dairy is a ket factor We should have at least 5 to 6 fish dishes per week especially slmon, mackerel, tuna or sardines Diet and reduction of stress is the  first priority.



Dr. Ian Brighthope President ACNEM Nutritional Medicine 1998

Dr Ray Strand MD Bionutrition

Dr Matthias Rath Dr Rarth Health Foundation , former first Director of Cardiovascular Research at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto, California.

Marmot M, Wilkinson R (eds) social Determinants of Health. Oxford University Press, New York 1999