Canadians Are Sicker Than Ever

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Current Healthcare System Not Meeting Needs For a Third of Canadians
More than half open to trying alternative and natural therapies before a more traditional approach

Toronto ON, July 14, 2008 – Seventy per cent of Canadians believe prescription medications are prescribed more often than necessary and one third does not believe the Canadian healthcare system meets their needs, says a recent Leger Marketing study.

But some believe the quality of Canadian health is suffering because individuals are not doing a good job of taking care of themselves on a day-to-day basis, rather than as a result of society failing to advance treatments for complicated illness and disease.

Though Canadians have unprecedented access to modern science and medicine, fear looms that for the first time a generation of Canadians might have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

“This is a powerful commentary on the current state of healthcare and may be why more than half of all Canadians feel that before traditional drugs are prescribed they would consider alternative and natural therapies,” said Dr. Aileen Burford-Mason, Immunologist and spokesperson for Orthomolecular Health.

As a practitioner of Orthomolecular medicine, Aileen Burford-Mason often sees people who fail to ensure their bodies are being properly nourished with vitamins and other essential nutrients, and who are therefore potentially exposing themselves to life threatening conditions. For example, studies now show that heart patients with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to die from their disease as those with higher levels of the vitamin.

“That’s why we call illnesses like heart disease ‘degenerative’,” she explains. “The body is degenerating because it doesn’t have the proper nutrients to repair and maintain healthy tissue and keep organs like the heart functioning optimally.”

Many illnesses are linked to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, which in turn cause molecular imbalances that lead to common everyday health problems, said Dr. Burford-Mason, adding that rather than simply seeking prescription medications to treat symptoms, individuals must ensure they provide their bodies with the base vitamins and nutrients essential for good health.”

To increase energy levels, an individual might need a good quality daily multivitamin because fatigue is one of the first signs of a deficiency of any of the 40 essential nutrients. But a diet low in sugar and starch is also important, and a person’s health can frequently be improved with proper diet and supplementation before resorting to medication.

Dr. Aileen Burford-Mason is available for interviews to provide more information on Orthomolecular medicine, the scientific approach to preventing the onset of illness or healing the body by using diet and nutritional supplements. Individuals who have treated an illness with Orthomoleculr medicine are also available to share their stories.

See below for regional breakdown of results.

About Orthomolecular Health
Orthomolecular Health educates the public and health professionals on the benefits and practice of the orthomolecular approach to health. It is dedicated to the advancement of orthomolecular medicine in Canada and internationally.

About Orthomolecular Medicine
Orthomolecular medicine is a scientific approach to preventing the onset of illness or healing the body, using diet and nutritional supplements – substances which are natural to the body.

Survey Methodology
Leger Marketing conducted this survey online. Data was collected between January 30 and February 3, 2008. A total of 1,000 interviews were completed. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

Sonia Prashar
APEX Public Relations Inc.
(416) 924-4442 ext. 223
Regional Breakdown of Results

One third of Canadians feel the current Canadian healthcare system is not meeting their needs:
28% Atlantic Canada
36% Quebec
29% Ontario
34% Manitoba and Saskatchewan
33% Alberta
45% BC

More than half (54%) of Canadians are frustrated with the Canadian healthcare system:
49% Atlantic Canada
48% Quebec
54% Ontario
71% Manitoba and Saskatchewan
63% Alberta
55% BC

Seven in ten Canadians agree that prescription medications are prescribed more often than necessary:
71% Atlantic Canada
71% Quebec
67% Ontario
80% Manitoba and Saskatchewan
64% Alberta
73% BC

Almost six out of 10 (57%) Canadians agree that alternative and natural therapies should be considered before traditional drugs are prescribed:
59% Atlantic Canada
56% Quebec
56% Ontario
53% Manitoba and Saskatchewan
60% Alberta
62% BC