Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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About Me

  • B. Tech., Electrical Engg, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 1983—87
  • M.S., Electrical Engg, Princeton University, USA, 1987—91
  • CEO, medical informatics firm Analgesia Technologies, 1993—2013
  • Preventive health consultant since 2002
  • Health industry blogger since 2009
  • Keen 'student' of anti-ageing science since 2005
  • Marathon runner since 1989—I have run 185 full marathons till date, with 52 of them in 2011.

Hi, I am Madhur Kotharay.

  • For the last 20 years, I have been meeting thousands of people like you, as a part of my preventive health profession.
  • They would discuss their health problems and ongoing treatments. They would ask me, "the doctors are doing their job; but what more can I do, at my end?"
  • Or, they would say things like, "my mother has diabetes", or "my father died from cancer", or "I am getting old". So, "what can I do to prevent getting a dreaded disease?"
  • I would spend a lot of time with them explaining what could go wrong with them, what their test reports meant, or what treatment their doctor was administering, and why.
  • I would tell them what the new medical research is saying about their condition and what they can do at their end to heal faster or cope up better.
  • I would suggest what foods they should eat, what dietary supplements they should have, and what exercises they should do.
  • Sometimes, we would discuss what options they have in different fields of medicine: allopathy, homoeopathy, ayurvedic (Indian traditional medicine), physiotherapy, etc.
  • All for no fees, of course, since most of them were my acquaintances, friends or their contacts. I was expected to be their trusted friend and well-wisher.
  • If they lived nearby, they would buy some dietary supplements from me. But most of them were scattered worldwide. They would buy things from their local pharmacies or shops. So, I had no commercial incentive in the advice that I gave. Obviously, there was no possibility of any conflict of interest.
  • Also, I always believed that they should do their own homework before making an informed health decision.
  • So, in my interactions, I would give them reference links to research articles from reputed sources. Occasionally, I would give, or suggest, a book about their condition.
  • They would say things like:
  • "Thanks for telling me all this. Now, I know what is going on with me", or
  • "So, what I read on internet was just a hogwash?", or
  • "Why doesn't my doctor tell me all this?", or
  • "But, I was told that I have no other option", et cetera.
  • They would call, or write back, month after month, with a better and improving health condition.
  • Sometimes, they would slacken; they would stop doing some right things. After all, everyone is a human being. And things would get worse. They would still call.
  • I never had to say, "I warned you so". They were smart enough to know what and when they had done wrong.
  • No credits to me, for all this. I simply told them from the wisdom that already existed in the scientific and medical world. My only strength was that I was more up-to-date than them, and I had no axe to grind.
  • Or, maybe, I was the privileged one. I was lucky enough to straddle two of the biggest fields of science:
  • 1) Engineering for the first 26 years of life (4 years each at two of the best universities in the world: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay for undergrad studies in Electrical Engineering; and Princeton University, USA for graduate studies in Semiconductor Physics), and
  • 2) Medicine for the next 29 years (CEO of a medical informatics company for 20 years and with an overlap, 20 years in the preventive health industry).
  • In case you did not connect the dots, the two fields follow opposite philosophies: engineering follows algorithmic thinking; medicine follows evidence-based science.
  • All this helped me see the medical field from the eyes of an engineer. If medicine A is expected to help condition B, and if B does not improve, medicine says don't use A; while engineering asks what prevented A from improving B.
  • For treating pneumonia, you need medical thinking - "if a medicine does not show improvements in clinical trials, just forget it and use some other medicine that is known to work; you don't have the luxury of going wrong with a pneumonia patient."
  • For vitamin D supplements for healthy bones, you need engineering thinking - "why is the fracture rate increasing with vitamin D supplements? Logically, fractures should not increase after taking them as vitamin D improves calcium absorption. Is something else causing this effect?"
  • Well, it turns out that vitamin D's mandate is not to increase calcium in bones; it is to increase calcium in blood. If you take vitamin D supplements and don't increase your calcium intake, vitamin D still works. It just pulls out calcium into your blood from your bones instead of from food. Ergo, you get fractures. Long live engineers!
  • Then, over the years, I started getting some interesting requests. Some learned ones would ask me: "Is there any website or a book where I can find all this information?"
  • When I would say "no", they would exhort: "Why don't you write a book about all this? I am sure there are thousands like me around the world, who would also find this quite useful."
  • I would laugh it off. Me? Writing a book? Nah.
  • But deep down, three personal events in 1997, 2006, and one recently in 2019, were telling me that I had to write a book, or something equivalent.
  • So here it is: the book. This website is that book; my Magnum Opus, if you will.
  • This website was not written in a month. It took tens of thousands of hours of reading, learning and interacting with real people, solving their real problems, to come up with this condensed bit of information.
  • One caveat: Like everyone else, I am a human being. I can go wrong, and I often have. So I always give a corresponding reference link to the claims in the article.
  • It is the job of the reader to go through the evidence that I offer and take her own call.
  • All I can say is the person most qualified to take care of your health is you, not me nor your doctor. You are the only human being who will ever live in your body for all your time on this planet. Make it a good one.
  • This website is my attempt to give you enough ammunition to become that healthy person.
  • Do write on health.sachet@gmail.com or to me personally, on madhur.kotharay@gmail.com, if you have any suggestions or questions.
  • With best wishes,

Madhur Kotharay

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