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More Doctors Dismiss Cholesterol in Heart Disease

The media and drug companies still scare Americans into taking statin drugs to lower blood cholesterol to prevent heart attacks. This is despite evidence from several doctors including the doctors Eades who show dangers of cholesterol-lowering drugs. As mentioned in my article last month, long-time heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell put the major blame for heart attacks on inflammation caused by a modern diet high in sugars and common salad oils.
Now cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra says he has given up flattening plaque in vessels and instead has written a book “The Healing Kitchen”. It advocates natural foods based on a Mediterranean diet. But when cooking to use saturated fats like coconut oil, peanut oil or butter. Most salad oils should be avoided. They have too much omega-6 fatty acids which can be easily oxidized. He says to eat less carbohydrate but do eat enough fat. He cites the Lyon Heart Study which showed that a low fat diet can be a factor in increasing deaths. He says eating lots of nuts can help prevent clots forming in blood vessels and lower blood cholesterol. He tells of healing herbs and spices and the best combination of foods for optimum health.
Dr. Al Sears goes farther from common beliefs in his book “The Doctor’s Heart Cure”. He says that red meat does not cause heart disease. He tells you what herbs and other supplements you need to “feast on the fatty foods you really love”. He also says that his twelve minute a day exercise program is better for your heart than extensive running.
Either doctor’s program is probably better than taking anti-cholesterol drugs with their potentially dangerous side effects on muscles, liver and brain.

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Obesity is a symptom

Obese persons might have type II diabetes and heart disease, but a fat body is not a direct cause. Polynesian kings, Sumo wrestlers and Eskimos in ages past had fat bodies but were healthy. The effects of civilization are the real causes of diabetes and heart disease. When primitive people got tobacco, alcohol, soft drinks and manufactured foods (high in carbohydrates but without fiber), they got the diseases of civilization. These included diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Dr. Sanford Siegal in 1975 showed the importance of fiber in preventing these conditions. Many doctors now agree.
Vegetarian diets are successful if they have lots of high fiber fruits and vegetables. They don’t work if the person just quits eating animal products but drinks juices and continues to eat low-fiber manufactured foods. Worst are the beverages and foods with high-fructose corn syrup.
The doctors who report that a patient’s blood pressure went down by just losing ten pounds don’t say it was because the obese person quit drinking sweet beverages and eating junk food to lose that few pounds. The person might still be 50 pounds overweight but healthier.
Removing fat by liposuction might seem an easy way to get rid of it. One study followed for a year the women who had fat removed from hips and thighs. When they ate extra calories, fat appeared on the abdomen. A former pear-shaped woman was getting an unhealthy apple shape.
Even the size of your waistline might not be a good indicator of health. If you can pinch more than an inch of the fat stored between the muscle layer and the skin around the abdomen, that is much better than having a solid, round belly. Here the fat is stored around the intestines, stomach and other internal organs. This crowds the organs so they can’t act normal, resulting in the Metabolic Syndrome that includes diabetes, high blood pressure and cardio-vascular disease.

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Why get cholesterol lower?

A new drug being developed by Merck has been reported to raise “good” HDL-cholesterol as well as lower the “bad” LDL-cholesterol even further in patients already on statins. Is this really a good idea? The American Heart Association seems fixated on the premise that cholesterol causes heart attacks and it should be as low as possible

Articles by doctors in the magazine “Life Extension” cite sixteen other factors besides high cholesterol that can be associated with heart attacks. Some are related to the metabolic syndrome that includes diabetes and high blood pressure. High homocysteine is a separate problem solved by vitamins, not drugs. Many scientists now agree that the best predictor of a potential heart attack is a rise in C-Reactive Protein, a sign of inflammation, [possibly the white blood cells patching micro-injuries in blood vessels.]

In my book “Don’t Get Thin Get Healthy”, I cite doctors Michael and Mary Dan Eades analysis of deaths versus cholesterol levels. Indeed very high blood cholesterol is correlated with excess deaths from heart disease. However, death rates from suicide, homicide and cancer rose exponentially with cholesterol levels below 100.

Anti-cholesterol drugs, called statins, cause depression as well as muscle pain and weakness in many patients. Lowering cholesterol can be dangerous. Cholesterol is essential to life. It is the major substance in the brain and occurs in cell membranes. It is the starting molecule for vitamin D, sex hormones and adrenal hormones. The HDL-cholesterol helps carry the LDL-cholesterol to the appropriate organs. It is not just the precursor of bile that helps to emulsify fat. The only problem comes when the modern diet contains too much high-fructose corn syrup. The liver makes this sugar into excess LDL-cholesterol and blood fats. Wouldn’t staying away from this artificial sweetener make more sense than interfering with the production of cholesterol using drugs?

The best ways to increase the HDL-cholesterol is by vigorous exercise and by eating saturated fat. [Be sure it’s organic and doesn’t contain insecticides and other toxins that come with the fat of animals grown in factory farms.] Humans have been eating natural cholesterol and fat for milennia and the Amish still do without getting heart disease. Let’s improve our health by getting back to natural foods grown organically.

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