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  • ACA Architect Gruber Insults Voters November 21, 2014
    MIT economist Jonathan Gruber (an architect of Obamacare) has emerged in a handful of videos insulting the American public. In one video, Gruber discusses how voters’ “lack of economic understanding” enabled a politically unpopular tax on “Cadillac” health plans to …
  • Are You Vitamin D Deficient? November 19, 2014
    Many Americans believe they are not at risk for Vitamin D deficiency because they eat D-fortified foods. These foods do not contain enough Vitamin D to benefit your health. Vitamin D is not a regular vitamin, but a steroid hormone …
  • Ambulance Drones Could Help You Survive a Heart Attack November 17, 2014
    Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States. The odds of surviving a heart attack outside of a hospital is only 8%. Four out of five heart attacks occur at home where there is no emergency …
  • Eugenics in America – In the Name of Science November 17, 2014
    Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D. presents at the AAPS 71st Annual Meeting, September 5, 2014, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Supreme Court to Examine Issue of Obamacare Subsidies November 14, 2014
    The Supreme Court will decide the fate of Obamacare yet again. This new case challenges the key issue of subsidies used to assist in purchasing insurance in the exchanges. This decision to hear the King v. Burwell case has surprised …
  • Apples to Protect Against Obesity November 12, 2014
    An apple a day may be as beneficial as daily statin use. Apples and pears reduce the risk of stroke by more than 50%. A new study has found that the bioactive compounds in apples not absorbed during digestion boost …
  • Diabetes Awareness: Testing & Treatment is Important November 10, 2014
    Diabetes mellitus, known commonly as diabetes, is a metabolic disease where a person has high blood glucose (sugar) because they do not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin. Glucose cannot enter our cells …
  • Tau Protein Causes Alzheimer’s, Not Plaque November 7, 2014
    A new study has discovered that the protein tau (the “tangles”) is the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease, not plaque as was previously believed. Tau determines how much amyloid protein stays in the cell and how much is secreted outside …
  • Direct Primary Care Reduces Healthcare Costs November 5, 2014
    Direct primary care benefits both the patient and the physician. Many people could afford medication if they could afford the office visit it stems from.  Clinics that take insurance have to hire extra people and invest in special technology in …
  • The Problem and Solution for Our Healthcare System November 3, 2014
    by Timothy D. Wingo, MD; Owner – Atlas Healthcare, PA It is obvious to everyone that the healthcare system in our country is broken and getting worse. What is not so obvious is what it would take to fix it. …
  • 3 Steps to Get Rid of Heartburn and GERD Forever October 31, 2014
    Heartburn and GERD are caused by too little stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and intestines. There are three steps to treat heartburn and GERD without drugs and keep them from returning. Reduce factors that promote bacterial overgrowth …
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 5 of 5) October 31, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 4 of 5) October 31, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 3 of 5) October 31, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • The Wasting of Taxpayer Money October 29, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD If you are looking for proof of the fact that the wonderful folks in D.C. are more interested in lining the pockets of their pals than demonstrating good stewardship of the loot from the robbery …
  • Giving Birth in America is Most Expensive in the World October 27, 2014
    While a woman is preparing for giving birth, one worry she doesn’t want to have is about the cost of delivery. Insured women are finding that some policies do not cover maternity care, services that most often do not have …
  • Physicians are Not Medicine’s Top Earners October 24, 2014
    Physicians are the most highly trained members of the medical industry’s force, yet have median compensation.  The largest salaries go to the Medicrats who oversee the business of medicine. Insurance CEOs average $584,000 compared to surgeons ($306,000) or a general …
  • Health Benefits of Honey October 22, 2014
    Honey has been used as a natural sweetener long before sugar. Bees collect pollen from  plant to plant, which is passed along from bee to bee until it eventually is deposited into the honeycomb. They beat their wings to evaporate …
  • Rotten Food and the VA Hospital October 20, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD Imagine for a moment that you own and operate a restaurant knowing that if you provide spoiled food and rotten service, you will subsequently make more money.  You openly employ strong-arm and intimidation tactics to …
  • Hospitals want patients to pay in advance October 17, 2014
    Hospitals are asking for payments from patients before they leave the facility so they don’t end up with unpaid bills. Knowing the costs before the procedure is important because insurance deductibles are increasing and so are procedure costs. Obamacare policies …

The Great Cholesterol Myth: A Book Review

by Lee Kurisko, MD

Have you ever been told by your doctor that your cholesterol is a bit high and you need to be on a statin medication to reduce it?  If so, you better read this book.   I have actually found that this book is a page-turner that I had having difficulty putting down.  Admittedly, I am a geek for this type of thing, but the message of this book should be considered by the at least 11 million people in the United States consuming these medications.

Several years ago, I too was told by my family practitioner that my cholesterol was too high and I needed to start a statin.  As an MD myself and a perpetual skeptic, I questioned the notion of poisoning one of the key biochemical pathways in my body just to make a lab test look better when I was in the peak of health and at low risk for heart disease.  My skepticism was justified and this book confirms it.

After that visit to the doctor, I read voraciously on the subject and consulted with a preventative cardiologist that I implicitly trust.  I have since learned more in the extensive cardiovascular section of my Anti-aging, Regenerative and Functional medicine fellowship program.  All tolled, I have spent innumerable hours on the topic.  If I were to do it over again, I would have read The Great Cholesterol Myth first.

Drs. Bowden and Sinatra have done a brilliant job distilling the essential points of this complex topic.  Catering to the intelligent layperson, anyone that takes the time to read this book will likely have a better grasp of the topic than their own doctors, cardiologists included.

Of late, it has been considered an unquestionable axiom that high cholesterol must be lowered with statin medications.   There is even a school of thought that people with normal cholesterol levels should be on statin meds to reduce it further.

If you read this book, you will see the madness in such claims. Cholesterol is a key component of every cell membrane in your body.  If you had no cholesterol, you would be instantly dead.  The brain is the richest repository of cholesterol and its presence is crucial for cognition and memory.  Without cholesterol, we would be sexless eunuchs incapable of reproduction.  Cholesterol is also necessary for manufacturing cortisol and related hormones required to deal with stress, maintain blood pressure, and the mineral balance of our bodies.  Cholesterol is the precursor of Vitamin D, which is essential for health.  Cholesterol is a precursor for bile, which is necessary for digestion.

The premise of the book is that the benefits of pharmaceutical suppression of cholesterol are marginal at best and only apply to a very limited segment of the population.   With limited benefit, the potential side effects are legion.

The group that may have some benefit from cholesterol meds are middle-aged males that have already had a heart attack.  According to Bowden and Sinatra there is no benefit for other groups.  Even with the potentially reduced risk of cardiovascular death for this select group, it must be kept in mind that all-cause mortality is not reduced.  That is epidemiology-speak for the fact that taking a statin will not lengthen your life by a single day!  The risk of death from cardiovascular disease may go down fractionally, but your risk of dying of other things goes up!  The cardiovascular benefit is barely measurable.  One meta-analysis showed only a 1.5 percent absolute risk reduction for a cardiac event.  Side effects are common.  I suspect that few patients would agree to consuming a medication with serious potential side effects for such a slight benefit.

Muscular weakness and pain are common side effects.  Statins even increase your risk of congestive heart failure when their purported purpose is to prevent heart disease!  Statins are now recognized to increase the risk of diabetes, and they may even increase the risk of depression and cancer!

The good Drs. Bowden and Sinatra also handily debunk the notion that saturated fat is bad for us and instead cast the blame for cardiovascular disease squarely where it belongs, on trans-fats and omega six polyunsaturated fats along with processed carbohydrates.  A recent meta-analysis of 21 studies with a total of 347,747 patients followed between five and twenty-three years showed absolutely zero correlation between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease.  That is an enormous number of patients followed over a very significant time period.  Despite this, we still hear the mantra to reduce our intake of saturated fat.

I give two thumbs way up for The Great Cholesterol Myth.   Even before reading this book, I had made the decision that I would not touch a statin med with a ten-foot pole.  That has been my decision looking at my own situation.  I do not recommend that you make any changes on your own, but if you take these meds, you better have a serious conversation with your physician.  If he or she is not familiar with these issues, tell him about this book, and if they won’t read it, get another physician.

Lee Kurisko MD is Chief Medical Officer of MediBid.  He is trained as a family physician, radiologist, and neuroradiologist. He is author of “Health Reform- The End of the American Revolution?”  He is now pursuing Board Certification in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.”   His blogposts on health and fitness can now be seen at www.healthandfitnessdoctor.com



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