RSS Articles and Information
  • 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 …
  • State Highlights: Mass. First To Require Health Care Price Tags; Health Disparities In Wis. October 15, 2014
    A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Connecticut, California, Texas, South Dakota and Pennsylvania. WBUR: Massachusetts Becomes First State To Require Price Tags For Health Care Massachusetts has launched a new era of shopping. It began last …
  • Physicians Remove Government from Medical Equation October 13, 2014
    by Gerard Gianoli, MD Doctors in Nevada and across the country are protesting against the government’s intrusion into health care, but we aren’t voicing our concerns using bullhorns and pickets. Instead, many of the state’s 5,400 physicians are protesting silently …
  • Revolutionary Idea Could Change Medicine October 10, 2014
    For those of us who get woozy when having blood drawn for routine testing, a simple pin prick may be the blood test of the future. Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO and founder of Theranos, says that her company can run …
  • Why Accountable Care Organizations Are Failing October 8, 2014
    by Richard Amerling, MD Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a key piece of the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) “reform” plan, are failing because they must fail. ACOs are based on faulty assumptions, poor economics, and junk science. They would not exist …
  • Common Sense Travel Restrictions to Stop Ebola: Dr. Jane Orient October 7, 2014
    Dr. Orient appears on Cavuto – October 6, 2014
  • What Employers Can Do To Reduce The Cost Of Obamacare October 6, 2014
    The Obamacare mandate will be enforced on large employers in 2015 and small employers in 2016. Large companies who self-insure can have a plan that does not cover hospitalization, mental health care, or emergency room visits.  Small companies have to …
  • Ralph Weber Talks About Fixed Pricing – Video October 3, 2014
    You can ask the price of a procedure at a hospital, but may ask several different people before finally getting an answer. Listing set prices for procedures has lead to medical tourism. People will travel to get the price they …
  • Here’s The Thing #5 Fixed Pricing HD October 3, 2014
  • Economists Say Third-Party Payment Key to Increases in Medical Cost October 1, 2014
    The rapid increase in medical costs starting in the 1970s is commonly ascribed be market imperfections. However, federal and state governments have long suppressed the functioning of the market system in the medical industry, write Maureen Buff and Timothy Terrell, …
  • Health Insurance Exchanges Waste Taxpayer Money September 29, 2014
    Obamacare may surpass Cash for Clunkers to become the prime example of federal taxpayer resource mismanagement. For every dollar in premiums for exchange coverage, taxpayers paid 94 cents in subsidies to either enroll people or encourage them to do so. …
  • Mesothelioma: An avoidable cancer? September 26, 2014
    by Sue Redmond Did you know? Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity called the mesothelium (80% of which occur within the lining of the lungs). The only known cause to mesothelioma is exposure …
  • Government Healthcare is Breech of Contract September 24, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD One of the smartest people I have ever met is a property and contracts lawyer, someone from whom I have gleaned countless and valuable insights over the years.  He has advised me, among other things, …
  • Dr. Alieta Eck Campaign Update September 24, 2014
    Dr. Eck http://EckForCongress.com speaks to colleagues at AAPS 71st annual meeting on September 5, 2014.
  • Is There A Provider In The House? September 22, 2014
    by Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD Physicians have a proud heritage. We can boast Dr. Benjamin Rush, a founding father, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, and opponent of slavery. And Dr. James Derham, born …
  • From EBM to Guidelines September 20, 2014
    Richard Amerling, MD presents at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, September 5, 2014.
  • Flaw In Federal Software Lets Employers Offer Plans Without Hospital Benefits September 19, 2014
    A flaw in the federal calculator for certifying that insurance meets the health law’s toughest standard is leading dozens of large employers to offer plans that lack basic benefits such as hospitalization coverage, according to brokers and consultants. The calculator …

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



At MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
Share

Comments

This entry was posted in Common Sense Health Care Solutions, Free market medicine, Health (taking care of yourself), Health Care News, Medical Tourism, Medical Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
Categories
Bulk Email Sender

Switch to our mobile site