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  • Hobby Lobby wins Supreme Court case, can opt out of mandate July 23, 2014
    The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and against Obamacare mandates.  They decided that the government cannot force employers to violate their religious beliefs.  Christian corporation Hobby Lobby did not want to have to cover certain types of …
  • Hundreds of Newborns to have Genomes Sequenced July 21, 2014
    Genome sequencing would not replace the newborn screening tests most states require. They are researching if sequencing is better than regular screening at detecting genetic disorders, immune function, as well as metabolic disorders. Researchers believe that cataloguing a newborn’s genome …
  • VA Seeks Help from Corporate Healthcare Giant HCA July 18, 2014
    The Department of Veteran’s Affairs has recruited the Chief Medical Officer of hospital giant HCA, Dr. Jonathan Perlin, to help them find solutions for all the problems of their mismanaged system. Dr. Perlin is known for being a leader in …
  • The Trap Known as Health Insurance July 16, 2014
    The cost of health care is on the rise and is continuing to grow exponentially. One of the biggest factors to this cost is health insurance. Third parties don’t care about quality or affordability. They are spending your money for …
  • Current Health System Provides No Privacy for Patients July 14, 2014
    Dr. Deborah Peel has advocated for patient privacy for over 20 years.  She explains to the tech community how breaches in computer systems using electronic health records destroy privacy.  When patients are in control of their own money and move …
  • Is There a Link Between Saturated Fat & Heart Disease? July 11, 2014
    For the last several decades, we have been taught that saturated fats in butter, cheese, and meat are dangerous for your health. The truth is that this has never been proven. Countries that have high fat diets do not have …
  • Wellness Health Check – July Special July 7, 2014
    Men and Women’s Health Check Blood Tests for $99! (Retail is $800) This is a good way to be proactive and keep up with your health and that of your loved ones. Women’s Test includes: The Comprehensive Wellness Panel(CWP) is …
  • Physicians’ Declaration of Independence July 4, 2014
    by Richard Amerling, MD A physician’s responsibility is to the patient. To protect the patient-physician relationship, payment should be decided between these two parties, assuring all information is kept confidential. Involving third parties is destructive to the patient-physician relationship. Physicians …
  • Ralph Weber: Healthcare with Transparency in Quality & Pricing July 2, 2014
    MediBid helps patients find the best treatment solution for them at the best quality and price. Physicians set their own prices and this transparency allows for competition. MediBid started as a means for Canadians on waiting lists to get timely …
  • Steps to Increase Price Transparency June 30, 2014
    Summary by The Market Institute The Center for American Progress recently published a brief detailing their opinion on how hidden health care costs are hindering market competition and ultimately making healthcare expensive for consumers. Unlike almost every other scenario in …
  • How Obamacare Affects the Affordability of Your Medical Care June 27, 2014
    Those who do not get health insurance from their employers or Medicaid/Medicare find their premiums increasing, some states more than others. While some people will be eligible for Obamacare tax credits, many will still have to pay these premium increases …
  • Canada needs a prosperous Ontario June 27, 2014
    Ontario’s poor economic performance is dragging down Canada’s economy.A Fraser Institute study, Can Canada Prosper without a Prosperous Ontario?, examines Ontario’s shift from the economic engine of Canada to a “have not” province that received $3.2 billion in equalization payments …
  • Why Coconut Milk Might Not Be Your Friend June 25, 2014
    Those following a Paleo diet get most of their fat from coconut milk. Coconut milk is great for making smoothies. Canned coconut milk may contain BPA, a chemical which can leach out of the metal and into acidic foods, such …
  • Increasing Cost of Medical Care Can Make You Sick June 23, 2014
    At the onset of an illness or serious injury, Americans are finding the costs too much to bear – even when they have insurance. Medical expenses are the biggest financial burden in American households today. Nearly 50% of Americans cannot …
  • Natural Alternatives for Sun Protection and Sunburn Treatment June 20, 2014
    With summer activities in full swing, many of them outdoors, it is important to remember to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Some exposure is beneficial, and can cause your skin to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin …
  • Your HSA Can Double as an IRA June 18, 2014
    Some Americans are supplementing thier retirement funds with a Health Savings Account. People with a high-deductible insurance plan can have an HSA to cover future medical expenses. There is a penalty to withdraw this money for nonmedical reasons, yet after …
  • OMTEC 2014 – The Past, Present and Future of the Implant Market: A Surgeon Inventor Perspective June 17, 2014
    What does the future hold for the orthopaedic implant market? Dr. Robert S. Bray, Jr., a globally recognized spine surgeon, entrepreneur and inventor, provides a look at the industry past and present and answers the question: How will the development …
  • Real Illness or Not? June 16, 2014
    by Sue Redmond Should Doctors prescribe for a “non-disease”? Infants spit up.  Many on a daily basis (some studies show as high as 40-70%).  Just one of the reasons may be that they drink a large volume of liquids and …
  • How Obamacare Impacts Small Businesses June 13, 2014
    Cost increases due to Obamacare will be sharp and immediate for small businesses. As they renew their group health plans, they are discovering an onslaught of new regulations which will also affect their future hiring and business growth. Over 60% …
  • B12 deficiency: a silent epidemic with serious consequences June 11, 2014
    Symptoms of B12 deficiency include: Alzheimer’s, dementia, other memory loss MS and neurological disorders mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar) heart disease learning disorders in children autism spectrum autoimmune disease cancer infertility   B12 deficiency is quite common, more so than …

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.
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