A BOOK REVIEW
The Cholesterol Myths — Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease
by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD
Without question, the author did his homework before writing this layman-friendly book. The bottom line: all the testing and studies done on cholesterol and heart health are flawed by bad science, bias and manipulation. Cholesterol has absolutely nothing to do with coronary heart disease (CHD). It seems it is a mere “innocent bystander” and that the real cause of cardiovascular disease is battered and worn out arteries the repair of which the body uses fat to patch up breaches in their walls, to reinforce them by making them thicker. What causes the arteries to wear out? Toxins and other free-radicals circulating through them, the primary offenders being insulin from high carbohydrate consumption and food allergies.
Homocystine and C-Reactive Protein are the more accurate markers for CHD. Their presence in the blood stream indicates inflammation caused by free-radical assault to the inner lining of the blood arteries and consequent impairment of blood supply to the heart, as well as other vital organs.
Myths Dr. Ravnskov proved to be false:
Myth I: High-fat foods cause heart disease.
Myth 2: High cholesterol causes heart disease.
Myth 3: High-fat foods raise cholesterol.
Myth 4: Cholesterol blocks arteries.
Myth 5. Animal studies prove the diet-heart idea [that heart disease is related to diet].
Myth 6: Lowering your cholesterol will lengthen your life.
Myth 7: Polyunsaturated oils are good for you.
Myth 8: The cholesterol campaign is based on good science.
Myth 9: All scientists support the diet-heart idea.
I would encourage anyone reading this who is on Statin drugs, or even considering taking them, to READ THIS BOOK! There are doctors who will not see you if you think for yourself and refuse to take their medicine. If you can’t educate your doctor, then you may need to find one who is more open.
Here are some facts substantiated in this book that may guide you in making important choices in the care of your cardiovascular system.
- Cholesterol is a substance vital to the cells of your body. Your Iiver produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat. The production increases when you eat on Iy small amounts of cholesterol and decreases when you eat large amounts.
- The “prudent” diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, cannot lower your cholesterol more than a small percentage.
- The only effective way to lower cholesterol is with drugs. Many of the cholesterol-lowering drugs are dangerous to your health and may shorten your life.
- The new cholesterol-lowering drugs, called Statins, do lower heart disease mortality, but this is because of effects other than cholesterol-lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer, at least in rodents.
- You may become aggressive or suicidal if you lower your cholesterol too much.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids [such as margarine and hydrogenated oils], those which are claimed to prevent heart attacks, stimulate infections and cancer in rats. If you eat too much polyunsaturated oil you will age faster than normal. You will see this on the outside as wrinkled skin. You can’t see the effects of premature aging on the inside of your body, but you will certainly feel them. Too much polyunsaturated oil may provoke atherosclerosis.
- People whose blood cholesterol is low develop just as many plaques in their blood vessels as people whose cholesterol is high.
- More than thirty studies of more then 150,000 individuals have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven’t eaten more saturated fat or less polyunsaturated oil than other people.
- Older women with high cholesterol live longer than those with low cholesterol.
- Many of these facts have been presented in scientific journals and books for decades but proponents of the diet-heart hypothesis never tell them to the public.
- The diet-heart idea and the cholesterol campaign create immense prosperity for researchers, doctors, drug producers and the food industry.
- The Chance of not dying from a heart attack over four to six years for a patient with CHD and high cholesterol is about 92 percent without treatment, and increases slightly to 95 percent with Statin treatment.
I like this conclusion by the author:
“In conclusion, the new guidelines may possibly prevent cardiovascular death in a small minority of patients with cardiovascular disease. But at the same time they may increase mortality from other diseases, transform healthy individuals into unhappy hypochondriacs obsessed with the chemical composition of their food and their blood, reduce the income of ranchers and dairy farmers, undermine the art of cuisine, destroy the joy of eating, and divert health care money from the sick and the poor to the rich and the healthy. The only winners are the drug companies and imitation food industry, and the researchers that they support.”
Most people I have talked with are intimidated into drug therapy by their physician. Here’s what Dr. Pinckney, former co-editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, had to say about that:
“Your fear of dying … may well have made you a victim of the cholesterol controversy. For, if you have come to believe that you can ward off death from heart disease by altering the amount of cholesterol in your blood, whether by diet or by drugs, you are following a regime that still has no basis in fact. Rather, you as a consumer have been taken in by certain commercial interests and health groups who are more interested in your money than in your life .”
American experimental psychologist Dr. Russell Smith studied the diet-cholesterol-heart issue with extreme thoroughness and concluded:
“The current campaign to convince every American to change his or her diet and, in many cases, to initiate drug ‘therapy’ for life is based on fabrications, erroneous interpretations and/or gross exaggerations of findings and, very importantly, the ignoring of massive amounts of unsupportive data . . . it does not seem possible that objective scientists without vested interests could ever interpret the literature as supportive ….”
Dr. Stehbens of the Department of Pathology at Wellington School of Medicine, and director of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington, New Zealand, after doing his own extensive research and review of the literature, says:
“The perpetuation of the cholesterol myth and the alleged preventive measures are doing the dairy and meat industries of this and other countries much harm quite apart from their potential to endanger optimum nutrition levels and t he health of the populace at large . . . . It is essential to adhere to hard scientific facts and logic. Scientific evidence for the role of dietary fat and hypercholesterolemia in the causation of atherosclerosis is seriously lacking. . . . The lipid hypothesis has enjoyed undeserved longevity and respectability. Readers should be aware of the unscientific nature of claims used to support it and see it as little more than a pernicious bum steer.”
The author continues:
“Dr. Russell Smith criticizes a large number of leading scientists from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association, which he calls the ‘alliance.’ He considers their work “incompetent and sloppy …. The fraud is so blatant and so pervasive that it was considered necessary to take some liberties with the usual staid rhetoric of a scientific review and inject stronger language to emphasize the problem.'”
Noted Professor George Mann, now retired from teaching medicine and biochemistry at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, presented his arguments against the diet-heart idea as far back as 1977 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Ravnskov writes:
“Eight years later, when the cholesterol education campaign was getting into gear, Professor Mann summarized his criticism of the diet-heart idea in Nutrition Today. The diet-heart idea is the greatest scientific deception of our times, he said. Mann is especially critical of the cholesterol-lowering trials. Never in the history of science have so many costly experiments failed so consistently, he declared . . . . People who are faced with the many distorted facts about diet, cholesterol and heart disease often ask me why almost all scientists unquestioningly accept the diet-heart idea. And you may have asked the same question after reading this book. Here is Professor Mann’s comment: “to loose their soft money funding, the academicians who should speak up and stop this wasteful anti-science are strangely quiet. Their silence has delayed a solution for coronary heart disease by a generation’. Professor Mann offers a little glimpse of hope at the end of his article in Nutrition Today:
‘Those who manipulate data do not appreciate that understanding the nature of things cannot be permanently distorted-the true explanation cannot be permanently ignored. Inexorably, truth is revealed and deception is exposed…. In due time truth will come out. This is the relieving grace in this sorry sequence ….'”
I have done my part to apprise my readers of this deception and to reveal the truth as I have discerned it in order to provide information that may help my readers in making intelligent and informed choices in their healthcare. [Portions of this report
were italicized by the author for emphasis.]
Reference: Dr. Ravnskov’s book was published in Sweden in 1991 and in Finland a year later. To order his book ask for ISBN 0-9670897-0-0.
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