Doctors may be wrong about cholesterol.

high-cholesterol-foods

“HIS HEART STOPPED BEATING.”  That’s the most frequent answer I hear from Miriam Goldberg when I inquire as to the cause of death of a mutual acquaintance or celebrity whose demise we are discussing. My legions of fans and regular readers will remember that Miriam is my long-time friend and muse who always seems to have an appropriate response for any situation.  At restaurants in the Deep South, she frequently tells the server, “I’ll have an order of deep-fat-fried lard smothered with powdered sugar.”  Miriam quit being concerned about cholesterol eons ago.

So did Dr. Ernest N. Curtis – in a manner of speaking.  Over thirty years ago, he became convinced that cholesterol is not only not the central factor in heart attacks, but no factor at all.  His book, The Cholesterol Delusion, has been published, and with it, he intends to educate and convince us that the proponents of “The Cholesterol Theory” (of atherosclerosis and heart disease) are wrong and that the critics are correct.

CholesterolDr. Curtis agrees with Ms. Goldberg in that the inability of the heart muscle to supply oxygenated blood to vital organs (like the brain) will result in certain death – quickly.  Early in his brief and easy-to-read book, he points out that in most cultures, the cause of death recorded on death certificates is not precise.  A personal experience bears this out in the case of my father.

He choked to death as an attendant administered his oral meds.  For more than twelve hours, his blood-oxygen levels had been in a range that would produce cerebral hypoxia.  The death certificate read, “Alzheimer’s.”

Curtis offers statistics to show that more than half the time, the diagnosis of heart-related causes of death prove expedient and appropriate for the non-violent demise of the dearly departed.

Many readers will be familiar with the reports that came out in the 80’s pointing out how the Japanese had better diets and less heart-related deaths.  In Japan, the default diagnosis for cause of death is “stroke”.  In France, it’s “myocarditis.”  Apparently each country chooses its favorite cause of death and skews the statistics leading to unreliable conclusions world wide.  Another favorite quote from Lady Goldberg, “About 87% of all statistics are made up.”  We concur, especially when grant money for research and protection of investments in drug patents is at stake.

My new favorite cardiologist takes readers through a rudimentary course on related anatomy, epidemiology, statistical analysis and the ins and outs of medical journal reports.  Don’t worry, it’s smooth sailing for the lay person and after all, it’s only your heart we’re talking about.  Dr. Curtis supports his opinions and conclusions with a thorough and convincing bibliography.  He disses statin therapy (and recommends a low dose of aspirin), encourages us to dissent and then explains what keeps the big lie alive.

“Cholesterol is one of the most vital and important biochemical compounds in nature.  It is a major component of every cell in the body.” says Dr. Curtis.  He includes a thorough and easy to follow explanation of what causes “hardening of the arteries”, plaque build up, and the role (if any) of cholesterol in atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

You owe it to yourself and family members if anyone is or is about to begin oral meds for “high cholesterol” to seriously consider the opinion of Dr. Curtis.  As a practicing pharmacist, I can say with certainty that “doctor’s orders” aren’t infallible. Hand a copy of this book to your doctor and ask if he or she owns stock in either Merck or Pfizer.

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    Chip, this seems to be the trend among doctors and medical studies. What’s bad today is good tomorrow. But hang on, some day it will be bad again. I think it all depends on who is paying for the study.

  • Darlene Jones

    The only solution is to stop reading all the reports and studies and get on with your life.

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