Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saturated Fat is Good for You

The newest newsletter from Dr Duane Graveline at spacedoc.net contains a three part article by Uffe Ravnskov MD a very credible doctor and researcher titled "Saturated Fat is Good for You". Dr Graveline has written books such as "Lipitor Thief of Memory", "Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol", and "The Statin Damage Crisis", all excellent documentary resources on the effects and dangers of cholesterol lowering statin drugs.

Dr Graveline's guest in this newsletter, Uffe Ravnskov MD, is not new to this topic by any stretch. He has numerous papers, books, and medical journal articles about cardiovascular issues- see links here. A book that helped me tremendously when I was struggling with the cholesterol/statin issues, "The Cholesterol Myths" is now unfortunately out of print though may still be available from some sources.

All that to say I heartily recommend "Saturated Fat is Good for You" at Spacedoc.net. Read it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The healthcare model of the future

Dr. William Davis and I are not the same person (my name is also William Davis without the Dr.) or even related. I do follow his Heart Scan Blog and Track Your Plaque website and take to heart (pun intended) what he says. He simply makes sense. If I were located where I could I would seriously consider getting more officially involved in his program.

His current blog entry (Tuesday, August 25, 2009) is titled Grasscutting, fertilizer, and healthcare sounds odd for a heart related blog but it caught my eye. I'll quote here his timely paragraph with "the healthcare model of the future." And I do recommend that you read his full blog entry.

You manage your own cholesterol issues, your own basic thyroid issues, supplement and monitor your vitamin D levels, use diet to suit your needs, order blood tests when necessary, even obtain basic imaging tests like heart scans, carotid ultrasound, bone density testing. Your doctor is a resource, near by when and if you need him or her: guidance when needed, an occasional review of what you are doing, someone to consult when you fracture an ankle.

What your doctor is NOT is a paternal, "do what I say, I'm the doctor," or a "You need these tests whether you like it or not" holder of your health fate.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What makes statins so dangerous?

In his popular newsletter, Dr. Mercola provides this analysis of the ubiquitous, cure all statin drug and the stance by the Mayo clinic.

What You Need to Know About Cholesterol in Order to Understand the Dangers of Statins

Statin drugs work by preventing the formation of cholesterol, and reduce LDL cholesterol, which is considered the "bad" cholesterol.

There is no argument that these drugs do work very well at lowering your cholesterol levels. However, was has not been proven is that they significantly lower your risk of dying from heart disease. In no way, shape or form, do they treat the cause of your problem. They are nothing more than a toxic band-aid.

So just what makes statins so dangerous, and why are they not the answer for managing your cholesterol levels?

First you need to understand the biological workings of cholesterol.

In fact, there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. Both HDL and LDL
cholesterol perform vital functions in your body, which is why it’s actually
dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are actually proteins that transport the cholesterol to and from your tissues.

Cholesterol in turn is a precursor to steroid hormones. For example, you can’t make testosterone or estrogen, cortisol, DHEA or pregnenolone, or a multitude of other steroid hormones that are necessary for health, without cholesterol.

Even more importantly, your cells cannot regenerate their membranes without it. The reason you have LDL to begin with is to transport the cholesterol to the tissues in order to make new cells and repair damaged ones.

However, there are different sizes of LDL particles and it’s the LDL particle size that is relevant, and statins do not modulate the size of the particles. Unfortunately, most people don’t know about that part, and very rarely, if ever, get tested for particle size.

The particles are sticky, so very small LDL’s can easily get stuck in different areas, and the build-up eventually causes inflammation and damage.

The only way to make sure your LDL particles are large enough to not cause damage is through your diet. In fact, it’s one of the major functions of insulin.

Conveniently enough, a healthy diet is also the answer for type 2 diabetes, so by focusing on what you eat, you’re treating both your diabetes and your cholesterol levels, and reducing your associated risk of heart disease.

If you eat properly, which is really the only known good way to regulate LDL particle size, then it does the right thing; it takes the cholesterol to your tissues, the HDL takes it back to your liver, and no plaque is formed.

The second thing you need to know is that statins work by reducing the enzyme that causes your liver to make cholesterol when it is stimulated by high insulin levels.

Again, you can achieve the same, or better, result by simply reducing your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and most grains, which is also what you need to do to successfully address type 2 diabetes.

Read the complete article here. Thank you Dr Mercols for a clear, concise explanation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The diet–heart hypothesis: a critique

An article under VIEWPOINT AND COMMENTARY in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) titled "The diet–heart hypothesis: a critique" by Sylvan Lee Weinberg, MD, states the following in the final paragraph. Please read the complete article here.

"A balanced appraisal of the diet–heart hypothesis must recognize the unintended and unanticipated role that the LF-HCarb diet may well have played in the current epidemic of obesity, abnormal lipid patterns, type II diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. Defense of the LF-HCarb diet, because it conforms to current traditional dietary recommendations, by appealing to the authority of its prestigious medical and institutional sponsors or by ignoring an increasingly critical medical literature, is no longer tenable. The categoric rejection of experience and an increasingly favorable medical literature, though still not conclusive, which suggests that the much-maligned LCarb-HP diet may have a favorable impact on obesity, lipid patterns, type II diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome, is also no longer tenable."