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232 of 247 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Statins ? Read This and Have Informed Concent !!, October 19, 2012
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This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won't Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will (Paperback)
The book, The Great Cholesterol Myth is a useful contribution exposing the lipid hypothesis of heart disease for what it is, an unproven theory grounded in propaganda, not science. For those of you who demand authors with ' proper ' credentials, you will be satisfied . Bowden has a Ph.D and is a clinical nutritionists, and Sinatra is a M.D. . The book is an easy read,making the subject easy to grasp for the non specialists with many basic concepts well defined in kind of a folksy writing style. If you have read other books on this subject, you can skim over these areas.

The first two chapters deal with why cholesterol levels are not a good indicator of heat disease, and the history of how animal fats became demonized, including the pseudo science of Ansel Keys's epidemiology studies and, the politics of McGovern's Committee On Nutrition, etc. .

Chapter 3 expounds on how chronic inflammation is likely to cause heart disease and the beneficial roles of the various forms of cholesterol.

Chapter 4 deals with Sugar and its destructive role in human physiology. There is a discussion on insulin resistance and its ramifications. There is no discussion of the hormone that fat produces, Leptin which Byron Richards in his book Mastering Leptin states that leptin resistance is a major contributing factor to insulin resistance and by extension would be a major factor in heart disease.

Chapter 5 is a great discussion on Fat, and why saturated fat is not the boogie man we have brainwashed into believing it is. They clearly explain the differences between various fats without overwhelming the reader in chemistry. They have a very clear discussion of the Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats, and why the ratio of consumption is so important.

Chapter 6 discusses cholesterol lowering drugs ( statins ) including how little they lower risk, how the assessment of benefit is grossly inflated, how for almost every group the benefits are assumed and not proven, and how side effects are significant and trivialized my most doctors and as such the complications are under reported. Various studies are critically reviewed to show little or no support for the idea that lowering cholesterol lowers risk for heart disease or increases overall life.

Chapter 7 contains recommendations for supplements to improve cardiovascular health and is good as far as it goes. I am no expert, but I do see some omissions, such as not mentioning how vitamin K2 can improve health by helping redistribute calcium from soft tissue to where it belongs, in the teeth and bones. I fault this book in is that there is no section on Further Reading, though it is well references with scientific articles, which most people cannot access . For improvement of calcium health I would suggest the book: Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life by Kate Rheaume-Bleue

Chapter 8 deals with Stress and heart disease which at this time I have skipped at this time.

In the concluding chapter there is a very useful summary of test you might want to have. One test that is omitted is one usually directed at diabetics, but it has been found to be a reliable indicator of heart disease risk, which is the glycolated hemoglobin test. A good discussion of this topic: Post-Meal Blood Sugar and A1c Predict Cardiovascular Events and Deaths can be found by searching the Blood Sugar 101 site. The rest of the chapter is devoted to eating recommendations and behavioral aspects of lowering risk for heart disease.

I recommend this book highly. If you or a family member is on Statins drugs for lowering risk of heart disease and you haven't study what the critics of the lipid hypothesis have to say, then you have not had informed consent for this therapy. This book is not as complete or strident or technical as Anthony Colpo's The Great Cholesterol Con ( see it for a better discussion of the iron hypothesis of heart disease ) but is a simpler read. I wish the authors would have had a more inclusive list of related books. Maybe other reviewers can add to my suggestions. Here are some other books worth reading that would amplify some subjects touched upon in this book: Exposing the Hidden Dangers of Iron by Garrison and Weinberg, Transdermal Magnesium Therapy By Mark Sircus, And The High Blood Pressure Solution By Richard D. Moore.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 26, 2012 2:37:02 PM PDT
Thank you for a comprehensive review that really provides useful information about what one can expect to obtain from this book. If more people took the time to provide comprehensive reviews like yours, this review system would be alot more useful. Again, thank you for your time and efforts in putting together your review on such a serious topic for the benefit of the rest of us. Respectfully submitted,

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 7:58:45 AM PDT
Kathy Edens says:
Thank you for your review. I think I'll be putting this book on my "to read" list. I've been struggling with high triglycerides for several years now. Does this book address that issue? My doctor has recommended the Perfect Ten book and wants me to eliminate sugar which I already knew impacted triglycerides. I'm trying to comply but have recently been told that sugar substitutes are just as harmful as sugar. I'm trying to reconcile the differing dietary advice given by cardiologists, endocrinologists (my former employer) and now my internal medicine doctor. It is very difficult to understand how each can be so diametrically opposed to the other's advice. If the medical community can't agree, how is a simple-minded layperson like myself supposed to make sense of all the conflicting advice?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 12:16:46 PM PDT

Thank you both for your encouragement. From my readings high triglycerides are a function of excess carbohydrate consumption. You are right to be wary of sugar substitutes. There are sugar receptors any many places in the body, the pancreas for one, that are stimulated by artificial sweetness. I have gotten a lot out of Byron Richards's book Mastering Leptin. Though somewhat repetitive and at times folksy in their anthropomorphic metaphors ( "giving the liver a blood nose " ) their analysis of the science behind of how critical the fat hormone Leptin is to the proper running of your metabolism represents a real breakthrough. I think the application of their ' Five Rules " will go a long way to lowering your triglycerides, and help you control your sweet tooth.
If you haven't already, you should also see if your blood sugar is abnormally high 1 to 2 ( or 3 hours if you eat pasta ) after you eat. Get a diabetic blood sugar meter, strips, and lancet and see what is going on. The majority of people who turn diabetic, have damaging levels of blood sugar years before their morning ' fasting ' levels go high. Half of everybody who are eventually diagnosed by their doctor as diabetic, have been diabetic so long that they already have measurable diabetic complications. There is no sense going around being an undiagnosed diabetic, and once you are recognized, you will get a lot more attention from your doctor. If you are not diabetic, then this will give some peace of mind on that issue. This information I have gotten from Jenny Ruhl's book and web site Blood Sugar 101 which I highly recommend.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 1:29:09 PM PDT
Kathy Edens says:
John, I have been told by two different doctors that I absolutely do not have diabetes. I want to keep it that way. My concern about sugar is due to liver disease which is affected by triglycerides. There is so much conflicting advice it is almost impossible to make sense of it all. Every person who advocates a particular diet, is adament that their way is the only way, and everyone else is wrong. The discussions often get quite heated and sometimes very rude and insulting. Too bad because with the informationconstantly evolving, we all have much to learn.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 12:49:47 AM PDT
Kathy, I hope I haven't offended you, it was not my intention. I just like to encourage people to make sure they aren't an undiagnosed diabetic like I was.

Here is an idea. When you use a sweetener, why not try using small amounts of glucose, also know as dextrose, and avoid sucrose ( table sugar which is half fructose ) and corn high fructose corn syrup. The reason is, and maybe you already know this, is that fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, while glucose can be metabolized by any cell in your body. Therefore, wouldn't avoiding fructose be less of a burden for you ?

The point I was trying to make is that the fasting glucose test which is what most doctors rely on, is not the most sensitive test for detecting adult onset diabetes . I am sure I was diabetic for a couple of years before my fasting glucose levels rose to diabetic levels.

I am impressed with Byron Richards ideas because he is extremely non self promoting, cited 850 scientific papers to support his positions, and has clinical experience of about 20 years. It is possible that his advice might help you with the triglyceride issues.

Take care John Wagoner

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 5:34:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 31, 2012 5:36:28 AM PDT
Kathy Edens says:
No offense taken at all, John. I've been using Splenda until recently because the dietitians in the endocrinologist's office where I worked years ago recommended it. Now I've read it is not any better than sugar. So I've been using Stevia more recently. I'm not sure if it is better but I've read it is. More research required and I'll look into the glucose idea.

My overall cholesterol level is no problem although I need a little work on both HDL and LDL. My triglycerides must be controlled better due to liver disease. As you probably know, triglycerides are manufactured by the liver and both sugar and fats affect it. So you can probably understand why I am confused about the sudden belief that fat is ok. I have to say that when I was first told to get trigs. under control I had been eating eggs at least 3 times per week. I switched to no cholesterol egg substitute along with other dietary changes and the trigs. came down tremendously but still need further reduction. I also switched from Frosted Flakes to Shredded Wheat. Now I'm told that wheat products are bad....after decades of hearing how great whole wheat is. I don't want to rely on old information but wouldn't it be wonderful if the scientists and medical communitycould "discover" the perfect diet, agree on it and stick with it?

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 12:34:00 PM PST
Do they discuss how to cure Heart disease like Dr.Caldwell B Essellstyn? I thought they did studies of people around the world where their is virtually zero heart disease and there cholestrol levesl were under 100

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 1:19:47 AM PST

If you are looking for a book to support the idea that the vegan diet is healthy, this is not it. From my readings if there is place in the world where people have very low cholesterol and there isn't heart disease, its because the ones who would have eventually died of heart disease instead have already died of cancer, dementia, infections and or accidents. That is how important cholesterol is to your body., In Anthony Colpo's book he presents a graph of total mortality and total cholesterol, and it clearly is a U shaped curve, with as much or more mortality in groups of total cholesterol lower than 160 as over 350. If you want a more reliable test for heart disease risk, quite worrying about your cholesterol and get the glycolated hemoglobin test, which reveals how much of your blood cells are damaged by glucose

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2013 11:15:26 AM PDT
@Kathy Edens. About 8 years ago I had sky high triglycerides, and high homocysteine. I switched to Stevia a few years ago, and this year am gradually decreasing my Stevia intake. For a sweetener for my almost daily oatmeal, I'm down to 1/2 teaspoon, from the previous 1. What I'm saying is that one of the advantages of Stevia is that it doesn't feed the craving for something sweet. Glad you switched.
Other changes have led to Homocysteine of 5! and quite low triglycerides. I do generally follow the Cholesterol Down! diet as a healthy diet plan.

Posted on May 31, 2013 6:48:00 AM PDT
Like most people 'curious' about the boggie man - Cholesterol, I am reading the book. Not being in the medical profession, their credentials sound great.
HOWEVER, I can't help but wonder about agencies in the USA who we foolishly believe have the peoples' interest at heart. So dare I ask, "who if anyone is watching out for 'we the people'"?
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