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Showing 1-10 of 938 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 996 reviews
on November 17, 2013
Me: "Doc, I cycle 100 miles a week, burn 6000-7000 calories a week, take fish oil, and I'm eating better. I even take advantage of "nature's broom" However, my cholesterol just won't drop."

Doctor: "Because of family history and genetics, you simply won't be able to lower your cholesterol without a statin."

So for the last four years, I've taken a well-known statin and the results have been favorable. However, Drs. Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra disagree with the notion that lowering cholesterol prevents heart disease. Their book, The Great Cholesterol Myth contains an argument that pumps feverishly through the arteries of this book: The real causes of heart disease include four key factors, namely - inflammation, oxidation, sugar, and stress. The authors contend the real tragedy is the fixation with cholesterol which has produced an industry that boasts over $30 billion a year in the statin market. In a shocking statement, both authors maintain, "Cholesterol does not cause heart disease."

Bowden and Sinatra point out that cholesterol is vital for healthy living: "Cholesterol is an essential molecule without which there would be no life, so important that virtually every cell in the body is capable of synthesizing it." For over fifty years, the so-called lipid hypothesis has dominated the medical community which essentially states that "saturated fat runs up cholesterol levels, and elevated cholesterol leads to heart disease." The hypothesis has never been proved but continues to rule in the hearts and minds of most Americans.

One of the most helpful aspects of The Great Cholesterol Myth is the discussion about the importance of coenzeme Q10 (better known as CoQ10) which serves an important nutrient, a sort of fuel source for the heart. Statins deplete CoQ10 which may lead to muscle pain, weakness, and fatigue. Yet none of the doctors that have prescribed a stain in my case have ever mentioned that importance of supplementing with CoQ10. The authors plead with readers who take statins to immediately begin supplementing their cholesterol lowering drug with CoQ10 - a minimum of 200 mg daily.

Dr. Sinatra admits that he still prescribes statins on occasion but "almost exclusively to middle-aged men who've already had a first heart attack, coronary intervention, or coronary artery disease." He argues, "Statin drugs are anti-inflammatory, and their power to reduce inflammation is more much important than their ability to lower cholesterol. But [and here's the clincher] we can lower inflammation (and the risk for heart disease) with natural supplements, a better diet, and lifestyle changes such as managing stress."

The authors reveal a fascinating study that includes five factors that significantly lowered the risk for heart disease:

1. Don't smoke.

2. Drink alcohol in moderation.

3. Engage in moderate-to-vigorous exercise for at least half an hour a day on average.

4. Maintain a healthy weight (BMI under 25).

5. Eat a wholesome, low-glycemic (low-sugar) diet with plenty of omega-3 fats and fiber.

Notice that lowering cholesterol is painfully absent from the list. Perhaps this is why, as the authors note, "Cholesterol is a relatively minor player in heart disease and a poor predictor of heart attacks. More than half of all people who are hospitalized with heart attacks have perfectly normal cholesterol levels."

The heart of the book explores the real culprit behind heart disease. The authors dogmatically claim "the true cause of heart disease is inflammation" or as they put it, "acute inflammation hurts, but chronic inflammation kills." Second, oxidation is one of the sure signs of inflammation, which leads to a fascinating conclusion, namely - the only time cholesterol becomes troubling is if it's oxidized (or damaged). Third, the authors note that "sugar is a far greater danger to your heart than fat ever was." They go on to demonstrate that "the number one dietary contributor to heart disease is sugar." Finally, stress is included as a major cause of heart disease.

Bowden and Sinatra wonder out loud if statins will become the next medical tragedy - quite comforting to anyone who has relied on statins for years on end! Side-effects are explored, which is well documented, and side-effects which I have personally experienced. But the alarming news is that some researchers are warning that statins may contribute to Alzheimers, thinking skills, and memory. One researcher comments, "Cholesterol changes the shape of the protein to stimulate thinking and memory." But the fact that is most often repeated is ability of statins to deplete the body of CoQ10. "The depletion of CoQ10 is one of the most important negative effects of statins, and the one that is pretty much responsible for a host of common side effects involving muscle pain, weakness, and loss of energy." To summarize, the authors maintain the risk of using statins outweighs the rewards.

Finally, Bowden and Sinatra explore how supplements can lead to heart health such as vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fats included in wild salmon. Additionally, they recommend that stain users immediately begin to supplement their diet with CoQ10. "Just as a gasoline engine can't work without spark plugs, the human body can't work without CoQ10."

I am not ready to pitch my statin until my doctor recommends doing so. But The Great Cholesterol Myth has got me thinking. And it has led to some concrete action steps such as implementing CoQ10 into my daily diet. I'm actually looking forward to my next doctor visit - where my list of questions will be long. Let's just say, I'll be getting my money's worth that day!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 27, 2015
Because of a my high cholesterol count, a doctor suggested I go on a statin drug. I decided to do some research instead. What an eye-opening experience. Not since I looked into fluoride have I had found that we the people are lied to by moneyed-interests on a daily basis and in ways that might kill us.

Our brains run on 25% cholesterol, and our hormones are made by cholesterol which makes the side-effects of statin drugs way too logical(memory loss--sexual performance--depression). Is high cholesterol giving us heart attacks? Is it really bad for us at all? Research shows that for men who've had a heart attack, taking a statin lowers their chance of having another one. This doesn't apply to women. (Beware the sorcerers the Bible says, and the word Chemistry comes from Khem which was the word for Egypt where they lived once upon a time, but it's probably nothing . . .come to think of it, the word sorcerer sounds pretty close to Source, meaning playing God?)

But about the book, chapter by chapter Stephen Sinatra gives us the research done on cholesterol, the fuzzy math used in statistics, and finally what food and vitamins will help lower your bad cholesterol is there really is such a thing. What is labeled 'bad' cholesterol actually fight bacterial infections. Really the only thing we have to worry about is inflammation which comes from having an acid environment in our bodies, which is brought on by all of the things we love--fried foods-alcohol-sugar-meat. Maybe it's just way easier to pop a pill then to clean up our collective acts and eat well. Maybe that's what our drug companies count on, but as I've learned, there's no free lunch. If we don't take care of ourselves, we pay the price down the road because no drug is not without side effects.

Here's what's in the book for those who might be on the fence about taking a statin.
1. Why You Should Be Skeptical of Cholesterol As An Indicator of Heart Disease.
2. Cholesterol Is Harmless
3. Inflammation: The True Cause of Heart Disease
4. Sugar: The Real Demon
5. The Truth About Fat
6. The Statin Scam
7. Help Your Heart With These Supplements
8. Stress The True Killer

There is not pill you can take that will replace eating right and exercising. Surprisingly, even if you do these things poorly, having strong bonds with family and friends can help you with the stress of your life in amazing ways. There are no short-cuts in life, and knowledge is power so take responsibility for your health because I'm sure no one cares more.
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on May 7, 2017
Great read. I got this book after my dad recommended it to me. I, personally, am not a big fan of taking a lot of supplements so I kind of glossed over those parts. I'd rather eat healthy, exercise, and eliminate psychological stressors when possible. I'm normal weight, exercise everyday (unless I have a headache) and rarely eat junk. My total cholesterol is high (like 220s?), LDL is high, but my HDL is like 90, and triglycerides are like 100. One nurse practitioner was adimant that i go on a statin. Sadly, i wasted energy arguing with her. But over the years I've had 3 doctors just tell me to take fish oil and none have even suggested I take statins. So I don't think all doctors are pill pushers, which is great. I'm glad I didn't listen to the nurse practitioner and I give credit to this book for helping me take control over my own health (and my dad for suggesting this book).
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on February 3, 2015
Exposes the myth of your total cholesterol number as a useful measure of heart or artery problems. There is now a test for your likely-to-oxidize, smallest LDL particles which you should ask for from the doctor. Half of all heart and clogged artery deaths are from people with normal cholesterol. If your cholesterol is too low, you have big problems as well.

Managed care has refused to order the LDL specific test in the past. Lets see if that changes with the incentives now to pay for results under the new Medicare rules and not the number of procedures. The original cholesterol research had numerous flaws. The book also mentions your TG/HDL ratio as well, if you're to have a comprehensive evaluation of your blood work.
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on June 1, 2017
I'm only up to page 42 so far, but you also have to read the few page introductory to see a lot of other doctors back these two doctors up. My wife came home from the doctor recently all depressed telling me her doctor is going to put her on some statin meds, plus vitamin d shots. That kinda ticked me off a little because it's telling here they already know the statins are going to mess with your vitamin D, etc. I heard bad stuff about statins years ago but never looked anything up about them. So I got online and did some searching and ran across this The Great Cholesterol MYTH book and bought this plus 5 others. But so far this one is the only one I read some, and maybe won't have to look at the others, but I have them on hand anyway, but I'm pretty sure the others will for the most part be a rehash of what's in this one. My own doctor used to hound me to take Lipitor starting about 15 or more years ago, I told him I'd get mine down with my diet because I had heard some negative things about them drugs messing your liver up, he said don't worry we'll keep an eye on your liver. I told him I'll keep an eye on my own liver. He said "Everybody's a doctor nowadays with the internet" . He now is a doctor at the VA hospital.
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on November 30, 2012
Either you believe in what you want to do or you won't do it. So it is with recognizing finally the misinformation sold to us for decades now in which the promise is actually the polar opposite of the expected results. $30 Billion in statins are dutifully consumed because of the supposed risk of a natural (to humans) food, animal fat. We're wrongly instructed by the USDA and an army of equally misguided zealots to avoid such fat and instead substitute seeds and seed by-products (like wheat and flour), unsaturated fats (high in free radical properties) and 'natural' sugars in juices. Decades into this 'plan' for health, obesity is rampant, heart disease is thriving and Big Pharma profits continue to surge. Simple observation should allow anyone to see that what we've been told isn't the right information. This well written book will allow you to understand how and why you've been misled and provide you with the specifics of living (and eating) your way to far healthier outcomes. Being obese is a physical manifestation of errors in our diet which are easily correctable and can be done without resort to statin medication which does not deliver what is promised and supports the erroneous persistence in our diet and lifestyle. More eggs, less organic whole wheat. More lard, less pasta. If you don't make the effort to actually know the biochemistry of you body, you're likely to continue to lead an exploited and far less healthy life.
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on March 3, 2013
I found the first part of the book very enlightening - especially the selective analysis of data and the politicizing of the issue. The section on how pharma uses relative numbers to "prove" efficacy should be read by everyone who is taking any medication or asking for any test. That said, I thought the latter part of the book where they discuss the use of supplements to be mainly a sales pitch and wondered if the authors had a financial interest in any of the companies selling co-Q10 and the others. It seemed as thought they were using the same relative numbers that they had previously railed against. The Mayo clinic, for example, finds the co-Q10 studies inconclusive. So I am glad I read the book. I am less concerned about my cholesterol and I will never take a statin. On the other hand, I am not rushing out to buy the supplements, either.
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on November 1, 2013
This book can change the way you understand heart disease and the part that cholesterol DOES NOT PLAY in it. Cholesterol was identified as the culprit years ago by a researcher using only selected data sources that supported his hypothesis. It actually is an essential component in all cells in the body, and twenty-five percent of the body's cholesterol is found in the brain. It must be doing something important there. On the other hand, the harm of statin drugs designed to lower cholesterol in the human body is enormous. Many who take them suffer from pain caused by the dissolution of muscle tissue. ( I am one of those people. I have been prescribed four different statins over the years, all of which caused this response. I am relieved to find that my naturally high inherited cholesterol level won't do me in. My grandmother and aunt died at 94 and my mother at 84. You would think I could have figured out that high cholesterol isn't a killer before reading this book.) May people on statins sufferer from serious disruption to memory and thinking skills.
The story of how statins got to be the holy grail of heart health is a tail about self-interest and abysmal greed. There is no reason to keep on supporting the pharmaceutical industry by following the flawed but mainstream belief that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. Studies show that there is NO CORRELATION between mortality and high cholesterol...in fact, there is evidence that mortality is actually higher in people with low cholesterol. Don't believe me. Read the book then do your own research and make your own conclusion.
The real culprit in heart disease is inflammation caused by consumption of sugars and high glycemic index foods not "bad" fats.
Read the book. What I've covered is just "the tip of the iceberg". There is more information than I can meaningfully review. It's a good read and could save lives.
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on April 30, 2014
For over two years I have been fighting facial pain (trigeminal neuralgia) and after reading the book I stopped taking the statin drug I have been on for years. My facial pain went away. I can't prove it was not just a coincidence, however I believe that since cholesterol makes up the meylin sheath that covers nerves, it sure is a possibility. The book is very well written with much factual data to back up the authors claims. The authors also have exceptionally high credentials that helps a reader to believe they do know their subject. I highly recommend reading this book if you have an interest in your cholesterol. The book will give you an understanding of what is important regarding testing your cholesterol.
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on November 10, 2012
After having my brother and father die early deaths from heart failure,I embarked upon a very alternative health journey as their medical experiences with traditional medicine left me with the feeling that the AMA methodology had failed them. For a long time the separateness of the two ways of healing was a predicament where, because of the non support of each other, it seemed impossible for the AMA to benefit from alternative ways and visa versa. I myself admonished any traditional prescriptions, and I know I was often ridiculed by medical doctors for my alternative optioning. The Great Cholesterol Myth presents an excellent combining of both medicines,dismissing alot of what was thought to be truth in the AMA world. With humor and simple layman's language, Dr. Sinatra and Jonny Bowden give a very accurate healing plan that embodies a holistic order I have never read before in the traditional medicine world. I would hardily recommend this book to all who questioned straight traditional medicine in the face of a very grave and often fatal disease. Thank you so much for easing my resistance in a very traditional world. I feel that in this New Order we are approaching, it is crucial that we all work together as a whole. This book is outstanding.
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