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895 The Great Cholesterol Myth

Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:

We’ve all heard that high cholesterol is a prelude to a heart attack. But doctors and patients alike may have been misled into focusing on this single risk factor among more than a hundred others. Our guests have scoured the medical literature and concluded that we need to re-think our approach to cholesterol and heart disease.

What is the optimal diet to reduce your risk of heart disease? (And why don’t you need to worry about the cholesterol in your breakfast eggs?) Our guests give surprising–but evidence-based–advice on healthy living.

One further note: The New York Times blog this week describes the Sidney Diet Heart Study showing more cardiovascular mortality among the volunteers getting less saturated fat.

Guests: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a nationally recognized expert on nutrition, weight loss, and health. He is the author of several best-selling titles, including The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. His website is www.jonnybowden.com.

Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, is a cardiologist and educator. His Heart MD Institute (www.heartmdinstitute.com) is an educational platform focused on prevention and proactive lifestyle changes to live a healthier life. He is the author of Reverse Heart Disease Now and The Sinatra Solution. The photo is of Dr. Sinatra.

Drs. Bowden and Sinatra have joined forces to write The Great Cholesterol Myth, Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease–and the Statin-Free Plan That Will. Get the details on what tests make sense, what you should eat and which supplements they recommend.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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First time that I’ve been on this site, love it and will be looking forward to getting more emails and information!!

I believe they suggested:
For healthy people with exception of those taking Coumadin who must consult doctor:
Co Q10 — 100mg
Magnesium — 400 mg
D-Ribose — 5 grams which is 1 teaspoon
L-Carnitine — 500mg to 1 gram
Omega 3 (DHA or EPA)– frm 1 gram up to 3-4 grams
Curcumin — Terry Naturally brand name 1-2 capsules
Resveratrol where trans resveratol is 900mg
Vitamin C
Pantothen B Vit
for severe heart failure or those awaiting heart transplant:
Co Q10 –300 to 600mg
Magnesium — 400 to 600mg
D-Ribose — 5 grams OR 1 teaspoon 3 times daily
L-Carnitine — 1 to 3 grams

While I heard what Dr. Sinatra had to say about continuing a statin in the event of a heart attack, I have found my own blood flows more easily eating a relatively small amount of cinnamon daily.
I will never have that issue come up since I have no intention of ever taking a statin no matter who wants to order it.
My blood sugar levels are borderline so I do test fairly regularly. I used to have a hard time getting blood from a finger/thumb for the test … until I started eating the cinnamon. It is probably less than 1 tsp per day.

One of the “Awesome Foursome” supplements mentioned on the show is L-carnitine.
However recently Dr. Michael Lauer of the National Institutes of Health appeared on the Diane Rehm Show. According to Dr. Lauer, new research showed that gut bacteria break down carnitine to produce a substance called TMAO “which seems to promote the development of hardening of the arteries.” Dr. Lauer and another doctor on the show advised against taking L-carnitine supplements. You can find the full transcript online of the Apr. 12, 2013, show “New Research on Red Meat and Heart Disease.” The doctors defined red meat as meat from a mammal.

>>With the latest report of atherosclerosis in mummies that are up to 4000 years old it makes you wonder if there is anything at all we can do. . . .They would have been enjoying the now very popular paleo diet.

For me this was the most helpful People’s Pharmacy show I’ve ever heard as I am disposed to having a heart attack by heredity and am already suffering hardening of major arteries and calcification inside my heart while dealing with a severe motor-cell brain injury so taking many of the drugs and supplements discussed in this show, but (like Jennifer above) have little idea how much to take or know how to spell some of the recommended supplements. Now I do. ocor for years and had been buying CoQ10 just because I’d heard it had heart benefits, but stopped due to the expense. After reading this, I plan to resume taking CoQ10 in spite of the expense.
JB – tutorjb1

I am a fan of The People’s Pharmacy and generally find the interviews to be intriguing and informative. I couldn’t agree more with the idea that individualized sources of specific fats including coconut oil, butter and lard should not be demonized as they each have certain benefits that may not be completely understood. I also agree that statins may not be appropriate for all people.
However, and this is a gigantic however: The comments with regard to canola oil are completely unfounded and delivered with such casual disregard that not only does the validity of this anecdotal “fact” become questionable but so does the credibility of the source. The statements “Canola oil is a disaster in the human body” and “Canola oil is better for machines” have essentially no scientific merit.
The editorial staff of The People’s Pharmacy is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the messages contained in these interviews, just as “This American Life” was responsible for “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory.” I hope that in the future such statements will be challenged during the interviews and also followed up with scientific information so that The People’s Pharmacy can remain a trusted source for information.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Quite right. That is precisely why we asked Dr. Walter Willett about canola oil in a subsequent show, #897.

If your on an anticoagulant, remember, all things can be adjusted for. If you start something new, like flax seed or any other supplement known to affect coagulation, check your INR 4 to 7 days after starting your new supplement and adjust accordingly.

Thank you SO much for doing this program!!!!!!
My husband for the last few years had been having unexplained frequent spells of nausea and headache–just not feeling well. Within the past year Maria Emmerich’s book SECRETS TO A HEALTHY METABOLISM and Dr. William Davis’ WHEAT BELLY COOKBOOK have drastically changed the way I cook and the way we eat. My flour canister no longer has flour in it, and my sugar canister no longer has sugar in it! My chief fat is coconut oil. Instead of grain flour, I’m using almond flour and some coconut flour. I use a lot of eggs. When I use dairy products, I no longer use fat-free. It takes some doing to make the transition–nut flours cannot simply replace wheat flour in a recipe. We eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits too. But we are ENJOYING our food in this new way of eating!!!!!
PAYOFF: In the past few months, my husband has been feeling consistently well and without intending to, has lost the 20 pounds he had gradually accumulated since college days. We are both 73 years old.

The poster above doesn’t understand the time frame/diet of the mummies studied. I fear his conclusion is widespread.
The oldest mummies studied (Egyptians) were from civilizations that were only 4,000 years old. This is the time of the Neolithic Era which began about 12,000 years ago in the Middle East. In the Americas, it came later. These Ancient Egyptians ate a very high grain diet and this ushered in among other things, reduced stature and iron deficiency. Dental disease became rampant for the first time in history.
The “now very popular paleo diet” a.k.a. Stone Age diet, is from an earlier pre agricultural time that ran from 2 – 2.5 million years ago to approximately 13,000 years ago. Domesticated grains, legumes and dairy products were not yet available in the Paleolithic Era.

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