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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Great Cholesterol Myth

The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won't Prevent Heart Disease - and the Statin-Free Plan That Will, Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra, Fair Winds Press, 2012

"High cholesterol and saturated fat are the major causes of heart disease." That statement has been a medical article of faith for many years. According to the authors of this book, it is also very wrong.

There are several different types of "good" and "bad" cholesterol (some "good" cholesterol is bad for the body, and some "bad" cholesterol is good for the body), so a single number for good and bad cholesterol each is rather worthless. People with really low cholesterol numbers can easily get heart disease, and those with really high cholesterol numbers can live their entire lives without one bit of heart disease. Why do some native cultures, who practically live on saturated fat, have little or no heart disease?

The real cause of heart disease is chronic inflammation, which comes from damage caused by free radicals (the book explains everything). Sugar is much more harmful to your heart than fat. It contributes to inflammation in the walls of your arteries. It increases the amount of insulin in your blood, which increases cholesterol and raises your blood pressure. It also raises your level of triglycerides, which is a much better indicator of heart disease than cholesterol.

What is the problem with statin drugs, the usual treatment for heart disease? Their benefits have been extremely exaggerated. The brain depends on cholesterol to function normally. A common (but under-reported) side effect of statin drugs is sexual dysfunction. Most doctors dismiss complaints of side effects from statin drugs, and don't report them to the FDA. The only people who should take statin drugs are middle-age men with documented coronary artery disease.

The book mentions tests that are much better indicators than cholesterol of heart problems. Ask your doctor to order them. Get rid of sugar, soda, processed carbohydrates and trans fats from your diet. Eat more vegetables, berries, nuts, beans and dark chocolate. If you can add only one supplement to your diet, make it Coenzyme Q10.

This book easily reaches the level of Must read, especially for anyone on a statin drug. It is an eye-opener that will give the reader plenty to discuss with their doctor at their next appointment.

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