Would you be surprised to learn that you can protect your heart more effectively through taking high-quality nutritional supplements than through taking cholesterol-lowering drugs? This is the message of a book entitled "Cholesterol Conspiracy" written by Ladd McNamara, MD, a board-certified physician and expert in nutritional medicine. In his 85-page book with 167 references Dr. McNamara explains that most people who die of heart disease have normal cholesterol levels! The most common form of heart disease nowdays is atherosclerosis (damaged arteries which are possibly clogged due to plaque formation).
Heart disease kills 725,000 Americans annually – it is the # 1 killer in the US today. An early idea was that cholesterol is the culprit of this disease. Dr. Ladd McNamara sheds light on the history:
- Years ago the idea was that to reduce the risk of heart disease the total cholesterol level needed to be kept below 200 – it did not lower the risk of heart disease.
- The recommendation eventually changed to measuring the ratio of "good" cholesterol (HDL) and "bad" cholesterol (LDL). The initial recommended limit of LDL was 130, was then lowered to 100 (in 2001) and lowered further to 70 (July 2004). These drugs are big business: over $ 16 billion in profits in 2003. The latest drop doubles the number of people who become candidates for cholesterol- lowering drugs.
- The pharmaceutical companies spend a huge amount of money to influence the public and doctors alike that these drugs are needed and try to suppress scientific information regarding the important role that vitamins and minerals play – Dr. Ladd McNamara compares this behavior to that of the tobacco industry in the past.
Dr. Ladd McNamara convincingly argues that there is no scientific evidence supporting the prescription of statin-cholesterol lowering drugs to an ever increasing number of people and that there is a much more effective solution.
- Studies show that heart disease is caused by oxidized LDL. To understand oxidation think of a piece of metal rusting. If you prevent the oxidation (via antioxidants, ie, vitamins) the LDL will not stick to the arterial walls and form plaques.
- Homocysteine is a compound in our bodies that oxidizes the LDL and the arterial walls. The oxidized LDL releases C Reactive Protein (CRP) which is a powerful indicator for this inflammation of the arteries. The homocysteine level can be lowered, for example, by the vitamin B family.
The recommendation is to be quite cautious about using cholesterol-lowering drugs which can damage your liver, reduce the amounts of a critical enzyme (Co-Q10) needed for energy production in every cell (and especially in the heart!) And has many other negative side effects. Instead, it is recommended to take a high-quality nutritional supplement and keeping your LDL from getting oxidized. You can also ask your doctor to measure your homocysteine level (should be below 6.5) and CRP.
For more information and detailed recommendations please contact Stephie Althouse, Ph.D., at 858-229-3379 or email at Stephiealthouse@yahoo.com