We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.
– Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D.
Big thanks to Ryan Chan (Follow @RChan50) for pointing out this article: Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease
I know, I know. This isn’t what I said my next blog post would be on. But… I went to the dog park today and overheard this elderly looking woman talking on her cell phone. I am going to go out on a limb and say she was on the call with her husband (or someone of a similar age). I caught her asking, “Did you check your cholesterol today?” And just minutes before, Ryan had posted this link on a Facebook comment for this blog, as well as in the comments of my second blog post. It was this moment where everything seemed more serious and more real than it had before. I mean obviously I want to prevent the disease in myself, but it was just one of those “duh” moments. The epiphany was that people have these issues right now and that people died today and are going to continue to die of these causes. I know… dramatic. Was just in one of those moods I guess.
It isn’t like I’ve never met someone who has had health issues relating to heart disease before. But now, based on all my research over the years, I feel like I have an answer to solve (or at least stop the progression of) their problems. And my answer is completely different from what their physicians are telling them. And of course my readers hopefully know or eventually will know that what their physicians are (probably) telling them are worsening the issue. I want to write an article about the dangers and side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs, called statins, eventually. Unfortunately weekdays don’t lend me too much time to write about everything I want to right away.
Anyways, sitting there, I had this feeling like I was watching someone get mugged, but didn’t do anything about it. The last thing I wanted to do was sound like a lunatic butting into her business and pushing my ideas on her like a soapbox evangelist. If that is your kind of thing, more power to you. Just sayin’, that typically isn’t well received. I think a better solution would be to change the mainstream ideas (ambitious I know) because we all know people would rather listen to what they hear in the media than on some crazy asian guy’s blog. I mean, what kind of asian doesn’t eat rice?!
Moving on. What was this article about? Let me summarize. What he wrote about pretty much aligns with what I wrote in a section of my second blog post, but in more detail. Dr. Dwight Lundell writes about how cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease. Inflammation does. Specifically chronic inflammation of the arterial walls. And what causes this? Pretty much the Standard American Diet.
Dr. Lundell says at one point:
The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.
While you may not be able to see it [inflammation], rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.
If you stuck around and read that second blog post of mine, you would have seen that bit about modern medicine flipping this idea and saying cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. Cholesterol causes plaquing which causes narrowing of the arteries. What they ignore is the fact that cholesterols have a very important and beneficial role in the body and they ignore the root of the cause. Why does the cholesterol eventually cause plaque build up? The answer to that million dollar question is… drumroll please… inflammation. So why do doctors prescribe statins which lower cholesterol? Because they are only looking at the symptom, not the cause. I’m sure we all can agree that modern medicine is about treatment more than it is prevention. And what’s worse is we often just treat the immediate symptoms. If we would just treat the root cause, inflammation (via dietary intervention), we could stop heart disease in its tracks.
Anyways, if you haven’t hit the link already, I highly encourage you to read the full article here. And pass it on like I should have.