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Stent or Prevent? Ending Heart Disease

Two weeks ago, a study published in the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine sent shockwaves through the medical industry. The mainstay of interventional cardiology, implanting stents to stretch open cholesterol-clogged arteries in people with stable coronary artery disease, was found to be useless or worse. This procedure, performed between 300,000 to 500,000 times a year in the United States at the cost of billions, has, as the Chief Editor put it, “no known benefit and there are definite harms.”

What’s their alternative to surgical intervention? Medical intervention, with a cocktail of four drugs—an ACE inhibitor, aspirin, a beta blocker, and a statin. But neither route gets to the root of the problem. In the video I featured on Care2 last week, Statin Muscle Toxicity, I address the question of whether we have to take drugs every day for the rest of our lives to reduce the risk of damage to our heart muscle at the risk of damaging our skeletal muscles? The answer is no, according to the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology, Dr. William Clifford Roberts.

In my video Heart Attacks and Cholesterol: Purely a Question of Diet, I profile Dr. Roberts’ new editorial “It’s the Cholesterol, Stupid!” He writes: “For the build-up of plaque in our arteries to cease, it appears that the serum total cholesterol needs to be lowered to the 150 area. In other words the serum total cholesterol must be lowered to that of the average pure vegetarian. Because relatively few persons are willing to abide by the vegetarian lifestyle, lipid-lowering drugs are required in most to reach the 150 level.” He concludes: “Whether or not we are willing to alter our diet sufficiently and/or to spend the money necessary to obtain the lipid-lowering drugs, and then take them religiously to achieve this goal is up to us.”

In my video pick today, I highlight Dr. Roberts’ prescription for essentially eliminating heart disease, the great scourge of the Western world (see above).

So having a “normal” cholesterol in a society where it’s normal to die of heart disease is not necessarily a good thing (see my 90-second video New Target Cholesterol). How do we lower it without drugs? In Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero (2 min.), I detail how to prevent heart disease naturally by avoiding the three things that increase bad cholesterol (LDL) levels: 1) trans fats, which come mostly from junk food and animal products, 2) saturated fat, mostly from dairy products and chicken, and 3) dietary cholesterol, the leading sources being eggs and poultry. Any intake above zero appears to increase LDL cholesterol, so consumption of meat, eggs, dairy, and junk food should be as low as possible.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Image credit: Dr. William C. Roberts / Wikimedia Commons

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Read more: Cholesterol, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, Natural Remedies, News & Issues, Vegan, Vegetarian, Videos, Videos, , , , ,

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


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2:14PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

If you have heart problems, extreme fatigue, vision issues and/or a bunch of other symptoms- and you are not sure of the cause - do you have "silver" fillings in your teeth? If so - this may be your problem! I suggest you find a holistic specialist to have them removed properly - this is key as the removal may actually cause more harm and get more of the bad mercury into your system! The ADA still does not want to admit that mercury leaching into your body from old silver fillings causes many severe health issues. In addition removing wisom teeth the "wrong way" can cause long term health problems related to compromising the immune system. If this is resonating with you - one place you can get more information is The Centers for Healing -Board Certified Dentists, Newbury Park CA 805-375-2233. Elvis's daughter -Lisa Marie is the first celebrity I know of that recently went public about her miraculous healing from a long time severe illness: after years of having access to the best health care services, and no one being able to help cure her, she finally learned about mercury poisoning and had all of her silver fillings removed- properly - by a holistic dentist in New Mexico. Now she’s cured! The article about her was published in Truly Alive Magazine in the Mar/Apr 2012 issue. The article lists contacts for more information: Pamela Costello MD 505-503-8325, or Dr Wolfe DDS 505-988-9868, I hope reading this information helps someo

2:43PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

There is a fundamental lack of the knowledge of human biology here. The ONLY factors that raise LDL cholesterol from food is the intake of trans fats. The human liver makes all the cholesterol(HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides) in the body from all sources of food: plant, animal, oils etc. However, only trans fats are directly converted to LDL-the bad cholesterol. And primarily grains and sugars(fructose) are converted into Trigycerides also a bad fat. Lowering intake from all food sources=Lower overall cholesterol. Also a relatively large intake of fiber(soluble and insoluble-25 grams or more) lowers total cholesterol most notably. This is where I think people become proponents for a plant based diet, it is high in fiber, so they get lower cholesterol.

Fiber specifically binds with cholesterol (produced by the liver, sent out in the bile)in the gut so it is not absorbed back into the body. Bottom line the best dietary way to reduce cholesterol is to increase fiber. Remember the oatmeal commercials for lowering cholesterol? Its not because its vegan, its because it contains beta glucan-a soluble fiber.

3:42AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

Eat healthily!!

2:29PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Eat organic. Garlic and HOT red peppers go al LONG way to blood health. Ruduce stress. Live happy. Love as much as you can as deeply as you can.

12:57AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012


8:38PM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

I'm also going to have to question the sources on this one.

Dr. William Clifford Roberts doesn't actually treat patients. He's a pathologist.

And our resident vegan proselytizer, Dr. Michael Gergen, doesn't treat patients either. He works for the ASPCA so I suppose we shouldn't be the least bit surprised that he would be more concerned about the welfare of animals than the health of humans. And the ASPCA has been long known to distort the health "benefits" of a vegetarian diet for their own purposes … to protect animals.

The closest Dr. Gergen seems to get to people is when he does public speaking engagements.

I don't ever want to trust my health decisions to people who don't actually treat any patients. Most doctors don't get it right every time, but at least a practicing doctor will have experience other than what they read in medical journals and will have seen first hand the damage done to a person's health by vegan diets gone awry.

9:53PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

dont eat shite, and exercise. dont smoke or drink.

9:52PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

im sorry to say but when your times up ,its up. Too many peeps in the world its overpopulated. PLUS they are testing on all the poor animals, suffering becos of all this shite.

3:53PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

I don't think it's that simple. Your cholesterol levels are regulated by your body, not by how much you actually ingest. Saying eggs will raise your cholesterol is totally false. The more eggs you eat the lower your cholesterol will be because of the high levels of phosphatidylcholine in them. It has more to do with vitamin D and sulfur levels. I think you will find that refined carbs are the main culprit not dietary saturated fat & cholesterol. Unfortunately most people eat lots refined carbs and saturated fat together. It's like this article has come straight out of the early nineties.

12:19PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

to prevent will always be better

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Don't stop this is so relaxing. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Thanks Lisa.

This is amazing and totally "news to me". I am totally going to see if we can get it in our local In…

I try to avoid the "bad" carbs and eat a wide range of healthy foods.


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