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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William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. Cabout a year ago


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogersabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Nina S.
Nina S1 years ago


Tammy Andrews
Tammy Andrews5 years ago

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

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

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.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

Eat healthily!!

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson5 years ago

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.

Uddhab Khadka
Uddhab Khadka5 years ago


Carol P.
Carol P5 years ago

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.