The McDougall Newsletter - May 2013
  May 2013   Vol.12 Issue 05

Who Should Take Cholesterol-lowering Statins? Everyone or No One?

Should cholesterol-lowering statins be added to our drinking water in order to prevent atherosclerosis, like fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay? Some medical doctors and scientists have recommended this public health measure because heart disease and strokes threaten the lives of more than half of all people following the Western diet. Apparently, even healthy people are now being told to take statins, with recommendations that over the age of 50, regardless of their health history, people should take these medications daily. 

Statins Lower Cholesterol but Do Little for Better Health

In my practice over the past decade I have limited my prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering medications to people who are at high risk for future troubles. Unless there is a contraindication, I have recommended statins to patients with a history of heart surgery, heart attacks, TIAs, or strokes, with a goal to take a dosage sufficient to lower their blood cholesterol levels to 150 mg/dL (4 mmol/L) or less. Furthermore, based on the recommendations of the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration and others, I have adviced that otherwise healthy people, even those with high cholesterol, not take cholesterol-lowering statins. Of course, I have strongly recommended that everyone eat a healthy diet.


An Independent Critique of Low-carb Diets: Cracking Down on Eggs and Cholesterol
by Travis

This year marks the 100th year anniversary of when Nikolai Anichkov first used the rabbit model to show that the ingestion of dietary cholesterol alone is a primary cause of atherosclerosis. Since 1913 it has been demonstrated in thousands of animal experiments that the feeding of cholesterol, including in the form of fresh egg yolk accelerates the development of atherosclerosis in virtually every vertebrate species that has been sufficiently challenged. This includes mammalian, avian and fish species- herbivores, omnivores and carnivores, and over one dozen different species of nonhuman primates.


Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy - People Are Desperate for Change

I have no intention of criticizing the famous actress, Angelina Jolie, for her decision to have both breasts removed in an effort to improve her chances for a longer life. (National headlines on May 15, 2013.) I have treated nearly a thousand people with breast cancer over my 45-year career in medicine. From my experience, I can safely say that she has agonized over this decision. Her radical treatment may have helped her; time will possibly tell.* All we know for sure is that Ms. Jolie has made a great sacrifice today for a theoretical benefit in the very distant future—say one to five decades henceforth.

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