From the Weston Price Foundation
Myth: A low-fat diet will make you “feel better . . . and increase your joy of living.”
Truth: Low-fat diets are associated with increased rates of depression, psychological problems, fatigue, violence and suicide. (Lancet 3/21/92 v339)
Myth: To avoid heart disease, we should use margarine instead of butter.
Truth: Margarine eaters have twice the rate of heart disease as butter eaters. (Nutrition Week 3/22/91 21:12)
Myth: Heart disease in America is caused by consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat from animal products.
Truth: During the period of rapid increase in heart disease (1920-1960), American consumption of animal fats declined but consumption of hydrogenated and industrially processed vegetable fats increased dramatically. (USDA-HNI)
Myth: Saturated fat clogs arteries.
Truth: The fatty acids found in artery clogs are mostly unsaturated (74%) of which 41% are polyunsaturated. (Lancet 1994 344:1195)
Heart Surgery What You Should Know
Excerpt taken from my book Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You
When the Office of Technology Assessment was commissioned by the United States Congress to review the case for surgery for coronary artery disease, it was not greatly impressed. A panel of government consultants, which included leading academicians from the nation’s most prestigious medical schools, reported to Congress:
“For more than half a century, surgeons have believed that an efficacious surgical approach to coronary artery disease is possible. Prior to the modern bypass operation, five different operations were developed and advocated enthusiastically. Although all five operations were ultimately abandoned as of no value, initially they were alleged to be efficacious, with reports in the medical literature claiming ‘objective’ evidence of benefits.”
Noting that “coronary bypass surgery seems to give excellent symptomatic relief from angina pectoris . . . but the improvement diminishes with time,” the government panel of experts cautioned that there was an historical lesson to be heeded, pointing out that “the possible placebo effect (of bypass surgery) needs to be kept in mind because: the initial results are similar to previous operations; nonsurgical treatment also produces good results; and, the methods of evaluation of symptomatic relief are experiential.”
The chief of cardiology at the Montreal Heart Institute, Dr. Lucien Campeau, is a cardiovascular specialist who suspects long-term relief of angina pain results from what he calls a “pain-denial placebo effect.” Dr. Campeau came to this conclusion after studying 235 patients angiographically three years after their coronary artery bypass operations, discovering that even in cases where grafts had reclosed, patients reported being improved or angina-free.
There is no doubt that bypass surgery relieves angina 75% of the time. For those patients with persistent angina, relief is a welcomed outcome. However, before folks with chronic angina agree to bypass surgery, they should be made aware that the New England Journal of Medicine has stated that 75% of angina patients’ pain is also relieved with non-surgical therapy. Given the fact that 10% of those undergoing bypass surgery experience a heart attack and/or die, prescription medication for the management of angina is appealing. Especially since it is reported that the percentage of those who improve is the same.
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”
And What About The Test To See If You Need Surgery – The Angiogram
The test to determine if someone needs a bypass, known as an angiogram, is not without controversy either. Over one million angiograms are performed each year, costing over $10 billion. These tests use a long thin catheter with a tiny camera for the purpose of observing arterial blockages. The catheter is inserted into the femoral artery (in the groin area) and then threaded up the aorta to the heart. A dye is injected, which allows x-ray monitoring of its progress as it flows through the arteries and heart. The first angiogram was performed in 1963.
In 1976, the Harvard Medical School Office of Information Technology performed a review of angiograms. Four angiogram experts were asked to participate, some who had been interpreting angiograms for over nine years, and each had read a minimum of 1,500 angiograms. In addition, these doctors were responsible for teaching other doctors how to read angiograms. These experts reviewed the same angiograms, and then their interpretations were compared. Wide differences in their interpretations was a common occurrence. One expert read an area of artery as being 100% blocked. Another interpreted the same area of artery to be 100% blockage free.27
One study showed that the severity of the blockage has no bearing on blood flow! Measuring the blood flow in 44 blocked arteries as demonstrated by angiogram, researchers found that the heart arteries with up to 96% blockage had the swiftest blood flow. This same study showed that some arteries with only a 40% blockage had a reduced blood flow.
This seems to make the angiogram worthless. The authors concluded that the blockages found on heart catheterization do not correlate with blood flow restriction.28
Another study was presented (but never published) at the American Heart Association in 1979. Thirty previously read angiograms were circulated among the same experts. These same experts significantly disagreed with their previous readings 32% of the time.29
Another study compared Doppler (ultrasound) studies to those of angiograms. Readings were taken using Doppler readings while the chest was open during bypass surgery. The authors cited the readings as accurate. After comparing the two diagnostic tools, these same authors went on to say, “The physiologic effects of the majority of coronary obstructions can not be determined accurately by conventional angiographic approaches. The results of these studies should be profoundly disturbing to all physicians who have relied on the coronary arteriogram to provide accurate information regarding the physiologic consequences of individual coronary stenosis.”30
The authors of this study were being tactful. I won’t be; angiograms are worthless. Several studies have shown that these tests are inaccurate, and the results they yield may be worthless. One study showed that 80% of those scheduled for angiogram didn’t need one according to other testing procedures.
My advice, don’t be hoodwinked into believing you need to have heart surgery! I strongly encourage you to learn the truth about heart disease-read my book, Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You.