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Doctor's House Call Al Sears

Al Sears, MD
11905 Southern Blvd.
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

January 19, 2015

Part I: The Greatest Health Scam in History Used President Eisenhower as a Pawn

Dear Reader,

On June 24, 1956, the American Heart Association broadcasted a show on the three major television networks. It presented a new theory on heart disease: that it was caused by cholesterol.

The major proponent of this theory was not a doctor or even a scientist. He was a little-known economist named Ancel Keys.

Keys called his theory the “lipid hypothesis.” The idea was that meat and eggs and butter were bad for you and should be replaced by corn oil, margarine, chicken and cold cereal.

Two weeks after the TV broadcast, the American Heart Association adopted the cholesterol theory of heart disease and later that year Ancel Keys ended up on the cover of Time Magazine as a health pioneer and hero.

There was one little problem. There was absolutely no science between Key’s idea, but it had plenty of powerful backers. Procter & Gamble for example quickly recognized it could make billions by selling vegetable oils in place of natural fat.

In the next 40 years, vegetable oil consumption more than tripled from just under three pounds per person per year to more than ten.

The same thing happened with margarine, the “cholesterol-free” substitute for butter. The next year, 1957, margarine sales exceeded butter sales for the first time in history.

As I said, there was no science behind Key’s lipid hypothesis, but there was some good science that refuted it.

For example, researchers at Yale’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine proved this in a clinical trial. It showed that people with low cholesterol had nearly twice as many heart attacks as those with high cholesterol levels.2

Note from Anne:  My cholesterol always runs over 250. Never took drugs.

Another 10-year study reported in the prestigious journal Lancet proved people with higher cholesterol had a lower risk of dying from any cause.3

There were many more studies published between the mid-1970’s and 2014, but the mainstream media never picked up on them and doctors continued to ignore them. As of just a few months ago, prominent doctors are still pushing the cholesterol fraud.

Even after a new study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine showed that cholesterol didn’t increase heart disease rates, Alice H. Lichtenstein chimed in to defend the lipid lie.

She told the New York Times that “It would be unfortunate if [the study’s] results were interpreted to suggest that people can go back to eating butter and cheese with abandon.” She then cited “evidence” that lowering cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk.4

Dr. Lichtenstein was the lead author of the American Heart Association’s dietary guidelines, which recommend that people chop out fat and cholesterol from their diets. To this day, the heart association still states that the way to protect against heart disease is to lower cholesterol.

Perpetuating the Myth:
Big Bucks for Drug Makers

Big Pharma wasn’t going to stand by idly while Big Agriculture was making a financial killing from heart disease. In the mid-1970’s they began testing drugs to lower cholesterol such as compactin and lovastatin.5

They began to spend millions of dollars on ad campaigns that promote the idea that these drugs are not only safe but necessary. Some of the ads go so far as to recommend, “talking to your doctor” about taking such drugs even if you have no symptoms of heart disease.

The ad campaigns were amazingly effective. Sales when the first statin drug became available in 1987 were $200 million. It’s successor and the most commercially successful drug in history, atorvastatin (Lipitor), has sold more than $150 billion between 1996 and today. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates total sales of statin drugs could reach $1 trillion by 2020.6

Big Pharma convinced millions of educated Americans, including legislators, and they also convinced the medical community. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ran with Ancel Keys’ ideas. They launched what began an all-out war against cholesterol. It was the CSPI, not doctors or scientists, that coined the term “artery-clogging” cholesterol. Their campaign was so successful that most doctors still consider cholesterol screening to be one of the best predictors of heart attack.

And yet statins may make heart disease worse. Take the study in the journal Atherosclerosis. People taking statins had increased plaque in their arteries … the very thing statins are supposed to prevent!7

This fraud claims the lives of hundreds of thousands Americans every year. Odds are, you or somebody you know or love is a victim of it too.

Tomorrow, I’ll reveal to you the rest of the story ... how this fraud turned into a death sentence for our greatest war hero president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and how it’s still killing millions every year. I urge you not to miss tomorrow’s Doctor’s House Call letter…

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To Your Good Health,
Dr. Sears' Signature image
Al Sears, MD

1. M Enig, Trans Fatty Acids in the Food Supply: A Comprehensive Report Covering 60 Years of Research, 2nd Edition, 1995, Enig Associates, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, pp 4-8
2. Krumholz. H.M., et al. Lack of association between cholesterol and coronary heart disease mortality and morbidity and all-cause mortality in persons older than 70 years. Journal of the American Medical Association 272, 1335-1340, 1994.
3. Weverling-Rijnsburger AW, Blauw GJ, Lagaay AM, Knook DL, Meinders AE, Westendorp RG. “Total cholesterol and risk of mortality in the oldest old.” Lancet 1997;350(9085):1119-23.
4. O'Connor A. "Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link." New York Times. nytimes.com. Retrieved Jan 15, 2015.
5. Tobert, J. "Lovastatin and beyond: the history of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors." Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2, 2003;517-526.
6. Ioannidis J. “More than a billion people taking statins?: Potential implications of the new cardiovascular guidelines.” JAMA. 2014;311:463-464.
7. Nakazato R. et. al. "Statins use and coronary artery plaque composition: results from the International Multicenter CONFIRM Registry." Atherosclerosis. 2012;225(1):148-53.

The Great Cholesterol Myth

Filed Under: Heart Health, Cholesterol 
Last Reviewed 02/14/2014

The Great Cholesterol Myth

When I first came to Healthy Directions over seventeen years ago, what excited me most was the ability to get the latest cutting-edge heart research out to more people than I could ever reach in my clinical practice, including other doctors and healthcare professionals.

One of my top missions has been is to educate people on the true cause of heart disease, and it’s not cholesterol. Most doctors and cardiologists are still testing their patients’ cholesterol numbers and wearing out their prescription pads with orders for prescription-lowering statin drugs. Meanwhile the true cause of heart disease, inflammation, is still largely ignored.

The Great Cholesterol Myth

When I was invited to co-author a book with Dr. Jonny Bowden—a leading nutritionist who knows my position on statin therapy and the over-treating of cholesterol numbers instead of people—I jumped at the opportunity to spread this message even wider.  Our new book, The Great Cholesterol Myth was just released. In fact, some of you may have caught my interview about the book on The 700 Club . The airing helped  more people become aware of what’s really important when it comes to heart health.  

Here are just a few of the many facts Dr. Bowden and I shared in the book:

  • The hypothetical link between high levels of total cholesterol and heart disease has NEVER been proven. It’s a diagnosis conjured up to serve drug companies who want to sell cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

  • Recent studies suggest statin drugs are associated with a higher risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Dr. Bowden and I agree that while Big Pharmacies are busy raking in over $31 billion annually by selling high-cholesterol drugs with terrible side effects to unknowing victims, their success is putting the American public’s health at risk. 

Plus, all of this erroneous focus on high cholesterol is diverting research dollars away from the real cause of heart disease—inflammation

Chronic Inflammation and Heart Disease

Chronic inflammation is a major predictor of coronary artery disease. Studies show elevated levels of CRP (inflammation) puts you at twice the risk of dying from cardiovascular-related problems as those with high cholesterol. Your doctor can order a CRP blood test, and while results may vary by lab you generally want a reading below one.

Now it’s your turn: Has your doctor tested your inflammation levels? 

DISCLAIMER: The content of DrSinatra.com is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

Copyright © Retired Colonel Billie Faye Woodard, Pahrump, Nevada