Gary Taubes — and many other people who have studied lipid biochemistry — point out that if VLDL specifically (not LDL in general) could be a primary villain in heart disease, effort should probably be put towards identifying what causes the formation of the VLDL particles and what oxidizes them. Taubes blames diets rich in easily digestible carbohydrates. He writes: “after we eat a carbohydrate rich meal, the blood stream is flooded with glucose, and the liver takes some of this glucose and transforms it into fat – i.e. triglycerides – for temporary storage. The liver then packages the triglycerides with cholesterol and a protein known as ApoB, creating a VLDL particle, which then heads out into the body to deliver its load of triglycerides.”
Lipid biochemist, Ronald Krauss, also told Taubes: “I am now convinced it is the carbohydrate inducing this atherogenic [profile] in a reasonable percentage of the population… we see quite a benefit of carbohydrate restriction.” Taubes also quotes Ernst Schafer, the University’s Lipid Metabolism Laboratory Director, who claimed: “it is the overproduction of VLDL and ApoB that is the most common cause of high LDL in our society.”
The moral of this detour into the biochemistry of cholesterol and lipoproteins is this: the “malevolent cholesterol theory” has gravely and wrongly oversimplified the situation. LDL is not “bad” — it is a heterogeneous substance. The mechanisms by which VLDL (and other artherogenic agents) damage the heart and the vascular system still need to be worked out. But it is surely not as simple as “eat cholesterol” à “get ‘high cholesterol'” à “clog your arteries” à “have a heart attack” — the theory that kindles the imagination of both the public and much of the medical community on this topic.
After researching this and other health/diet related topics for over a decade, Taubes said the following conclusion was “inescable to [him]… through their direct effect on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes.”
He is not alone in coming to that conclusion.
Dr. Dwight Lundell, an Arizona heart surgeon who claims to have performed 5,000+ open heart surgeries, made a viral splash on the internet by penning the column “World Renowned Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease.” http://preventdisease.com/news/12/030112_World-Renown-Heart-Surgeon-Speaks-Out-On-What-Really-Causes-Heart-Disease.shtml
Lundell writes: “I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labeled ‘opinion makers.’ Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol. The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications that lowered cholesterol and diet that really restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.
It is not working!
These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated… Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact that we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.”
Dr. Lundell further asserts: “[most of us] have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.”
This fascinating discussion of the biochemistry of heart disease notwithstanding, you and your family are likely less concerned with technicalities and more concerned about whether you can collect compensation in your Lipitor case. Call the Davis & Crump team now at 800-277-0300 to schedule a consultation.