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LDL Cholesterol: Another Big Fat Lie


This Week In HealthBeat News:

  • Why Congress will NOT Pass Useful Health Care Reforms (Dr. Dana Myatt)

  • Embarrassing Diet Drug Gets FDA OTC Approval (Mark Ziemann, R.N.)
  • LDL Cholesterol: Another Big, Fat Lie (Dr. Doug Nichols)
  • Spiritual Cinema: Health Food for Heart, Mind and Emotions
  • New Year's Resolutions for a Better Marriage (Jean McKenzie)
  • Laughter is Good Medicine

Why Congress will NOT Pass Useful Health Care Reforms

by Dr. Dana Myatt

Everyone from Big Corporations to the newly elected Democratic Congress to the common man agree that the US healthcare system is in serious need of reform. Unfortunately, in spite of what Congress "says" they will do, there is not going to be any meaningful reform this year or even this decade. None. Nada. You can take my word to the bank, and here is why.

The US health care system is really a "disease care system," and a "for profit" one at that. There is no incentive for Big Pharma or Big Medicine to promote prevention, because the Big Bucks are made by selling expensive drugs, tests and surgeries to sick people, not selling low profit nutritional supplements and good preventive advice to well people to keep them well. As long as the general public can be kept in the dark about simple preventive measures, which the FDA helps ensure, then Americans can be kept in a state of chronic degenerative disease and provide a fertile market for Big Pharmacy's expensive "cures." Since Big Pharma is the second wealthiest industry is the country (petroleum is first), they carry a lot of clout with politicians and government bureaucracies. The feds and their agencies cow-tow to Big Pharma because of their big bucks. You and I and our best interests play little part in the dealings and interaction of Big Pharma with Big Government. As we've seen before our very eyes, the FDA, our supposed "protectors," won't pull a Big Pharma offering until tens of thousands of deaths have occurred, but they'll stomp on a vitamin manufacturer for even telling you what a supplement has been proven useful for.

Besides Big Pharma, many monolithic non-profit health organizations depend on diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer for their existence. These organizations also rake in huge profits by playing on our fears and encouraging us to "donate to a good cause." What would happen to the American Heart Association if heart disease were virtually unheard of in the US, as it used to be and still is in many countries? Or the American Cancer Society if people knew that cancer is a highly controllable and even curable disease in most cases? A serious case of widespread good health among Americans would devastate Big Pharma, conventional medicine, health organizations who "specialize" in diseases and the many government bureaucracies who protect their interests. Friends, do you really think anyone making a generous income in any of these industries is going to rock the boat by suggesting sweeping health care changes that would deprive them of a hefty salary? Or that any politician who wants to remain in office would dare recommend that serious prevention programs supplant our current "disease care" model?

As the old saying goes, "where the money flows, the power goes." Today's current Pharmaceutical industry, conventional medicine, and the numerous non-profit organizations and government agencies they fund will make certain that sweeping changes in our medical system never happen, at least not in my lifetime or yours. Meanwhile, the US spends more on medical care than any other country in the world, an estimated 1.9 trillion--- yes, trillion with a "T" --- this year. And the lies we've been told about "best health care in the world"? Don't you believe it. According to World Health Organization statistics we rank 24th for life expectancy and 72nd for "Level of Health" of the citizenry. That means the average American is wealthy enough, sick enough, and foolish enough to keep the current medical model pumping profits for years to come.

Any act of "reform" will have to be on the part of the individual. In spite of the numerous reports of nutrient deficiency-caused diseases--- many of which you read about right here in HealthBeat --- I'm willing to wager that at least half of the people reading this article, though in agreement, don't even bother to take a quality daily multiple vitamin/mineral supplement. As long as we act like sheep, we're going to continue to be fleeced like sheep. "Health care reform begins at home," I say. And from my view of the horizon, that's where it stays, too.

Embarrassing Diet Drug Gets FDA OTC Approval

by Mark Ziemann, R.N.

Whoo-ee! Yet another prescription drug of questionable value now approved for unlimited over-the-counter (OTC) sales! Now we can poison ourselves without a doctor's prescription.

Is there nothing that Big Pharma in collusion with the FDA isn't willing to foist upon us? Orlistat (xenical), a dubious weight loss drug brought to you by Drug Giant Roche, is now available as an Over-The-Counter drug to anyone foolish enough to believe it might help them lose weight. It's OTC name is "Alli." [Dr. Myatt's note: If you read the studies and calculate your way through the obtuse statistics, you'll find that patients on Orlistat lost about 2 pounds per month--- that's right--- a total of two pounds per month--- on a combination of the drug, diet and exercise. Excuse me, folks, but if you don't lose at least 8 pounds per month on a combination of diet and exercise and NO drugs, you're doing something wrong with your dieting efforts].

This drug offers both medically dangerous AND truly embarrassing side effects with use, which perhaps explains why over 50% of people in the drug studies dropped out after a short time. If you understand how this stupid drug works, I think you'll see why we say "stay far, far away" from it and all other prescription diet drugs.

Orlistat "works" (whooppee--- remember, about two pounds per month!) by blocking the absorption dietary fat. The misguided thinking here is that "fat makes you fat," and anything done to stop the body from absorbing fat must of course result in weight loss. What hogwash! Not only is fat essential to life as we know it (ever heard of "essential fatty acids?"), but there are a whole host of fat soluble vitamins blocked from absorption as well. This is such a serious problem that even the FDA alludes to it in carefully understated terms, saying: "Because of the possible loss of certain nutrients, it is recommended that people using Orlistat should also take a multivitamin at bedtime." The fact that the FDA has actually recommended the use of multiple vitamins indicates that the nutrient loss is serious indeed.

It's the "other" side effects that are more noticeably inconvenient. After all, a deficiency of say, fat-soluble vitamin D won't be immediately apparent, but will show up months or years later as osteoporosis or prostate cancer. Few people will connect the dots to Orlistat, at least not for years and bucu bucks of Big Pharma income. But the immediate side-effect is what gets attention, as well it should. The FDA, using language carefully crafted to not offend their benefactor Roche Pharmaceuticals, blandly state that "the most common side effect of the product is a change in bowel habits, which may include loose stools."

Roche has been a little more forthcoming on their website. They list a veritable cornucopia of side effects. I hate to let this discussion degenerate into "potty-talk," but that is what most of these side effects involve. The most common "adverse event" is discretely referred to as "oily spotting" - I won't describe this any further other than to say that your nice white underwear will need washing (maybe degreasing?) more often - and this apparently occurs without your knowledge.

Then there is the second most common "adverse event" - delicately referred to as "flatus with discharge." I'm guessing this little "oopsie" probably occurs with your knowledge - let's just hope it doesn't happen in public too often. The third most common "adverse reaction" is carefully termed as "fecal urgency" and I'm guessing that it goes along with number two (no pun intended) above, as in "Oops! I thought it was just a little gas but... would you direct me to the restroom?" Then there is the "adverse event" of all adverse events: Roche admits that 7.7 percent of patients taking their drug Xenical (orlistat) experienced "fecal incontinence," an out-and-out "oops - I filled my pants" kind of adverse event. Golly folks, this really sounds like something that I want to rush right out and buy, so that I can deny my body the essential fats and fat soluble vitamins it needs while at the same time increasing my laundry bills and my potential for public humiliation.

On the other hand, maybe Roche has some kind of sweetheart deal going with the makers of adult diapers? Or maybe they are hoping you'll buy some of their anti-anxiety drugs so you won't care that you keep soiling your drawers? The Orlistat folks also aren't mentioning is that another drug, Sibutramine (a "head med"), outperformed Orlistat in nearly every study of weight loss. [Still nothing amazing, however. Sibutramine resulted in a 10-12 pound total weight loss --- another whop-de-do --- and also caused elevated blood pressures and pulse rates].

Meanwhile, a safe and effective nutritional substance does what Orlistat does, only better. (But it's a natural substance and therefore unpatentable, so you may not hear about it anyplace else but here). It won't leave you filling your pants every time you sneeze just so that you can block the absorption of dietary fats. This substance is called chitosan, and it is "Nature's Fat Grabber."

Chitosan, a fibrous material derived from the outer shell (exoskeleton) of crustaceans, absorbs dietary fat and carries it through the G.I. tract without being digested. It will absorb fat (even the essential fats) and fat-soluble vitamins, but unlike orlistat that that blocks absorption, Chitosan binds these substances and carries them out of the body. No fecal urgency, no "oily spotting," no need for diapers while using it. Studies have shown a 6 pound-per-month weight loss, which clearly outshines the above-mentioned drugs, plus a lowering of blood pressure. Chitosan also helps to lower cholesterol levels and has proven useful in kidney disease.

I certainly don't recommend Xenical (Orlistat) use. There are no long-term studies showing that ANY of the FDA-approved diet drugs are safe for long-term use. Even chitosan should not be used with every meal, but instead reserved for those meals that are high in non-essential fats. (Like maybe a big blow-out dinner party). For kidney failure, chitosan is taken between meals and can and should be used long-term.

There's usually more than one way to skin a cat, and I'd use chitosan LONG before I'd give this or any other dangerous and ineffective diet drug a try.

Nurse Mark

P.S. Remember the article of two weeks ago, where a folic acid deficiency is linked to senile dementia? Other studies have found that people who are low in folic acid do not respond as well to weight loss diets. It looks like folic acid is an essential vitamin whose implications are broad and deep.

LDL Cholesterol: Another Big, Fat Lie

by Dr. Doug Nichols

It used to be that cholesterol was "the bad guy," taking the fall for the higher incidence of modern-day heart disease. Then it was found that total cholesterol and heart disease have only a weak association at best, because more than 50% of people who have heart attacks have never had high cholesterol, and a similar number of people with high cholesterol never have heart disease. So Big Science went to work looking for a new scapegoat.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is modern medicine's current favorite "bad cholesterol," and the emphasis is now on lowering LDL much more than total cholesterol. But dare I suggest that cholesterol, even the “bad” LDL cholesterol, may act as a protection and defense to the body? And that if somebody’s total cholesterol is too low, it may decrease their quality of life in certain health conditions?

Studies have shown that there is an inverse association in cholesterol and triglyceride levels and the mortality rate of those with chronic heart failure. Those with higher total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels lived much longer than those with low levels. One study which included more than a thousand patients with severe heart failure found that after five years, 62 percent of the patients with cholesterol below 129 mg/l had
died compared to only half as many of the patients with cholesterol above 223 mg/l. In
several other large studies, a review of more than 68,000 deaths demonstrated that low cholesterol predicted an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.

One study involving healthy, young middle-aged men found that the men with LDL-cholesterol below 160 mg/dl had significantly lower white blood cell counts (involved in immune function) than men with LDL-cholesterol above 160 mg/l. It was also demonstrated that LDL-cholesterol protects red blood cells from the adverse affect of á-toxin, an extremely toxic substance produced by strains of the disease-promoting staphylococci

It appears that LDL-cholesterol may not only bind and inactivate dangerous bacterial toxins, but it may have a beneficial influence on the immune system as well. There is a clear link between low cholesterol levels and some chronic diseases. Although certain diseases and severe diets can lead to low cholesterol levels, the leading cause of abnormally low cholesterol levels is the use of statin drugs. I wonder how many years and deaths it will take before this new "wunderkid" of the drug world --- cholesterol and LDL-lowering statins --- are seen for the deadly drugs they really are?

Spiritual Cinema
"Health Food" for Heart, Mind and Emotions

I remain continually amazed (and not in a good way) at the incredible amount of mind and soul-numbing sludge shown on television and in movie theatres. With so much gratuitous violence, filthy language, and disrespect between characters, is it any wonder that our entire society, including our children, are becoming increasingly more violent and disrespectful themselves?

Studies have shown (although it should be intuitively obvious) that what we watch and listen to (music and movies) has a profound influence on our mental and emotional state. Doesn't it make better sense, then, to watch movies that are uplifting, enlightening and soul-satisfying? Alas, the best movies are rarely if ever available in regular movie theatres or even as "at home" movie rentals.

The problem is that major movie distributors won't touch the most heartful, soul-satisfying movies because they don't think there's enough money in it for them, and even the independent distributors often overlook quality films. Remember, the mainstream movie business literally runs as much on popcorn-sales as ticket-sales. Big, violent action movies bring in audiences that eat those huge $7 boxes of popcorn (filled with unnatural chemicals and trans fats) and those horse-sized $5 jugs of soda. That's why theater-owners want such movies, and that's why Hollywood makes them.

The best films in the film industry are shown at film festivals and venues around the world, wonderful movies that hardly anybody but festival-goers get to enjoy. I'm not exaggerating when I say that some of the best movies made every year go virtually unseen. Now there's a way that you can see these incredible films yourself and enjoy hours of uplifting entertainment every month.

A company called Spiritual Cinema Circle has opened the door to quality entertainment. You'll get to see award-winning movies that you would probably never see otherwise. In fact, your subscription will give you access to films each month that only attendees of Film Festivals around the world get to see - and you never have to leave home!

Each movie is selected for its spiritual and psychological depth and its value in enriching your life. For movies that inspire, heal and transform lives, visit Spiritual Cinema and sign up for a trial subscription. Start feeding your mind and emotions "health food" and see how much better you can feel!  Visit Spiritual Cinema Here

--- Dr.  Dana Myatt

New Year's Resolutions for a Better Marriage

by Jean McKenzie

Though many people have already broken their New Year's resolutions, it's not too late to make New Year's plans to deepen and improve your marriage or other personal relationship. It takes a bit more than simple enthusiasm and grand aspirations to keep a New Year's resolution, but when it comes to your marriage, I believe it's worth the extra effort.

New Year's resolutions are good things. Striving to be a better person is always an admirable idea. But if you are married or dating, why not make a resolution as a couple to improve your relationship?

“But,” I can hear you say, “we're back to the original problem. How do we make sure we will follow through with our resolution?” One good way of keeping your New Year's resolution is to pair up with a friend who will help motivate you. If you work with your spouse toward a
mutual relationship resolution, you can support and motivate each other in achieving your goal.

Here are some other tips to help you accomplish your relationship goals and develop a more intimate relationship in 2007:

1. Be realistic. You will only discourage yourself if you make resolutions that you can never achieve. If you've never taken a dance lesson before than it would be unrealistic to set a goal of winning a national dance competition. However, if you would both like to learn to dance then you may want to set a goal of being able to strut your stuff and the New Year's eve ball 2008.

2. Describe your resolutions in specific terms. Instead of "We want to create more romance in our marriage," opt for "We will set aside time for a date once a week." or "We will
set aside 15 minutes each day to talk with each other without distractions such as children, telephones, or television."

3. Create a Plan. In order to be able to follow through on your resolution you must work
together to determine what steps will lead you to your goal. For instance, if you resolve to eliminate a major debt then you will need to determine how you are going to go about it. Will you read a book on financial management, hire a financial planner, will one of you take on
an extra job, or will you look for ways to reduce your spending? What steps are require to reach your goal and when will each step be accomplished?

4. Write Down Your Resolution and Plan. Commit your resolution and plan to writing and review them often. Writing down your goals will keep you focused on them and will thus make you more likely to achieve them.

5. Remain Flexible. Don't let obstacles, even a momentary lapse in motivation, discourage you from following through. Be prepared to adapt your plan as needed. If you plan on talking daily and you get off track, start over again. If you plan on a date night on a particular night of the week and some other event crops up on that evening, revisit your plan and find another time slot. If you are trying to pay off debt and a major repair comes up, regroup and adjust your goals accordingly. If you find your steps are more difficult than you anticipated, reassess your plan and create simpler steps. Remember, great things don't happen over night.

Whether your resolution is as simple as adding more affection to your relationship or as grand as going on a second honeymoon, a simple and consistent effort to improve your loving relationship will pay off in benefits for years to come.

Laughter is Good Medicine

Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, "Surely I can't look that old?" Well... You'll love this one!

I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. I noticed his diploma, which bore his full name.

Suddenly, I remembered that a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 40-odd years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then?

Upon seeing him, I quickly discarded the thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate.

After he examined my teeth, however, I asked him if he had attended Morgan Park High School.

"Yes. Yes, I did. I'm a Mustang," he gleamed with pride.

"When did you graduate?" I asked

He answered, "In 1959. Why do you ask?"

"You were in my class!" I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely. Then that ugly, old, wrinkled son-of-a-gun asked,
"What did you teach?"


Embarrassing Diet Drug Gets FDA Approval

1.) FDA News, February 7, 2007.
2.) Comparison of orlistat and sibutramine in an obesity management program: efficacy, compliance, and weight regain after noncompliance. Eat Weight Disord. 2006 Dec;11(4):e127-32.
3.) Efficacy and safety comparative evaluation of orlistat and sibutramine treatment in hypertensive obese patients. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2005 Jan;7(1):47-55.
4.) Baseline serum folate level may be a predictive factor of weight loss in a morbid-obesity-management programme. Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96(5):956-64.
5.) Drug treatments for obesity: orlistat, sibutramine, and rimonabant. Lancet. 2007 Jan 6;369(9555):71-7. Summary: There are no studies to show if these drugs are safe for long-term use.
6.) Effect of chitosan on renal function in patients with chronic renal failure. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1997 Jul;49(7):721-3.
7.) Effect of chitosan in complex management of obesity. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2002 Aug;13(74):129-32.

LDL Cholesterol: Another Big Fat Lie
Report of the conference on low blood cholesterol: Mortality associations. Circulation 86, 1046­1060, 1992.
9.) The relationship between cholesterol and survival in patients with chronic heart failure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 42, 1933-1940, 2003.
10.) Low serum total cholesterol is associated with marked increase in mortality in advanced heart failure. Journal of Cardiac Failure 8, 216-224, 2002.
11.) Binding and partial inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus a-toxin by human plasma low density lipoprotein. Journal of Biological Chemistry 258, 5899-5904, 1983.
12.) Immune system differences in men with hypo- or hypercholesterolemia. Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology 84, 145-149, 1997.

Spiritual Cinema: Health Food for Mind, Heart and Emotions
13.) The role of media violence in violent behavior. Annu Rev Public Health. 2006;27:393-415. Summary: Media violence poses a threat to public health inasmuch as it leads to an increase in real-world violence and aggression.
14.) Short-term and long-term effects of violent media on aggression in children and adults. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Apr;160(4):348-52.
15.) Violence and its injury consequences in American movies: a public health perspective. West J Med. 2000 Sep;173(3):164-8; discussion 169.
Exposure to violent media: the effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 May;84(5):960-71.

Why Congress Will NOT Pass Useful Health Care Reforms
17.) "In High Gear, The GOP Class War," by Max J. Castro, Progreso Weekly, 17-23 February 2005 Edition.
18.) "Overall Health System Performance", World Health Organization. See:

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