Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Engine 2 Success Story from Virginia!!!

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Ron-

You are living proof that it is NEVER too late to change lifelong habits, especially if it means moving your health up a rung on the fire ladder of living large. You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for sharing and keep up the fantastic work. Go get em, Ron!!!!

Rip

Plant-strong E2'er Ron Pierce

Plant-strong E2'er, Ron Pierce

 

Dear Rip,
At 73 years I have eaten herds of cattle, flocks of fowls, and schools of fish, but this spring when I heard about “The Engine 2 Diet” and Rip Esselstyn on CBS Sunday Morning, I decided to change my eating habits.
Coming down from 225 pounds, I had hit a wall at 210 pounds. A change of eating was definitely called for. I decided that I could do anything for 28 days so I bought Rip’s book and started living off plants.
At the end of 28 days I did not want to return to meat or dairy. For the first time I was eating for my health, not just for my pleasure, and I was feeling better than I had in years. My weight started to drop along with my cholesterol, and I began my daily walk again.
For 15 years my doctors have tried every kind of cholesterol medicine, but every one caused my legs to hurt so painfully that jogging had become impossible, and even walking subjected me to falling down. After two months of eating plant food, I take a third of the prescribed medication, my cholesterol count is under control, and walking is no longer painful. Today I even jogged a little. Of course, your doctor’s close supervision is important, but my doctor is happy with the improvements in my body.

Ron Pierce
Luray,  VA

What is the REAL skinny on cholesterol lowering drugs?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

This article is from the Whitaker Wellness Institute newsletter. I like the whole article but especially  how Dr. Julian Whitaker explains the ACTUAL statistics on the benefits of statins. It’s called “number needed to treat,” or NNT, and it explains the number of patients who would need to be treated with a medical therapy in order to prevent one bad outcome. This is must reading for all those taking statins or thinking about taking statins. 

Our Cholesterol Obsession
Our obsession with cholesterol began in the 1950s when studies linked high consumption of animal fat with high rates of heart disease. This opened the door for clinical trials that laid the foundation of a new paradigm: the cholesterol theory of 
cardiovascular disease.

This theory has had profound ramifications. It changed the way we eat (fats bad, carbohydrates good) and contributed to our problems with obesity and diabetes. It wormed its way into clinical practice guidelines–cholesterol management has become a “standard of care” that doctors are expected to follow. It spawned the invasive heart surgery industry, based on the presumption that cholesterol-laden blockages must be bypassed or propped open. And it led to the creation of the best-selling class of medications in history: cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which generate more than $15 billion in worldwide sales every year.

But it’s all a house of cards. No matter what you’ve been led to believe, a high cholesterol level is not a reliable sign of an impending heart attack. In fact, growing numbers of experts question whether cholesterol matters at all. As for statin drugs, for most of the 40 million Americans recommended to take them for the rest of their lives, they’re an ineffective, expensive, side effect–riddled fraud.

Statin-Free Zone
When a patient taking Lipitor, Zocor, or another statin drug comes to
Whitaker Wellness, we discontinue it at once. “But my cholesterol level is 240.” “My doctor told me I’ll have a heart attack if I don’t take this drug.” “My father died of heart disease, so I have to take it.” I’ve heard all these justifications and more, and I still recommend that my patients get off statins. Here’s why.

First, they’re not very effective. These drugs do lower cholesterol, but so what? We’re not treating lab numbers. We’re treating patients, and the ultimate goal in cholesterol management is to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Except for a very limited number of people, there is absolutely no evidence that statins protect against heart attack or premature death.

Are you over age 65? Not a single study suggests you’ll receive any benefits, even if your cholesterol goes down substantially. A woman of any age? Same story. A man younger than 65 who has never had a heart attack? Ditto, no help at all. For middle-aged men who have had a heart attack, statins may lower risk of a repeat heart attack, but that’s the extent of it.

I know this is hard to buy in light of the multiple drug advertisements and glowing endorsements from doctors. But keep in mind that pharmaceutical companies do a superb job of pulling the wool over the eyes of consumers and physicians alike by withholding unfavorable study results and making false, misleading, and often deceptive claims.

A Statistic We Can Understand
That’s why I want to step around confusing statistics and tell you about an easy-to-understand measure that you’ll never hear about in drug ads. It’s called “number needed to treat,” or NNT, and it describes the number of patients who would need to be treated with a medical therapy in order to prevent one bad outcome.

Lipitor ads claim that it reduces risk of heart attack by 36 percent. Sounds pretty good until you look at the fine print, do the math, and figure out that the drug’s NNT is 100. This means that 100 people must be treated with Lipitor in order for just one heart attack to be prevented. The other 99 people taking the drug receive no benefit.

To put this into perspective, the NNT of antibiotics for treating H. pylori, the underlying cause of stomach ulcers, is 1.1. These drugs knock out the bacteria in 10 out of 11 people who take it, making them a reliable, cost-effective therapy. At the other end of the spectrum are statins, which as a class have an NNT of 100, 250, 500, or higher depending on the study you look at. What a deal for drugs that can cost more than a thousand bucks a year and are almost guaranteed to cause problems.

Goodbye Drugs, So Long Symptoms
Statins lower cholesterol by suppressing the activity of an enzyme in the liver involved in the production of cholesterol. But this enzyme has multiple functions, including the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a key player in the metabolic processes that energize our cells. No wonder statin users often suffer from fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, and even heart failure–the cells are simply running out of juice.

The second most frequent adverse effects of statins are problems with memory, mood, suicidal behavior, and neurological issues. Other common complaints include sexual dysfunction, and liver and digestive problems. Symptoms range from minor (achiness, forgetfulness) to serious (complete but temporary amnesia, permanent memory loss) to lethal (congestive heart failure, rhabdomyolysis or complete muscle breakdown). One statin drug, Baycol, was taken off the market a few years ago after it caused dozens of deaths from rhabdomyolysis. Several studies have also linked statin drugs with an increased risk of cancer.

Because physicians rarely warn of these side effects, few patients suspect their drugs may be the reason they begin feeling bad–and it’s often a revelation when they put two and two together. Simply discontinuing these medications can result in tremendous improvements in health and well-being. Texas cardiologist Peter Langsjoen, MD, published a study showing that when symptomatic patients got off their statins and started taking 240 mg of CoQ10 per day, they had significant decreases in fatigue, myalgias (muscle aches), dyspnea (shortness of breath), memory loss, and/or peripheral neuropathy.

E2 Success Story

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

When people stick to the basic tenants of the Engine 2 Diet they get absolutely remarkable results. Typically, when they share the new numbers with their physicians most shake their heads in disbelief and with their jaws agape say, “whatever you’re doing just keep doing it.” I received this email yesterday and thought I would share it with all of you. If you have an Engine 2 success story you’d like to share please email me at [email protected]

This email is to let you know that I am a true believer of this book and how it changes lives. Here is my story: 6 months ago I was having extreme chest pains and shortness of breath. It was so bad that I could not even carry two bags of groceries from the driveway into the house without having to sit down and catch my breath. Even using the electric shopping carts at grocery stores was hard for me. My cholesterol and triglycerides were out of this world…252 and over 1800 respectively. My Doctor said that some of that may be hereditary but I was a walking time bomb. They decided to do an angiogram to see how bad the blockage in my heart was and they found one totally blocked but could not do a stint or surgery because the blockage was in the back of the heart and not easily reachable. It was then that my wife did some research and found this book as well as Rip’s fathers book. She immediately put me on this diet and after being on it for 3 weeks my cholesterol is down to 195, my triglycerides are down below 500, my blood pressure is 130/74, I have lost 18 pounds and my heart and chest pains are gone. I am no longer short of breath and even mowed my yard last week without feeling any pain. I saw my Doctor this week and he is totally amazed by what he saw. Thank you so much for this book and the hope that it brought………

Peter Baumann

Peter, you are oh so very welcome. I commend you on taking your life and health into your own hands and for having the courage and wherewithal to try something as basic and profound as changing the type of foods you put into your mouth.

Plant-strong!!!

An Engine 2 Winner

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Every day I receive wonderful emails from people who are doing the Engine 2 Diet, and who are succeeding in a big, big way!! Here’s a note that just came in from a fellow firefighting brother in Lincoln, Nebraska:

Rip. . .

Greetings, brother, from a fellow IAFF member and Local 644
Vice-President!! I started the Engine2Diet after my wife sent me a
link to The Huffington Post in regards to a story about you and what
you were accomplishing with the program. The first thing I did was
order the book and read it from cover to cover. Then I jumped in 100%
committed and went “all in” and full bore on the program. I started
the E2Diet on March 21, and I gave up EVERYTHING - I swore off
caffeine, sugar, processed flour, oils, soda, alcohol, etc…and
promised myself I would not cheat or cave for at least 28 days. It was
hard and the first three days of caffeine withdrawal headaches were
brutal, but as I said, I didn’t cave in! 31 days later I was able to
get in to my doctor for blood work and cholesterol check on April 22,
‘09. My amazing results are as follows:

Cholesterol Before E2Diet: 191      After 31 days on E2Diet 121

Triglycerides before E2 105      After, 99

LDL before E2 124      After, 63

HDL before E2 46      After, 38

Total weight lost, 13lbs     Age 42

My doctor was amazed and I told him all about your book and the
program, as well as the website. I happened to be the person who won
the first ever Engine2Diet trivia contest on Twitter (screen name
FyrCapt) and I now carry my food to the station in my two bright red
E2Diet grocery bags!! My department has 280 members in Lincoln, NE and
most of them know my results and what I’ve been doing on the program.
When I got my cholesterol results back I posted them to my Facebook
status and turned even more heads!

Keep up the good work; you’ve changed the lives of many people,
including mine. Thanks for taking the time to read my results and
shout out some encouragement to me - I appreciate it! I’ve been a
practicing martial artist for 25yrs and this has given me a renewed
sense of energy while training and continuing on the path. Take care
and stay safe - see you at the big one!!

Brian Giles