Author: Ernest N. Curtis, M.D.
Publisher:  Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN:  978-160844-748-0
 
 Click Here To Purchase The Cholesterol Delusion

Put down that piece of bacon!  Wait, wrong book.  Go ahead and pick up the bacon.  Have a piece of toast with real butter on it too.  Cholesterol might not be the culprit of heart disease after all, just the convenient whipping boy.
 
Have you ever heard the words, “A new study has found that…” and then there’s some new food you have to stop eating?  Yup.  All the time, right?  It seems the medical community is intent on taking away every single, gosh-darn food we enjoy, every drink we love to drink.  Pleasure be gone!
 
But Dr. Ernest Curtis says not so fast.  He takes a look at what some of these landmark studies really say.  Some of it might surprise you.
 
First, Dr. Curtis orients the reader to heart disease and the underlying nemesis – the deadly plaque formation in coronary arteries.    Straight off he made me sit up and take notice.  Being in the medical field, it has been drummed into my head that somehow that stealthy little molecule (cholesterol) seeps into coronary artery walls and wreaks havoc.  Not so, the good doctor claims.  Plaque formation and its subsequent destabilization is a process that, while not completely understood, has little to do with cholesterol.  Cholesterol seems to be just an innocent bystander.  Who’d a thought? 
 
Actually, Dr. Ernest insinuates, the pharmaceutical companies are more likely at the base of this “delusional”
paradigm.  Cholesterol-lowering medications are a multi-million, if not billion, dollar industry.  They fund the studies.  That should make anyone suspicious.

 
Next, Dr. Curtis dices and slices the studies that the medical community (and the pharmaceutical industry) uses as references for proof that cholesterol is the cause:  the inelegantly-named LRC-CPPT study, the much more elegantly-named MR FIT study, and the Helsinky Heart Study.  When he’s done with those you might really think twice about taking your Lipitor.  If you use the same sneaky statistics that the study researchers use, you can claim not only do these medications reduce the number of myocardial infarcts (heart attacks), but they also increase gastro-intestinal problems, gall bladder attacks, and violent deaths.  Hardly a ringing endorsement, eh?
 
I would have liked to have seen more references in the first few chapters when Dr. Curtis was laying down the hard science of plaque formation but the studies, when dissected, really tell the story of how the pharmaceutical industry more than likely had a hand in shaping the biases of researchers.  Shocking.
 
Not content to take Dr. Curtis at his word, I fired up my internet search engine and soon realized he’s pretty spot-on.  For instance, did you know that in 2006 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study, Low-Carbohydrate-Diet Score and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women, which concluded after following over 82,000 women for 20 years (note:  the “conclusive” reference studies listed above only had a couple thousand participants and only lasted 5 to 7 years) that these types of diets – high protein, high fat, low carb – are “not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease in women”.  Hm.
 
In the end, Dr. Curtis did not offer a counter-explanation for what he thought caused heart disease.  But then again he said in the beginning he wasn’t going to do that.  So I won’t hold it against him.  I would have liked to see him explore the inflammatory process which I have always thought plays a larger role in plaque destabilization.  I’m also suspicious that sugar might have something to do with heart disease as well.  Guess I better put a study together.  Anyone got a couple million bucks?
 
I recommend you read this book and think long and hard before taking one more medication.  Information is knowledge and knowledge is power.  Thank you Dr. Curtis for lending your insights to the cholesterol discussion.
 
 Click Here To Purchase The Cholesterol Delusion