I have uncovered a small mountain of research material on the subject of heart disease and the value or lack thereof of statin drugs. The black and white of statins gets cloudy real fast with even a cursory investigation. In this installment, I concentrate on the findings of Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon. I have spent considerable time with books authored by this team. I like what I have read enough that I want to report some of their findings to you. To pursue your own independent research, read Eat Fat, Lose Fat and Nourishing Traditions.
Enig and Fallon tell us that polyunsaturated fats remain liquid, even when refrigerated. When polyunsaturated oils are heated, free radicals form. Free radicals can initiate both cancer and heart disease. Industrially processed polyunsaturated oils (corn, sunflower, soy, safflower), not saturated fats, are the cancer and heart disease culprits. Saturated fats are notable for their highly stable nature at room temperature. Thus, when heated, saturated fats are less likely to go rancid and form free radicals. Monounsaturated fats (olive, avocado, sesame, almond, pecan, cashew, peanut) become solid when refrigerated, are relatively stable, and do not go rancid quickly, as do polyunsaturated fats. Last on the fat front are the trans fats found in baked goods, margarine, fast foods, chips, and some frozen foods. Trans fats are produced artificially by bombarding polyunsaturated oils with hydrogen. Trans fats are a health travesty, and their presence is reason alone for the thoughtful citizen to abandon the treacherous roster of food items cited above.
Enig and Fallon explain that the “lipid hypothesis” is the theory that saturated fats and cholesterol in our food raise cholesterol levels in the blood, leading to heart disease. Does saturated fat raise cholesterol levels? Is high cholesterol a danger to your health? Does cholesterol cause atherosclerosis and heart disease? Are polyunsaturated oils heart-healthy? And how do statin drugs enter the discussion? In part three of my statin drug research, I will begin to unravel these complex questions. I hope you will consider the questions I am posing here and initiate your own complementary research into statin drugs and heart disease.
Read Statin Drugs: Part 1
Read Statin Drugs: Part 3