Nina Teicholz, investigative journalist and author of the International bestseller The Big Fat Surprise, wrote an article for the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) in September 2015, which makes the case for the inadequacy of the scientific advice that underpins the Dietary Guidelines (Teicholz, 2015). The title of the article was “The scientific report guiding the U.S. dietary guidelines: is it scientific?”
Ian Leslie writing for The Guardian reports that the response of the nutrition establishment was ferocious: 173 scientists – some of whom were on the advisory panel, and many of whose work had been critiqued in Teicholz’s book – signed a letter to the BMJ, demanding it retract the piece (Leslie, 2016). Prominent cardiovascular and nutrition scientists from 19 countries called for the retraction. However, to this day, the article remains published. The BMJ has officially announced that it will not retract the peer-reviewed investigation after stating that two independent experts conducted formal post-publication reviews of the article and found no grounds for retraction (Sboros, 2016).
Yet, behind every mainstream medical practice, strict questionable guidelines are still followed faithfully every day. Doctors are still following cholesterol targets that are often unattainable without cholesterol lowering drugs, but many do try to achieve their targets with extremely low fat diets recommended irresponsibly in dietary guidelines.
Unfortunately the rest of the world has followed suit on these dietary changes. Traditional high fat foods have been given up for the low fat scam. Promoters of the highly touted Mediterranean diet, with its olive oil and ‘low animal fat’, fail to mention the fact that there are still fat loaded recipes that were passed from generation to generation among the Mediterranean people. Lardo di Colonnata with its cured strips of fatback and herbs and spices; Greek barbecue which often involves an entire lamb roasted on a spit; or the kokoretsi which is made from the internal organs of the lamb – liver, spleen, heart, glands – threaded onto skewers along with the fatty membrane from the lamb intestines, all of these are foods of the long-lived Mediterranean people. Yet the ‘American style Mediterranean Diet’ selectively picks foods from the diet of the Mediterranean people to give the picture they desire. Ironically, many of the Mediterranean people have adopted this Americanized version of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’.
The truth is that cholesterol is a substance our bodies make naturally, and it’s absolutely essential to our health. Cholesterol is so crucial that the body produces some 1000-1400 milligrams of it each day, mainly in the liver. Cholesterol is also synthesized to a smaller extent in the adrenal glands, intestines, reproductive organs, etc.
We are told by the “Official Thought-Control Institutions” to limit consumption to less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day, but our liver’s production of cholesterol is controlled by a feedback mechanism based on how much we eat. If we eat a lot of cholesterol, we produce less, leaving much needed liver energy for other important tasks. If we eat little cholesterol, replacing it with carbohydrates and vegetable oils, then the body will produce the cholesterol from these dietary raw materials. However, a high-carb and vegetable oil diet yields a very bad cholesterol profile even when the cholesterol is in normal range. If we hardly eat any cholesterol and we block its production with lowering cholesterol drugs, then we are limiting the supply of something the body desperately needs for its proper function. Yet statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, are among the most profitable drugs in the history of the world.
Restricting or eliminating cholesterol in the diet overburdens the liver, which now has to overproduce it through its enzyme HMG-CoA reductase from food in our diet. This enzyme is the one that is blocked by statin drugs for the purpose of lowering the amount of cholesterol the body produces. But, as with all pharmaceuticals, it comes with a price. HMG-CoA reductase is also the enzyme needed for the creation of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is a key nutrient for energy production in our cells. CoQ10 is also a major antioxidant. People complain of muscle cramps or aches while on statins drugs. Keep in mind that your heart is a muscle as well. Coincidence or not, the incidence of congestive heart failure has spiked during the time statins have been a top selling drug. Even when statin drugs are not at fault for the increased prevalence of congestive heart failure during the last decades, we don’t necessarily want to decrease CoQ10 levels in a failing heart. . .