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The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease [Paperback]

Uffe Ravnskov
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 14 2003
A highly qualified doctor and scientist analyzes the studies used to justify the cholesterol hypothesis and demonstrates that the idea that animal fats and cholesterol cause heart disease is based on flimsy, even fraudulent evidence and wishful thinking. Includes a discussion on the dangers of vegetable oils and cholesterol-lowering drugs.

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...he is not a lone voice in the wilderness and he deserves to be taken seriously. -- Michael Gurr, PhD--Renowned Lipid Chemist

Dr. Ravnskov has done a magnificent service. . . must reading for all interested persons, nutritionists and physicians. -- Ray H. Rosenman, MD--Former Director of Cardiovascular Research, SRI

Dr. Ravnskov's measured and clear-eyed analysis actually serves as a sledgehammer that breaks down barriers to healthy, sensible eating. -- Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions

About the Author

Dr. Ravnskov has published almost 40 critical papers and letters about the alleged association between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. For his contributions in this field he received the Irish Skrabanek Award in 1999. His website (home2.swipnet.se/~w-25775), posted in 1997, has generated intense interest and has contributed to the emergence of skepticism about the diet-heart theory, now perculating through the medical community.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End of the Myths... June 12 2004
Wow! If you an even remotely open mind reading this book, you can't help but saying "Wow!" by the end of this book (actually started saying this early in this book).
Very early in this book, the author brings up an important concept. And if there is a significant flaw in this book, it is that the author never really brought that concept up again in book. That concept is the scientific method. Remember that you were taught the scientific method when you were younger. Simply stated it is:
1. Question - What is happening?
2. Hypothesis - I think this is what is happening.
3. Prediction - I predict x will happen when y happens.
4. Testing - Test to see that x happens when y happens.
With this mind, the author doesn't have to be right about everything he lists in this book. Not even 10% of it has to be right. Only a few things have to be right, and, if so, you HAVE to throw out the concept that saturate fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. But it hasn't been thrown out like it should, so Dr. Ravnskov wrote this book so that you and I would know the truth.
Dr. Ravnskov does an excellent job of breaking down this issue into 9 myths (high-fat foods cause heart disease, high cholesterol causes heart disease, high-fat foods raise blood cholesterol, cholesterol blocks arteries, animal studies prove the diet-heart idea, lowering your cholesterol will lengthen your life, polyunsaturated oils are good for you, the cholesterol campaign is based on good science, and all scientists support the diet-heart idea).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book -to share with your doctor Jan. 2 2004
The high ratings from the other reviewers already show that this is a very important book; a reality check for those with fear of fresh cholesterol foods, or with concerns about cholesterol levels.
With cholesterol lowering drugs about $1000/year one can see the pressures to prescribe them from their makers, as a friend cardiologist was just offered $5000 simply to provide names for a cholesterol study -he called it a bribe and moved on.
The TV and print ads suggest dire consequences from cholesterol and it is easy to see that most people and doctors fear the stuff. Busy doctors may -out of fear of law suits or lack of time to read the studies- follow guidelines that in the U.S. and Canada were overwhelmingly written by those receiving payment from the drug companies [that alone is a scandal by itself].
This book shows the science and reveals the fact that lowering cholesterol by any means does not reduce mortality rates, that there are peoples with high cholesterol without heart disease and that, at the very least, the science for lowering cholesterol in virtually anybody is rotten.
The largest North American cholesterol lowering trial ever [2002 ALLHAT] and the largest trial in the world with the #1 selling cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor [2003 ASCOT] showed mortality after 3 or 6 years that was totally identical, while a trial in elderly [2002 PROSPER] showed increased cancer and also nobody saved. The science in women is even worse than in men.
An early trial, EXCEL, was stopped at 11 months at a 2.75x greater mortality from the drug -but for the next 5 years we have publications as to how well the stuff [Mevacor] is tolerated [nobody keels over instantly] and how well it reduces "bad" cholesterol. I bet your doctor would like to know that.
I've seen Dr.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait to Confront My Cardiologist March 18 2003
By asfhgwt
This book should be read by everyone, especially doctors and especially those who specialize in cardiology. My own heart doctor has been trying to push statins on me for two years, despite the fact that my heart "epsiode" (a very minor infarction) took place 20 years ago, my total cholesterol is just 210, and high cholesterol (250+) with *zero* heart disease runs in my family. You should see him shudder at the abnormality of that figure, warning me that yet another drop in "normal" limits is on the AHA and NHLBI horizon. In his opinion, my total cholesterol should be 160 -- or dire consequences could result!
As its subtitle states, The Cholesterol Myths exposes the fallacy that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. Dr. Ravnskov is no "wacko"; his book is well-annotated and examines many of the major relevant studies over the past 50 years. I've checked a few of the references myself and have found them accurate. I've checked literature available on the AHA and NHLBI websites and seen for myself how they distort the truth.
In one example, the NHLBI states flatly that "international studies find that CHD is uncommon in cultures with low levels of serum cholesterol, even when... hypertension and cigarette smoking is relatively high." A check of the footnotes cited the "Seven Countries" study and "MONICA" project, both taken to task in Dr. Ravnskov's book. What the NHLBI did was choose only a few of the datapoints from these studies (Japan, China), where their statement was indeed true -- but they conveniently ignored all 25 or so other datapoints which clearly showed that overall there was no correlation between countries' cholesterol levels and CHD whatsoever!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I fully subscribe to the ideas in this book.
Published 2 months ago by fussy
5.0 out of 5 stars My reason for rating
Reason for rating
Exceptional writing from well informed Dr. who has more than enough knowledge on the subject.
Highly recommended read
Published 15 months ago by Marion Drake-Arbing
5.0 out of 5 stars Fat and cholesterol are good for you!
This book explains in very easy to understand language that common myths about fat and cholesterol include that:

- High fat foods cause heart disease. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2012 by Jodi-Hummingbird
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read!
The Dr. makes a great analysis of the lipid hypothesis, breaking down the "evidence" from the studies upon which it is based so you can judge for yourself. Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Ravnskov is a Kidney specialist, They are very sharp.
Dr. Ravnskov is a renal (kidney)specialist, they are sharp as tacks, I know, I go to a kidney specialist. As a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Dr. Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by Mark Moulliet
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cholesterol Myths
I have read about this book "The Cholesterol Myths" on the Internet, and was VERY impressed of what I read, and am ordering it as soon as I'm finish typing my comment . Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by BG
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you worried by high cholesterol?
Then read this book! It answers a lot of questions -- Exactly what is high cholesterol? Science doesn't know. Read more
Published on April 12 2004 by D. E. W. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is afraid of a little cholesterol?
Every year millions of Americans are badgered by their physicians into taking a class of cholesterol lowering drugs called "statins". Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2003 by Gerald M. Vrooman
4.0 out of 5 stars A study on medical 'science'
Ever wonder why dietary recommendations keep changing from week to week? Are you tired of strange jargon-filled criticisms of your diet. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2002 by R. Apte
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Will Set You Free...And Possibly Save Your Life!
The lipid hypothesis of heart disease claims that elevated serum cholesterol levels cause heart disease, and it is dietary cholesterol and saturated fat that elevate serum... Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2002 by t-rone
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