February 5

Smoking and heart disease

25  comments

I have been reading a great little book, In Search of Burningbush, about the adventures of a couple of golf buddies in Scotland. I came across the following paragraph:

We stopped in Longniddry, at the local “chipper” (fish and chips and every other manner of deep-fried animal parts)/pizzeria/video store, for the first of what I expected would be many servings of grease-soaked, artery clogging Scottish cuisine. I read somewhere that Scotland has the highest incidence of heart disease in the world [the highest in Western Europe] – and I’d be willing to wager it’s not because of stress or lack of exercise. They love to smoke and they love to eat unhealthy things, as though two decades of alarming news-magazine cover stories somehow slipped their collective attention.

Remember in my recent post on statins I noted that most people who have heart attacks smoke or were smokers. It’s strange how people never seem to correlate smoking to heart disease. In the above quote, the author recognizes that smoking is a cause, but what launches him off is the ‘greasy’ food.
When most people (not readers of this blog, thank God) see someone eating eggs and bacon or a big juicy steak they comment on the notion that those things cause heart disease. They call them things like ‘heart attack on a plate.’ When these same people see someone light up, do they think heart disease? I doubt it.
It’s amazing because there is no evidence that the eggs, bacon or steak cause heart disease, but there is a mountain of evidence that smoking does. Yet no one talks about artery-clogging cigarettes.
If there were as much money spent on educating people to the negative health effects of smoking as there is on the promotion of statins, which are little better than worthless, we would probably see heart disease rates tumble.
With all the folderol you hear from the statin worshipers about how deaths from heart disease have fallen over the past decade (with the implication that statins are the cause for this decline), just remember that the rates of smoking in the US have fallen markedly over the past 25 years. And even though smoking, a known and serious cause of heart disease, has fallen, the incidence of heart disease is about the same.
The statin worshipers never talk about that.


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  1. The “heart attack on a plate” comments are certainly unfortunate. But to be fair, many nonsmokers do refer to cigarettes as “cancer sticks.” “Heart disease sticks” or “Heart attack in a long paper tube” just don’t seem to have the same ring.
    Hi Scott–
    I agree that people often refer to cigarettes as “cancer sticks,” and I think most people correlate smoking with lung cancer.  They don’t realize that heart disease is a much greater risk for most smokers than lung cancer.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  2. My father had his first heart attack when I was 8. That was 1959. He eventually returned to work but a second coronary “event” forced him onto SSD. At the time we lived across the street from a small Mom & Pop store. One of my most vivid, and painful memories of those times was that he would insist that I go to the store and get his cigarettes for him. I knew they were bad for him and deeply resented the fact that he would not quit, terrified that I was helping him kill himself. With over forty years perspective, I understand, to some degree how powerfully addictive they were. It still hurts. If anything positive came of it, it is that I have never smoked, tobacco, that is. I did attend college in the late sixties / early seventies…
    Hi George–
    I had a similar experience.  I can’t tell you how many times I ran to the store for cigarettes for my parents and grandparents.  In looking back on my childhood the only positive thing I can think of about cigarettes is that they always made good Christmas presents.  I would always give one of my parents or grandparents a carton of them, wrapped, under the tree.  Sad.
    It put me off of the whole smoking scene so much that even though I, too, attended college in the late sixties/early seventies, I, like Bill Clinton, didn’t inhale.  In fact, I never even tried it.Of course, as you can read from my mini-bio a few weeks back, I was pretty weird.

    MRE 

  3. Starchy carbohydrate deep fried in vegetable (soy) oil. I’d agree that chips from a chippy
    (as we call it in England)are not a healthy option.
    I’m not sure what these ‘animal parts’ are though. Sounds slightly sinister! Most likely candidates are the ubiquitous sausages and burgers, plus various bits of chicken.
    The Scots heart disease surely lies in the smoking, carbs and fried (in polyunsaturated oil) food. And by reputation, they don’t as a nation, have much of an intake of your green and leafy veg either.
    Ah, but they do have Haggis, which I dearly love.  The first time I went to Scotland I figured I had to have Haggis, but I wasn’t looking forward to it.  I put it off until the very last meal of the very last day.  MD and I got an order between us and loved it so much we fought over it.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  4. Great observation Doctor Eades.Please take a look at the book “Change Or Die” I promise you won’t be disappointed. There is a lot of junk in the book about Dr. Ornish but the thrust of the book is how people won’t change even confronted with the facts. The fact is that 94% of people who have open heart surgery stay smoking ( even knowing they are killing themselves) stubborn bunch us humans.
    Hi John–
    I looked the book up on Amazon; it looks pretty good.  I’ll pick up a copy.  I may be able to stomach a little bit of the Ornish nonsense, but not a lot.
    If the premise of the book is to switch to the Ornish diet it should be called “Change and Die.”
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  5. Hello doc, I don’t think Trichor is a statin but I forget what it is. Is it considered a bad guy like statins?
    Hi Bill–
    TriCor is a different class of drugs.  It’s what’s called a PPAR alpha activator.  It is in the clofibrate/gemfibrozil family of drugs, which are not without side effects.  Here is the package insert.  Take a look at the Warnings section down where it says other considerations.  After mentioning that TriCor is so similar to clofibrate that findings applying to clofibrate should apply to TriCor as well it says the following:

    There was a statistically significant, higher age-adjusted all-cause mortality in the clofibrate group compared with the placebo group… Excess mortality was due to a 33% increase in non-cardiovascular causes, including malignancy, post-cholescystectomy complications, and pancreatitis.

    Using the statistitics given and the relative risk ratio calculations that drug companies love to show the effectiveness of their drugs, it appears that those patients on clofibrate had about a 44% greater chance of dying from cancer, complications from gall bladder surgery (from gall bladder disease caused by the clofibrate), and or pancreatitis.
    So, what does a patient get for accepting this 44% greater risk of dying from all these other things?  Protection against heart disease?
    Hardly.
    Here’s what the package insert says about it: 

    The effect of TriCor on coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality and non-cardiovascular mortality has not been established. 

    So, the drug company knows the risk of dying of those taking TriCor is 44% greater than those not taking it.  And the company hasn’t even tested as to whether or not the drug prevents death or even morbidity from heart disease.
    Doesn’t sound like a real good deal to me. 

  6. The whole idea that fatty foods cause heart disease is so well entrenched in our society that without fail whenever I read a book, the characters are always described as eating artery-clogging meals whenever they eat something other than a salad. If two characters are eating together, one will be virtuously eating what amounts to a vergetarian meal while the other is enjoying an what is described in so many words as an artery-clogging repast. The words “artery-clogging” are always present. I read a lot and noticed this starting to creep into fiction years ago and now it’s almost on every other page.
    Hubby and I took in the Body Worlds exhibit last year and found the lungs from smokers and non-smokers fascinating: non-smoker lungs a pink-white color in contrast to the dirty grey color of the smoker’s lungs. Even more disturbing were the lungs taken from a coal miner. They were jet black and actually sparkled under the lights.
    Hi Esther–
    The artery-clogging business drives me crazy.
    MD and I, too, saw the Body Worlds exhibit a year or two ago.  The difference between smokers and non-smokers lungs is frightening.  I’ve seen the same in autopsies and surgery many times.  I don’t know how pathologists and chest surgeons could ever smoke, but many do.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  7. Dr Mike,
    On a side-note, As a non-smoker who is also obese, I can tell you that I can never open my mouth to criticize smoking.
    I once had a convo with a smoker about heart disease, and my weight was instantly made an issue.
    Smokers have it easy in that regard. The obese are instantly judged as close to having a heart attack, but smokers are even quicker to defend their habit.
    Perhaps it’s the nicotine addiction that makes them so edgy?
    Hi Low Carb Dave–
    Your risk being overweight is probably much less than theirs as far as a heart attack is concerned.  The threat of the loss of an addictive substance makes all addicts edgy.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  8. I agree with you about smoking. I smoked for thirty years. I quit 12 years ago, two years before I had quadruple bypass surgery. I believe I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t quit.
    Hi Jay–
    You’re probably right.  I’m glad you quit.  It ain’t easy.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  9. John Brunzell, Alan Chait, Jack Oram
    Sir heard any of these geezers talk about Framingham and the dietary cholesterol stuff?
    Hi Simon–
    Nope, I’ve never heard any of the aforementioned geezers talk about anything.  Have I missed something important?
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  10. After reading the first of your recent posts about the link between smoking and CHD, I had a lightbulb moment. Whether or not it is actually the case, it would make intuitive sense that with all the tar that smokers inhale, some of it passes into the bloodstream and it could really cause sticky clumping and accumulation on the walls.
    Has there ever been an in-depth study of the chemical composition of arterial plaque? If I were in biomed and not computer science, I would be highly interested in looking into this.
    Hi Bradley–
    I don’t know the answer to your question for sure.  It would seem that most of the tar and other large compounds would get filtered out in the lungs and never reach the blood stream.  Nicotine is a smaller molecule and makes it through the alveolar membrane (the part of the lungs where oxygen exchange takes place) whereas the tars probably wouldn’t. These tarry substances that get trapped in the lungs are what makes smokers lungs so black when you see them at autopsy.
    Best–
    MRE 

  11. A propos Clinton, I read once (I think from Anthony Colpo but am not sure) that cocaine is an even more potent heart disease contributor.
    Hi gallier2–
    I don’t really know.  I haven’t read much on the issue of cocaine and heart disease.  Since cocaine is a stimulant, it would stand to reason that it could provoke a heart attack if there were underlying disease, but I don’t know if cocaine causes the disease.
    Best–
    MRE 

  12. Dr Mike, does quitting reduce the chances of heart attack or does the risk remain about the same?
    Hi Tess–
    Quiting does reduce the risk.  And the longer one goes without smoking, the lower the risk becomes.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  13. On February 10 I will celebrate the 15th anniversary of my Quit Day. Fifteen years without a cigarette — yay me! I do remember the day every year, because for a long time I didn’t think I would ever be able to quit. But I did and am glad of it. When I fell in love with my future husband 13 years ago this month, he still smoked. I told him I loved him but I wouldn’t live with a smoker. So he quit — on Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t easy for him either. He’d been smoking since he was 13. (We were in our 30s then.)
    The other day I read something that listed how the risk for various smoking-related illness and disease dissipates over time once you quit. Now, 15 years from my last cigarette, my risk is close to that of someone who never smoked. Cause for celebration indeed.
    –Anne
    Hi Anne–
    Great story!  Thanks for passing it along.  It shows that quitting can be done.
    Congrats for sticking in there.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  14. I smoke (about half a pack a day) and am slim. Of course I know it’s bad for me. I wonder how much the decline in smoking has contributed to the rise in obesity.
    Also, many people who quit smoking become depressed, which leads them to try antidepressants, which may contribute to weight gain. I quit for four years and became fat and depressed. Felt like I was swapping one problem for two.
    Hi Paul–
    It’s tough to quit, there is no doubt about that.  But probably worth the effort.
    There is no question that nicotine raises metabolic rate a little, which is one of the reasons those who quit gain weight.  And, smokers often go for a smoke during a time of stress, whereas non-smokers hit the food.  Old cigarette ads made much of this, saying: when your hungry, instead of a snack, grab a Winston (or whatever the brand).  Celebs attributed their thinness to the cigarettes they smoked.
    I’m sure a component of the national obesity epidemic comes from the large number of people who have given up smoking.
    Cigarettes also increase insulin resistance, a situation that doesn’t immediately go away once the smoking stops.  So, you’ve got more insulin along with a slightly lower metabolic rate, all of which lead to weight gain.
    I am not an expert on smoking cessation, but of all the people I’ve seen who have tried to quit, the method that was successful for the majority of them has been hypnosis.  I’m passing that along for what it’s worth.
    As to the depression, taking about 100 mg of quality 5 HTP (hydroxy tryptophan) at about 5 PM.  5 HTP is a precursor to seritonin, and taking it at 5 PM helps with sleep and seems to improve depressive symptoms.
    Hope all this helps.
    MRE 

  15. Dunno really.They are big wig lipid folks at UW.
    Also for you and John i think it was if you want a truly super book about how people don’t change and a whole slew of others things that we think about oursleves..from psychic phenomena to overestimation you’ll find Intuition its powers and perils by David Myers simply breathtaking.
    A really blindly good read. He aint no new age flakeola.
    Sinc
    Hi Simon–
    Big lipid folks, eh?  No wonder I don’t know them.
    Thanks for the book tip; sounds like a winner.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  16. My FIL quit smoking over 25 years ago. He had a heart attack in his 50’s (20 years ago) and has spent the last 20 years keeping his cholesterol down with low fat/high carb and Lipitor. So, a couple of weeks ago he ended up with a quadruple bypass because his arteries were over 90% clogged. Thank goodness they caught it before he had another heart attack—but I wonder what they’ll do now. When they tried a moderately low-carb diet a few years ago, for just a couple months, his cholesterol went up and the dr. suggested a higher dose of Lipitor, not stopping the diet. But they stopped the diet. 🙁 What’s a person to do about people you love who won’t listen to reason and are so committed to avoiding “death on a plate?”
    Hi Sally–
    Sorry to hear about your father-in-law.  His situation demonstrates that a low-fat diet and statins don’t prevent the progression of heart disease.  The medical literature shows no clear relationship between cholesterol and the progression of heart disease.  So why does everyone insist on treating heart disease by trying to reduce cholesterol?
    In all the patients MD and I have had on low-carb diets, we have never had a single one who had a heart attack while following the diet.  That is anecdotal data, but I think it’s pretty strong.  Most of our patients were middle aged, some were diabetic, most were a little glucose intolerant, and all were overweight.  These patients had all the conditions that made them ripe for a heart attack, but none had one while under our care.  We can’t even remember one who had a heart attack at any time.
    We worked with these patients to lower their insulin levels, which I believe does more to reduce the risk of heart disease than lowering cholesterol (which does pretty much nothing).
    Too bad your FIL’s doctors panicked when his cholesterol went up a little on the low-carb diet.
    Best–
    MRE 

  17. Off topic, re Golf Books
    Ever read ‘Golf In The Kingdom” by Michael Murphy??
    A mystical humorous book on why golf is more than a game.It may change your view of golf forever. The ‘Kingdom’ by the way is The Kingdom Of Fife, in Scotland. St Andrews golf course is in Fife. But as a golfer, you knew that already! I’m sure
    Hi Neil–
    I’ve tried to make it through Golf in the Kingdom two or three times without success.  I guess it simply isn’t my cup of tea.  Probably says a lot about me, although I don’t know what exactly.
    The book I’m now reading, In Search of Burningbush, is about two friends who travel Scotland playing golf.  One is a real disciple of Golf in the Kingdom; the other is much like me, he can’t really understand all the hooray over it.  It makes for an interesting interplay of philosophies, but I can’t say as it has inspired me to make another run at GITK yet.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  18. We went to Scotland & England this past summer and the food was one of the highlights of the trip for me (we stayed away from chips & shortbread, etc.). We stayed a few days in B & Bs in some small seaside towns, eating a hearty breakfast of meaty bacon rashers and sausage, eggs, hold-the-toast; with lunch & dinner in places with traditional and regional specialties (sometimes with music, too) and in pubs while on the road. To save time & money sometimes we had a lamb kebab at a takeaway, without chips. I had haggis three different ways in the first two days (I found it quite tasty and not at all what I expected), as well as fresh locally-caught seafood. Vegetables were a bit more carby than usual for me, but quite good; the taters & neeps (potatoes & either parsnips/turnips) were great and a holiday luxury food for me. Loved the butter & rich cream, too! Cullen Skink fish soup with cream was delicious, as was black pudding and other various sausages. There are still lots of Highland beef grazing on the hillsides so I guess it is still consumed. Several ice cream companies are Scottish, although I would guess the recipes are mostly the same as anywhere. Salads have improved tremendously since I first went to the UK, now often mixed baby greens or romaine instead of a wedge o’ iceberg. Most places had no problem substituting a salad for the chips if asked. Salad dressings have *not* improved however, being standard bottled fare so most often I had oil & vinegar. But we read the menus outside the establishment and chose our restaurants wisely, at the same time watching our budget (dining out is far more expensive there than in the US) *and* looking for places which allowed our son (some pubs are not licensed for under-18s after a certain hour). So it is possible to eat well in Scotland, even if the natives don’t chose well.
    I enjoyed the traditional Scottish food so much I bought a cookbook at one of the castle giftshops, The Scots Kitchen; Its Traditions and Lore with Olde-time recipes by F. Marion McNeill, first published in 1929. It seems Ms. McNeill was a journalist & writer in the 20s who wanted to preserve the traditional Scottish food cultures and recipes, which were rapidly changing and disappearing (sound familiar?).
    What I found disturbing was how “American” the grocery stores have become, with low fat yogurts and milk, etc. And more vegetarian stuff, such as “vegetarian haggis”, which seems oxymoronic to me.
    On a different topic, earlier someone made a coment about the Eades “doing well” as evidenced by a recent golfing trip to an exotic locale. I found that amusing because I get the same comments about our overseas travels. But like a book, it may be not as the cover implies. In our case, we are fortunate to have many good travel opportunities due to my husband’s many science meeting invitations. Between frequent flyer miles for my son & me, some hotel nights provided at the meeting, lots of hospitable friends & family in far-flung places, and not traveling in “high-style” when we are on our own, we don’t spend nearly as much on our travel as some people assume. What we do spend is affordable because we drive older, practical cars and live below our means at home. And I will say, it is well worth it!
    So thanks for the “full disclosure” Dr. Eades, it was interesting to learn more about your life, but not all of us gave your tax bracket or R & R choice much thought (I did notice the hangover comments & tsk-tsk’ed 🙂 ). It was interesting to learn that you have stopped your medical practice, though; explains the time & late/early hours for your blog. And I had wondered how such a long-distance move would be possible with an active practice. Mystery solved.
    And lastly, I’m hoping you will write another book that is more about implementing the Protein Power lifeplan for the entire family. I have appreciated that you mention children quite a bit more than any other low carb books, but those of us with young kids could use some support because low carb has not trickled down to kids yet. As the schools teach more about lower fat but not carb-induced problems, and more processed foods are available to kids than ever before, etc. it is very hard to get the message across without a lecture. We do ok at home, but nonetheless I find it difficult explain why I don’t buy cold cereal anymore, serve him many sugar-sweetened things, etc. I remember this when I was a kid and I rebelled against it when I was on my own, eating every forbidden thing I could. I was skinny then and could do that without weight problems, but that is probably the cause of my insulin resistance now (plus adhering to low fat-high carb when I did finally stop the junk food binge). And I don’t want to create a food neurotic, either. But I know my kid loves sugar and junk food and eats the other kids’ stuff at school or at their homes when it is offered (I make his lunch). And before long, he will eat as much away from home as at home. More about what you did/said with your kids would be very welcome, indeed.
    Ciao,
    Anna
    Hi Anna–
    Thanks for the travelogue on Scotland.  It makes me hungry to read it.
    You’re right about travel on the cheap.  Exotic sounding locations don’t have to be all that expensive, especially if you can get there on airline miles as we almost always do.  And, if you use good sense in lodging and dining choices.
    A part of my full disclosure that I neglected to mention is our automobile situation.  We, too, drive, older, practical, paid for (the best kind) cars.  At least one is practical.  We have a 1998 Audi A6 and, my baby, a 1992 Porsche 968, a model most people have never heard of.  The Audi is practical; the Porsche isn’t.  But, even with the occasional outrageous mechanics bills I have to pay for the Porsche, it’s expense is far, far less than the monthly payments on a new moderately priced car.  (Lower insurance, too.)  And the new, moderately priced car would not be nearly so fun to drive.
    Don’t tsk tsk too much about my talk of hangovers.  I don’t drink nearly so much as I write about.
    I’ve floated the idea of a book on low-carb for kids to my agent, who immediately shot it down saying that there is absolutely no market for such a book.  Several have been published, all sank beneath the waves.  Which means publishers won’t buy another, probably even if it’s written by Stephen King.
    At some point I’ll post (or MD will) on how we dealt with our own kids when we made the abrupt (and I mean abrupt) change to the low-carb lifestyle many years ago.  The kids weren’t crazy about the switch over, but they endured it.  In fact, the youngest had a real ‘aha’ moment thanks to one of his friends.  Our kid’s friends used to pack their own junk food when they came to our house because we had none.  One of the worst of these was our youngest son’s best friend, who was a sugar junkie.  This kid went to the dentist for his regular checkup and was found to have a mouthful of cavities; our own son had been for his own dental checkup a few weeks previous and was found cavity-free.  He immediately reckoned the difference was from all the sugar his friend ate. So, after this revelation, our son became a little low-carber pretty much on his own.  Or, at the very least, he became less vocal in his complaints.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  19. Since you’ve been talking about statins, I wondered if you’d check out this little blurb I read in the March 8th edition of Woman’s Day magazine:

    Yet another reason to follow your doctor’s orders: Researchers from the Netherlands recently examined the records of nearly 60,000 patients who had been prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins, and found that more than half had taken themselves off the drug within two years. The sad result: hundreds of avoidable heart attacks each year.

    Scare tactics? I’d be interested in your comments.
    Hi Laurie–
    Uh, where is the data on these “hundreds of avoidable heart attacks each year”?  Interestingly, if we take one of the major studies I mentioned in the post on statins, the LIPID study, and extrapolate the numbers in that study out to the 60,000 people in the Netherlands, we find something pretty interesting.  (Remember, the LIPID study was with subjects who already had heart disease, not just subjects with no known heart disease whose doctors put them on statins to prevent heart disease.)  In the 30,000 who quit taking statins compared to the 30,000 who continued to take them, we would expect to find 141 more heart attacks in a year, making the ‘hundreds” figure in the article somewhat close to the mark.  But, we would find 150 more deaths each year in the group taking statins than we would find in the group that quit taking them.  So, by going off statins on their own, the 30,000 people who did so reduced their risk of death overall as compared to those who stayed on the drugs.
    Best–

    MRE 

  20. In one of your replies, you said, “The medical literature shows no clear relationship between cholesterol and the progression of heart disease. So why does everyone insist on treating heart disease by trying to reduce cholesterol?”
    My guess is that it’s because they want to be seen to be doing something. My father has had bypass surgery twice (about 15 years ago, he’s now in his early 70s). He’s never smoked, never been overweight, nor had high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Now he takes statins to reduce his normal cholesterol levels, and something to reduce his normal blood pressure. And warfarin and aspirin just in case. He knows that his muscles are slightly weaker because of the statins, and that they slightly impair his kidney function – both are tested regularly by his cardiologist, but he just accepts that as the price that has to be paid for reducing the risk of future heart problems. The cardiologist gets no financial benefit from any of the drugs, because they are issued from the GP’s surgery. The GP doesn’t like having to pay for the drugs that someone else prescribes, so there’s no obvious financial incentive, it seems that the cardiologist genuinely wants to do the best he can, but doesn’t really know what that should be, so he prescribes a bit of everything.
    I keep quiet about my views on all of this because he’d end up still taking the same drugs, but worrying about it more.
    My father’s the only one in the family who really has a sweet tooth. The rest of us would generally skip sweets in favour of more main course, whereas he feels a meal isn’t complete if it doesn’t finish with something sweet. And he had a lot of stress in his work over the decade before the heart problems. Or maybe it was just a random thing – I don’t know of any other heart disease in the family.
    Hi Janet–
    Sorry to hear about your father.  He is one of the unusual ones in that he has never smoked.
    I’m sure you’re right about the cardiologist wanting to appear to be doing something.  And I’m sure the cardiologist truly believes that the statin drugs are God’s gift to people with heart disease.  It takes going beyond the information that the drug companies provide or the ‘research’ they underwrite to understand what’s really going on, and most busy physicians have neither the time nor the inclination to ferret the information out.  Consequently, they go with the flow.  If everyone is giving statins, and at every conference they attend the speakers all recommend statins, and if everything they read in their journals (sponsored by the drug companies) indicates that statins are the way to go, they prescribe statins, too.  And think they’re doing a fine job.
    And, although your father is probably at a little excess risk for all-cause mortality thanks to the statins, you’re probably right in not badgering him about it.  I would imagine he would continue the course laid out by his own physician and would simply add a layer of worry on top of everything else. 
    Best–
    MRE 

  21. My brother gets also statins, but it makes no sense. He suffers from a myocardiopathy and gets a lot of drugs, some I can understand (beta-blockers and such) but for the simvastatin, there is no rational explanation. Even the study done in the same hospital he’s treated found not much benefit for heart failures. I try my best to inform him, but the problem is, that the best books and articles on the subject are written in english, which he doesn’t read well enough to understand.
    Hi gallier2–
    Yeah, it’s a sad situation.  Too bad some of the books on the subject aren’t translated into French.
    Best–
    MRE 

  22. The actual figures on long cancer are these – rounded off –
    One person in a 10,000 who don’t smoke – get it
    One person in a 1,000 who do smoke – get it
    A ten fold increase for smokers
    So what – ten times almost nothing is still almost nothing
    —— .1 percent doesn’t seem all that high to me
    The current phraseology on studies involving smoke on rabbit’s – goes something like this –
    ‘It appears that smoking favors plaque buildup –
    and although we refuse to give you a percentage on how much it does so – trust us – to us – it just looks as though it does favor it.’
    ‘It also seems to be non-linear – or gee-wizz and josh-darn we certainly hope so’
    Because then they can use the study to outlaw second hand smoke.
    It might appear here that I am pro-smoking – but only if you consider that I have no intention of ever stopping smoking – for any reason or anybody.
    However I am in favor – oh that word favor again – of accurate information on the real effects of smoking – instead of this insanity that ‘smoking is bad – therefore the science must exist to support the statement’.
    I have just about concluded that people who are anti-smoking are some how insane – or mentally perverted and quite possibly incurable.
    So – keep raising my taxes and when the day comes I can no longer afford to smoke – then it will become necessary for me to leave this insane planet.
    Of course there’s always the .1 percent chance I will get lung cancer first – so at least there’s some hope there.
    I agree smoking is an irritant – a very enjoyable irritant – but other than that I doubt it causes anything on it’s own.
    Except maybe some real pissed off rabbit’s.
    My own opionion on plaque buildup is this –
    a general lack of anti-oxidants in the diet –
    *green tea – peppers – real fruit juices
    combined with –
    a general lack of green raw foods –
    *lettuce and all the others –
    combined with –
    excess sugars minus small amounts of the honey family and ‘excess’ high calorie carbs –
    combined with –
    oxidized vegetable oils – minus whole olives-coconut- and peanut butter
    and oxidized meat oils – beef and chicken
    combined with –
    the lack of green legumes – peas – green beans – or lima beans
    combined with –
    excessive total fat intake – although coconut and perhaps cheese and some degree of raw eggs to a lesser extent are exempt from this in whole or in part
    a systematic lack of good protein – and other from
    *raw eggs-tuna fish-dairy-honey products
    The bodies immune system seems too be problematic in both plaque buildup and cancer –
    Which I attribute too the lack of large amounts of yogurt in the diet and the daily lack of green legumes.
    Honestly – the bodies immunne system seems to go haywire in both plaque buildup and cancer – or it goes too far –
    Hi Jeff–
    If your comment were a little more articulate, I would suspect it was written by a hack from one of the tobacco companies.
    As to your statistics about the rates of lung cancer due to smoking, I think you’re a little off.  But even if you’re not, what about the increased rates of heart disease and vascular disease?  And how about the chronic bronchitis and emphysema?  And what about the bad teeth and periodontal disease?  And the Berger’s disease?  And esophageal cancer?  And laryngeal cancer?  And the misery and aggravation (not to mention increased risk of disease) that smokers cause to those non-smokers who have to be around them.
    Have you ever seen these middle-aged and older people who have to carry oxygen around with them just to be able to lead semi-normal lives?  Next time you see one of these folks, Jeff, ask them if they ever smoked.  I’ll give you 20 to 1 for any amount of money you want to bet that the answer will be yes.
    If you believe that the effects of heavy smoking can be overcome with the diet you recommend, you don’t have to wait until the taxes ‘drive you from this insane planet.”  It sounds to me like you’re already on another planet far, far away.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  23. Continued from above –
    I thought it would be interesting instead of explaining how too avoid plaque buildup – to explain what I would consider the best way too –
    create it in a human –
    *inflame the arteries as highly as possible
    *confuse the white blood cells – too make them behave abnormally
    *flood the body with oxidized vegetable oils from low fat sources
    *create an abnormal bacterial environment by ingesting large amounts of man raised yeast and feeding that yeast with large amounts of refined sugar
    *raise serum lipids as high as possible by including large what would be reasonable levels of grain fed – fried beef and chicken – but fried in vegetable oils
    *create powerful oxidized cholesterols by frying the above and eggs in low fat source vegetable oils
    *eat no antioxidants from raw green food sources
    *eat no raw eggs
    *eat no fish
    *eat no dairy
    *include refined sugar in everything eaten
    *eat no coconut
    *eat no olives
    *eat no natural peanut butter
    *create a low good protein-very high total fat and oxidized cholesterol-and zero anti-oxidant diet
    *load the body with high calorie carbs in excess
    *protein 60 grams or below to maximize poor tissue repair – including the repair of the arterial muscles – when 100+ to 200 grams are really what’s needed
    *total fat well above 40 percent on a systematic and continuous basis
    *total carbs well above 40 percent of mostly high calorie refined cooked carbs
    *include very little raw plant proteins in the
    diet
    *no natural fruits or juices
    This is my recipe to create plaque –
    Even this diet would create life threatening plaque in only a percentage of people –
    It is interesting that a diet high in beef and chicken or eggs and dairy(including yogurt) – but very low in refined low fat source vegetable oils and refined sugars –
    could be somewhat or very less damaging – even with the high amount of oxidized cholesterol and fat –
    such a diet would probably lead too a slow buildup of plaque but be not life threatening – dependent to at least some degree on the fat/protein ratio
    *But as the beginning source of arterial damage is the inflammation and then the white blood foam cells
    *the initiation of arterial inflammation would be best accomplished with large amounts of vegetable oils from low fat sources and by getting the white blood cells behaving abnormally by confusing them with unnatural yeasts and no good bacteria –
    *Of the course the relative size of the fat fractions are also important
    This is a far from a scientific explanation – of plaque buildup
    The removal of arterial plaque is also necessary –
    A long relatively slow correct diet to reduce excess body fat – combined with large amounts of raw greens -raw green legumes and plain low fat yogurt and enough raw eggs-fish-dairy-honey to provide at least a 100 grams protein may reduce or remove the plaque –
    As for testing this diet or providing practical examples –
    How many people eat two heads of lettuce a day plus spinach and other greens – ?
    How many people eat a can of green peas daily ?
    How many people include a small amount of raw peanuts or natural peanut butter – plain coconut and olives daily in there diet ?
    How many eat people eat a can of tuna or more- and raw eggs – and four or more cups of plain yogurt daily ?
    To remove plaque I think a 12 percent total fat diet is best – and for ordinary living 25 percent and for just good clean fun eating large amounts of good fat like cheese occasionally –
    But to remove fat – I think the body needs to burn it’s fat stores while depositing any within the arteries –
    Hence the 12 percent fat diet
    Hello Jeff–
    I didn’t realize that there was a continuation of your first post when I responded.
    First, there is no doubt that nicotine is an ‘irritant’ to the arterial lining.  Where we differ is a) in the idea that a good diet can overcome the effects of smoking; and b) that a 12% fat diet will do anything but make the situation worse.
    A high-fat diet is the diet of choice for people who have lung disease because a high-fat diet produces less carbon dioxide than does a high-carbohydrate diet.  The less carbon dioxide produced, the less difficulty the damaged lungs have getting rid of it.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  24. In reply to MRE –
    I would like too respond – in a friendly way –
    My main points were – smoking is an irritant – but all the problems you mention are the result of other things –
    Removing the irritant is perhaps a suitable course for some – but untenable for me
    I prefer to get to the basis of problems and diet is the basis
    People climb everest and smoke – yes they do
    Only one in a 1000 gets lung cancer –
    I think diet is of extreme importance but smoking only a choice of self-medication
    I may be from another planet but I hoped I could at least state my case without creating what appears to be outright anger –
    As I have stated my case and yes in an unscientific manner I suppose –
    All I have left to do is wish you well – have a nice day – may you prosper in insight and well being – and may the gods protect you –
    What I am trying to do here is manipulate you from being angry at me – it’s probably not good for you and I really don’t much enjoy it either –
    But I do enjoy trying to be nice to people – gentle – kind
    But – I stand by what I wrote but am more than willing to change my mind if I see a reason – an honest scientific reason free of propaganda and deceit –
    Hello Jeff–
    I still disagree.  Diet will not overcome the effects of smoking.  Doubtless a good diet is better for smokers than a lousy diet, but the best diet in the world doesn’t negate the effects of smoking.
    There is a huge amount of medical literature showing that smoking is harmful.  Unlike the medical papers supporting various drugs that are underwritten by the pharmaceutical companies, where is the money that underwrites the studies showing tobacco is harmful.  If all the studies showed that tobacco was good for us, and if those studies were underwritten by the tobacco companies, it would make sense that it was all propaganda.  But who profits from anti-tobacco studies?  No one, as far as I can tell.  Consequently, I tend to believe studies showing that tobacco is harmful.  Plus, in almost 30 years of medical practice I’ve seen the effects up close and personal. 
    I wish you well in your quest to find medical justification for smoking, but I doubt that you’re going to have a lot of success.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

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