By Guest Author, Melanie Segala
(Note from Dr. Eichelberger: In February I had the pleasure of sharing with you a two-part article by heart surgeon, Dr. Dwight Lundell. He talked about the real cause of heart disease.Ã‚Â If you missed that two-part article you can see it here: part 1 and part 2. Today I’m pleased to present a recent interview done by Melanie Segala of Total Health Breakthroughs where she dove deeper into this important topic with Dr. Lundell.)
Melanie: Dr. Lundell, you had a very impressive and successful medical career as a cardiac surgeon. You certainly were steeped in traditional medicine. You made a change from repairing hearts every day to being a crusader of truth in medicine. Why did you take this step?
Dr. Lundell: ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great quote by Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” I was beginning to feel like that when patients kept returning for second operations and some were returning multiple times. Most of these repeat patients had normal cholesterol levels. So cholesterol couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be blamed for blocked arteries and heart attacks. Something wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t quite right with the accepted thinking.
What I was seeing every day in patients on my table though, were classic signs of inflammation. At the same time, research began emerging that cholesterol was entering the artery wall because of underlying inflammation.
I guess itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fair to say I reached a point where it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t possible for me to continue doing the same thing and hoping for better results. I felt strongly medicine had to change the way we were treating coronary heart disease. I wanted to see this disease prevented and save countless premature deaths and disability.
Melanie: So, what did you do?
Well several things. I knew my role had to change in how I treated heart disease. I began speaking to my colleagues and questioning our hospital committees on current methods we were using. I spent 25 years in the medical arena yet was quite surprised to learn hospitals and physicians do not take criticism or new suggestions very well.
I began to see the extent of control that device and drug companies have on the medical establishment and regulators. The FDA, the National Cholesterol Education Program, The American Heart Association and most of the medical journals are basically controlled by the device and drug industry.
The US Department of Agriculture food pyramid is the product of lobbying and influence by the big food makers. What I was saying was hardly welcomed. If I was going to expose inflammation as the cause of heart disease, it wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be in this setting where my freedom of speech was being threatened.
I think it is important for readers to understand that back in the early 2000Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s my opinions about inflammation and heart disease were seen as heresy. Then and even now, treating cholesterol is the standard of practice, and a deviation from this is a threat to what every doctor had been taught and was practicing.
So, in 2003, I made the decision to close my surgical practice. I spent the next year in my clinic developing a program of supplementation, lifestyle and dietary changes geared to reduce inflammation. My testing confirmed these simple changes could radically alter the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other inflammatory diseases.
The changes my patients experienced on this program were as dramatic as open heart surgery. Only these changes were forever, as opposed to surgeryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s temporary fix. And they were very inexpensive.
Melanie: This must have been a very pivotal moment for you when you learned the critical role inflammation played in heart disease and so many other diseases. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been on quite a crusade since, havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you?
Dr. Lundell: Yes, you could say that. This information had to be shared with as many people as possible so this epidemic of heart disease could be stopped.Ã‚Â But we have a difficult task. A nation of people has been told for 40 years cholesterol caused heart disease.
It is sad yet true that health takes a back seat to profits when medicine is controlled by the pharmaceutical industry. Their profits from statin medications are staggering. When you add food industry profits from packaged low fat foods that create inflammation, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a combined mighty force.
For six years, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve taken every opportunity to share the truth about cholesterol and heart disease. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve written articles and books and done dozens of radio interviews. I now have an upcoming TV show that will reach 80 million households.
Melanie: Is it fair to say the dietary recommendations of the last 40 years that complied with the cholesterol theory created inflammation?
Dr. Lundell: It is very fair to say those dietary recommendations caused the epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. The good news is Ã¢â‚¬â€ we know this now. By knowing the foods that cause inflammation and eliminating them from our diets, we can get rid of those epidemics and be far healthier.
Melanie: Do you think mainstream medicine will one day acknowledge inflammation causes heart disease and take its focus off cholesterol?
Dr. Lundell: Yes, but it will take a very long time. Medicine changes very slowly and economic influences at the moment are so great and pervasive that it will take time. I say, rather than wait for that to happen, let everyone begin now by becoming better informed and taking control of their health.
People vote every day with their wallet. If we continue to buy bad food, that is what we will get. If we buy good food, that is what we will get. Food makers will try to influence us to buy foods with the most profit for them. Ã‚Â But we have tremendous buying power. Wal-Mart now carries loads of organic fruits and vegetables. Is it because they believe in it? No. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because the consumer demanded it and they responded.
We register a vote, so to speak, every day with our purchases. My goal is to get everyone to use their purchasing power and vote for real foods and avoid those that cause inflammation.
Melanie: Thank you for this candid interview, Dr. Lundell. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re happy to help you reach as many people as possible with this life-saving message.
Note to readers: Dr. Lundell will take his message to the TV show Ã¢â‚¬Å“Living in StyleÃ¢â‚¬Â beginning in September. It will air several times on select cable networks and local ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX or I-Network affiliates. Please urge your friends and family to watch. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time we put a stop to The Great Cholesterol Lie.
This article appears courtesy of Early to RiseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Total Health Breakthroughs which offers alternative health solutions for mind, body and soul.