The number one cause of death in the United States every single year for both men and women since 1918 (when a bird flu virus likely triggered the deadliest plague in human history) continues to be heart disease. William Clifford Roberts recently published a landmark review on the cause of our number one killer.
Dr. Roberts is executive director of the Baylor Cardiovascular Institute, has authored more than 1,300 scientific publications, written more than a dozen textbooks on cardiology, and has been the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology for 25 years.
The review, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice, was entitled "The Cause of Atherosclerosis." Doesn't he mean causes? Aren't there lots of things that increase our risk of heart disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, inactivity, cigarette smoking, etc.? None of those matter, he says, unless our cholesterol is too high. All those other things can speed the buildup of plaque in our arteries; but since the plaque itself is made out of cholesterol, if our cholesterol level is low enough, there is nothing with which our body can actually build plaque. According to Dr. Roberts, atherosclerosis simply does not occur if cholesterol is low enough.
If cholesterol is the cause of atherosclerosis, how low does our cholesterol have to be for us to become heart-attack proof? Ideally, our bad cholesterol--"LDL"--should be under 70. Quoting the review: "If such a goal was created, the great scourge of the Western world would be essentially eliminated." There are only two ways, he says, to get it down that low: (1) put a hundred million people on a lifetime of high dose statin drugs starting in their twenties, or (2) be what he calls a "pure vegetarian fruit eater," which is the term he uses for those eating whole food vegan diets.
If we put everyone on drugs, then thousands of people would suffer side-effects. So, according to Dr. Roberts, "Of course a... [vegan] diet is the least expensive and safest means of achieving the plaque-preventing LDL goal, but few in the Western world are willing to live on the herbivore diet." In his words in a recent interview: "The best way to prevent heart disease is to be a...non-flesh eater, a non-saturated fat eater." "Because humans get atherosclerosis," he reasons, "and that's a disease only of herbivores, humans also must be herbivores."
The cause of our number one killer is elevated cholesterol. According to Dr. Roberts, probably the most renowned cardiovascular pathologist in the world, that means the cause of our number one killer is: not eating vegan.
[excerpted from volume 3 my Latest in Nutrition DVD series (all proceeds to charity). Volume 4 should be out in July--send a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org to be the first to know when it's out!]