Q:

What your thoughts are about cholesterol being a link to artery disease and heart attacks? I know this sounds funny but I just watched a movie called Fat Head which brought up some of these issues. I really respect your thoughts and knowledge.

A:

    
You ask a good question about cholesterol and its relation to coronary artery disease and heart attacks. I think it does play a role, but the medical profession places too much emphasis on it and they think by giving medications that lower the levels in the blood it will make a huge difference in reducing the risk for stroke and heart attack and mortality. These statin medications, such as Lipitor and Zocor, do seem to reduce the risk for stroke and heart attack in those with very high cholesterol levels, but I am not so sure whether they reduce overall mortality, at least in those with mild to moderate cholesterol elevation. There are many other causes for hardening of the arteries and inflammation within blood vessel walls and the rest of the body, not just high cholesterol. Reducing overall inflammation within the body through proper selection of foods, in my opinion, has a wider and more important impact on the risk for cardiovascular disease than lowering cholesterol levels through medications. Please see http://www.raysahelian.com/cholesterol.html for a more comprehensive approach, and also http://www.raysahelian.com/heartattack.html.