Michael Pollan is one of my heros. He speaks simply and clearly about the role of national agriculture policy in promotion of hazardous foods that lead to profits in the healthcare industry, but death and disease for the US population. Pollan also provides wise advice to solve our problems.
A new statin, Crestor, was shown in the JUPITER study to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, e.g. heart attacks, stroke, death, in a study population with normal LDL and elevated C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation. The press supported the drug maker’s interpretation that the statin provided benefit by lowering LDL in a population with chronic inflammation. What is missing is the clarification that lowering LDL is unimportant in reducing cardiovascular risk. Lowering inflammation lowers cardiovascular risk and there are more appropriate ways of lowering inflammation than using very expensive drugs. It is much cheaper, healthier and effective to switch to an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle!
After reading thousands of articles in the biomedical research literature, here are a few of my obvious bottom lines. Diet affects your health and the most fragile stages of development and most fragile organs, are the most sensitive to abuse. Therefore, damaging diets are most harmful to fetuses, newborns, brains, the cardiovascular system and reproductive systems.
- Formula promotes inflammatory bacteria in newborn guts resulting in lower intelligence, disrupted immunity, infections, allergies, obesity, degenerative diseases and autoimmune diseases. Breastfeeding is the only anti-inflammatory answer for infants.
- The US diet (hyperglycemic starch/sugar, high omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio, HFCS, low vegetable anti-oxidants, low vitamin D/sun exposure, low vitamin C, grain-fed meat instead of fish) is inflammatory.
- The Mediterranean Diet (small portions of starch, low omega-6 oils, no HFCS, high vegetable anti-oxidants, routine sun exposure, adequate vitamin C, fish and grass-fed meat) is anti-inflammatory.
- Inflammatory diets lead to infertility (female and male), problems during pregnancy (e.g. preeclampsia is an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency) and prematurity/low birth weight.
- Mental illnesses of many different types benefit from anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. Diet-based brain inflammation may be a major predisposing factor.
- All of the prevailing drug therapies for cardiovascular disease benefit from anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. Most of the drugs that reduce cardiovascular events rely on anti-inflammatory activities. Inflammation is the primary cause of cardiovascular disease, not elevated blood lipids/cholesterol.
- Vegetable oils (corn, soy, cottonseed, safflower) are rich in omega-6 fatty acids and are dangerously inflammatory. These polyunsaturated oils are less healthy than saturated fats. Olive oil is the most healthy.
- Reasonable routine exposure to the sun could eliminate inflammatory vitamin D deficiencies.
- Obesity is inflammatory, but diet-based inflammation may also be a major contributor to obesity.
- Genetic predisposition to specific diseases is triggered by diet-based chronic inflammation.
- Diseases and disabilities associated with aging are symptoms of mismanaged chronic inflammation typically resulting from decreasing muscle mass and increasing fat.
- Sensible diet and lifestyles could dramatically improve quality of life and reduce healthcare expenditures in the US.
Prescription: eliminate vegetable oils, eliminate HFCS, eliminate trans fats, use olive oil, reduce starch, eat vegetables, eat more fish and less meat, get daily sun, use fish oil supplements, get frequent muscle-building exercise, and stay lean.