Many people are still being taught by those with vested interests that eating cholesterol will cause heart disease. Some people may be shocked to learn that there are more than a dozen better indicators of artery and heart disease risk than blood cholesterol levels. I have often referred to the “Cholesterol Myth” and “Cholesterolphobia” in this column. As Dr. Stephen Sinatra has pointed out in this column many times, “the broken record of cholesterol keeps playing in the Dark Age of medicine.” It’s time to point out the facts, and fortunately, a new book by Sheldon Zerden does just that—point out the facts. The Cholesterol Paradigm: The Greatest Health Scam of the Century by Sheldon Zerden is scheduled for publication in December 2009 by Benelos LLC. However, a lot of people don’t want to be confused by the facts when it is so obvious that food cholesterol results in arterial deposits of cholesterol—or at least they think so. We will examine the facts in the next two columns.
Many may be spared from cancer if they are informed of selenium’s role in preventing cancer. Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations make it difficult to inform people of this health benefit. The biochemistry of selenium is different from other nutrients, which makes it difficult for many to understand. With all due respect, this apparently includes our good friends at the FDA, who write health claims opinions.
Your customers may soon be asking you about the new movie, The Informant. What is it all about and why does it affect you? When we chatted with Mark Whitacre, Ph.D., in April about the weaknesses of the SELECT trial, and comparing high-selenium yeast and selenomethionine, I mentioned that I would interview him again about an upcoming Matt Damon movie and a Discovery Channel documentary called Undercover, in which Dr. Whitacre is the main subject of both.
Recently, we protected the status of a qualified health claim for selenium, but in the process discovered that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is confused about both the basic biochemistry of selenium and the legal requirements for a qualified health claim (1). I will discuss the errors in basic biochemistry that the FDA made and constitutional attorney Jonathan Emord will chat with us about the legal mistakes the FDA committed.
D-Ribose is a vital nutrient for producing energy in the body. Importantly, D-Ribose does not produce energy by an unhealthy stimulating action, but by the natural process of making the body’s all-important energy storage compound, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Creatine supplementation can be advantageous for everyone, not just athletes. Sure, many athletes have learned that creatine supplementation significantly improves maximal strength and endurance. They have found, and studies confirm, that creatine supplementation also results in improved concentration, higher endurance in training and faster recovery. Why would this be important to non-athletes?
As regular readers know, one of my biggest peeves is the media writing uninformed articles about nutrition without bothering to check the facts. It is hard to tell which nutrient draws the most misinformation from the media, but creatine ranks high on the list. Why do so many in the media confuse a healthy nutrient with an unhealthy drug. Why are so many in the media under the impression that eating creatine (which the body uses naturally) is akin to taking performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids that change body chemistry?
Last month, we began our conversation with Dr. Leon Schurgers about vitamin K2 with a discussion of the “calcium paradox,” in which so many people have harmful calcium deposits form in their arteries at the same time that the calcium content of their bones is decreasing. This calcium paradox is not a result of too little calcium in the diet, but of too little vitamin K2 that largely controls where the calcium goes. The objective is to keep calcium in our bones, not in our arteries. This is the role of vitamin K—putting calcium in its place!
Enough is enough! There was an onslaught of misinformation generated by the media when the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), a study of the role of selenium in prostate cancer, was halted in October 2008. The media incorrectly reported the termination of the study as evidence that selenium does not reduce the risk of cancer. The fact is that a large body of scientific evidence shows that several selenium-containing nutrients do reduce the risk of many types of cancers.
I called upon vitamin K researcher, Dr. Leon Schurgers. Dr. Schurgers was kind enough to share his thoughts on the functions of vitamin K, discuss the significance of new research findings and comment on the potential implications for clinical practice for us. Since February is Heart Month, we will focus largely on the cardiovascular system, but also discuss skeletal health.