Sunday, June 25, 2017

Is the American Heart Association a terrorist organization? Report from medium.com

it's frustrating. for some reasons, articles from medium.com can't be shared easily. some friends just couldn't open these links. Here's where it appeared in medium.com. 

this article is too good (and too true) not to be shared, so i reprinted everything here.

article by Kevin Michael Geary.

Is the American Heart Association a terrorist organization?

What’s the difference between ISIS and the AHA?

The AHA’s strategy is a lot more effective.

Sure, the AHA isn’t beheading people in the streets or strapping bombs on children. But that’s not the only way to be a terrorist organization, is it?

Look at cyber-terrorism. That’s the use of computers and information technology to cause widespread disruption, panic, and harm.

Can’t you also cause widespread disruption, panic, and harm with blatant propaganda?

And what if that propaganda results in horrendous health and medical outcomes for hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children?

And what if that propaganda campaign proves to be intentional? Both financially and politically motivated?

Is that not terrorism?

Who are the American Heart Association?

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, our organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters. We fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives.

That’s great copy for a marketing brochure, but the reality isn’t so sweet.

The AHA is a front organization. And the bolded area of that copy requires correction for the sake of accuracy. Here is the unseen reality:

The research funded by the AHA is very strategic and full of manipulation and con-artistry.

The health policies promoted by the AHA are favorable to industry partners without regard for the wellbeing of the general public.

The “critical tools” and information put forth by the AHA only have destructive consequences to the health and wellbeing of the general public.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

The research funded by the AHA is very strategic and full of manipulation and con-artistry.

A few days ago, the AHA stole the attention of headlines across the globe with a report that sounded like it was straight out of the 1990s: Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association.

In this report, the AHA doubled down on their attacks against coconut oil and saturated fat.Frank Sacks, lead author on the report, reportedly said that he has no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy.

Two primary theories underscore their entire argument:

That saturated fat increases LDL cholesterol.

That an increase of LDL cholesterol is a cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

But those two primary theories have been thoroughly debunked. The British Medical Journal said as much in October 2013. Even the incompetent USDA recently figured out that the cholesterol panic was all for naught and changed their guidelines.

Here are the facts:
“LDL cholesterol” is a term that describes multiple types of LDL particles. Not all LDL particle types are associated with CVD. Thus, the increase in LDL does not necessarily translate to a greater risk of CVD. In fact, the increases in LDL that come from eating saturated fat are specifically from the particle type not associated with CVD.
17 meta-analyses and systematic reviews have been unable to establish a clear link between saturated fat intake and CVD.

The AHA only used four cherry-picked studies, some from the 1960s, to formulate this latest report.

The AHA claims that coconut oil (and saturated fat) has “no known offsetting favorable effect.” This is fantasy. It’s widely accepted that saturated fat raises HDL cholesterol, which is said to reduce the risk of heart disease. Look at human breast milk as a perfect example. 50–60% of the calories come from fat, with nearly half being saturated fat. 

This supplies babies with up to six times the percentage of cholesterol than the average adult eats. And this has been happening for hundreds of thousands of years.

Even though it’s touted as “bad cholesterol,” LDL has very important functions in the body. LDL delivers nutrients around the body, is an anti-inflammatory, an anti-oxidant, and works for the immune system. Additionally, low levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with some very horrific health outcomes.

Why does the AHA not discuss the different LDL particle types? Why do they ignore the studies that show no clear link between saturated fat intake and CVD? Why did they cherry-pick down to only four specific studies, some of which are wildly out of date? Why do they ignore the well-known benefits of saturated fat on HDL levels? Why do they ignore the conclusion – that even the corrupt USDA has finally acknowledged – that saturated fat is both healthy and necessary?

Is it because the AHA are incompetent?

Of course not. The conclusion published by the AHA in this case was knowingly false. They came to the published conclusion because they are incentivized do so.

In other words, the AHA exchanged the health outcomes of millions of Americans for dollar bills and the extension of a specific agenda.

The explanation is right there for anyone to see. You just have to bother to look at the major funding sources…
Amarin (Pharmaceutical Company)
Amgen (Pharmaceutical Company)
AstraZeneca (Pharmaceutical Company)
Eli Lilly (Pharmaceutical Company)
Glaxo-Smith Kline (Pharmaceutical Company)
Merck (Pharmaceutical Company)
Pfizer (Pharmaceutical Company)
Regeneron/Sanofi (Pharmaceutical Company)
Takeda (Pharmaceutical Company)
California Walnut Commission (incentivized to undermine saturated fats)
Ag Canada and Canola Oil Council (incentivized to undermine saturated fats and promote vegetable oils).
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (incentivized to undermine the value of coconut oil).

One only has to do 30 minutes of research into the AHA to see that their recommendations always boil down to three general recommendations:

Take statin drugs.
Consume vegetable oils.
Eat AHA-approved products.

Why?

They’re in bed with pharmaceutical companies.

They’re in bed with vegetable oil manufacturers.

They make money selling their “Heart Check” certification symbol.

The AHA know their recommendations lead to worse health outcomes. They don’t care, because they are not an organization that serves human beings. They’re an organization that serves big government and corporatist pimps.

The health policies promoted by the AHA are favorable to government and industry partners without regard for the wellbeing of the general public.

As you just saw, the AHA’s latest attack on coconut oil and saturated fat is clearly favorable to Big Pharma and Big Food and unfavorable to the general population.

But this isn’t the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last. The AHA’s own list of “policy successes” demonstrates that Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Agriculture benefit the most from the existence of the AHA…

Nutrition Provisions in the Farm Bill (2014). This dealt mainly with promoting and expanding the SNAP program, a program that fails in practical execution (unless you consider creating negative health outcomes for the poor and minorities a “win”). Effectively gives government more power & funding.

Comprehensive Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools (2013) / Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (2010). This takes the bad science promoted by the AHA (which benefits Big Pharma and Big Agriculture) and mandates its consequences onto masses of children. Effectively gives government more power & funding.

HEART for Women Provision (enacted as part of FDA Safety and Innovation Act) (2012). Generates more needless red tape that stands between us and potentially valuable clinical trials. Effectively gives government more power & funding and another door to the active manipulation of what gets seen and heard.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (2010). Effectively gives the government broad power over the insurance industry.

Menu Education and Labeling Act (enacted as part of ACA) (2010). Greatly increases costs to restaurants and food providers based on an absurd theory of calorie calculating that has been a statistical failure.

NIH Funding in Economic Stimulus Bill (2009). Increases government funding.

The list goes on and on in similar fashion. It seems that the AHA is mostly interested in expanding the scope of government. Most of their initiatives focus on federal funding, medicare, insurance, and entitlement programs. We’re talking about billions of dollars in public policies.

But what is there to show for it? Nothing good. Preventable health outcomes are worsening. More people than ever are on statin drugs. 

The cost of insurance and medical care has skyrocketed. The food supply is in shambles, with 2/3 of food products containing inflammatory vegetable oils, fake sugars, and chemical substitutes to artificially reduce fat and calorie counts.

There are two ways to look at it. Either the AHA have failed in their initiatives, or they’ve succeeded tremendously. At the end of the day, the government, the AHA, and their big industry partners have all won. Their history of enrichment continues. The only losers are the consumers.

You’re welcome to look at the AHA’s list of policy “accomplishments” for yourself. The vast majority of them are evidence that the AHA is primarily a lobbyist group. And then when the government needs something from them, they’re suddenly showered in grant money. The money flows both ways.

The “critical tools” and information put forth by the AHA only have destructive consequences to the health and wellbeing of the general public.

If the AHA was content with being a lobbyist organization, that would be one thing. There are a lot of lobbyist organizations. But the AHA goes well beyond that. The consumer-facing part of their organization is a well-oiled propaganda machine.

Because of the way the AHA have positioned themselvesusing both authority and fear––they’ve been successful in changing the behavior of millions of human beings. And this behavior change is resulting in negative health outcomes that are reaching epidemic levels.

Remember, the AHA was at the forefront of pushing the low-fat craze. 

They told men and women that it was okay to eat sugar and refined carbohydrates as long as they avoided fat.

Doctors who dispense AHA advice are complicit in this process. Even though most doctors have done very little research on nutrition, they choose to dispense AHA advice from behind a white coat and a respected credential. Most of the patients of these doctors have no idea that they’re having propaganda parroted to them.

This propaganda dispensing is still happening to this day. Here are some snippets of advice taken directly from the AHA’s website:

Select fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1%) dairy products. What is a low-fat dairy product? Sugar.

Prioritize fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy over protein. This is disastrous to blood sugar levels and satiety.

Use canola oil and corn oil. Even though they recommend avoiding hydrogenated oils here, they recommend using canola and corn oil which are often partially hydrogenated. These oils and their high doses of polyunsaturated fats drive inflammation and worsening health outcomes.

The best choice for your health is a liquid margarine, or a soft margarine in a tub. The AHA is on a very short list of organizations that still promote the use of margarine.

Soymilk is a good substitute for high-sugar drinks. No, soymilk is terrible for you.

Rice cakes and whole grain crackers are good snacks. Because nothing says “healthy snack” like processed, non-nutritious grain products pressed into cute shapes.

Instead of whole milk (1 cup) [in a recipe], use 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk, plus one tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil. Right, because taking something completely natural and adding things that are completely unnatural and known to be unhealthy is a great way to improve the healthfulness of the meal.

Instead of sour cream, use low-fat unsalted cottage cheese plus low-fat or fat-free yogurt; or just use fat-free sour cream. Because Milk Non Fat Dry, Whey Protein Concentrate, Food Starch Modified, Maltodextrin, Sodium Phosphate, Colors Artificial, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, and Gellan Gum (ingredients in low-fat sour cream) are better than Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Organic Pasteurized Cream (ingredients of real sour cream).

Instead of regular potato or corn chips, enjoy pretzels or low-fat potato chips (reduced sodium version). Pretzels? Low-fat potato chips? This is “education” of some sort? No, it’s nonsense.

That’s the type of advice the AHA is peddling. But that’s not where the destruction of public health ends. What about these “critical tools” the AHA speaks of?

The AHA has a “risk calculator” that’s said to calculate your 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke.

Sounds like a great thing, right? If people run the calculator and find that they’re at risk for a heart attack or stroke, they can seek an intervention.

Here’s the problem:

When the calculator was vetted, it was found that it overestimated risk anywhere from 78–500%.

The proposed interventions are, you guessed it, aligned toward statin drugs and dietary changes that serve the AHA and their corporate pimps.

The AHA is incentivized to overestimate risk. The use of fear and alarm drives people to take action. And then the AHA gets to influence that course of action.

Or maybe the AHA simply made a computation error. After all, mistakes happen. But can we rationally assume a mistake within the context of everything else the AHA is doing?

When you look at the data further, you see that these calculations created a scenario where the most amount of people would end up as candidates for statin drugs. How convenient.

In MESA participants whose ACC/AHA-predicted 10-year risk was 7.5% to 10% (the threshold at which the ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline recommends statin therapy), the actual observed event rate was only 3.0% in men and 5.1% in women. [source]

Just looking at the “critical tool” supplied by the AHA provides clues that it’s uninterested in predicting evidence-based outcomes. The calculator asks for total cholesterol numbers and HDL numbers. It has no interest in particle types or sizes. No interest in triglycerides. No interest in inflammation markers. No interest in body fat percentage. And no interest in activity levels.

The calculator appears geared toward answering one question: “Can we produce a good excuse to put you on statin drugs?”

And according to the vetting process, that answer is yes 78%+ more often than it should be (and really, that’s a very low-ball number when you consider real alternative therapies that the AHA has no interest in promoting).

The AHA defrauds consumers with their Heart-Check stamp.

The AHA certifies foods as “heart healthy” with their “heart-check” mark. This certification stamp sells anywhere from $1,000 to $7,500 each (on an annual renewal plan) to food companies who get to display the heart-check on their packages.

Through this program, the AHA colludes with Big Food manufacturers (like Campbell Soups, Quaker Oats, and ConAgra) to market unhealthy, highly-processed food as healthy.

What kind of foods does the AHA approve through this program? How about…

Countless breads, cereals, and processed grain products chock full of added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Boxed liquid “egg products.”
Market Pantry “egg substitute.”
Imitation crab meat.
Welch’s Purple Sunshine Smoothie (56g of sugar).

Of course, the Heart-Check program demonizes anything above a specific calorie threshold, sodium threshold, or fat threshold (especially saturated fat). It appears to have no care for actual nutrition, sugar content, or quality ingredients.

What needs to happen?

I have no intention of writing a prescription for this problem. I only hope to educate consumers. The damage the AHA has done––and continues to do––to the health of Americans is unfathomable.

Complicit in this disaster are Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Government. And the doctors on the front-lines who mindlessly parrot advice from these organizations and institutions.

Over 600,000 men and women are dying of heart disease in America each year. I’m not saying that the AHA has contributed to all those deaths. I have no idea what percentage they are responsible for. All I know is that they have a major hand in inflating that number.

Even if the AHA was only directly responsible for 1% of those deaths, they’d easily have all terrorist organizations beat if what we care about most is the body count.

As I’ve demonstrated throughout this article, this isn’t negligence. It’s an intentional ignorance of the research and real-world evidence for the purposes of promoting a corporatist agenda.

The AHA may not hate the groups they harm the way that traditional terrorist organizations do, but that doesn’t excuse the degree of harm they’re doing. Terrorists or not, the AHA are a real enemy to all Americans.

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Kevin Michael Geary
Founder & CEO of http://rebootedbody.com. Follow me at http://kevinmichaelgeary.com.



Sunday, June 5, 2016

is your cholesterol "too high"?


this is a normal distribution of folks with healthy cholesterol level and it ranges from 105 mg/dl to 343 mg/dl (or 2.8 to 8.8 mmol/l). 

this is also the range for folks with heart disease. so with or without heart disease, we have the same distribution.

then why do doctors prescribe us statin if our cholesterol level is higher than 200 mg/dl (5.0 mmol/l)?

years ago, the threshold for high cholesterol was 250 mg/dl (6.5 mmol/l) but has now been reduced to 200 mg/dl (5.0 mmol/l). sorry, but for what reasons please?




my blood cholesterol has been above 200/5.0 all these years and i have been given the "advice" to go on statin. i always argue the other risks of heart disease are not even there. yet i have been advised "strongly" to reconsider medical advice.

want to know more about the high cholesterol myth?

want to know more about effectiveness of statin?