The Heart Revolution: The Extraordinary Discovery That Finally Laid the Cholesterol Myth to Rest

The Heart Revolution: The Extraordinary Discovery That Finally Laid the Cholesterol Myth to Rest

by Kilmer McCully, Martha McCully


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060929732
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/02/2000
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,016,931
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Dr. Kilmer McCully was a highly regarded physician at Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital until his controversial theories on heart disease cost him his research funding and his job. He continued his work at a VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. At long last, his theories are now widely accepted by the medical and scientific community. His coauthor, daughter, Martha McCully, is the beauty director at Allure magazine.

Dr. Kilmer McCully was a highly regarded physician at Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital until his controversial theories on heart disease cost him his research funding and his job. He continued his work at a VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. At long last, his theories are now widely accepted by the medical and scientific community. His coauthor, daughter, Martha McCully, is the beauty director at Allure magazine.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

What you believe about heart disease is about to change. Many Americans, including medical scientists, have a one- track mind when it comes to the condition. In the past, fats and cholesterol in the diet were blamed for causing heart disease. But years of medical research have produced no convincing evidence that these components of foods actually cause hardening of the arteries. In fact, scientists have proven that pure cholesterol does not cause arteriosclerosis and that elevation of blood cholesterol is a symptom--not a cause--of heart disease. Discoveries about a substance in our bodies, homocysteine, are revolutionizing our understanding of the cause of the nation's number one killer. We have learned that deficiencies of B vitamins in the diet--folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12--trigger heart disease by raising the level of homocysteine in the blood. Now there is a way to prevent heart disease and to achieve a longer, healthier life. All you have to do is improve your diet.

These simple yet revolutionary discoveries and concepts are very different from what we've been told for years. Heart disease has been studied, researched, and discussed, and yet it's still the number one killer in this country. How could all the medical experts be wrong about something this big, this important? Could we experience a revolution in our thinking in this day and age? We understand how Copernicus changed the way we viewed the Earth, not as the center of the universe, but as a planet revolving around the sun. That's how the word "revolution" took on its profound meaning. But that was five hundred years ago, and there was less information available in thosedays. Certainly today we would know if the experts were off base. Maybe not.

There is a revolution going on. The way we look at disease and aging, especially heart disease, is changing. The previously touted dangers of dietary fats and cholesterol need to be reconsidered, and existing theories need to be revised because of the new discoveries about homocysteine and heart disease.

In the past few decades, deaths from heart disease have actually gone down. Why? The National Institutes of Health can't explain it. Our eating habits have not improved; in fact they've gotten worse. We eat more fat and cholesterol than ever and our blood cholesterol levels are up. The experts can't explain declining deaths from heart disease in terms of medical therapy, or changes in smoking or exercise patterns. Is it possible the cholesterol theory is just plain wrong?

There are more unanswered questions. How do we explain that a large percentage of patients with heart disease have normal cholesterol levels? Or that the French, who love pate de foie gras and red wine, have a much lower incidence of heart disease than do abstemious Americans? Or that Eskimos of Greenland or the Masai of Africa who eat meat-based diets have almost no heart disease? No one has been able to explain these paradoxes. Until now.

The millions of research dollars spent trying to prove the cholesterol theory have all come up empty-handed. The eighty-five-year reign of the cholesterol theory of heart disease is coming to an end. Our thinking has to change.

In this book I will present a totally new way of looking at the nation's number one killer, heart disease. Homocysteine, an amino acid present in our bodies, has been identified as the cause of heart disease--as well as blood clots, stroke, and gangrene. The homocysteine theory of heart disease has gained attention because it has been proven--sometimes by the very studies that were trying to validate the cholesterol theory. What's more, keeping homocysteine levels in the safe range doesn't require expensive medication or any drugs at all, only adequate amounts of certain vitamins--B6, B12, and folic acid--from fresh whole foods.

I'll explain how homocysteine causes heart disease and the role of B vitamins in keeping homocysteine levels in check. I'll show how the processing and refining of foods destroys these vitamins. I'll document that the U.S. population overall is deficient in B vitamins as a result. I'll show that the reason the cholesterol in LDL is dangerous is that it carries homocysteine to arteries. It's a matter of life and death that we control the level of homocysteine in our blood.

This book will also look at the relationship between homocysteine and the risk factors we know about, such as smoking, heredity, lack of exercise, hormones, and aging. But this book is not just about heart disease. Homocysteine is intimately involved in the aging process and certain other diseases, including Alzheimer's, arthritis, and cancer.

Since I began my research thirty years ago, hundreds of research papers have been published that validate my homocysteine theory. If you're interested in knowing about the revolution that's been taking place, you'll be fascinated to learn about homocysteine and the role it plays in the body. You don't have to worry that it's speculation, or some untested idea. It's proven.

The best part is that you can do something about your homocysteine level. Easily. I will show you how to eat a diet that is rich in B vitamins, phytochemicals, minerals, and other nutrients that prevent homocysteine buildup. As a result, you'll completely avoid heart disease and all the related conditions. It's that simple. You can find out your current homocysteine level by asking your doctor to do a blood test. If your homocysteine is low (6-8 micromoles per liter), you are at low risk of developing heart disease. If your homocysteine level is elevated (anything over 12 micromoles per liter), you can reduce it to a safe level by eating the nutritious Heart Revolution diet.

What People are Saying About This

Stanley Krippner

Eat your way to a healthier heart!

Heart disease is the number one killer in America, and the widespread belief is that it is caused by a diet high in fat and cholesterol. Why do many heart attack victims have "normal" cholesterol levels? Why do the French, who love foie gras and red wine, rarely develop heart disease? How is it that the native people of Greenland and the Masai of Africa, whose diets consists largely of animal fat, have almost no heart disease?

For eighty-five years, the cholesterol theory of heart disease reigned supreme. But it has never been scientifically proven that fats and cholesterol cause arteriosclerosis or that lowering the amount of fat and cholesterol in our diets will reduce our risk of developing heart disease.

In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Kilmer McCully explains what is really behind the epidemic of heart disease. The Harvard-trained physician and researcher reveals how the vitamin B deficiency in our Western diet has produced harmful blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid produced in the body. Homocysteine damages the arteries, leaving them susceptible to cholesterol and fat deposits. For many years clogged arteries have been inaccurately viewed as the cause, rather than the symptom , of heart disease. Now McCully shows you how to cut your risk of heart disease by controlling the real culprit, homocysteine. Considered one of the most significant medical breakthroughs in recent years, McCully's findings have been validated by numerous large-scale studies.

The Heart Revolution:

challenged the long-held assumptions that lowering cholesterol is the key to preventing heart disease

explains how eating vitamin B-rich food can control homocysteine levels

lays pout a plan with menus for putting more B vitamins in our diet

discusses how food processing and additives compromise our health

exposes the politics within the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry

explains how costly cholesterol-lowering medicines can actually harm our health

In the 1970s, pharmaceutical houses were making huge profits on cholesterol-lowering drugs. When McCully dared to challenge the prevailing view that cholesterol caused heart disease, he was castigated by his peers. Thirty years later he has received international recognition for the very same work. The Heart Revolution is more than a revolutionary program for disease prevention, it is also an intriguing tale of medical discovery.

Kilmer McCully

From a e-nnouncement

Good news for Americans trying to cut their risk of heart disease but tired of rigid fat-free dietary regimens! Cholesterol and clogged arteries are NOT the culprits of heart disease, but rather the symptoms. The real culprit is homocysteine -- an amino acid that builds up in the body due to a nutritional deficiency of vitamins B6, folic acid, and B12, the very nutrients lacking in the classic Western diet. This controversial link between homocysteine and heart disease was first proposed by a Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Kilmer McCully, over 30 years ago, but has only recently been corroborated by large scale studies. Dr. McCully's breakthrough book THE HEART REVOLUTION: THE VITAMIN B BREAKTHROUGH THAT LOWERS HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS, CUTS YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE, AND PROTECTS YOUR HEALTH should change the course of heart disease in this country and help Americans cut their risk of heart attacks without dangerous cholesterol-lowering drugs. Read an exclusive essay written for by Dr. McCully below.

The Heart Revolution by Dr. Kilmer McCully

Thirty years ago, I discovered that cholesterol and clogged arteries are not the culprits but rather the symptoms of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of people in this country. But powerful pharmaceutical houses, making huge profits on cholesterol-lowering drugs, scorned my theories and forced me out of my research positions at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Castigated by my peers but still believing in my work, I began the long fight to prove my theories, and my findings have recently been corroborated by large-scale studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other publications. In my new book, THE HEART REVOLUTION: THE B VITAMIN BREAKTHROUGH THAT LOWERS HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS, CUTS YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE, AND PROTECTS YOUR HEALTH, I share everything I've learned about homocysteine, how dangerous levels of homocysteine can be lowered simply by making minor modifications in your diet.

Most people who get heart disease have normal cholesterol levels in their blood. Even if your cholesterol goes down, your homocysteine may be high, meaning that your are still at risk. It's a matter of life and death that we control the level of homocysteine in our blood.

The link between homocysteine -- an amino acid that accumulates in the blood -- and heart disease was proposed by me in 1968, and now I've synthesize my findings for you, explaining the science behind my theories and laying out a safe and effective plan that shows you how to:

* Cut your risk of heart attack -- without -- dangerous cholesterol-lowering drugs

* Stop arteriosclerosis in its tracks -- and perhaps reverse moderate heart disease

* Add B vitamins to your diet, simply and deliciously, thereby lowering homocysteine levels

To keep homocysteine levels down, regardless of age or gender, you should:

* Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits daily to get 400 micrograms of folic acid, 3 milligrams of B6, and other beneficial nutrients

* Avoid canned or irradiated vegetables

* Steam fresh vegetables with a minimum amount of water

* Eat steel-cut oatmeal, whole-wheat cereal, brown rice, and root vegetables

* Eliminate white flour, white rice, and refined sugar

* Eat one to two servings of fresh fish, meat or eggs per day

* A couple of times a month, have liver or pate de foie gras -- rich sources of Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid

* Consume 30 percent of calories in the form of beneficial fats to get the necessary fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

* Eliminate processed and packaged foods that contain powdered eggs, powdered milk, and partially hydrogenated oils.

Homocysteine was called one of the top-ten most important news stories of 1998 by Journal Watch, a publication of The New England Journal of Medicine, and THE HEART REVOLUTION provides you with the lowdown on it and a hands-on, easy-to-follow dietary program that addresses not only the foods we eat but also additives, contaminants, and preservatives and their relationship to homocysteine build-up and heart disease. I show why we don't get enough of the nutrients we need, and also challenge the proponents of the food pyramid, food manufacturers, food processors, and drug companies. Did you know that bagels are not healthy? Because they are made with refined flour, they provide none of the essential nutrients you need to be healthy. And vegetables that have been canned have lost up to 80 percent of their health benefits! When you go out to dinner and eat the bread in the bread basket with no butter and have pasta and then finish with the angel food cake, you feel pretty good about yourself for eating well and not indulging in fattier, less healthy foods. But the food you ate has little to no health benefit because all of the nutrients have been refined away from the white bread, the plain pasta, and the cake made from a box mix.

By reexamining the cholesterol hypothesis as myth, THE HEART REVOLUTION presents a new way of looking at our diets and provides a new understanding of the underlying cause of heart disease and other degenerative diseases associated with aging.

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