Everybody focuses on cholesterol with heart disease. Cholesterol is found at the scene of the crime but it’s not the perpetrator, sugar is a villain in heart disease, that was what causes heart disease not cholesterol.
At one point, there were two competing theories about what really caused heart disease, one was that it was fat and cholesterol, the other was that it was sugar. The wrong theory one was never fat and cholesterol, there are pretty minor players in heart disease. Sugar on the other hand as you mentioned raises insulin resistance, increases the risk of diabetes and when you have all those fat cells, they send out inflammatory compounds which create more damage in the vascular walls which really precipitate plaque and heart disease. It’s been sugar all along, not that what I find they’re seeing.
You guys take issue with a very standard treatment when it comes to cholesterol and those are statins, a lot of Nigerians are on these. What do you take issue with when it comes to the statins that are prescribed? Well, statins are a blessing or a curse I mean, first of all for middle-aged men with heart disease like men between 50 and 75, statins are fine because stains not only are they cholesterol killers which I don’t believe is the essence of heart disease. But statins are in the blood and they’re anti-inflammatories.
If we think as inflammation is the root cause of heart disease, statins do make sense but only for middle-aged men. For women in this audience, I have to tell you I would see one, two or three consults a week in my office and women in their 30s even in the late 20s who were put on statin drugs, it’s a tragedy because solely based on the basis of their numbers, you’re treated. cardiologists are reading a number and and I tend to agree they’re overlooking the other factors that play a part in heart disease. There are fewer studies on heart disease on women and what’s a good treatment for them.
There’s a lot of web studies that are done in men, a lot of resources absolutely when it comes to heart disease, its gender specific medicine I mean, women are a lot different than men. You know we started talking about statins and when they tried to start using them in kids because kids were having high cholesterol. It really bothered me because it made people focus on curing their problem with a pill instead of what’s more important, diet and exercise, you know the life skills that are better but they all have to go through.
Let assume I am over 50 and I’m on a statin but I realized that’s only one part of the equation, that doesn’t mean I don’t have to watch what I eat or I don’t have to exercise, try to deal better with stress all of those issues, they all come together, it’s you, if you’re at home and you’re looking at your entire profile.
When it comes to heart disease, sometimes it’s not about putting more things in your mouth i.e. pills, it’s about putting less of this in your mouth because male and female heart disease is quite a bit different but some of the underlying causes. I don’t think anyone can argue that too much sugar can lead to heart disease in both men and women, the number one killer of men and women.