Doctor, you’ve been a surgeon for 57 years and for 38 years a syndicated medical journalist for 70 newspapers. Now you’re saying there’s a monumental medical discovery that could save tens of thousands of Canadians from dying needlessly of heart attack. North America’s number one killer. For the last year you’ve been accusing your own medical profession of turning a blind eye to this new research. How can you be so sure?
A:Years ago I interviewed Dr. Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize winner who told me something I had not learned at the Harvard Medical School. It’s that animals make vitamin C in large amounts and that humans lost this ability eons ago due to a genetic mutation. Pauling believed that is why heart disease is the number one killer.
But Pauling was a biochemist, not a doctor.
A:That’s right, but he was a smart biochemist and I knew some not-so-smart doctors. Pauling knew that vitamin C was needed to produce collagen which is the glue that binds human cells together and without strong collagen cracks appear in the actual wall. This is where a fatal blood clot can occur as this sets the stage for plaque formation which is a combination of cholesterol and fatty deposits that eventually clog arteries. In other words, no cracks, no blood clot is an easy way to look at it.
But why lysine?
A:Construction workers put steel rods in concrete to make it stronger. Likewise, the addition of lysine makes the arterial wall stronger so there’s less chance that an artery will rupture causing a stroke.
All this sounds logical so why isn’t the medical profession listening?
A: It’s easy to be convinced otherwise if hundreds of millions of dollars are spent to prove to the public and doctors that cholesterol lowering drugs are be-all-and-end-all to heart attack. If I hadn’t become a medical journalist, I’d also be prescribing these drugs and unaware of the many myths about cholesterol. I too would believe we get all of our cholesterol from food when 90 percent is produced by the liver. I would not know that 30 percent of people who have a heart attack and 30 percent of those who have bypass surgery have normal cholesterol levels. I would not have learned that cholesterol levels of men in Edinburgh are the same as those in Stockholm yet the coronary rate is three times higher in Scots. Maybe they drink more Scotch! These and other proven facts should make everyone look for other reasons to explain coronary attack.