We all know that any national health plan must face the crushing costs of diet-related diseases, involving obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes.
Preventive medicine has long been accepted. But now there is even an increasing belief in the potential for non-surgical reversal of long-term damage.
A US doctor, with an Olympic gold medal in rowing, has been in the forefront of this research. For years he has argued that animal fat--- of any form--- is a deadly killer. His studies have demonstrated, moreover, that advanced cardiovascular disease is not only stoppable, but reversible, through a change in diet, and treatment.
His name is Caldwell Esselstyne, MD, and he is a general surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. Maybe you've heard of his research. Astonishingly, many professionals haven't, much less the general public.
"If 30 percent of your diet consistently comes from fat, you're still at considerable risk for a heart attack," argues Dr Esselstyne.
In an American Journal of Cardiology article, he said modern cardiology has "given up on a cure." He believes that bypass surgery and variations of angioplasty only "treat the symptoms, not the disease."
In the longest ongoing study of its kind, his Cleveland Clinic study showed that a low-fat diet, coupled with cholesterol- lowering medication, is the single most effective way to stop progression of coronary artery disease.
Can this be true? Dr Esselstyne's study was published a decade ago, and yet The American Heart Association, and The National Cholesterol Education Program, recommends a fat intake of 30 percent of one's daily calories.
The heart patients in Dr. Esselstyn's trial fared significantly better and over a longer period of time than patients in similar studies. He said, "In this study, patients become virtually heart-attack proof."
Collectively, these study patients had experienced 48 cardiac events in the eight years prior to joining the study. Only one patient, (noncompliant), suffered a cardiac event during the next 10 years--- all the other patients were symptom-free, and radiology results proved that their blockages had begun even to clear.
Diet and drugs, without surgery?
This is the kind of low-cost highly-effective treatment that a cash-strapped nation needs, to raise the health standards of its population, without bankrupting a national health plan!