The Cholesterol Delusion by Ernest N. Curtis, M.D.
“His heart stopped beating.” That’s the most frequent answer I hear from Miriam Goldberg when I inquire as to the cause of death of a mutual acquaintance or celebrity whose demise we are discussing. My legions of fans and regular readers will remember that Miriam is my long-time friend and muse who always seems to have an appropriate response for any situation. At restaurants in the Deep South, she frequently tells the server, “I’ll have an order of deep-fat-fried lard smothered with powdered sugar.” Miriam quit being concerned about cholesterol eons ago.
So did Dr. Ernest N. Curtis – in a manner of speaking. Over thirty years ago, he became convinced that cholesterol is not only not the central factor in heart attacks, but no factor at all. His book, The Cholesterol Delusion, was published last November and with it, he intends to educate and convince us that the proponents of “The Cholesterol Theory” (of atherosclerosis and heart disease) are wrong and that the critics are correct.
Dr. Curtis agrees with Ms. Goldberg in that the inability of the heart muscle to supply oxygenated blood to vital organs (like the brain) will result in certain death – quickly. Early in his brief and easy-to-read book, he points out that in most cultures, the cause of death recorded on death certificates is not precise. A personal experience bears this out in the case of my father. He choked to death as an attendant administered his oral meds. For more than twelve hours, his blood-oxygen levels had been in a range that would produce cerebral hypoxia. The death certificate read, “Alzheimer’s”. Curtis offers statistics to show that more than half the time, the diagnosis of heart-related causes of death prove expedient and appropriate for the non-violent demise of the dearly departed.Continued on the next page