Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exercise and take your medicine

This morning on a local morning show, KENS5 Great Day SA, they had a cardiologist on the show. He said that Cardiovascular Disease was preventable, I'm assuming he meant the non-genetic type, and listed the usual risk factors for it. A risk factor in their terminology means that it's "associated with" not that it causes it. Something that most people I don't think quite understand and the "experts" don't usually differentiate between.

Cholesterol was of course included, even though it seems it has little to do with cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol is vital for cell function, and acts to repair damage, which may be why it was erroneously thought to cause heart disease. The line of reasoning goes like this: There are house fires, and there are always firemen at house fires, therefore firemen cause house fires. That of course is ridiculous... unless you're in a sci-fi book, but I digress. So that means that just because Cholesterol is present doesn't mean that it has anything to do with the cause. Correlation is not causation.

The most important thing about cardiovascular disease that we now know, the thing they left out on Great Day SA of course, was inflammation. Inflammation is probably the cause of cardiovascular disease, and yet, they didn't even mention it. Eating a low-carb or paleo diet reduces inflammation. Of course, the day they tell people they ought to eat like that will be the day that the eighth circle of hell has frozen over and Dante has come back to life and is singing poems about homocysteine.

Anyway, what do you suppose they said on the show that you ought to do to prevent heart disease? "Exercise and take your medicine." Yes, folks, that's right. Be sure to take all of that expensive, profit inducing medication. I didn't catch the cardiologists' name, but I assume he's been listening to drug reps.

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