Sunday, September 3, 2000
Is heart disease strictly caused by high cholesterol and a diet of too much fat? Then why are the French able to eat so much foie gras and drink red wine and still have one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world? The author believes that vitamin B deficiencies in the American diet is the chief reason that heart disease is this country's No. 1 killer.
Lack of vitamin B in the diet can produce high blood levels of homocysteine. People with high levels of this amino acid are prone to more heart problems, and McCully believes it's because homocysteine damages the linings of arteries and leaves them susceptible to the build-up of fat deposits and plaque. As the vessels become clogged, the heart functions less efficiently.
Kilmer's views cost him his research job at Harvard University more than 20 years ago because he went against the prevailing view that cholesterol caused heart disease. He continued his research at a Veterans Administration hospital in Rhode Island, and in recent years, he has finally begun to get recognition for his work and his theories are gaining wide acceptance in the medical community.
"The Heart Revolution" is from Harper Audio, two cassettes, 3 hours, abridged.