Thursday, January 2, 2014

So you want to live to be 100?

John E. Bakos, M.D.
That’s not a question I’m asking you but the title of a new booklet I recently read.  

Its author is John E. Bakos, M.D., a good friend of mine.

Dr. Bakos has been a medical doctor for over 50 years since graduating from Ohio State University in 1962.

His easy-to-read 48-page booklet appeals to medical knowledge meatheads like me who need spoon-feeding with straight-forward explanations sans any technical medical gobbledygook.

Dr. Bakos presents his “no pill cure” for high cholesterol, which is associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, strokes and peripheral vascular disease.  He defies conventional wisdom and advocates a simple solution to getting high cholesterol down to a healthy range which he defines as total cholesterol between 90mg and 140mg.

Dr. Bakos states, “If heart attacks, strokes and other peripheral arterial diseases could be eliminated as a cause of death, our life spans could be 20-40 years longer with a huge decrease in associated debilities.”

Early in his booklet, Dr. Bakos states that cholesterol is a very necessary molecule enabling our body to function as long as it stays in its box (normal levels).  It helps hold all the body’s cells together as part of the membrane surrounding every cell in our body.  It’s also a vital ingredient in our brain and nervous system.

But high cholesterol, defined by Dr. Bakos as total cholesterol above 150mg, is not healthy because it begins to park itself in the walls of the larger arteries in our body.  This causes our blood vessels to narrow with the result being arterial inflammation and, eventually, calcification. 

Eventually, with continuing narrowing of our blood vessels, we are at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease.

One subject my dear doctor friend addresses in his booklet is whether exercise lowers cholesterol.  Dr. Bakos is adamant it doesn’t. 

WebMD, a popular health information website with tools for managing health, states that medical researchers aren’t entirely sure how exercise lowers cholesterol and, until recently, most weren’t sure just what the connection was.

Part of the confusion about the effect of exercise on cholesterol stems from the fact that most early cholesterol studies focused on both exercise and dietary changes, making it hard to determine which of these factors was actually making the difference.

According to one research finding, even though moderate exercise was not as effective in reducing LDL or increasing HDL components, it did keep total cholesterol levels from rising.

Dr. Bakos is much more direct about this connection in his booklet, arguing there’s none.  His opinion is that exercise (by itself) will not help to lower cholesterol in our body because cholesterol isn’t a fuel.  According to Dr. Bakos, we can run or exercise hours a day and it (alone) will not lower our blood cholesterol.

He offers a simple two step non pill approach to lowering cholesterol while acknowledging the existence of less desirable methods of prescription medicine and the risks of their long-term use. 

And what is his simple two step non pill approach?  Dr. Bakos’ new booklet has the answer.  Post a comment below (only I’ll see it) with your e-mail address and I’ll tell you how to purchase your copy directly from Dr. Bakos and he’ll autograph if for you. 

But before you run out and buy it, look at yourself in a mirror and ask the following question:  So you want to live to be 100?

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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