The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Men given "healthy living" advice and cholesterol lowering drugs are twice as likely to die

This post includes a synopsis of a study published in the Journal of the Americn Medical Association 1985;254(15):2097-2102 and a recipe for salisbury steak.

Study title and authors:
Multifactorial Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases in Middle-aged Men
Tatu A. Miettinen, MD; Jussi K. Huttunen, MD; Vesa Naukkarinen, MD; Timo Strandberg, MD; Seppo Mattila, MD; Torger Kumlin, MD; Seppo Sarna, PhD
From the Second Department of Medicine (Drs Miettinen, Strandberg, Mattila, and Kumlin) and the Department of Public Health Science (Dr Sarna), University of Helsinki; the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki (Dr Huttunen); and the Jorvi Hospital, Espoo, Finland (Dr Naukkarinen).

This study can be accessed at:

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (Vintage)
This study examined the effects of preventative measures for men with a high risk of heart disease and stroke. 1222 men at high risk were split into 2 groups.
Group (i) The intervention group (612 men)
Group (ii) The high risk control group (610 men).
Group (iii) A third group of men with a low risk of heart disease and stroke were also analysed (593 men).

The subjects in the intervention group (i) were treated with a range of measures:
(a) They met up with the investigators every 4 months for five years.
(b) They were repeatedly given oral and written dietary advice.
(c) They were advised to reduce the intake of calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, alcohol, and sugar and to increase that of polyunsaturated fats (mainly soft margarine), fish, chicken, veal, and vegetables.
(d) A program to increase physical activity was given to every participant, and antismoking advice was given individually to all smokers
(e) Cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body weight were measured at each visit.
(f) If their cholesterol levels were high they were treated with cholesterol lowering drugs.
(g) If their blood pressure was high they were treated with blood pressure lowering drugs.

No advice or treatment was given to the subjects in the high risk control group (ii) and the low risk control group (iii).

The results of the study revealed:
(1) There was twice as many deaths in the intervention group (i) compared to the high risk control group (ii).
(2) There was four times as many cardiac deaths in the intervention group (i) compared to the high risk control group (ii).
(3) There was an 11% increase in non fatal cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke) in the intervention group (i) compared to the high risk control group (ii).

To conclude: Men who were given medications to lower their cholesterol and blood pressure levels and advice such as to reduce their saturated fat and cholesterol intake were twice as likely to die as men who were not.

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Recipe of the day

Salisbury Steak

Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef ONE (1 lb. Package)
Food Mall: Groud Beef
2 pounds of ground beef
1 cup spinach, finely diced
1 egg
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
¼ teaspoon ground marjoram
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grass fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil

4 tablespoons butter
1 red onion thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper thinly sliced
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 cup beef broth
¼ cup coconut milk
Black pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl place all the ingredients for the steaks and using your hands mix well. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium high heat. While the butter is melting, form the hamburger mixture into thin oval patties (makes 7-8). Place the patties into the hot melted butter, make sure it sizzles, you want the pan to be nice and hot! Cook for 2 minutes on each side, the meat should be nice and browned on both sides. You’ll have to cook these in batches so add more butter or coconut oil if necessary. Once all the steaks are done, place in the oven to keep warm and now it’s time for the gravy!

In the same pan that you just cooked your steaks in, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms in the butter until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add the beef broth and deglaze the pan (scrap all the bits off the bottom of the pan that might still be there from cooking the steaks). Bring to a boil and add the coconut milk and pepper. Mix well, bring back to a boil. At this point you’ll want to turn the heat down until the gravy is just simmering. Now you’ll want to reduce down the gravy by stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

Serve the steaks with the gravy ladled over the top and garnished with diced flat leaf Italian Parsley.

Salisbury Steak