Following is written by Dr. Fuhrman's colleague Dr. Steven Acocella, MS, D.C., DACBN, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist, American College of Lifestyle Physicians, and a Diplomat of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition:
A young university pre-med student was called from class one day. It seems that unexpectedly and without warning, or even prior symptoms his dad had collapsed on their kitchen floor and was rushed to the emergency room; his dad had had a major heart attack.
At the hospital several hours later, with his father fortunately in stable condition, the son and his mother spoke about what to do "if dad makes it though this". Anxiously, his mom suggested that the son place a call to her doctor, whom she had been seeing for many years and trusted implicitly. And, this doctor was a cardiologist, so what could be better?
Calling directly from the hospital the son was able to get the doctor on the phone. They spoke at length about his dad's sudden and near fatal heart attack. What the son sought most from this kind hearted and concerned physician was advice and guidance. The son wanted to make sure his dad would recover and would never have to endure such suffering again.
The supportive doctor spoke of all the right medications, tests and about lowering his father's stress level at work. The son remembers learning the word "prognosis" that day. When the son specifically asked about diet (he told him dad had always loved barbeque and bacon) the cardiologist assured him that any connection between heart disease and food is a complete myth and that his dad's diet was fine. The doctor went on to tell the son that even if there was a connection between diet and heart disease it wouldn't help to change anything this late in his father's life. At that time his father was 53 years old. The son appreciatively took the advice from this very successful M.D. and dutifully passed it along to his parents.
Twenty-five years later the dad is still alive. He's 79 years old. In the past 20 years he has remarkably survived 5 subsequent heart attacks and a triple open-heart by-pass surgery! The mom is still alive too. She's 72 years young, but severe obesity has left her totally wheelchair bound. Both his mom and dad remain loyal to and follow the advice of their beloved doctor, even today. Their loyalty is a bit surprising considering each of their own maladies.
Well, at least they're both still alive and the family remains close. And as for the son, he knows a lot more now than he did that day in the emergency room. After completing his Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition he went on to become a doctor. In fact, the son has dedicated his professional career to the prevention and recovery of heart disease and other killers like diabetes and cancer through nutrition. Although he has become vehemently opposed to the brand of advice the kind cardiologist gave him so long ago he still does his best to help his parents with their unfortunate health problems. But sadly, despite the son's successes with his own patients, his parents remain set in their ways; they still recite their beloved doctor's rhetoric every time the concerned son tries to help.
The nice cardiologist on the phone that day in the emergency room was Dr. Robert Atkins, and that concerned son was me.
This is part of a weeklong review of the popular Dr. Atkins high-protein low-carbohydrate diet-style. Throughout the week DiseaseProof will examine: