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The BIG MYTH Behind Heart Disease & What ACTUALLY CAUSES It! |Dr. Elizabeth Boham & Mark Hyman

We have all heard that the secret to living a long, healthy, heart disease-free life is lowering your cholesterol, but is that really true? The reality is, most of us have little understanding about our cholesterol levels in our blood and the whole topic is much more complicated than we thought. Moreover, the standard cholesterol testing is outdated because it doesn’t check for particle size and particle number, and this information is what is needed to tell what’s really going on with your cholesterol. ⁣

In this episode, Dr. Hyman sits down with Dr. Elizabeth Boham to discuss why cholesterol is only one factor in determining your overall health. They also discuss the factors that influence your cholesterol and whether or not statin drugs are the most effective way to prevent heart attacks.⁣

Elizabeth Boham is a physician and nutritionist who practices functional medicine at The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Through her practice and lecturing she has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of optimum health and wellness. She witnesses the power of nutrition every day in her practice and is committed to training other physicians to utilize nutrition in healing. Dr. Boham has contributed to many articles and wrote the latest chapter on Obesity for the Rankel Textbook of Family Medicine. She is part of the faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine and has been featured on the Dr. Oz show and in a variety of publications and media including Huffington Post, The Chalkboard Magazine, and Experience Life. Her DVD Breast Wellness: Tools to Prevent and Heal from Breast Cancer explores the functional medicine approach to keeping your breasts and whole body well.⁣

For more information, please visit drhyman.com/uwc⁣

This episode is brought to you by Perfect Keto. Right now, Perfect Keto is offering Doctor’s Farmacy listeners 20% off plus free shipping with the code DRMARK. Just go to , and make sure you try their Nut Butters and Keto Cookies.⁣

Dave McKinnon

  • chiyerano says:

    So glad to see a doctor that is also a registered dietician. Really refreshing to hear them mention the benefits of nuts and seeds as well as legumes and getting tests on cholesterol particles and their sizes and condition. I was hoping they would emphasize the importance of getting fats from avocados and olives and coconuts themselves as opposed to their oils. Interesting podcast overall.

  • Warren Klein says:

    I recall reading a short book written by a cardiologist about 1980 who started practice about 1920 and heart attacks were so rare he did not get to treat a patient with that until 1924, next 1928. He explained there was no shortage of work for heart problems but negligible for heart attacks. As he progressed in his profession heart attack patients became common and by 1950 until he retired about 1970 it was mostly what he and his fellow cardiologists did.

    Other health researchers have raised that seed oils were only introduced into the human diet from 1870 when cotton seed oil was first processed as a lubricant and re-purposed as a replacement for the expensive whale oil in lamps. By 1912 Crisco had been introduced specifically for human consumption, obviously people didn’t die or have a heart attack the next day but took about 30 years.

    In any event I won’t touch seed oils or any form of processed foods and believe that is the only sensible thing to do. Anything else is just calling the fire brigade after the fire has started.

    • Ra _ I know things, I sew things, I grow things says:

      Many people swear by black seed oil, for curing ever except death!

    • Wellness Sarah says:

      @Ra _ I know things, I sew things, I grow things yeah they are talking about more processed oils like vegetable oil, soybean oil, peanut oil which is all rancid when consumed and inflammatory Mx

    • Cyberfunk says:

      That must be whey they found signs of heart disease in mummified bodies that lived centuries or thousands of years ago, because it’s just a new problem. Please stop with your nonsense 🤦‍♂️

    • Warren Klein says:

      @Cyberfunk I am aware of heart disease evidence in Egyptian mummies, I think the cardiologist I am referring to is making the point that in mid 20th century there was a massive increase in heart disease deaths. Why weren’t we seeing the same level of deaths in 1850, 1900, 1920? It is interesting.

    • Cyberfunk says:

      @Warren Klein The massive increase in the US at least has happened after the 70’s which coincides with the huge ramp up of total calories and obesity (for any reason). Hard to say from that how much heart disease would have changed had the calories remained the same and the only thing that would have changed was some ratio of different nutrients like saturated fat to other oils etc.

      Sesame seed oil for example has been shown to reduce blood pressure in clinical trials. I don’t know if it’s healthier than not eating any oil/fat (probably not) but it’s definitely more healthy than any saturated fat like butter/coconut or trans fats.

  • Precocious Sceptic says:

    My mother in law turns 90 this year. She has cooked all her own food from scratch her entire life. No health issues other than arthritis in her knees from years of gardening. So when her doctor recently diagnosed her with high cholesterol and prescribed statins. This exact same scenario happened with my grandmother but she took the statins and guess what happened? Her always sharp mind deteriorated very quickly. So we learned our lesson and told my mother in law not to take them.

  • Debby Figueroa says:

    Although a lot of this is stuff I already know it is painful to have the reality check. 😅 My father had his first heart attack at 27 and I don’t have the best lifestyle (not the worst but definitely not the best) and I went through a high anxiety stage at the age of 27 knowing my levels were high at 25 and thinking it could be me any minute but man, lifestyle is one of the hardest things to change! 😆 I am now 30 and praying for the strength to change before my kids get sucked into this same cycle!

  • ddundeez says:

    My Dad gone at 59 bc of stroke and heart attack. His doctor never talked about these sort of knowledge and understanding. He only gave a medication. And i’m blessed to be here and listen to this podcast.

  • Fat Boy says:

    Several months ago, my doctor told me my LDL was too high and must take medication immediately, otherwise I would have heart attack in a few years. I told him my LDL has been higher than normal for 30+ years. And I am still alive and well.

  • Len says:

    I’ve been doing Keto, IF and ACV for over 3 years and reversed my fatty liver, all my health problems went away, my arthritis is 80% better and my blood pressure dropped to 127/81, I’m 60 and don’t remember ever having normal blood pressure.

  • Popy Barua says:

    Thank God, I’ve never taken Statins as per My GP’s prescription. It was just wee bit higher than the border line. I was never overweight or even unhealthy. He just got some tests done and freaked me out how dangerous this result was… I started exercising a bit more and watched my weight and also started Intermittent Fasting. Stopped all bad oils, increased good fats, good proteins and avoided fructose as much as I could. So far so relaxing.. we need these types of lectures as TV shows for people watch rubbish shows for hours. At least you get to learn something useful

  • scot niver says:

    Lucky me. This is exactly what I’m researching for my own health. And you both are explaining it beautifully..
    Thank you for the presentation and analysis

  • Carla Hubbard says:

    My grand mother cooked with animal fat all the time. Everybody used to tell them they are gonna have a heart attack. My grand father died of other health complications after 80 and my grand mother 87, still alive and going places. No walking stick needed but both were active people and always ate food made from scratch.

    • Suzanne Schulz says:

      My gram cooked in fat crisco ate unhealthy. Lived until she was 99 and half.

    • lisalu910 says:

      My grandma lived almost 105 years and was healthy to the end when she just faded away. She grew up on a farm and ate animal fat and dairy. Ham, bacon, lard, eggs, milk – and yes fresh vegetables as well. She never took any drugs to control cholesterol and rarely had any health issues.

    • Locman W says:

      @lisalu910 Do you remember what kind of food they fed the pigs?

    • Wendy Hla says:

      Probably this elevation of cholesterol may be due to gene. If one has gut problem too, the food is not digested properly and the intestine has problem in sending sufficient food to liver.

    • Lisa nyugen has cancer says:

      Bc they worked and wasn’t sedentary

  • I. M. Notamoose says:

    My elder brother who studied biology/biochemistry in college and was taking the Air Force’s pharmaceutical courses at the time, told me back in 1974 that the issue was not cholesterol or saturated fats, but the issue was polyunsaturated fats and blood sugar, which form the artery blocking compounds. In the 1990’s I attended a local American Chemical Society meeting where one of the presentations was about the body’s metabolic pathway where it takes blood sugar and polyunsaturated fats and converts them into arachinoidic acid, which was considered one of the building blocks of the clogs….

    • Iss says:

      My son is currently in med school. Biochemistry prof was asked if sat fat oxidized and she said NO. Next question was whether eating fewer pufas and mufas would decrease oxidized ldl and thus plaque and she said yes. She herself avoided seed oil and only ate butter, tallow etc which gave higher sat fat percentages. All natural fats have mixes of pufas, mufas and sat fats. Safflower is close to entirely pufa. She never eats out and avoids processed food.

      Not rocket science. Don’t glycate or oxidize your ldl.

    • Ted P says:

      Underrated comments 👍

    • Stephen Furr says:

      So, you’re telling me Fish is unhealthy to eat? Polyunsaturated fats are found in Fish and Walnuts. Polyunsaturated Fats are Omega 3 rich. I agree with the Saturated Fats statement though. I’m intrigued not attacking here. Please elaborate.

    • Anna Starr says:

      @Stephen Furr I’m guessing she’s referring to the polyunsaturated fats foisted upon us in processed foods

    • PNP says:

      Most people don’t know seed oil (aka: vegetable oil) is a main ingredient in polyurethane paint sold at hardware stores. It’s quite sad to see people eating/cooking with canola, soy, corn, olive, avocado oil because of medical industry said these are “healthier fat alternative”. Human are smart but advertising industry are smarter. My family been cooking with animal fat or butter and lots of salt for decade and most are in retirement age now with zero health issue other than work related stress, lol.

  • Mark Hyman, MD says:

    Get my FREE guide 3 Steps to Reverse Aging when you sign up for my weekly health picks 👉 https://bit.ly/IncreaseHealthspan

    • Coreen Casey says:

      Dr Hyman
      I’ve been on Lipitor for 12 months now and since then I’ve been eating much healthier and just wondered if I can stop taking statins cold turkey or should I wean off them.

    • Anwaar Gaber says:

      @Coreen Casey get off it right away!!! it is very bad for you, my parents are 80 i took them off cold turkey they are fine. I am a holistic Dietitian BTW

  • lisalu910 says:

    Twelve years ago – in my mid 40s – I was told by a doctor that I could expect to die of heart disease at almost any time if I didn’t immediately begin taking Lipitor. My total cholesterol was about 250 at the time. Now this prediction was NOT based on any diagnosed heart disease or even any tests of my heart function, it was based SOLELY on my cholesterol level even though I am a normal weight and I have always exercised regularly. I refused Lipitor but decided to try a very low cholesterol diet and daily oatmeal to lower it. After two months of a restrictive diet of 100 mg cholesterol/day plus oatmeal every day, my total cholesterol INCREASED to 265! A couple of years ago it was up to 312 at which point my doctor insisted on a coronary calcium scan – her intent being to scare me into complying with the statins. When my score came back ZERO, she didn’t say another word.

    • Facts Over Feelings says:

      “When my score came back zero, she didn’t say another word.” That is awesome. The result of her own scare tactic shut her right up and she had no other ammunition. Good for you for sticking to your convictions and saying no to statins and no to fear.

    • TheHoth1 says:

      Don’t be surprised that she may say “as a precaution, I would still prescribe you Lipitor”;)

    • Facts Over Feelings says:

      @TheHoth1 Sort of like the CDC and Dr. Fraudci admitting that masks do not and have not mitigated the spread of c0vid, but were more political theater. Nonetheless, “as a precaution we still recommend the use of masks to protect yourselves.” 🤣👌🏽

    • EmanEgnahc says:

      @Facts Over Feelings can’t see any statement on the CDC website backing this claim. Why are you lying?

    • Facts Over Feelings says:

      You’re still referring to the CDC as a credible source despite the debacle of the last two years? 😂 That’s your problem, not mine. Carry on.

  • Scoobtoober29 says:

    I was pre-diabetic, not diagnosed. Pre-mature heart beat from a traumatic event. Mold in a house. Had the PMHB for 15 years. Went OMAD and on day 2 the PMHB went away. Super cool 9 weeks later it’s still gone. It was pretty regular, once a day or a few times a day.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Norma Blodgett says:

    By sharing this knowledge, Doctors Hyman and Boham are going to elevate the quality of life and possibly save lives (iF and only iF) people choose to be compliant in terms of diet and lifestyle change. What these doctors are doing to educate the population is a GIFT! I personally will pass on this video to others and also do my best to follow their advice, so that I can enjoy my friends, family and life going forward. THANK YOU TO THESE “DOCTORS WITH INTEGRITY.”

  • Coffee&Cake says:

    What a wonderfully educational video about cholesterol and heart disease and diabetes! Thank you so much for it! 🙏 I wish all doctors were as honest and as efficient and caring for the patients as you both.❣️wow!

  • Jay Day says:

    This is great info. I go in for blood work in 3 weeks and will be asking for MMR. My last test had me in 300 LDL but my Triglycerides were 85 and my HDL was 45. I have lost 35 pounds since that test, cut all processed foods and started exercising more. Eating Fish, chia seeds and other omega 3 foods. I’ve always been high in LDL. Pretty much above 200 since I was 20.

  • Confucius 2 says:

    Glad to see and hear a very educational video stating that Cholesterol is only one cause of heart disease. I had my heart attack at 47 (over exerted myself), managed to get to the hospital pretty quick smart as opposed to waiting for an ambulance. A stent was inserted due to a clot, wasn’t overweight, or anything like that, regular check ups with the local GP, just the usual, change your diet as Cholesterol was 5-6 range, blood pressure normal, no real exercise, although job was very stressful. Since the stent, changed diet, weight resistance training (light), and tossed the job in, no stress. Cardiologist and my local GP won’t even look at me coming off my statin and blood pressure pill which is a let down, that said, they are the professionals that we all look up to and have to listen too. Heart attacks have been on my father’s side, Dad, Uncle’s and Aunties all going out in their 70’s, Mums side is Diabetes, and of course I saw a dietician who ordered a glucose test and we found out that I was pre-diabetic, but my local GP wouldn’t acknowledge it, suffice to say, I sometimes do wonder if these professionals look outside the square, e.g. I take Vitamin D3, K2, fish oil and a few others, just from my research and 15 years on am going strong, is it the diet, the statin, the resistance training and not having any stress in my life that’s keeping me going, or all of the above ?

    • c ho says:

      All of the above. 👍

    • Gajanan Phadte says:

      I know it is stress only. What I say is… the people who care for their car paint do not go to a garage for fixing the car. They go to the hospital for fixing their internal pipes.
      If you want to know the proof, go to CCU and ask those in the bed.
      Also, they give too much importance to vitamin M

  • Wayne Kennedy says:

    My recent cholesterol test came in at 8.0. I eat well, intermittent fast, don’t drink alcohol and do full body workouts 3x a week and am 45 years old. My body fat is about 15% too. There is no way I’m taking a statin. By every other metric I’m a healthy person.

    • ChrisisAbroad says:

      I would only worry about the tryglyceride number. My number was good but the LDL was on the borderline high side. I’m going in for a checkup in a couple of months and see what happens. I’ve lost weight since my last checkup.

    • orion9k says:

      Get your testosterone and sexhormone checked.

  • Fred Larracuente says:

    I’m 56yo veteran and I’ve had a high triglycerides and in turn, high Cholesterol condition for over 15 years. I’m still fairly fit, able to jog 5 miles in under an hour at least 3 times a week and nowhere near obese at 6ft 168lbs. I’ve always eaten what I considered until recently, a balanced and ‘healthy’ low fat diet yet with just enough calories for my activity levels yet, I had this issue for decades. The DRs at the VA told me it was ‘hereditary’ and that I was at very high risk of heart failure although my cardiovascular capacity is great and my resting heart rate was well under 60bpm and BP like clockwork. They couldn’t however tell me what to do to resolve my situation other than put me on statins and, after I had a severe reaction to Lipitor, on fenofibrate (Tricor) and suggested to cut all fat and alcohol and to consult a dietician. The Dietician in turn, suggested I cut ALL fats from my diet and to load up on vegetables and grains. Obvioulsly, the condition persisted and in fact, triglycerides wen up, although I didn’t feel particularly in bad health really. I started doing my own research and read up on what the heck were triglycerides and how they worked. After much consideration I simply decided to try cutting ALL or almost all carbohydrates, processed sugars and vegetable oils from my diet for 30 days and replace them with good quality animal proteins and fats. Well, what do you know?! It freaking worked! I’ve been 120+ days into a Carnivore Diet (ruminant meat, fat and all, eggs, bacon, salt and water and yes, a very occasional fruit or vegetable) and without Fenofibrate medication and all those conditions are now gone with test results to back it up. In addition, I sleep lot better, my post exercise recovery is faster and joint pains are way less. Even my toe nails, hair and sinuses stuffiness have improved. My Dr at the VA seemed surprised and couldn’t explain it, but was VERY quick to warn me about ‘Liver failure’ if I continued with the ‘Lion Diet’, LOL! I’ve come to the conclusion that most Drs don’t know what the eff they’re talking about or simply, don’t bother to keep up with their profession. They are simply too happy to repeat the FDA and CDC BS and prescribe ‘magic pills’ for everything. By the way, my latest lab results as of last week are TGL 80, CHOL 180, HDL42.4, LDL 180, VLDL 16 and Glucose at 90 . Compare those to my early December ’22 results at TGL 191, CHOL 242, HDL 42.4, LDL162, VLDL (calc) 38 and Glucose at 120. In the past, my triglycerides went up to close to 400 in some occasions so TGL at 80 is a HUGE WIN for me, no thanks to the doctors. They’ve been lying to us and that’s simply criminal or pure incompetence. From now until I die I will always 2nd guess a ‘normie Dr’s’ opinion.

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