The Whole Heart Solution: Halt Heart Disease Now with the Best Alternative and Traditional Medicine by Joel K. Kahn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book could have been a solid four star if not for the last section that deals with the use of supplements.
For the most part, Kahn, a cardiac specialist, promotes approaching heart disease through diet (plant-based nearly vegan, whole foods diet) and exercise (& in come cases supplements), as opposed to emphasizing only meds and various medical procedures.
There is a lot of good advice here that ultimately gets lost when he starts talking about supplements. Listen, I get it. There are likely alternatives to traditional meds that may be safer and ultimately better for us. Maybe. But by Kahn's own admission, the supplement industry is so poorly regulated, you don't always know what your getting in the pill or potion from the health food store.
I also get that he is trying to cover a lot of ground and that the supplements he is recommending aren't meant to apply to every patient with a heart problem. But the discussion and the way it is presented seems to take away from the books most redeeming quality which is that it celebrates the preventative and curative power of a heart healthy diet.
Supplements are not regulated for the most part. There is no concrete proof that supplements are any less harmful or more helpful than traditional pharmaceuticals. And like traditional pharmaceuticals, you probably shouldn't be taking supplements unless you are being monitored by a physician to determine what supplement is indicated, how much is indicated, and if it actually impacts the body in the desired way. Bottom line, if a supplement is indeed exerting a therapeutic effect, what makes it substantially different than other pharmaceuticals? I'll tell you what makes it different. The pharmaceutical companies actually have to have some evidence to back up their claims. They are also required to maintain quality-control. But when it comes to supplements, there is very little regulation and almost no standardization and/or testing for safety and possible side-effects.
In that sense, Kahn should have stopped when he said, and I'm paraphrasing, that it is best to get the nutrition we nee from the foods we eat. Period.