A daily “Polymeal” to reduce cholesterol

I find it really frustrating/silly/ retrograde that in July 2012, there has been another rush of news coverage about the need for a “Polypill” to fix us all. What is the Polypill?  This pill has been hailed by the media as a necessary and just-in-time medical miracle amidst the current landscape of almost universal poor health in Western countries. The Polypill is being billed as the “new” saviour for the over 50’s. And most of us will probably accept this “answer” to our poor health, because a large majority of people mistakenly believe it is inevitable that heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.just sort of pop up, as a natural result of ageing.

This is the second wave of media for the Polypill. In June 2003, Nicholas Wald and Malcolm Law published “A Strategy to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease by More than Eighty Percent.” In this study, they first introduced the idea of a Polypill and suggested that by combining 6 medications (3 blood pressure meds, 1 cholesterol lowering statin, aspirin, and the B vitamin folic acid), you could statistically lower heart disease by 80%. This is a big claim. It sounds great, right? So why am I so obstinately resistant to this idea? Well, for one, statins and other unnatural chemical remedies are dangerous to the body. But that’s not the main reason. If there was not an alternative, I’d understand the suggestion of a polypill, however in response to the initial Polypill article, a 2nd article was published one year later in the same scientific journal. In Dec 2004, a side-effect free, natural alternative to the Polypill was introduced in the British Medical Journal: “The Polymeal: a more natural, safer, and probably tastier (than the Polypill) strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 75%.”

A natural, food based approach that does the same thing as a pill to reduce cholesterol and improves heart health!

Wow! That’s news! And it was news, for a while. But I never heard about it until years later. And something that has the ability to positively impact millions of people, you would think would make the rounds long enough to reach the masses, right?  But think about it a little further – why would it reach us? After that first round of newsworthiness, the media will move on. So then, who will push it forwards?

Unlike a drug, the Polymeal will not make anyone any money. What about the idea of a clinical trial with a Polymeal? Who would pay for this? Nobody will profit, if people simply start eating these 7 things everyday. Clinical trials are very expensive. So can we really expect anyone to bother with the Polymeal?

Well thankfully, it’s being passed around in health circles, people who are researching healthy ways to improve cholesterol and heart disease. I found out about it, in the book Cut your Cholesterol, and that lead me to look into it more, and I found this excellent cookbook called “The Healthiest Meals on Earth“, by Jonny Bowden, Ph.d.  So while it’s not going to be marketed as aggressively as a statin drug sold by a pharmaceutical company with deep pockets, be glad you’ve found it now, and know that the science points out a healthy, side-effect free, method of reducing your cholesterol using items found in your supermarket. I predict this will be the norm in 25 years, and we will look back on this period as the “dark ages of health”.

Without further fanfare, the Polymeal consists of these items daily:

  • 150 mL of red wine (about one glass)
  • 100 g of dark chocolate
  • 400 g of fruits and vegetables
  • 2.7 g of garlic
  • 68 g of almonds

as well as 118 g of fish per day four times each week.

Ok! Those are things I can sink my teeth into… literally. Easy to eat. Tasty. I can do this!

Benefits of the Polymeal

Suggested benefits of eating this way include:

  • Delay the average onset of heart attacks by: 9 years for men, and 8 years for women.
  • Increase average lifespan by 4.8 to 6.6 years
  • Live free from cardiovascular disease for at least: 9 years more for men, and 8.1 years more for women.

The researchers concluded that:

“The polymeal promises to be an effective, non-pharmacological, safe, cheap, and tasty alternative to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and increase life expectancy in the general population.”

So eat your Polymeal every day, improve your heart health, and be glad that while it was hard to find, you found scientific information about healthy natural solutions to tackle your heart disease and lower cholesterol naturally.