Did the Atkins Diet Kill Dr. Atkins?

March 26, 2004
Volume 01    |   Issue 1

The Atkin's diet has already shown it can take the weight off - at least temporarily. But if you're on the Atkin's diet to lose weight, you could be putting your health at risk. Here's the evidence and what you can do about it.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Dr. Robert Atkins, of the "meat and fat weight loss diet" fame, was obese and died of heart disease. Six feet tall, Atkins weighed 258 pounds when he died after slipping and falling on ice. Newer information suggests that Dr. Atkins' weight was due to water retention occurring from medications after his fall.

Did his diet contribute to his death, or not?

The medical examiner said that Atkins had previously suffered a heart attack, congestive heart failure, and hypertension. All are conditions that could be caused by a diet high in animal (saturated) fats. But Stuart Trager, chairman of the Atkins Physician's Council in New York, says the doctor's heart disease came from a viral infection, and his weight was caused from bloating.

Let's say that Mr Trager is correct and that Dr. Atkins died from complications from a viral infection. Dr. Atkins himself claimed a past heart attack was connected to a heart infection he'd had for a number of years. Animal fats are pro-inflammatory, and inflammation is a critical component of heart disease. A viral infection that lasts for years is not a sign of good health.

A high animal-fat diet can lower immunity, and a suppressed immune system can't effectively fight viruses. High cholesterol is not the only marker for heart disease.

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Immunity and inflammation are two other huge factors.

Directly or indirectly, the Atkins diet may have contributed to Dr. Atkins' death. If you are on the Atkins diet, you may want to have checkups every three months to make certain you're not inadvertently contributing to heart disease.

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