RUSH: I want to tell you this again in case you weren’t listening toward the end of the hour. We need to really go back and chronicle all of the instances of ‘This substance, like coffee, is going to kill you.’ ‘Oat bran is going to rejuvenate you,’ all of these things that they have been said medically over the years is either going to kill you or make you more prone to certain illnesses. They really have no clue what they are talking about. The headline here: ”Cholesterol Seen Tied to Heart Disease, Not Stroke.’ — Researchers aiming to establish whether high cholesterol raises the risk of stroke said on Thursday they were baffled…’ stunned and surprised for those of you in Rio Linda, ‘… by findings indicating lower cholesterol levels were not linked to reduced stroke deaths. They said their analysis of 61 previous studies involving almost 900,000 adults…’ Why are you sucking your thumb, Dawn? She looks like a little Barbie doll. Why are you sucking your thumb? It looks so cute. You’re sucking your thumb. Pardon the distraction, folks, I have not lost my place.
‘… 900,000 adults, conducted mostly in western Europe and North America, clearly showed that people with lower total blood cholesterol levels had a lower heart disease death rate. But the researchers found no relationship between total cholesterol levels and risk of stroke death, especially at older ages and among people with higher blood pressures. Dr. Sarah Lewington of the University of Oxford in Britain, one of the researchers, stressed that definitive previous research established that drugs called statins, which lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called LDL or bad cholesterol, substantially reduce stroke risk. ‘I think all we can say is that we don’t really understand what’s going on here. And we need to know more about cholesterol and more about stroke sub-types to find out what’s going on.” It really does sound like a blow to scientific consensus here, and a lot of other things. Besides the quest for human knowledge, what do you think the foundation for all of these studies and all this research is really all about? I have a theory about it, and it is this.
I think people have, in the science and research community and any number of other places, really have this belief that we can cheat death. Everybody wants to live, of course, and so any time you hear from science or medicine that stopping doing this activity or reducing the amount of that particular food that you eat or taking this particular medication will prolong your life, all well and good if it’s true, but we keep learning more and more that none of what is suspected — i.e., consensus — in science actually pans out. It’s also predicated on the belief that we’re all the same, which we’re not. We’ve all got unique DNA, and we all have different genetic traits. We’re all going to die at some point. Nobody has disproven that yet. But this notion that we can somehow cheat death or extend life with these kinds of things, all well and good, people are trying to do it, but the belief behind it is, to me, what’s unrealistic.
I just had to go get a physical the other day. They were stunned. I don’t mind admitting this. Blood pressure, 120 over 70. ‘That can’t be, Rush, you don’t exercise.’ ‘Well, it’s what it was.’ ‘But you don’t exercise.’ ‘I know,’ I say happily. Stress EKG, I get on the treadmill and they hook you up to all the electrodes and so forth. Doctor says, ‘If you start feeling faint, you tell me real quick. The average length of time most people spend on this thing, three minutes, and that’s fine, we want to try to get your heartbeat up to 139, we want to keep it there for as long as we can, but if you have the slightest bit of discomfort, I want you to tell me, we’re going to stop.’ I said, ‘Okay, doc.’ Eight minutes later, with the heartbeat at 149, the doctor says, ‘Okay, that’s enough. I want you to sit down. I want to see what happens to your heart rate after three minutes.’ It got down to 75 beats. He said, ‘It’s not possible.’ ‘You’re the doctor. It’s what it says.’ ‘It’s not possible because you don’t exercise.’ I said, ‘I know,’ proudly. ‘I just don’t like it. If I felt good doing it, I would do it, but I don’t.’ I’ve hated exercise since I could walk. Wish I could still crawl, in fact. But it wouldn’t look good. So it was on to other things, a blood test and all this stuff. Cholesterol — ahem — normal. ‘That can’t be, Rush. You’re a little overweight.’ ‘You’re the doctor. You run the lab. It is what it is.’
My point here, ladies and gentlemen, not to brag, is that by all that everybody thinks, I should have a foot in the grave right now. Because I don’t exercise, because my weight has fluctuated and I’ve yo-yo’d and I’ve lost a lot and I’ve gained a lot, but it’s based primarily on the fact that I don’t exercise. I said, ‘You know, my grandfather lived to be 104, and he worked until he was 102. And my uncle, still a practicing federal judge, is going to be 80 and looks 65.’ We’ve got some pretty good longevity genes in the family, not everybody, but there are enough to know that there might be a trend there. ‘Well, the genes definitely count,’ the doctor said. Oh, they do? That’s a hell of an admission, genes count. Some people are not as fortunate. Some people have type 2 diabetes when they’re five pounds overweight; some people it takes 20; some people it doesn’t take any being overweight, just getting old. Some people have type 1, have to shoot up insulin. Some people are naturally born with a problem toward heart disease, coronary artery disease, what have you. We’re all going to get something. Something is going to happen to all of us, whether we eat oat bran, whether we take these statins, or what have you. I am not advocating not taking care of yourself, folks, I’m not suggesting that at all. I’m only suggesting that for me, because not taking care of myself has proved extremely beneficial.