A Skeptical Look at Dwight Lundell, M.D.

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Dwight C. Lundell, M.D. lost medical license in 2008. Since that time he has been promoting books that clash with established scientific knowledge of heart disease prevention and treatment. His book, The Great Cholesterol Lie, invites people to "forget about everything you have been told about low-fat diets, saturated fats, cholesterol and the causes of heart disease." According to The Great Cholesterol Lie Web site:

This article tells why I would not trust Lundell's advice.

Medical and Regulatory History

After graduating from the University of Arizona Medical School in 1971, Lundell completed a one-year internship and two years of surgical residency in general surgery at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, followed by two years of residency in chest surgery at Yale University Medical Center in New Haven, Connecticut. He became certified in cardiothoracic surgery, which he practiced for about 25 more years.

In 2007, Lundell began the Healthy Humans Foundation Blog, which stated that he was "refocusing" his career on the prevention and cure of heart disease [1]. He also produced a book called The Cure for Heart Disease which, according to its description on Amazon Books, "is different than every other book exploring the number one killer of Americans" and is "a riveting yet straight forward discussion that challenges public consensus, explains the reasons for the epidemic of heart disease, and provides an easy to follow guide to eliminate heart disease." [2] A comment on the Amazon page indicate that it advocates a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, low-dose aspirin, fish oil,l and conjugated linoleic acid supplements for everyone.

In 2004, the Healthy Humans Foundation issued a news release that plugged the book and said that Lundell had retired from the practice of surgery in 2004 [3].

Between 2000 and 2008, Lundell was subjected to five regulatory actions by the Arizona Medical Board:

Financial and Legal Trouble

Lundell also ran into considerable difficulty in his nonmedical affairs. Although the full records are not readily available, documents I found on the Internet indicate the following:

Other Activities

Lundell says he founded the Healthy Humans Foundation "to help the human race free themselves of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mental disorders, and other diseases caused by improper nutrition and misleading consumer information." [11] I was unable to find an entry in the business listings of the Arizona Secretary State or the IRS's database of nonprofit organizations.

From 2007 through May 2010, Lundell was listed as an advisor to NourishLife, a company that markets vitamins, fish oil supplements, and conjugated linoleic acid supplements as "pharmaceutical grade" products claimed to help children with speech problems. After the Chicago Tribune criticized the products and mentioned that Lundell had lost his medical license [12], he was removed from the page of advisors on the NourishLife Web site.

A biographical sketch on Amazon.com states that Lundell formulated and promotes two dietary supplements for Asantae (a multilevel company): HeartShot™ and RealW8™. HeartShot is claimed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease" disease by "dramatically reducing inflammation." RealW8 is claimed to "help you control the addiction to sugar and carbohydrates, thus allowing you to lose weight." [13]

Lundell's book, The Great Cholesterol Lie, is offered for $49.95 through The Truth About Heart Disease Web site, which also invites people to sign up as members:

A free copy of The Great Cholesterol Lie is included in all three categories or can be obtained for $4.95 with a ten-day "trial membership." However, since at least May 2011, the site has said that it was not accepting new members at this time.

The Bottom Line

Dr. Lundell would like you to believe that he has special knowledge of heart disease prevention. I do not trust his advice.

References

  1. Healthy Humans Foundation Blog, accessed Sept 18, 2011.
  2. The Cure for Heart Disease: The Truth Will Save a Nation. Amazon.com Web site, accessed Sept 18, 2011.
  3. Charles D. Retired Heart Surgeon Dwight Lundell Continues to Save Lives Retired heart surgeon Dwight Lundell spent 25 years performing over 5,000 heart surgeries. Today his newest book, The Cure for Heart Disease continues to save lives by exposing the truth behind the causes of heart disease and attacks. Healthy Human Foundation News Release, PR Web, Nov 11, 2008.
  4. Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order (censure with probation). In the matter of Dwight C. Lundell Before the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, June 27, 2000.
  5. Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order (decree of censure & probation). In the matter of Dwight C. Lundell. Before the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, March 20, 2004.
  6. Consent agreement and order for letter of reprimand and probation. In the matter of Dwight C. Lundell Before the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, June 17, 2003.
  7. Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order (license revocation). In the matter of Dwight C. Lundell Before the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, October 9, 2008.
  8. Lundell D. Voluntary petition for bankruptcy. U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona, filed Oct 14, 2005.
  9. Grado G. E.V. surgeon suing Banner for stripped privileges. East Valley Tribune, April 15, 2004.
  10. Arizona man sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud. U.S. Department of Justice news release, May 15, 2005. The Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator site indicates that Bentson was released on May 23, 2008.
  11. About us. Healthy Humans Foundation Web site, archived Jan 26, 2009.
  12. Shelton DL. Speech experts are wary of untested supplement sold as a speech aid for kids with verbal apraxia. Chicago Tribune, Sept 10, 2010.
  13. Asantae Web site, accessed Oct 11, 2012.

This article was revised on February 8, 2013.