Father’s death linked to use of heart drug, avocados touted for lowering cholesterol

My dad recently died after going into the hospital for pneumonia. It was discovered he had lung disease due to taking amiodarone for many years. He was never warned about the side effects. Does the Food and Drug Administration keep track of how many people die after taking this drug?

We are very sorry to hear about your father’s tragic death. Amiodarone is a heart medicine that can cause many serious lung complications. Your father should have been alerted to this danger.

The FDA allows doctors and patients to report adverse drug events through its MedWatch ( reporting system.

I have been tracking my cholesterol for more than six years on a monthly basis. I lost weight, hoping it would go down. I ate oatmeal every day, but nothing helped. My cholesterol level was stuck around 215. Then a year ago, I read that avocados can lower cholesterol. I started eating one every week. Since January, my cholesterol level has averaged 176.


Your success is impressive. We found no recent research on adding avocados to the diet to lower cholesterol. But in 1996, several Mexican research teams reported in the Archives of Medical Research that avocados could reduce total cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Avocados were once considered off-limits because they have such a high fat content. But they are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, the same type of healthful fats found in olive oil.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition.