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OP Kapoor
Ex. Hon. Physician, Jaslok Hospital and Bombay Hospital, Mumbai, Ex. Hon. Prof. of Medicine, Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai 400 008.

I have had considerable experience with the film world during 40 years of my practice. A number of these film personalities have passed away. Some of them like Jaikishen, Sanjiv Kumar, Shailendra were heavy drinkers. People like Mukesh and Kishore Kumar were involved only in social drinking while Mohd. Rafi and Rajendra Kumar were teetotallers. Why is the incidence of IHD low in this community when majority of them consume alcohol? There are 3 possibilities from the medical point of view:

1.Alcohol in moderate dose is the only known factor which can raise HDL cholesterol which protects the heart against coronary atheroma. Till now, no drugs including statins are so effective in this field.

2.Alcohol reduces lipoprotein(a) which is a very important risk factor. Not many drugs achieve this reduction.

3.It is a common observation that most of the film personalities who are alcoholic always consume a capsule of B-Complex which is often not even recommended by their family doctors but by their friends. Now it has been shown that Vit. B-6 (Pyridoxine) and Folic Acid can reduce the levels of Homocysteine.4.It is a regular practice in film world to call their GPs to give them shots of Vit. B-12 injections. It appears to me that this is one community where the highest consumption of B-12 is seen. It has been shown that B-12 deficiency can lead to rise in homocysteine levels which is a risk factor by itself.

Finally, maintaining weight for the sake of their profession and over indulgence in sex might be some more factors protecting them.

You may be interested to know that although, I have had thousands of samples of Vit. B-Complex capsules and Injection B-12, I have never swallowed a single capsule nor do I believe in consuming B-Complex while taking antibiotics which I have often had in my life. Nor am I impressed and convinced by the role of Homocysteine in the aetiology of IHD. This is my personal view.

Recently, I have bought the first huge - textbook in the world of 500 pages (weighing nearly 1 kg) with the title "Homocysteine in Health and Diseases" which cost me nearly Rs. 7000/- ( 100.00). I am quoting my opinion (even) after reading this book.

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