Has your doctor given you 3-6 months to diet and exercise to reduce your cholesterol?
But, he didn’t tell you much specific advice on how to do it.
Does he want you to take a cholesterol medication?
Would you like to avoid taking medication for cholesterol?
DO the potential side effects and adverse reactions scare you?
Wouldn’t you rather use diet or supplements for cholesterol?
Most People Do.
Did you Know that supplements can help lower cholesterol?
Do I have YOUR Attention? Read on…
Everyone is aware that heart disease can kill.
It is common knowledge that elevated cholesterol is associated with heart disease.
Heart Disease is the number one killer in the USA.
Surprising Facts About Cardiovascular Disease
• More than 82 million American adults are estimated to have one or more types of cardiovascular disease — that’s one in three people.
• On average 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day.
• Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women 20 and older, killing about one woman every minute.
• More women die of heart disease than the next four causes of death combined — including all forms of cancer.
• Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
• Between 70 and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men.
• A report by The Institute of Medicine finds that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger a heart attack.
A Few questions and a Few observations …
Does cholesterol cause heart disease?
Is Cholesterol really the villain?
Or, is Cholesterol like the “policeman at the crime-scene”?
How often are policemen at crime-scenes? Always, right?
Policemen at a crime-scene are there because of the crime.
Could it be that cholesterol deposition in the arteries is the result of the problem? [And not the CAUSE of the problem]
It can be argued that cholesterol is present in arterial blockages as a result of the “Problem”, not the cause of the problem.
The problem being a failing blood vessel.
Cholesterol is used as a patching material.
So, could it be that elevated cholesterol is a SYMPTOM of a problem or deficiency? Yep.
So, WHO is the Criminal?
Would you believe that it is nutrition, or lack of nutrition?
Lack of B vitamins, too much sugar, not enough vitamin E and C, insufficient EFA’s [Essential Fats including Omega 3’s], too many Trans-fats as well as elevated homocysteine levels.
Perhaps genetics are quite as important as nutrition.
[Japanese people in Japan – very low rates of heart disease but Japanese Americans have the standard American risk]
Let’s consider a few studies that support this assertion.
From Harvard School of Public Health
The Nutrition Source
Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good
The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who ate 4 teaspoons of stick margarine a day had a 50 percent greater risk of heart disease than women who ate margarine only rarely.
[Check out rest of the article – it is very informative]
Notice, it is “cholesterol free” margarine that is the culprit.
In other words, EAT Butter.
Avoid Trans-fat aka Margarine/hydrogenated oil
From Harvard School of Public Health
The Nutrition Source – Vitamin E and Health
Vitamin E and Heart Disease
…………….the Nurses’ Health Study (2) and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, (3) suggested 20 to 40 percent reductions in coronary heart disease risk among individuals who took vitamin E supplements (usually containing 400 IU or more) for least two years.
[Full story is worth a gander]
The follow up studies were done with patients that already had heart disease and had mixed results.
Prevention and treatment are two separate things.
The “preventive” evidence from the Nurses’ Health Study is valid.
From Circulation – the Journal of the American Heart Association
Clinical Investigation and Reports
Low Circulating Folate and Vitamin B6 Concentrations
Risk Factors for Stroke, Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Coronary Artery Disease
Conclusions—Lower levels of folate and vitamin B6 confer an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Clinical trials are now required to evaluate the effect of treatment with these vitamins in the primary and secondary prevention of vascular diseases.
Heart Disease and Homocysteine
A few excerpts….
There has been a lot of talk lately about a compound called homocysteine and its relationship to heart disease.
Homocysteine is a common amino acid (one of the building blocks that make up proteins) found in the blood and is acquired mostly from eating meat. High levels of homocysteine are related to the early development of heart and blood vessel disease. In fact, it is considered an independent risk factor for heart disease.
High homocysteine is associated with low levels of vitamin B6, B12, and folate and renal disease. Research has shown, however, that reducing your homocysteine levels with vitamins does not reduce the risk of heart disease.
Can High Homocysteine Levels Be Prevented?
High-risk patients with high homocysteine levels should increase their intake of B-vitamins in their diet. These vitamins can be found in a wide variety of fruits, green, leafy vegetables, and grain products fortified with folic acid.
Do you notice any inconsistency here?
Homocysteine is an independent risk factor.
B Vitamins reduce Homocysteine.
In follow up studies of Patients with heart disease ALREADY are used….
Then the recommendation is to use DIET or foods to raise B vitamins not supplements.
Check out how much B vitamins are in foods – surprisingly small amounts – supplements are necessary to achieve optimal levels.
In order to get 1,000 mcg of B12 from one of the best sources of B12 – Lamb Liver – you’ll need about 2 pounds of liver. WOW!!
In order to get 100mg of B1 using one of the richest sources of Thiamin – Wheat Germ – you’ll need to eat 10 pounds of it! [2.01 mg of B1 per 100grams of wheat germ].
From Science Daily
Lowering Homocysteine Levels With Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 Does Not Appear to Reduce Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (June 23, 2010) — Patients who had experienced a heart attack and lowered their blood homocysteine levels with folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation did not have an associated lower risk of heart attack, coronary death or stroke, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue ofJAMA.
Blood homocysteine levels are positively associated with cardiovascular disease, but it is uncertain whether the association is causal, according to background information in the article. A meta-analysis of prospective studies indicated that, after adjustment for known risk factors, a 25 percent lower than usual homocysteine concentration was associated with an 11 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease and 19 percent lower risk of stroke.
Notice that the study involved people that already had heart disease.
This is analogous to studying fire prevention in a house that is already on fire.
Homocysteine is reduced by B vitamins [B6, B9 and B12] AND studies DO suggest a small but Statistically Significant reduction in both heart disease and stroke.
High-Sugar Diet Linked to Cholesterol
Added Sugars in Diet Triple Risk of Having Low Level of ‘Good’ Cholesterol
Excess sugar is known to contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other conditions linked to heart disease, and now new research links it to unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
People in the study who ate the most added sugar had the lowest HDL, or good cholesterol, and the highest blood triglyceride levels. People who ate the least sugar had the highest HDL and the lowest triglyceride levels.
Eating large amounts of added sugar more than tripled the risk of having low HDL, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
It turns out that sugar makes your cholesterol go up, way up.
And if you cut back on sugar your cholesterol will go down.
Sugar and cholesterol…….
In Linus Pauling’s book How to Live Longer and Feel Better he quotes a neat little study
Page 42…[spaced for easier reading]
It has been in a trustworthy clinical study that the ingestion of sucrose leads to an increase in cholesterol concentration in the blood.
This important study was reported by Milton Winitz and associates in 1964 and 1970.
These investigators studied 18 subjects, who were kept in a locked institution, without access to other food, during the whole period of study (about 6 months).
After a preliminary period with ordinary food, they were placed on a chemically well-defined small molecule diet (seventeen amino acids, a little fat, vitamins, essential minerals, and glucose as the only carbohydrate).
The only significant physiological change that was found was in the concentration of cholesterol in the blood serum, which decreased rapidly for each of the 18 subjects.
The average concentration in the initial period, on ordinary food, was 227 milligrams per deciliter.
After two weeks on the glucose diet it had dropped to 173, and after another two weeks it was 160.
The diet was then changed by replacing one quarter of the glucose with sucrose, with all the other dietary constituents the same.
Within one week the average cholesterol concentration had risen from 160 to 178, and after two more weeks to 208.
The sucrose was then replaced by glucose.
Within one week the average cholesterol concentration had dropped to 175, and it continued dropping , leveling off at 150, 77 less than the initial value.
A few comments…..
Winitz and associates developed the “space food” for astronauts in the 1960’s.
Sucrose is “Table Sugar” and is comprised of one glucose and one fructose.
The primary fuel for our bodies is glucose – the brain works almost exclusively on glucose.
In the presence of glucose, fructose is “pushed” into cholesterol metabolism.
The conversion of fructose is expensive – it “BURNS UP” or uses up our limited B vitamin stores.
Linus Pauling won two unshared Nobel Prizes [One for Chemistry another for Peace]
Linus Pauling was no dummy – he gave up sucrose because of this study and others.
On Egg consumption
From the Journal of Nutrition
A Review of Scientific Research and Recommendations Regarding Eggs
Stephen B. Kritchevsky, PhD
A few excerpts…..
The diet of 5,133 Finnish men and women aged 30 to 69 years was assessed from 1969 to 1972 . Over the subsequent 16 years of follow-up 244 participants died from CHD. After accounting for differences in age, there were no baseline differences in egg consumption between those who died from CHD and those surviving to the end of the study.
In the Fakuoka Heart study, 660 cases of non-fatal MI were identified at 22 hospitals in Fakuoka City Japan from September 1996 to September 1998 . The case-series was matched to 1,277 controls based on age, sex and area of residence. High egg consumption was classified as four or more eggs per week and was compared to consumption of fewer than 2 eggs per week. After adjusting for smoking, alcohol use, work related physical activity, leisure-time physical activity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, angina pectoris and obesity, there was no association between egg consumption and the first occurrence of non-fatal myocardial infarction (RRmen = 0.9, RRwomen = 0.8). Other dietary factors were not accounted for in the analysis.
One study has looked at the role that animal products, including eggs, might play in modulating stroke risk. In 1979, participants in the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Life Span Study who were free of stroke, cancer and heart disease completed risk factor questionnaire including diet items (14,209 men and 22,921 women) . After accounting for sex, age, city, radiation dose, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol use, education, history of diabetes or hypertension, those reporting almost daily egg consumption had a 30% lower rate of stroke death compared to those never consuming eggs (RR = 0.70, p < 0.05). Similar associations were seen for dairy product and fish consumption. The association was stronger for hemorrhagic stroke than occlusive stroke.
In summary, eight studies have reported on the egg consumption and CHD risk directly. On the whole they do not support the contention that egg consumption is a risk factor for heart disease. However, the largest by Hu and colleagues is the only one to specifically address issue . It is also the one that used the most well developed dietary instrument and the most sophisticated analytic approach. This study showed no increase in risk associated with egg consumption in the general population. The issue of the role of dietary cholesterol in diabetics requires further examination.
My approach to heart disease is based on common sense, well-done studies, personal experience, clinical evidence and a smattering of suspicion of the ulterior motives of organized medicine.
It seems that medication is the chief weapon against heart disease.
Diet and Nutrition is given lip service but no real emphasis.
I like studies that involve long term observation of populations.
Elevated cholesterol is more like the policeman than the criminal.
Cholesterol is a nutrient.
Cholesterol is in EVERY cell of our bodies.
Most hormones are “based” on the cholesterol molecule.
Cell membranes are as much as 24% Cholesterol
Cholesterol gives cell membranes rigidity
12% of the brain is fat – aka cholesterol
A quick point from…..
How Cholesterol Help Your Brain and Nerve Cells?
“The average human brain weighs about 3 pounds. Up to 78 percent of that weight is water. Some of the weight is protein (8 percent), some is carbohydrates (1 percent), and some is a grab bag of organic and inorganic compounds (3 percent). The rest (up to 12 percent) is fat, including — surprise, surprise — cholesterol.”
Eat two eggs per day – there is no evidence that eggs/cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease or death. AND, there is evidence that eating eggs reduces you risk of stroke.
Avoid table sugar [sucrose] and processed food that contains added sugar.
Use REAL butter – No evidence that butter leads to heart disease.
There IS evidence that Margarine aka Trans-fat and hydrogenated oil can cause heart disease.
Take a supplemental EFA’s [to include the omega 3 oils – flax and fish oil].
Use Olive oil [omega 9 rich – it improves the omega 6 to 3 ratio]
Avoid omega 6 rich oils like corn oil, sunflower and safflower oils.
It is difficult to get adequate Omega 3’s from the diet alone.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to get optimal amounts of the B vitamins with diet alone.
Taking Supplemental B vitamins will reduce homocysteine in the blood.
If your cholesterol is elevated – there are two B vitamins that have shown promise in reducing cholesterol numbers, Niacin and pantothenic acid [and its Siamese twin version pantethine].
Take Home Message……….
We cannot get “Full Spectrum Nutrition” from foods alone.
We MUST to supplement our diets to get “Full Spectrum Nutrition”.
To achieve Optimal Health we need “Full Spectrum Nutrition”.
And as I always say….
To achieve optimal health we need Full Spectrum Nutrition.
Around 90 nutrients are considered ESSENTIAL.
These nutrients can be divided into 4 groups:
Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids [Protein] and Fats/Oils.
If Optimal Health is the goal, it is virtually impossible to get “everything you need” from foods alone.
To get full spectrum nutrition we ALL need to supplement our diets.
Supplements to consider:
1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.
2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.
3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]
4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.
5) Vitamin E is difficult to get in sufficient amounts from foods. I advise people to supplement with at least 400 IU per day.
Natural versions are best, look for “d-tocopherol” but avoid “d-l-tocopherol”- it’s the man-made version and is only 25% usable. Look for a vitamin E with mixed tocopherols that also contains selenium.
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