“Is Cholesterol Really an Issue?” –The Chopra Center

My Chorale PicIt’s always interesting to hear another healthcare professional, especially a medical doctor and researcher, say what I and many of my colleagues in the field of clinical nutrition have been saying for many years now.  The following is news only to those with ears attuned only to Medical Research and whose minds – to their misfortune – are closed to any professionals with anything less than an “M.D.” degree behind their name.  It is not news to the rest of us who have been using our minds for critical thinking. Nevertheless, this is worth reading as it details the facts about cholesterol production in the body. That said, I am pleased to know that the rest of the world is finally getting this information from a source they allow to do their thinking for them.  Yes, I admit to and own my cynicism. Please forgive me and do read on . . . .

Why Cholesterol May Not Be Such a Bad Thing

When arteries are damaged by a lifestyle event such as stress, high blood pressure, nicotine, or other toxins, cholesterol is the body’s first response to help repair the artery, according to Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D.., cardiologist and author of Clean Gut. Similar to forming a scab on a wound, the body sends cholesterol plaque to help repair the damage. This is the small, high-density type of cholesterol. In a healthy body, healthy cells would then continue to repair the artery, and the cholesterol plaque would be reabsorbed back into the body and not accumulate and become a health issue.

However, in a chronic situation like ongoing stress, high blood pressure, or exposure to toxins (all inflammation producers), the signal to stop sending cholesterol to that damaged area never gets turned off and the cholesterol plaque continues to build up. Chronic inflammation can exacerbate this process and keep the plaque building until the affected artery is clogged.

Living a healthy, low-stress lifestyle, including mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga, can help turn off the conveyer  belt of plaque being sent to a damaged artery.

Need one say more?  If  you want the whole story, go to the Chopra website at the link below. It’s a good read.

Here’s to your health and longevity.

Anthony Palombo, D.C.

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/is-cholesterol-really-an-issue?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=CCL%20Newsletter%20160119&utm_campaign=January

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“The Cholesterol Myths” — A Book Review

My Chorale PicFrom my Health Light Newsletter — Rethinking Healthcare in the New Paradigm — of December, 2006. Enjoy!

A BOOK REVIEW

The Cholesterol Myths — Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease

by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD

Without question, the author did his homework  before writing this layman-friendly book. The bottom line: all the testing and studies done on cholesterol and heart health are flawed by bad science, bias and manipulation. Cholesterol has absolutely nothing to do with coronary heart disease (CHD). It seems it is a mere “innocent bystander” and that the real cause of cardiovascular disease is battered and worn out arteries the repair of which the body uses fat to patch up breaches in their walls, to reinforce them by making them thicker. What causes the arteries to wear out? Toxins and other free-radicals circulating through them, the primary offenders being insulin from high carbohydrate consumption and food allergies.

Homocystine and C-Reactive Protein are the more accurate markers for CHD. Their presence in the blood stream indicates inflammation caused by free-radical assault to the inner lining of the blood arteries and consequent impairment of blood supply to the heart, as well as other vital organs.

Myths Dr. Ravnskov proved to be false:

Myth I: High-fat foods cause heart disease.

Myth 2: High cholesterol causes heart disease.

Myth 3: High-fat foods raise cholesterol.

Myth 4: Cholesterol blocks arteries.

Myth 5. Animal studies prove the diet-heart idea [that heart disease is related to diet].

Myth 6: Lowering your cholesterol will lengthen your life.

Myth 7: Polyunsaturated oils are good for you.

Myth 8: The cholesterol campaign is based on good science.

Myth 9: All scientists support the diet-heart idea.

I would encourage anyone reading this who is on Statin drugs, or even considering taking them, to READ THIS BOOK! There are doctors who will not see you if you think for yourself and refuse to take their medicine. If you can’t educate your doctor, then you may need to find one who is more open.

Here are some facts substantiated in this book that may guide you in making important choices in the care of your cardiovascular system.

  1. Cholesterol is a substance vital to the cells of your body. Your Iiver produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat. The production increases when you eat on Iy small amounts of cholesterol and decreases when you eat large amounts.
  2. The “prudent” diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, cannot lower your cholesterol more than a small percentage.
  3. The only effective way to lower cholesterol is with drugs. Many of the cholesterol-lowering drugs are dangerous to your health and may shorten your life.
  4. The new cholesterol-lowering drugs, called Statins, do lower heart disease mortality, but this is because of effects other than cholesterol-lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer, at least in rodents.
  5. You may become aggressive or suicidal if you lower your cholesterol too much.
  6. Polyunsaturated fatty acids [such as margarine and hydrogenated oils], those which are claimed to prevent heart attacks, stimulate infections and cancer in rats. If you eat too much polyunsaturated oil you will age faster than normal. You will see this on the outside as wrinkled skin. You can’t see the effects of premature aging on the inside of your body, but you will certainly feel them. Too much polyunsaturated oil may provoke atherosclerosis.
  7. People whose blood cholesterol is low develop just as many plaques in their blood vessels as people whose cholesterol is high.
  8. More than thirty studies of more then 150,000 individuals have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven’t eaten more saturated fat or less polyunsaturated oil than other people.
  9. Older women with high cholesterol live longer than those with low cholesterol.
  10. Many of these facts have been presented in scientific journals and books for decades but proponents of the diet-heart hypothesis never tell them to the public.
  11. The diet-heart idea and the cholesterol campaign create immense prosperity for researchers, doctors, drug producers and the food industry.
  12. The Chance of not dying from a heart attack over four to six years for a patient with CHD and high cholesterol is about 92 percent without treatment, and increases slightly to 95 percent with Statin treatment.

I like this conclusion by the author:

“In conclusion, the new guidelines may possibly prevent cardiovascular death in a small minority of patients with cardiovascular disease. But at the same time they may increase mortality from other diseases, transform healthy individuals into unhappy hypochondriacs obsessed with the chemical composition of their food and their blood, reduce the income of ranchers and dairy farmers, undermine the art of cuisine, destroy the joy of eating, and divert health care money from the sick and the poor to the rich and the healthy. The only winners are the drug companies and imitation food industry, and the researchers that they support.”

Most people I have talked with are intimidated into drug therapy by their physician. Here’s what Dr. Pinckney, former co-editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, had to say about that:

“Your fear of dying … may well have made you a victim of the cholesterol controversy. For, if you have come to believe that you can ward off death from heart disease by altering the amount of cholesterol in your blood, whether by diet or by drugs, you are following a regime that still has no basis in fact. Rather, you as a consumer have been taken in by certain commercial interests and health groups who are more interested in your money than in your life .”

American experimental psychologist Dr. Russell Smith studied the diet-cholesterol-heart issue with extreme thoroughness and concluded:

“The current campaign to convince every American to change his or her diet and, in many cases, to initiate drug ‘therapy’ for life is based on fabrications, erroneous interpretations and/or gross exaggerations of findings and, very importantly, the ignoring of massive amounts of unsupportive data . . . it does not seem possible that objective scientists without vested interests could ever interpret the literature as supportive ….”

Dr. Stehbens of the Department of Pathology at Wellington School of Medicine, and director of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington, New Zealand, after doing his own extensive research and review of the literature, says:

“The perpetuation of the cholesterol myth and the alleged preventive measures are doing the dairy and meat industries of this and other countries much harm quite apart from their potential to endanger optimum nutrition levels and t he health of the populace at large . . . .  It is essential to adhere to hard scientific facts and logic. Scientific evidence for the role of dietary fat and hypercholesterolemia in the causation of atherosclerosis is seriously lacking. . . .  The lipid hypothesis has enjoyed undeserved longevity and respectability. Readers should be aware of the unscientific nature of claims used to support it and see it as little more than a pernicious bum steer.”

The author continues:

“Dr. Russell Smith criticizes a large number of leading scientists from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association, which he calls the ‘alliance.’ He considers their work “incompetent and sloppy …. The fraud is so blatant and so pervasive that it was considered necessary to take some liberties with the usual staid rhetoric of a scientific review and inject stronger language to emphasize the problem.'”

Noted Professor George Mann, now retired from teaching medicine and biochemistry at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, presented his arguments against the diet-heart idea as far back as 1977 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Ravnskov writes:

“Eight years later, when the cholesterol education campaign was getting into gear, Professor Mann summarized his criticism of the diet-heart idea in Nutrition Today. The diet-heart idea is the greatest scientific deception of our times, he said. Mann is especially critical of the cholesterol-lowering trials. Never in the history of science have so many costly experiments failed so consistently, he declared . . . .  People who are faced with the many distorted facts about diet, cholesterol and heart disease often ask me why almost all scientists unquestioningly accept the diet-heart idea. And you may have asked the same question after reading this book. Here is Professor Mann’s comment: “to loose their soft money funding, the academicians who should speak up and stop this wasteful anti-science are strangely quiet. Their silence has delayed a solution for coronary heart disease by a generation’. Professor Mann offers a little glimpse of hope at the end of his article in Nutrition Today:

‘Those who manipulate data do not appreciate that understanding the nature of things cannot be permanently distorted-the true explanation cannot be permanently ignored. Inexorably, truth is revealed and deception is exposed…. In due time truth will come out. This is the relieving grace in this sorry sequence ….'”

I have done my part to apprise my readers of this deception and to reveal the truth as I have discerned it in order to provide information that may help my readers in making intelligent and informed choices in their healthcare. [Portions of this report
were italicized by the author for emphasis.]

Reference: Dr. Ravnskov’s book was published in Sweden in 1991 and in Finland a year later. To order his book ask for ISBN 0-9670897-0-0.

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for inspiring articles. The Current theme is “Human Relations — Man-Woman Equality”

MD Admits to “Great Cholesterol Lie”

This is what I and other alternative healthcare doctors have been saying for years!  My own cardiologist couldn’t afford to change his approach . . . and here’s why!

 (This is long, but read it if you want to fully understand coronary heart disease.)

 Seven years ago I had by-pass surgery due to clogged coronary arteries.  My cardiologist and surgeon said the culprit was cholesterol and that it was hereditary.  The real culprit turned out to be chronic inflammation due to several factors, primary of which was an allergy to high fructose corn syrup and corn products in general – all of which I found out visiting a colleague in Houston, Texas, Dr. Stuart White.  The hereditary factor is only 5%.  My dad died of coronary heart disease at age 61. I was 62 when I had my bypass.

Against my cardiologist’s strong recommendations, I opted not to take the Statin and other drugs and instead addressed my condition naturally with dietary and lifestyle changes, which included therapeutic dosages of critical nutritional supplements.   I am, non-the-less, eternally grateful to my cardiologist and heart surgeon for my second lease on life – which, ironically, allowed me to pursue my search for the real cause of coronary heart disease and to be alive today to tell my story and report on my findings.

When I showed my cardiologist the evidence against cholesterol as a marker for coronary heart disease, his reply was that all the medical literature pointed in the direction of statin drugs to reduce the production of cholesterol by the liver.  Now I know that he couldn’t, and probably still cannot, go against the literature without risking a malpractice suit.  He has to follow the protocol dictated by the AMA and the pharmaceutical industry.  Here’s an MD who fessed up to the big mistake medicine has made and is still making.  Thank you Dr. Dwight Lundell!

“Without inflammation, cholesterol won’t accumulate in blood vessel walls and cause heart diseaseHeart Surgeon Admits Huge Mistake! 

 
By Dwight Lundell, MD
We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is.  I freely admit to being wrong..  As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries,today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.
I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.
The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake.  The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease.  Deviations from these
recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice
It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.
The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

 

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

  Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes.  Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended.  It is inflammation
that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defense to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus.

The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders.  However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body?

Well,smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels.

This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease,
stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that. The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years.. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury.

This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall.

Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

 When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.
 
What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.
While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.
 
Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential –they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell —they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s. If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.
 
Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal
and healthy.
To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes
and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.
 
 There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.
There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that isreturning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.
One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butterfrom grass-fed beef.
 
 Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.
 
The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
 
What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.
 
[Ed.. Note: Dr. Dwight Lundell is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, Mesa, AZ. His private practice, Cardiac
Care Center was in Mesa, AZ.

Recently Dr. Lundell left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the founder of Healthy Humans Foundation that promotes human health with a focus on helping large corporations promote wellness.

He is the author of The Cure for Heart
Disease and The Great Cholesterol Lie .

For a nutritional protocol to support your cardiovascular integrity, write to me at: tpal70@gmail.com  To your health,

Dr. Tony Palombo, DC, ACN (Applied Clinical Nutrition)

 

Eat the Whole Egg

The yoke is where the nutrition is.

Here’s to the faithful breakfast egg!  I found a great article on the nutritional qualities of the egg on Facebook and thought I would share it with my blog readers. 

You’ll find it at this link: http://www.truthaboutabs.com/whole-eggs-or-egg-whites.html

Here’s an excerpt:  “This is a perfect example of how confused most people are about nutrition. In a world full of misinformation about nutrition, somehow most people now mistakenly think that the egg yolk is the worst part of the egg, when in fact, the YOLK IS THE HEALTHIEST PART OF THE EGG!

“By throwing out the yolk and only eating egg whites, you’re essentially throwing out the most nutrient dense, antioxidant-rich, vitamin and mineral loaded portion of the egg. The yolks contain so many B-vitamins, trace minerals, vitamin A, folate, choline, lutein, and other powerful nutrients… it’s not even worth trying to list them all.

“In fact, the egg whites are almost devoid of nutrition compared to the yolks.

“Even the protein in egg whites isn’t as powerful without the yolks to balance out the amino acid profile and make the protein more bio-available. Not to even mention that the egg yolks from free range chickens are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

“Yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids (EFAs).”

My tip: The harder the egg white, the more work it takes in the stomach to break it down.  The amino acids bond more tightly together with heat, as is the case with all cooked proteins.  Better to eat the egg white raw in a health drink.  The next best way to eat it is poached, soft-boiled, or soft-scrambled in a little olive oil and butter.  Yummy!  Add some chives or green onions, and a clove or two of garlic, and you have a tasty and healthy brunch.  And don’t forget the salsa!  Ummmm good!

“And now the common objection I get all the time when I say that the yolks are the most nutritious part of the egg…

“But I heard that whole eggs will skyrocket my cholesterol through the roof”

Click on the link and find out the truth about the egg and cholesterol.

To your health,