What Causes Heart Disease (Research Says It Isn't Cholesterol)
(I get a daily newsletter from Sherry Brescia. I'm sure she's not perfect but I have not found her to be wrong yet. This one is SO good I am posting it here in its entirety.)
Let’s go back in time for a moment, back to the 16th century.
Up until that time, people believed that the Earth was flat...and if you ventured out too far, you’d fall off into the abyss. That includes many of the great thinkers and philosophers of that time. They too assumed it was flat, since they couldn’t conceive of it being any other shape.
Then guys like Copernicus and Plato came along and suggested it might be round...and people thought they were nuts.
Never! How could you even THINK such a crazy thing? Everyone knows the Earth is flat.
But eventually the real truth started to unfold. The evidence became undeniable. The great mathematician Pythagoras even came along and proved it mathematically.
And then the explorer Ferdinand Magellan sealed the deal by sailing around the world without falling off the edge.
Another myth debunked
Not since the assertion that the Earth was flat has there been such a closed-minded, widespread and misguided issue as the current popular understanding of cholesterol and heart disease.
Currently, the impressions most people have are:
1) Elevated cholesterol is always harmful
2) Cholesterol causes heart disease
3) Statins have saved many lives
Well, my friend, the Earth is about to become round again because NONE of those statements is true.
Here’s what I mean -- let’s take a look at the...
5 Major myths and facts about cholesterol & heart disease
Myth #1: Cholesterol is a harmful, artery-clogging substance
Fact: Cholesterol is a health-enhancing substance that your body NEEDS. Here are some of cholesterol’s most vital functions:
1- Cholesterol is actually a powerful antioxidant that protects you against free radical damage and cancer.
2- Cholesterol is Nature’s healing ointment that’s used to repair wounds, including tears and irritation in your arteries.
3- Many hormones are made from cholesterol, including those that regulate mineral metabolism and blood sugar (and thus protect you against osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes, among other things), the stress hormones and all of the sex hormones.
4- Your brain and nervous system MUST have cholesterol to function properly.
5- Cholesterol plays a role in your body’s utilization of serotonin, thereby protecting you against depression.
6- Cholesterol is needed by your liver to manufacture bile salts, which help digest fats.
7- Your body uses cholesterol to manufacture Vitamin D in your skin when you’re out in the sun.
8- It makes your cells waterproof so they can function properly and maintain the delicate chemistry inside and outside of the cell membrane.
9- Cholesterol helps your body fight infections.
Myth #2: Cholesterol clogs arteries
Fact: Chronic inflammation in the arteries causes a repetitive “signal” for cholesterol to come on the scene and do its repair work. However, it’s not a cholesterol buildup that will clog an artery.
On the contrary, when your body goes into overdrive trying to heal an inflamed area, not only is cholesterol present, but that area also becomes a “magnet” for fibrous proteins called fibrinogens, calcium deposits, and wastes and toxins in your blood.
All of these substances can keep building up and building up until eventually you have the blob called “plaque.”
Plus when your arteries are inflamed, that interrupts your body’s cholesterol drop off/pick up cycle.
You see, when your body is working the way it should, low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) carry cholesterol through your bloodstream and drop it off to your cells where it’s needed.
Then high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) come through, “mop up“ excess cholesterol and bring it to your liver to be recycled.
But when this perfect cycle is messed up, that’s when you can get into inflammation trouble and become an attractive home for a clog.
So in a nutshell, it’s INFLAMMATION that’s the true culprit behind clogged arteries--not cholesterol.
Myth #3: Eating foods rich in cholesterol and saturated fat will cause cholesterol levels to rise and make you a greater heart disease risk
Fact: Numerous studies show NO relationship between diet and cholesterol levels.
Consider this--natives of France who enjoy a very rich traditional diet of meats, butter and cream-laden sauces also have very LOW rates of heart disease.
At the same time, as we Americans have continued to cut back on cholesterol-rich foods, our heart disease rates have continued to SOAR.
Myth #4: People with high cholesterol are more prone to heart attacks
Fact: Young and middle-aged men with cholesterol levels over 300 are SLIGHTLY more at risk for heart attacks.
Those who have cholesterol levels just below 300 are at no greater risk than those whole cholesterol levels are very low.
And for elderly men and for women of ALL ages, high cholesterol is associated with a LONGER--not shorter--lifespan.
Myth #5: Cholesterol lowering drugs have saved lives
Fact: Numerous studies, including two recent ones involving over 10,000 participants, have shown that cholesterol-lowering drugs did NOT result in any improvements in outcome (i.e. they did not lead to fewer heart attacks, etc.).
What DOES cause heart disease
Now that I’ve hopefully opened your eyes to the truth about cholesterol and heart disease, here’s a look at the factors that many scientists believe ARE behind our heart disease epidemic:
1) Deficiencies of Vitamins A and D
In the 1930’s Dr. Weston Price observed that rates of heart attack rose during periods of the year when levels of these fat-soluble vitamins in local butter went down.
And in our current time of sun-shunning due to skin cancer fears (which by the way is largely due to you being TOXIC on the inside and not because of the sun), our body’s natural Vitamin D production has decreased...while our heart disease rates have increased.
2) Deficiencies of Vitamins B6 and folic acid
Kilmer McCully, MD, PhD demonstrated that these deficiencies lead to elevated levels of homocysteine, which IS a marker for heart disease.
Countless studies have linked heart disease to the replacement of Nature’s saturated fats with trans-fats (like I mentioned in yesterday’s email).
4) Mineral deficiencies
Deficiencies in magnesium, copper and vanadium have all been linked to heart disease.
Heart attacks often occur after a period of extreme or chronic stress, which depletes your body of many nutrients.
6) Chronic inflammation
Like I explained above, it’s inflammation that is the main factor behind atherosclerosis (as well joint pain, etc.).
How to REALLY help prevent heart disease
If you really want to help prevent heart disease (and keep dangerous statins far away from your reality), here are 4 tried and true ways you can help enhance the health of your ticker and its vessels for years to come:
1- Eat real (not processed) foods & encourage good digestion
Having a diet of real (not processed) foods is the single biggest bang for your buck when it comes to heart health.
First of all, when your diet is comprised mainly of real foods, the trans-fats found in processed foods become a non-issue for you.
Secondly, you’ll be getting good sources of crucial antioxidants to help fight any existing artery-destroying free radicals you may have cruising around.
You’ll also get natural sources of crucial nutrients which can help prevent heart disease from the nutrient deficiencies I mentioned above.
And when you have a healthy diet and good digestion, this helps minimize waste accumulation in your blood, which cuts off a major source of inflammation and clogging!
The Great Taste No Pain manuals will show you exactly what to do, step by simple step.
The GTNP manuals will teach you the simple principles of smart food pairing which will help improve your digestion and reduce accumulation of acid wastes.
Plus, they’ll tell you exactly which foods are inherently acid-waste creators and which are alkaline so there’s no guesswork.
And you’ll get loads of delicious suggestions for enjoying real foods which will soon become your family’s favorites.
2- Quit smoking
Smoking robs your body and blood of needed oxygen, it causes free radicals to multiply like rabbits and leads to serious inflammation in your cells. So if you don’t want to become a heart disease statistic, it’s time to quit.
I know, it’s not easy.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to go cold turkey. There are many smoking cessation aids, groups and programs out there. Do some homework and pick the one that’s right for you.
And if you don’t succeed the first time, don’t despair! Most ex-smokers report having tried several times before they finally kicked the habit for good.
Stop the excuses and just do it already. Your body will say thank you in ways that you can’t even imagine.
3- You got to move it, move it
Yup--I’m talking about the dreaded “E” word.
When it comes to exercise, it’s hard to argue with its impressive resume of ways it helps your ticker.
Exercise can help:
- Lower your resting heart rate
- Strengthen your heart function
- Lower your blood pressure
- Improve oxygen delivery through your body
- Increase blood supply to your muscles (including your most important muscle--your heart!)
- Enlarge the arteries to the heart to help keep them wide open and clear
- Lower stress (which is another factor behind heart disease)
Pick an activity you like or at least will tolerate and do it 3-4 times a week.
4- Get enough of Nature’s anti-inflammatory--Omega-3 EFAs
Omega-3 essential fatty acids have shown to be an important tool to help fight heart disease in these 3 ways:
1. They’ve been medically PROVEN to help lower blood pressure. Studies show that daily fish oil supplementation alone can lower your systolic (the top number) pressure by five points or more and your diastolic (the bottom number) pressure by three points or more!
2. Omega-3 EFAs have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help counteract any inflammation you might have building up in your arteries.
3. They also help keep clots from forming by reducing the stickiness in your platelets and curbing the production of the fibrinogens which are part of clogged arteries.
Problem is, our food supply doesn’t contain a fraction of the Omega-3 EFAs that it used to (thanks to our heavy reliance on processed foods, vegetable oils and grain-fed animals).
So one of the best ways to help prevent heart problems is to take a very pure, high EPA/DHA fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.
The suggested 2-capsule daily serving packs a heart-loving 1,200 mg. of EPA, DHA and other Omega-3 fatty acids, which more than satisfies the levels recommended by many experts for heart health.
Today is a great day for you, my friend, because now you know TWO very important truths.
The Earth is indeed round and now you know the truth about cholesterol and heart disease, as well as some VERY effective ways to preserve the health of your ticker.
May you be blessed with great health and vibrant energy well into your golden years as a result.
To your health,
© 2013 Holistic Blends