Posts Tagged as: cholesterol

Is Cholesterol Really Bad For You?

There is very little evidence that high cholesterol causes heart disease.  There is also little evidence that cholesterol lowering drugs, known as statins, decrease the absolute risk of heart disease.  However, the pharmaceutical industry has colored its studies to show the opposite.  In fact,  statin drugs are neurotoxic (brain and nerve damaging), myotoxic (muscle damaging),  and hepatotoxic (liver damaging).  The heart is mostly muscle and depends on a nerve network to function properly. So statin drugs are toxic to both the heart muscle and the nerves that regulate it.  

Statin drugs do lower cholesterol,  but cholesterol is not harmful, so why do we need to lower it? Statin drugs are harmful to the heart, so why are these drugs being prescribed?  It doesn’t make any sense.

The pharmaceutical companies want you to believe that high cholesterol causes atherosclerosis.  When an atherosclerotic artery is dissected, examiners find that the plaques contain cholesterol,  good fats (omega 3s), and bad fats (saturated)  So why is it recommended to avoid cholesterol,  but not good fats.  The truth is neither one causes atherosclerosis. What happens is that inflammation and free radicals damage artery walls forming small tears. Cholesterol fats are allowed to get into the wall to form a plaque, which “plugs” the leak..  The plaque is like a scar,  which reduces elasticity,  which decreases the ability of the artery to accommodate blood pressure,  which stresses the heart.  

The best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is to to avoid fried foods and substances that inflame the blood vessels.  A better marker for cardiovascular risk is homocysteine. Homocysteine is a protein produced by the liver.  It inflames and damages blood vessels.  It is easy to reduce homocysteine in the blood. . Simply eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables,  which are high in folic acid,  which neutralizes homocysteine.  Avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial sweeteners, as these can increase homocysteine levels.

If you are not convinced and are still concerned about your cholesterol levels and want to keep them low just to be safe there are natural alternatives to lower your levels.  You can eat 3/4 cup (dry measure) oats 5 days a week.  You can take 15 grams of fiber from psyllium husk or flax seed per day. . You can take red yeast rice.  These are great ways to reduce cholesterol,  with additional health benefits,  such as lowering colon cancer risk, modulating blood sugar levels, and relieving constipation.  I prefer these natural alternatives to the drugs that damage the liver,  nervous system and heart.


Oranges: The Joint, Eye, Cardiovascular, & Immune Food

One of the most well-known fruits in the world, oranges were first recorded in China around 500 BC. From there they were imported to the Roman empire, exported to Northern Africa, introduced in Spain by the invading Moors, and traveled to America with Christopher Columbus. Now consumed virtually all over the world, oranges come in two varieties, sweet and bitter. Sweet oranges include jaffa, navel, valencia and the hybrid blood oranges, while bitter oranges are used in jams and marmalades and liquors such as Cointreau and Grand Mariner.

Oranges are very good sources of many B Vitamins, including B1, B2, B6, Folic Acid and Panthothenic acid, as well as carotenes, pectin and potassium. More commonly, oranges are known for their high flavonoid and Vitamin C content. This combination of Vitamin C and flavonoids are key nutrients for the immune system, lens of the eye, and connective tissues including joints and gums. The most prevalent flavonoid is hesperidin, found in the inner peel and inner white pulp. Hesperidin has been shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as possess strong anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant power of oranges and orange juice has been shown to protect against viral infections and cancer. One orange is not only a good source of fiber, but is also nearly 100% of the daily Vitamin C recommendation.

When shopping for oranges, pay more attention to the weight of the orange than the color. Non-organic oranges that are uniformly colored are typically injected with artificial dyes. Look for oranges that are not severely bruised, moldy, puffy or soft. A sweet, clean scent and a "heavier than it looks" feel are indicators of healthy, juicy oranges.

Image:  topfer/