Archive for the ‘Cholesterol’ Category

“Nuts to You”

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

A new review from Linda Loma University in California has more evidence suggesting that eating nuts may help lower cholesterol and contribute to heart health.

The research  which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine examined 25 different studies that looked at nut consumption of 583 people. It found that eating an average of 67 grams of nuts a day reduced total cholesterol by an average of 5%, LDL by 7% and improved the ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol.

Since nuts are high in calories the authors recommended only 3 ounces of nuts a day.

http://www/ May 12, 2010

Treason by the FDA?

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

FDA allows potato chips to be advertised as “heart healthy”

Frito-Lay® is a subsidiary of the Pepsi-Cola company. Frito-Lay® sells $12 billion a year of products that include:

Lays® Potato Chips, Doritos®, Tostitos®, Cheetos®, and Fritos®

You might not associate these mostly-fried snack foods as being good for you, but the FDA has no problem allowing the Frito-Lay® website to state the following:

“Frito-Lay snacks start with real farm-grown ingredients. You might be surprised at how much good stuff goes into your favorite snack. Good stuff like potatoes, which naturally contain vitamin C and essential minerals. Or corn, one of the world’s most popular grains, packed with Thiamin, vitamin B6, and Phosphorous – all necessary for healthy bones, teeth, nerves and muscles.

And it’s not just the obvious ingredients. Our all-natural sunflower, corn and soybean oils contain good polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which help lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain HDL “good” cholesterol levels, which can support a healthy heart. Even salt, when eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is essential for the body.

Wow! Based on what Frito-Lay® is allowed to state, it sounds like we should be living on these snacks. Who would want to ingest walnuts, pomegranate, or green tea (which FDA now says are illegal drugs) when these fat-calorie laden, mostly-fried carbohydrates are so widely available?

According to the Frito Lay® website, Lays® potato chips are now “heart healthy” because the level of saturated fat was reduced and replaced with sunflower oil. Scientific studies do show that when a polyunsaturated fat (like sunflower oil) is substituted for saturated fat, favorable changes in blood cholesterol occur.

Fatally omitted from the Frito-Lay® website is the fact that sunflower oil supplies lots of omega-6 fats, but no omega-3s. The American diet already contains too many omega-6 fats and woefully inadequate omega-3.

Excess omega-6 fats in the diet in the absence of adequate omega-3s produces devastating effects including the production of pro-inflammatory compounds that contribute to virtually every age-related disease including atherosclerosis.

For the FDA to allow Frito-Lay® to pretend there are heart benefits to ingesting their high-calorie snack products, while censoring the ability of walnut companies to make scientifically-substantiated claims, is tantamount of treason against the health of the American public.


Monday, October 19th, 2009

We have paid too much attention to saturated animal fat. It doesn’t cause the real damage. Artificial transfats, which are everywhere in our diets are the real culprits. If you want to cut out the fat that’s really bad for you cut out ALL partially hydrogenated oils and transfats.

Cholesterol is not technically a fat, but it’s closely related to fats. Cholesterol is a steroidal alcohol that helps provide structure to the membranes of all animal cells. We need cholesterol. In fact, 70 percent of our brain is made of fats and cholesterol. Pure cholesterol is a potent antioxidant, which protects the cell from injury by oxygen.

Cholesterol of fresh, well-preserved, and lightly cooked foods is not harmful because it’s protected from oxygen. When cholesterol reacts with oxygen during the processing of food that oxy-cholesterols form. Deep fat frying, powered eggs, and powered milk are harmful because the process puts oxygen into the cholesterol. Most food processing companies today use these methods and therefore most processed food is unhealthy. Eating whole foods like fresh fish, poultry, meats, eggs and milk is healthy.

Dr. Kilmer McCully, THE HEART REVOLUTION. P. 86

An Old Wives Tale

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

One of the old wives tales is that cholesterol is a key factor in heart disease. A lot of money has been funneled into its study and many scientists have based their careers on it. In the 1970s Dr. Kilmer McCully displaced this theory and lost his job over it. Today he is recognized for his study in homocysteine and its place in causing clogged arteries.

Part of the problem is who’s making the money. In this case it’s the pharmaceutical companies as they manufacture cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statin drugs are a 22 billion dollar a year industry. Dr. McCully’s simple method is take foods rich in vitamin B and take supplements as well. The drug companies can’t patent vitamin B so they try to discredit the scientific evidence for homocysteine being the real problem in heart disease.

In Praise of Cholesterol

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

The drug companies want you to believe that cholesterol is bad for you. September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Take the time to educate yourself to the value and benefits of cholesterol.

The following three paragraphs are a snippet of the story from the Weston A. Price Foundation. Read the press release and get the whole story.

“Cholesterol is deemed a deadly poison. Most people are afraid of eating foods containing cholesterol and of receiving a diagnosis of ‘high’ cholesterol,” says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. “Yet, having adequate cholesterol levels in the body is key to good health. The notion that cholesterol is a villain in the diet is a myth, based on flimsy evidence and opposed by many honest scientists, including prominent lipids researcher, Dr. Mary Enig. But, this theory was promoted by the food processing industry to demonize animal fats, which are competitors to vegetable oils and by the pharmaceutical industry to create a market for the sales of cholesterol-lowering drugs.”

Cholesterol is an important building block of the cell, providing structure and impermeability to the cell membrane, making it waterproof.  “Without adequate cholesterol in the cell membrane, our cells become ‘leaky’ and cannot function properly,” says Fallon. “In addition, many important substances are made out of cholesterol, including stress hormones like cortisol, sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, the bile salts for digesting fats, and vitamin D.”

Cholesterol is vital to proper neurological function, playing a key role in the formation of memory and the uptake of hormones in the brain, including serotonin, the body’s feel-good chemical. When cholesterol levels drop too low, the serotonin receptors cannot work, leading to depression and anti-social behavior. Cholesterol is a major component of the brain, much of it in the myelin sheaths that insulate nerve cells and in the synapses that transmit nerve impulses.”


Monday, September 21st, 2009

Many times spices add flavor and zest to our food yet Americans are not use to so many of these spices.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.)

Cinnamon is a great hit in the East and used as sweets in the West.

While experts don’t know if true cinnamon (Ceylon, or C. zeylanicum) is more medicinally potent that cassia, herbalists generally prefer it.

Research shows that both Ceylon and cassia cinnamon lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. One-half to 1 teaspoon per day benefits blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

From Dr. Andrew Weil’s September 2009 Newsletter

Nutritional Supplements

Monday, August 17th, 2009

It’s hard to know where to begin when speaking of nutritional supplements. In 1982, supplement sales amounted to only two billion dollars. By 1999, sales were more than $15 billion, and growing more each day.

Only a couple of decades ago, just a few vitamins and minerals were the only supplements nutritionists needed to know about. Now with all the scientific advances that we have seen and are seeing every day, we’re beginning to understand how these supplements work in the human body.

Traditionally doctors have told us we don’t need supplements. They kept saying that over the years even as they began taking supplements for themselves. The FDA and other branches of our government are slow to come into the 21st century. Because the pharmaceutical companies basically write the laws on food and drugs, and the need for health care, neutraceuticals are being outlawed in many cases. The Food Guide Pyramid is calculated to contain all the nutrients a body needs. They maintain therefore you don’t need supplements if you follow the Food Guide Pyramid. Today we know the Food Guide Pyramid is neither accurate nor complete.

Those who propose taking supplements are often negatively placed into the alternate health care position. But we know there is a profound difference between the absence of scurvy and optimum health when taking vitamin C. And unfortunately until recently the FDA has taken the stance that one size fits all.

Do we buy fire insurance because we know we’re going to have a fire? So nutritional “insurance” will help provide us with a healthy body. Also, many drugs prescribed by doctors drain away vital nutrients. For example, if you are taking Lipitor, your doctor should prescribe Coenzyme Q 10. Mine didn’t. The essential fatty acids in fish oils does a better job than Lipitor in lowering cholesterol. But following that line would make a hugh dent in the $20 billion a year in sales for Lipitor alone. Take away the 95% that is not needed and see where that leaves the pharmaceuticals.

The reason the pharmaceutical companies need to advertise so heavily in print and TV is that thinking people would stop buying all these drugs if not for the scare tactics of the pharmaceutical companies. When people stop buying all these processed foods and go back to whole food without the nutrition taken out the pharmaceutical companies would loose billions and billions of dollars each year and they want to feed the fat cats.

The Story of Statin Drugs

Monday, April 27th, 2009

For many years cholesterol was the supposed culprit for arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis, and the drug companies were looking for a way to stop high cholesterol.

Cholesterol, discovered as a major constituent of gallstones, was identified in 1775 as the first known steroid. Steroids are a member of the vast array of natural products known as terpenoids. Mankind has used these substances since antiquity as ingredients of flavors, preservatives, perfumes, medicines, narcotics, soaps and pigments. The name terpene was derived from research into the manufacture of camphor from turpentine by 1894. But the relationship of steroids to the terpennoids wasn’t discovered until the late 1950s. (1)

“The biogenesis of cholesterol starts from a simple chemical reaction: Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, photosynthetic plants combine water with carbon dioxide, the well-known gas we exhale in every breath, to form glucose, the fuel of our bodies.

“From the humble origin, the first step toward the production of cholesterol in the human body involves the process of glycolosis in which glucose is converted into the two-carbon molecule, building blocks of life known as acetyl-CoA. These simple fragments then combine to start the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. Next, three molecules of Acetyl-CoA combine stepwise to form the six-carbon hydroxymethyl glutaric acid part of the intermediate complex know as HMG-CoA, which has proven to be the Achilles heel of cholesterol biosynthesis.

“This is the weak point in the chain of events the pharmaceutical industry was looking for and the one that enabled them to develop their statin drugs, for when two molecules of HMG-CoA next combined to form the ubiquitous mevalonic acid, the enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase was required. This enzyme was quite easily inhibited and suddenly a multibillion-dollar industry was born with the development of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors known as the statin drugs. Whether Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor, Pravachol, or the ill-fated Baycol, all use the same mechanism and are merely variations of the same theme as marketed by different pharmaceutical companies to obtain market share.

“One can imagine the chagrin of the pharmaceutical industry to discover in a simple yeast from the Orient that Mother Nature already had provided her very own “completely natural” HMG-CoA inhibitor, red yeast rice. For thousands of years this yeast, known as Monascus purpureus, has been used to ferment rice into wine and as both a spice and preservative. Needless to say, any possible interference of this oriental fermentation product with our emerging statin drug industry was obviated by Merck’s patent—the first ever filed on a naturally occurring substance. Mother Nature’s cholestin would never compete with Merck’s identical product, lovastatin, which has the trade name of Mevacor.

“Research biochemists soon identified the HMG-CoA reductase step as a natural control point for cholesterol synthesis since the reaction was not reversible and it was the slowest step of the entire cholesterol pathway. It seemed a natural point for the cholesterol control—the pharmaceutical companies now had their ‘corral.’ One can almost feel the pulse of the industry leaders quicken in anticipation of the potential market size.”  (2)

Next blog will tell of the Achilles heel of the statin drugs.

1.      Graveline, Duane, M.D., LIPITOR, THIEF OF MEMORY, Published by Duane Graveline MD. 2006, p. 55

2.      Ibid. pp.53-54

A False Hope? Learn the Facts

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I found this article quite interesting. You can read the whole article at:
New York Times, February 17, 2009
Vitamin Pills: A False Hope? By TARA PARKER-POPE

“Ever since the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Linus Pauling first promoted “megadoses” of essential nutrients 40 years ago, Americans have been devoted to their vitamins. Today about half of all adults use some form of dietary supplement, at a cost of $23 billion a year.

But are vitamins worth it? In the past few years, several high-quality studies have failed to show that extra vitamins, at least in pill form, help prevent chronic disease or prolong life.”

They did a number of studies of over 200,000 men and women. In the article it said that a well-balanced diet “typically provides an adequate level of these nutrients, and today many popular foods are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals.” What they didn’t tell you was that farm raised salmon typically doesn’t have much omega-3 because they are fed corn and soy. Wild salmon eat smaller fish which have fed on algae and are rich in omega-3.

Another question is: How many men and women in these studies are following the popular low fat-high carb food regimen that has been popular the last 50 years?

How many are on statin drugs which not only lowers cholesterol but also weakens muscles, including the heart? Statin drugs also lowers CoQ10 which ever cell in the body needs because CoQ10 supplies the energy to the body.

How many people are taking omega-3 which does a better job than statin drugs in lowering cholesterol? That $23 billion mentioned above on vitamins is less than the pharmaceutical companies are making on the statin drugs. And the vitamins are not doing the harm that statin drugs do.

How many people are loading up with foods saturated with hydrogenated oils? It’s hard for me to find any processed food that isn’t loaded with hydrogenated oils. And I’m looking. How many people just pull some food off the shelf and don’t look at the label?

How many people are using butter and lard instead of Crisco (a hydrogenated oil)?
When you’re taking poison into your system by way of hydrogenated oils vitamin pills are at a loss for doing their job.

How many people are using pure coconut oil that is not contaminated? Much of the coconut oil we find has been dried in the sun and then chemically processed to take out the impurities. Pure coconut oil doesn’t need this contamination process.

In these studies of over 200,000 men and women how many were eating healthy? Other studies tell us that most people do not eat healthy, they fill up on hydrogenated oils in their food, like margarine, vegetable oils processed by hydrogenation, and French fries (loaded with 40% hydrogenated oil – the high heat also contaminates food)?

My take on this: If you want a true test of vitamins, ignore what the government says about the daily recommended amount of vitamins. This was basically set in World War II to keep young soldiers alive. Go back to butter, lard, and eat plenty of green vegetables. Most of what the average American eats lead to obesity, type-2 diabetes, inflammation of the arteries, and poor health. Just look around you.

For more on this just peruse my blog on eating.

To Your Health and Wellness.

A Sad Tale

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Here is another story as old as history. It’s like the story of Galileo going against the grain. Galileo was threatened with excommunication, which in his day was the equivalent to death. Kilmer McCully, MD challenged the assumption that cholesterol was the culprit for heart disease. He lost his career and income.
High levels of blood cholesterol were presumed to be the result of high intake of meats and fats. By the 1970s a lot of money was pumped into lowering of cholesterol with drugs. Dr. McCully discovered that it was homocysteine and not cholesterol that was the source of the trouble. Cholesterol could be lowered by high priced drugs. Homocysteine could be controlled economically with eating foods rich in B vitamins.
Dr. McCully published his studies on homocysteine in the 1970s—research that told of a new pathway for the genesis of heart disease. And this new way took the wind out of the sails for the sale of cholesterol lowering drugs. Several government agencies were gearing up for a major public-health directive about cholesterol. They wanted to make cholesterol a household word. Even today look at the ads that say “No cholesterol” making people think that it must be healthy.
McCully’s unwelcome ideas cost him his job. First he lost his grant support and with it his appointments at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital. Jobless he couldn’t even get an interview for a new job in his field. Then McCully heard of “poison” phone calls from Harvard. When he hired a lawyer he was finally hired at the V.A. Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.
This raises another question. When anyone questions Big Pharma, or big government and shows a better and less expensive way they are beaten down.
By the 1990s, other researchers in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Ireland, out of the reach of American science, supported the original work of Dr. McCully.
Because eating foods rich in B vitamins cannot be patented there is no rich pool of money for research. And Big Pharma wants to keep raking in the billions of dollars.
I personally have experienced this resistance to health and have been advised to stay on my meds (which I quit last August).
Much of this information was taken from the Forward of the book THE HEART REVOLUTION: THE EXTRAORDINARY DISCOVERY THAT FINALLY LAID THE CHOLESTEROL MYTH TO REST, Kilmer S. McCully, M.D. and Martha McCully; Perennial, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers