Cholesterol. The truth.
Cholesterol is one of the most maligned substances in history (with the possible exception of plutonium :0)
What is abundantly clear, though, to those who are willing to look with anything more than a fleeting glance at official statistics is that cholesterol is not the "axis of evil" it has been made out to be my the medical, and more importantly, the hydrogenated oil establishment.
Cholesterol is a naturally-occurring fat which is fundamentally required for good health. It is the precursor to both the male hormone testosterone and the female hormone oestrogen, which cannot be made without it. In addition, it performs other vital functions in the body, but more of that later.
Contrary to popular belief, in most people, the levels of cholesterol found in the blood have little or nothing to do with fats consumed in the diet. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver in the amounts required by the body to perform its various functions. It therefore follows that either reducing the amount of fat in the diet or taking pills to reduce cholesterol is absolutely pointless.
The main reason cited for the desirability of reducing blood cholesterol is the massive increase in ischemic heart disease (IHD) seen during the 20th century. IHD, the main consequence of which is angina and myocardial infarction (MI) was virtually unknown at the beginning of the 1900s. In fact, one well-known Doctor who practised for many years from the mid-1920's is quoted as saying that he didn't see a single case of MI for the first 7 years of his practice.
Subsequent examination of those who died of MI showed that their arteries had been "clogged up" with fatty deposits that were high in cholesterol. The connection between cholesterol and IHD was made and that was that. Ever since, Doctors have been trying to invent ways to reduce blood cholesterol levels, but have not stopped to consider why they were elevated in the first place! If they had, they might have been surprised. In order to explain, we need to examine the physiology of blood vessels, particularly arteries.
Construction of arteries
Arteries are the large, elastic blood vessels which carry blood away from the heart, both to the lungs (deoxygenated blood) and to the rest of the body (oxygenated blood). They are composed of three layers, whose names are not relevant to this discussion, but which, in varying degree are made up of various structural components, the most important of which is collagen - a soft, pliable, elastic substance, which allows the artery to stretch and contract under the control of muscle systems.
Like all other cells in the body, the artery cells are constantly under attack from free radicals and other cell-damaging forces and are in a continual state or replacement and repair. As a consequence, they need a constant supply of new collagen to replace the damaged cells, so as not to "spring a leak". Collagen is, itself, constructed of a number of components, not least Vitamin C.
When there is insufficient Vitamin C in the body, new collagen cannot be formed to repair the damaged artery cells. this causes a problem for the body, which does not plan for future problems, but is only interested is surviving the "here and now". It therefore has to find something else to repair the damage and uses what could be referred to as the body's "band-aid", namely cholesterol. Molecules of cholesterol actually bind to the damaged sites, preventing blood loss and its disastrous consequences.
ischemic Heart Disease
As time goes on, this process repeats itself (in the absence of Vitamin C) and gradually the arteries become clogged, restricting the blood flow until something blocks the remaining space , causing ischemia (lack of blood flow) and infarction (cell-death due to oxygen "starvation").
Hence cholesterol is a sign of a problem, not the cause of the problem - and the problem is vitamin C, or, more specifically, lack of it! this led the only man who has ever won two Nobel prizes, scientist Dr Linus Pauling to suggest that heart disease was in fact chronic scurvy and could be treated with vitamin C. Pauling was ridiculed by the medical establishment, which clung to it's shoddy science and did nothing to test his hypothesis. Incidentally, the symptoms of acute scurvy (that is a total lack of vitamin C) are.....leaky blood vessels, leading to massive hemorrhage!
Others were not so ignorant.
Treatment of IHD
Pauling and his colleague, Dr Matthias Rath, spent many years examining this situation. They found that the problem of IHD was one that was specific to a very small group of mammals, man included, and the one thing that these animals had in common, which differed from ALL other animals was that they could not make their own vitamin C. EVERY single other animal in the whole planet makes its own vitamin C in the liver. Man and the other few animals which suffer from IHD do not!
The result is known as chelation therapy - the only known method of reversing IHD, and one that is almost totally ignored by modern medicine in favour of drugs which do nothing but control the symptoms of the problem.
Others have suggested that, if the problem is a chronic lack of vitamin C, perhaps ischemic heart disease can be prevented by increasing vitamin C consumption. The only practical method of doing this is by supplementation, and adherents take anything from 3g (3,000mg) to 12g (12,000mg) of Vitamin C per day - hundreds of times the "recommended daily allowance" used by most Governments of 90mg/day..
The answer of the medical establishment was somewhat different. they decided the best thing to be would be to invent cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood. According to the physiology above, this will have disastrous effects, as the body will not be able to perform its normal healing processes. Scientific studies are now showing that cholesterol-lowering drugs have serious long-term effects which bear out this hypothesis.
What should you do if you have "high-cholesterol"
The decision is yours.
Ask your Doctor about chelation therapy or "Pauling therapy". Bear in mind that during his 7 years training, it is likely your physician has had no more than 1 or maybe 2 HOURS of training on nutrition is it any wonder w are so reliant on pharmaceuticals?
For a medical view on the dangers of cholesterol-lowering drugs, visit Dr Mercola's website.
If you plan to increase your vitamin C intake, inform your Doctor and make sure you read the section on Vitamins to ensure you know which minerals and trace elements are necessary to absorb vitamin C.
Back from cholesterol to fats
Conquering weight loss using natural methods
Conquering heart disease using natural methods
Essential fatty acids
Otherwise known as "brain food", these fats can't be made in the body and must be in the diet. Unfortunately, in many cases they are almost totally missing, leading to numerous health (and psychiatric / social) problems.
Saturated animal fat
Red meat, dairy products, lard dripping and suet - a recipe for disease or the means to prevent it?
All oils are not created equal. Find out why some vegetable oils are better than others.
Hydrogenated oils (unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fats)
Margarine, shortening and other "low-cholesterol" fats. Find out why these have caused more damage to health than any other type of oils or fats.
Other Nutrient groups:
Essential fatty acids