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Is High Cholesterol a Hoax?

Friday, February 12th, 2010
“We have one and a half million heart attacks in the U.S.each year. About 50 percent have normal cholesterol. Clearly, current guidelines are not adequate to identify all those individuals who are at increased risk,”
Nader Rifai, MD(2004)

Statistically speaking, cholesterol levels have zero relevance in determining heart attack risk. A 50-50 chance, after all, means a coin flips worth of certainty.  But that’s not all: people with the highest cholesterol may also live the longest…

Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 that elderly with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did the elderly with high cholesterol. His research also showed that people with higher cholesterol lived longer than those with lower cholesterol.

Cholesterol has long been blamed for the epidemic of heart disease in this country, despite hundreds of peer reviewed studies indicating that – to the contrary – low cholesterol levels may increase the risk of dying from infection, stroke, cancer, and yes, even heart attack itself. Consider the fact that there are scientific organizations composed of concerned scientists and physicians whose sole purpose is to point out inaccuracies of the cholesterol theory of heart disease. For more elaborate information please visit

The Term “Bad Cholesterol” is a Myth

Let’s begin by acknowledging that cholesterol is an essential substance produced by nearly every cell of our body, and the building block for the cell wall, bile salts, vitamin D, steroid hormones, the myelin sheath of the nerves, and 30% of our brain tissue.  LDL or so-called “bad cholesterol,” transports antioxidants throughout the body and helps fight bacterial infection.  How can something that has so many important functions be so bad for you?

High Cholesterol is not a Disease

It is unscientific to call high cholesterol a disease.  Elevations in cholesterol are often times normal reactions to events in the environment.  Cholesterol production is extremely variable and depends on many factors.  Take into consideration the following: When we have allergy flare ups during the Spring or Fall, our cholesterol can increase to help support immune function.  Catching cold or the flu can cause temporary elevations in cholesterol.  Contrary to popular belief, diets high in processed grains can cause elevations in cholesterol.  And to top it off, medications prescribed for the following conditions elevate cholesterol: high blood pressure, hormone contraceptives, asthma, chronic pain, and acne.

So, why have we been fixated on cholesterol as the enemy for all these years?

The answer to that question has to do with the sad fact that the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines were written under tremendous bias.  Of the nine members who wrote the guidelines, 8 had direct financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies that profit from the sale of cholesterol lowering medications.  Additionally, the research used to base the NCEP guidelines was paid for by the pharmaceutical industry.

Treating Symptoms Doesn’t Work

Despite medical intervention, there are more than 80 million cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the U.S.  Cholesterol lowering medications cost U.S. taxpayers more than 10 billion annually.  If treating cholesterol with medicine was the answer, why do so many still suffer from CVD? Why does it still kill a million people every year?

What about the side effects of cholesterol lowering medications?  Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, muscle pain and weakness, fatigue, and nerve damage are some of the possibilities.  What happened to the Hippocratic Oath – “First, do no harm”?

Heart disease is not caused by a lack of medication.  Research and common sense continue to show that the best treatment lies with prevention.  Cultures that do not consume processed refined foods have extremely low to no incidence of CVD.  Diet and lifestyle play a much greater role than do genetics as we did not inherit heart disease from our ancestors.  It is foolish to diminish the role that they play in health and wellness.

The bottom line – people are becoming more and more skeptical about the massive use of pharmaceuticals to treat disease.  They are looking to find the contributing factors and causes of their ailments, not to treat the symptoms.

“The Doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

Related Articles:

Cholesterol Myth

Gluten Sensitivity – Who should be tested?

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Gluten freeTheir is a great degree of confusion as regarding individuals who should be screened for gluten sensitivity/intolerance?

Because research has shown that as many as 40% of all Americans may be gluten sensitive, and that 1 in 100 have a severe form of this sensitivity causing the the autoimmune intestinal disease, celiac sprue, a case can be made that everyone in America should be screened for gluten sensitivity.

However, there are people with various risk factors or diseases that are at greater risk of having gluten sensitivity who should undoubtedly be tested.

These conditions include:

• Microscopic colitis (inflammation of the colon)
• Relatives of those with celiac disease or gluten-sensitive individuals including
• Chronic diarrhea of unknown origin
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
• Hepatitis C
• Liver disease of unknown origin
• Dermatitis herpetiformis
• Diabetes mellitus
• Degenerative disc disease
• Colon Cancer
Thyroid disease
• Psoriasis
• Any autoimmune diseases (common ones include):

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Scleroderma
  • Dermatomyositis

• Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
• PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
• Asthma
Migraine Headaches
• Osteoporosis
• Iron deficiency
• Failure to thrive (FTT) or short stature in children
• Down’s syndrome
• Mothers of kids with neural tube defects
Female infertility (includes those with multiple miscarriages)
• Peripheral neuropathy
• Cerebellar ataxia (unexplained dizziness)
• Seizure disorders
• Psychiatric disorders (Schizophrenia and bipolar)
• Depression
• Alcoholism
• Autism

DNA - Science

Genetic Testing for gluten intolerance is available here.

Learn more about gluten intolerance/sensitivity here.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Friday, October 23rd, 2009
NOTE:  The following condensed illustrates various far-reaching, comprehensive research studies pertaining to the top 10 antioxidant and nutrient rich foods that help reduce sciatica and back pain.
Research indicates that diet and nutrition are fundamental to our existence and the quality of that existence. Diet has a cumulative effect on our bodies—to fuel it or harm it. Bad nutrition leads to conditions such as obesity, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica and additional chronic pain. Empowering yourself with the facts and utilizing a proper nutritional balance will help to strengthen muscles and tissues awhile shedding unnecessary weight that contributes to a large majority of sciatica and back pain.
Eating the right food is key to maintaining optimum health. Over 9000 scientific studies have been conducted to document the effects of different types of food on our health and the conclusion that food is actually our best medicine! According to Jean Carper, a best selling author and contributing editor to USA Weekend health section, science has proven that the top ten foods make you healthier and help you live longer. Natural substances may also fight nerve damage.
A Johns Hopkins animal study suggests that a protective natural substance reduces pinched nerve damage and speeds recovery of the injured nerves. The finding may help to develop a treatment for sciatica and other common nerve injuries in people. The sciatic nerve, the body’s largest nerve, was compressed in a large group of rats to stop most of the blood flow through the nerve. The study’s results showed the nerve suffered less damage and recovered faster in those animals given an antioxidant called deferoxamine. Antioxidants protect the body against oxygen containing molecules called free-radicals, which damage tissues. Stopping blood flow to tissues causes’ damage, but restoring blood flow unleashes a flood of oxygen that can cause further damage. The results are published in the April 5 issue of Annals of Plastic Surgery.
These findings suggest that this antioxidant protects the nerve from injury when blood circulation stops and restarts and yields a quick recovery from peripheral nerve compression injury,” says Kyle D. Bickel, a study co-author and an assistant professor of plastic surgery and orthopedic surgery. The Hopkins team tested the nerve tissue, in part, for malondialdehyde, a potentially damaging oxygen molecule that the scientists recently found to be a reliable indicator of tissue damage and recovery. Deferoxamine has been shown to reduce damage from blood flow stopping and restarting in other organs, including the heart, skeletal muscle and spinal cord.
This study is believed to be the first time that deferoxamine has been shown to protect a peripheral nerve or a nerve that connects the brain or spinal cord to distant parts of the body. Sudden or long-term compression of peripheral nerves in humans often is caused by slipped discs, fractures, dislocations, tumors and clots and other problems.
Consuming nutrient rich antioxidant foods help strengthen and heal sciatica and back pain associated with muscles, nerves and weight.
Antioxidants help prevent sciatica and back pain associated with muscle and nerves and weight, heart disease and cancer, reduce blood pressure and slow the effects of aging. These naturally occurring compounds protect the body from harmful, excess free radicals, sweeping them up before they can cause damage. And the best way to lay an antioxidant-rich foundation that’s inhospitable to toxins and free radicals is through a combination of whole foods rich in antioxidants: Berries, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Red Grapes, Garlic, Spinach, Tea-Green or Black, Carrots, Soy and Whole Grains.
Choose several daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Calcium and magnesium rich foods help to build strong spinal columns. Avoid Saturated and Trans fats found in fast, fried foods. Instead eat more omega 3 fats from flax products, walnuts and small ocean fish for healthy spinal joints. Choose high quality protein foods. Avoid refined sweets. Eating in a relaxed atmosphere enhances digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
Twenty-four hundred years ago, Hippocrates, the “father of modern medicine” said, “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.” Today, there is overwhelming scientific evidence to suggest that Hippocrates was right on the mark!

strawberriesFoods That Heal Back Pain

Common sense and scientific research indicates that diet and nutrition are fundamental to our health and vitality.  Dietary choices have both the ability to harm as well as to nourish the body.  Bad nutrition leads to conditions such as obesity, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica and as well as chronic pain syndromes.  Empowering yourself with the facts and maintaining proper nutritional balance helps to strengthen muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints while shedding unnecessary weight that contributes to a large majority of sciatica and back pain.
  1. Pineapple – Pineapple contains a host of very powerful antiinflammatory enzymes that help the body heal.  When choosing this food make sure you buy it fresh.  The natural enzymes are not present in canned pineapple.  Make sure you buy organic.  Chemical pesticides can reduce the nutrient value of the food and contribute to chronic disease.
  2. Berries – Strawberries, raspberries, blue berries, acai berries, cranberries, and blackberries contain powerful phytonutrient antioxidants that help the body control inflammation and enhance the immune systems ability to aid in healing.  Make sure you are buying organic to avoid chemical residues and pesticides.
  3. Green Tea – green tea contains several types of flavonoids and polyphenols that act as antioxidants.  Green tea helps the body to detoxify toxic compounds.  This process helps your cells protect the DNA from free radical damage.  Drink 2-3 glasses of tea daily to achieve a therapeutic effect.
  4. Beef – Yes you read that correctly!  Beef has had a bad rap because of saturated fats.  You must understand that not all beef is created equally.  Corn fed beef (which is what most people buy in the grocery store) is very high in saturated fat and toxic chemicals.  Cows on feed lots typically eat chemically laden corn.  How can you expect to get healthy when eating such an unhealthy animal.  Look for Grass Fed Beef.  When grass fed, beef is very healthy, contains very little saturated fat, and is rich in nutrients.  Grass fed beef is rich in CLA, a powerful fat that helps the body metabolize fat and lose weight.  I recommend getting grass fed beef from here.
  5. Tumeric – is a natural spice commonly used in Eastern cuisine.  It contains a very powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin.  Liberal use of this spice in cooking can be of great benefit for those with chronic pain.  The anti-inflammatory and pain reducing effects of curcumin have been well studied making this natural compound one of natures strongest aids for pain.
  6. Garlic – This powerful allium vegetable provides strong antiinflammatory compounds.  Garlic has been wildly researched to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, and improve lymphatic flow.  Using garlic liberally when cooking will provide your body with great benefit.
  7. Ginger – Ginger is a root that has traditionally been used to help relieve nausea, indigestion, and heart irregularities.  It has been well researched and is a powerful antiinflammatory food.  It works by blocking the enzyme cyclo oxygenase (COX).  This is the same mechanism of action as commonly prescribed pain medications use.
  8. Cold Water Fish – This type of fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.  New research shows that the use of EPA and DHA (natural compounds found in fish) reduces pain and inflammation more effectively than prescription NSAID pain medications.  Because of polluted waters, these fish can be high in toxic metals like mercury.  That is why I recommend Omega Heal as a dietary supplement or get your fish from here. This company tests their fish for toxins before selling them.
  9. Water – 66% of your body is composed of water.  Even low grade chronic dehydration can contribute to a sluggish metabolism and cause a number of problems.  Lack of water contributes to chronic muscle spasm, and increased blood viscosity.  Both contribute to poor healing and inflammation.  As a general rule of thumb, you should drink enough water so that you are having to urinate at least 3-4 times per day.
Twenty-four hundred years ago, Hippocrates, the “father of modern medicine” said, “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.”

Modern medicine today would have you believe that pills with foreign chemicals should be your medicine.  Don’t underestimate the power of food to help you heal.