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High cholesterol

  • November 25, 2015, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.116244 Am J Clin Nutr ajcn116244

    Dietary nitrate improves vascular function in patients with hypercholesterolemia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

  • For over 40 years the conventional medical establishment has been telling us that high cholesterol levels are the main cause of heart disease. However, many scientific studies have shown that this is not the case.

    • A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study examined the scientific literature on cholesterol and could not find one study with a clear cause and effect relationship between cholesterol and heart disease. Many similar studies have now confirmed this fact.
    • Dr. Stephen Sinatra published a book entitled The Cholesterol Myth in which he recounts the original research on cholesterol over 50 years ago when 45 out of 50 studies could not find a clear connection between cholesterol as the cause of heart disease.
    • Dr. Mark Hyman reviewed the literature on the effectiveness of statin drugs, the number one cholesterol medication, and determined that 150 people would need to take the drug before one person would live longer than they would have without taking the drug.

    Yes, statin drugs do lower cholesterol, but it is very clear that they do not save many lives. And, this would seem to answer the question in the title of this article, that people still experience heart attacks even if they have perfect cholesterol. In fact, 50 percent of people who experience a heart attack have perfect cholesterol levels. So, if cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, what is? There are several factors, but probably the main one is the presence of inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be caused by many factors including the following:

    • Nutrition- eating eggs, dairy, animal protein, sugar, processed foods and non-organic foods.
    • Toxins- chemicals in the air, water and food that we consume.
    • Genetics- some people make fewer enzymes than needed, make too much cholesterol in their livers or have weaknesses in their arteries.
    • Exercise- many people do not get enough exercise, which is needed to help arteries expand and contract.
    • Stress- many people are overstressed, which causes the body to make cortisol, a hormone that can damage our arteries.
    • Poor diet- beyond the bad foods mentioned above, many people simply do not eat enough nutritious food and are deficient in vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, Omega 3 fats, magnesium and many other nutrients that are important for the heart and cardiovascular system.

    Many of these causes contribute to the development of inflammation in the body due to the oxidative process. When we consume or are exposed to unhealthy foods, toxins, stress or acidic foods, free radicals are created. These molecules have a missing electron, which steals an electron from one of our healthy cells. This creates a pothole in our arteries that must be repaired as soon as possible. The patching material is made in the liver and it is called, you guessed it, cholesterol. So, cholesterol is at the scene of the so-called crime, performing a very important function. Cholesterol also helps to make vitamin D3 and many other biochemicals. Lowering cholesterol too much can actually cause serious health issues in many parts of the body. This patching process could be completely avoided if people consumed enough antioxidants that can give back the missing electron that is often needed. And, where are these antioxidants found? They are in the more nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds with high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and astaxanthin.

    Based on this initial assessment on the cause of heart disease here are some beginning strategies.

    • Eat a diet, such as the Mediterranean Diet, with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
    • Exercise at least 45 minutes every day with aerobic, strength and flexing included.
    • Manage stress with avoidance, meditation, yoga, music, deep breathing, etc.
    • Do not drink tap water due to the presence of fluoride and chlorine.
    • Take nutritional supplements to optimize key nutrient levels such as vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin B, and Co-Enzyme Q10. These, and other, heart-friendly nutrients are deficient in the diets of a majority of people in the United States.
    • And, if you want to take control of your personal health, and reduce the risk of ever having a heart attack, make sure you get the right tests to determine if you are beginning to move in that direction.

    Most people get their blood tested as part of the health insurance program provided by their employer.

    Others, who are not employed must arrange for tests on their own through Medicare or via personal health insurance plans. In any case, these tests are not usually adequate because of cost restrictions, or doctors who are not aware of the best blood tests to utilize. Here is an explanation of these blood test alternatives.

    Tests usually provided in common situations:

    • Cholesterol- usually total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol
    • Glucose- either total glucose or A1C glucose (fasting level)
    • Insulin- total insulin (fasting level) • Triglycerides- total triglycerides

    Tests often added by personal request from the patient, or a progressive doctor:

    • Hormones- either the male or the female panel
    • C-reactive protein- measures the level of inflammation in the body
    • Homocysteine- measures the level of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate (methylators)
    • Cortisol- measures the level of stress in the body
    • RBC magnesium- this test is superior than current magnesium tests
    • Glucose tolerance- this test can identify cellular sugar challenges five to seven years earlier

    Tests rarely provided due to high cost and lack of awareness of their importance:

    • INR- measures the thickness of the blood and thus the likelihood of clots forming
    • Omega 3- measures the level of this healthy fat in the body
    • CoQ10- measures this enzyme important for energy production and providing the DNA in our cells
    • Heavy metals- measures the level of these dangerous toxins in the body
    • Apolipoprotein B- measures the level of this early warning protein before LDL increases
    • Galectin 3- measures Galectin levels which is an early warning marker for heart disease and cancer
    • TMAO- trimethylamine N-oxide is a bacteria produced compound that measures the amount of choline in the body, which is known to contribute to the production of blood clots and plaque.

    Many people might look at these tests and say why should I pay hundreds of dollars to get all of these tests? The answer could be that you probably only need to have these tests done every three to five years, depending on your age and health status. The more important reason would be that these tests could provide an early warning system, five to ten years earlier, for the future development of heart disease. By getting these tests every three to five years, and following the lifestyle guidelines previously mentioned, there is a high probability that you will never experience a heart attack or a stroke in your long and healthy lifetime.

    When people read an article like this many will ask questions such as, “don’t I get all of the nutrients I need from the food I eat” or “can I take one pill to get all of the nutrients that are not in my food?” The answer to both questions is NO! It is virtually impossible to get all of the nutrients we need from food alone. In a study by the National Cancer Institute of over 16,000 people aged 2 to 80, the researchers could not find one person with a truly healthy diet. In fact, vast majorities were deficient in 11 out of 14 nutritional categories. They were not eating enough vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, nuts, and seeds. This is due to declining nutrients in the soil, over processing of foods, poor selection by shoppers, overcooking, poor chewing and compromised digestive systems. People are simply not getting the nutrients they need to sustain the healthy functioning of their cells. That is one of the main reasons why the number of adults with a chronic illness has increased from 10 percent over 60 years ago to nearly 70 percent today. When cells do not get the nutrients they need they go through a gradual deterioration process in five stages, as shown on the following page.

    The 5 Stages of Cellular Deterioration

    The recommended blood tests can identify changes in the body’s chemistry at the stressed and weakened stages of cellular deterioration, five to ten years before more serious problems develop.

    A strategy to prevent and even reverse heart disease
    Some people are very interested in avoiding heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular illnesses. They eat what they think is a healthy diet; they exercise as much as they feel is necessary; they avoid stress; they take nutritional supplements, and they get their blood tested every year. These are all good lifestyle decisions, as far as they go. However, as we have seen in this article these steps may not be sufficient to prevent heart disease or some other chronic illness. The blood tests that have been recommended can help to provide an early warning mechanism for anyone, which can then be augmented with nonbiochemical tests such as thermography, MRI for the carotid artery evaluation, and even a CT scan if it is deemed necessary. (Excess radiation exposure should be factored in.)

    Nutritional superstars for the heart and cardiovascular system.
    Conventional medicine will tell you that there is no science to support the use of nutritional supplements to improve your heart and circulation system. They even have a web site that repeats these erroneous messages on a regular basis. However, this is absolutely not true and there are thousands of clinical studies to prove that nutritional supplements help to prevent chronic illness and often reverse it. Some good sources for these studies are Life Extension Magazine, GreenMedInfo, Metagenics, and books entitled “The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” and “The Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” There are over 40,000 scientific studies that prove nutritional supplements work very well, but the pharmaceutical industry does not want you to know that. Here are the top ten nutrients you should look into to protect your body from heart disease.

    1. Co-enzyme Q10- protects our cellular nucleus and improves energy production in mitochondria.
    2. Magnesium- is the transport agent for all glucose and insulin into the cell, to make energy.
    3. Vitamin C- is the key antioxidant for reducing free radicals that cause damage to our arteries.
    4. Vitamin D- regulates calcium levels, which impacts how nerves carry messages to the heart.
    5. Resveratrol- protects blood vessel walls and promotes healthy levels of LDL and HDL.
    6. Garlic- controls blood pressure, encourages blood vessels to stay open and slows plaque build-up.
    7. Pycnogenol- helps thin the blood and control levels of dangerous choline in the body.
    8. Omega 3 oils- reduces apolipoprotein B, triglycerides, and VLDL, all heart challengers.
    9. Vitamin B- niacin (B3) lowers LDL and triglycerides; increases HDL and improves circulation. Vitamin B6, B12 and folate lower homocysteine levels (inflammation).
    10. Modified citrus pectin- reduces heavy metals, lowers cholesterol, removes plaque and helps keep Galectin 3 levels in balance. Also, lowers PSA levels. Prevents cancer and kills cancer cells.

    These nutrients perform many other useful functions to help keep our bodies healthy. CoQ10 helped reverse kidney disease in one study. Magnesium helps to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes. Vitamin C treats many cancers effectively. Vitamin D3 reduces the risk of breast cancer by 77 percent and prostate cancer by 83 percent. These are truly the superstars of nutritional supplements. There are many other effective nutrients for heart health, and there is excellent science behind each and every one of them. This is merely a snapshot of what is possible in terms of improving someone’s ability to develop an evidence-based strategy for optimum heart health. Now you can complete this journey to better health by researching the recommendations presented here and working with your health care providers to find the best future strategy for you.

  • Dear Readers,

    Happy Father's Day

    Welcome to the June 2019 issue of TotalHealthOnline Magazine.

    Charles K. Bens, PhD, asks “Is Cholesterol The Cause Of Heart Disease?” Statin drugs do lower cholesterol, but it is very clear that they do not save many lives. And, this would seem to answer the question in the title of this article. The main cause is the presence of inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be caused by many factors including the following: nutrition, toxins, genetics, exercise, and stress. Read Dr. Ben’s recommendations on what you can do to protect your heart.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), presents “Organic Foods: Are They Really Better?” Bruno explains the difference between non-organic and organic food, the farming, and the food production. The conclusion reached is yes—organic foods are more expensive but when you look at the big picture—if a person can afford the prices—the organic food is healthier for you, your family and the world environment. Thank you Gene for your take on the subject.

    Smart Tips: Estrogen,” by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. If you are a follower of Dr. Gittleman you know she is a fan of flax seed. She explains the benefits to the body, how to prepare it and how to incorporate flax into your diet. Smart Fats are one of the top strategies for natural hormone therapy. You will not be disappointed with her sharing her expertise with you.

    Sherrill Sellman, ND, reports on skin care in “Yes, You Can Create Youthful Skin at Any Age.” Many skin and personal care products contain many of the 10,500 toxic chemical ingredients that have been known to cause inflammation, free radical damage and aging to the skin. Become an educated consumer and choose only the purest products. It sounds familiar to other articles in this issue. A more youthful appearance is possible for all of us. Nourishing our skin with an organic diet, adequate water intake, plenty of rejuvenating sleep, regular exercise and daily de-stressing strategies are the foundation for healthy skin.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, contributes “Crust-Less Zucchini Spinach Quiche.” In addition Gilbère offers several variations in the recipe as well as several serving suggestions. The article is followed by her new cookbook and video offer free to our readers.

    Shawn Messonnier’s, DVM, topic this month is "Parvovirus in Pets". Commonly it affects young puppies. Certain breeds such as Doberman Pinschers, Rottweiler’s, Pit Bulls, and Labrador Retrievers may be more severely infected than others.

    Thank you to our authors, readers and advertisers. You make TotalHealthOnline possible.

    Best in health,

    TWIP—The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full June 2019 issue.

    Click here to read the full June 2019 issue.

  • Moducare® is a patented blend of plant sterols and sterolins, and the only sterol/sterolin product clinically proven to be effective in immune modulation. Moducare can be considered an adjunct to help shift immune responses to a more balanced state. It enhances the activity of various immune cells and increases the killing ability of specialized cells, called Natural Killer cells, responsible for immune surveillance. Moducare also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the effects of stress on the immune system by managing the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Moducare is well-tolerated, with no known interactions with either prescribed medications or natural supplements. Plus, long-term studies have found that it has no significant negative side effects.

    Human Research Proves Plant Sterols Action
    We call sterols the forgotten nutrient because although thousands of research studies have been preformed on this nutrient, it has not been given the recognition it deserves.

    Over 4,000 published studies to date have examined phytosterols and 140 of these studies are double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials. Rheumatoid arthritis, cervical cancer, diabetes, immune function, prostate problems, HI V, herpes, hepatitis C, allergies, stress-induced immune suppression, chronic fatigue, tuberculosis, breast cancer, and high cholesterol are only some of the diseases where sterols and sterolins have been shown to be extremely effective.

    Plant sterols and sterolins are essential for modulating (balancing) the immune system, enhancing it if it is under active, and reducing it when it is over stimulated. They perform the balancing act very effectively. Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D., has shown in his research that plant sterols and sterolins are effective in enhancing an under active immune system and/or decreasing an overactive one. This happens without the side effects associated with pharmaceutical substances such as interferon, prednisone or methotrexate. Sterols and sterolins have been evaluated in a 25,000-person safety study and found to have no side effects, no drug interactions, and no toxicity. It is safe for children, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers. Only those who have had an organ transplant cannot take plant sterols because they may stimulate rejection.

    Plant sterols and sterolins also increase the number and action of natural killer cells (our cancer fighters) and increase our DHE A levels naturally. They are also able to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and the proinflammatory immune factor, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TN F-a). Interleukin-6 and (TN F-a) are increased in autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, over exercising, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. Reduction of this inflammatory agent is the key to halting symptoms and pain. This is exactly what plant sterols and sterolins do.

    Sterols—Great Stress Busters
    Chronic stress is so negative that it can promote and exacerbate most disease. Numerous studies have linked our ability to deal with stress to our susceptibility to the common cold as well as more serious diseases such as cancer. Adults who have recently lost a loved one or have been divorced or separated tend to have the highest cancer rates. Unrelieved stress gradually weakens and suppresses our immune system, causing disease. Stressful situations promote the release of cortisol, the stress hormone which in turn causes the secretion of a negative immune factor interleukin-6. Abnormal levels of IL-6 are associated with osteoporosis, autoimmune disease, asthma, inflammatory diseases including arthritis, and more. We know that phytosterols are effective in reducing IL-6, cortisol and other negative immune factors. They also improve DHEA, a hormone known to help fight the effects of stress.

    An overview follows of a few of the outstanding studies published.

    Sterols Lower Cholesterol
    The rapid cholesterol-lowering effects of phytosterols have been reported in over 400 studies. Beta-sitosterol is very similar in structure to cholesterol except that it has an extra ethyl group on the side chain. Due to this similarity, it interferes with the absorption of the cholesterol found in our foods as well as the cholesterol produced by the body. By including phytosterol-rich foods or supplements containing sterols, we can normalize cholesterol much faster than with the common cholesterol-lowering drugs.

    Sterols Halt Hepatitis C
    Hepatitis C is now occurring in epidemic proportions. Over four million North Americans are infected with hepatitis C. Liver specialists are overwhelmed as they struggle to deal with the increase in the incidence of this disease. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in North America. Physicians using sterols and sterolins to treat hepatitis C have already shown that with 90 days of the sterols and sterolins treatment liver enzymes and viral load normalize.

    Sterols, Heart Disease and DHEA
    A team of Canadian researchers discovered that an error in the regulation of certain immune cells that fight bacterial infections may be implicated in heart attacks and strokes. In a study published in the International Journal of Immunopharmacology, plant sterols and sterolins are shown to improve the ability of the immune system to fight bacterial infections. Sterols and sterolins, not antibiotics, may be the way to treat bacterial-induced heart disease.

    Prostate Problems Eliminated
    Urologists in Germany have been using plant sterols and sterolins for over two decades for the treatment of enlarged prostate. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 200 patients with an average age of 65 and with BPH, subjects were given sterols and sterolins for six months. The treatment group showed a rapid reduction of the symptoms mentioned above and an increase in peak urinary flow and a decrease in inflammation. When does a health food product become mainstream? Do 4,000 medical studies constitute good scientific evidence of a nutrient’s effectiveness? We believe plant sterols and sterolins will change the way we treat disease in the future. Instead of treating symptoms, we will get directly to the source of the symptoms and repair the cause of the disease.

  • We are all afraid of losing our mind, and our memory. It's scary to forget what you were just saying or where you put your glasses. No one is clear about what causes memory loss or neurodegenerative brain disorders, but we know fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E support brain health.

    Vitamin E is superman for your brain. There's a lot of confusion about E. Do you see "dl- alpha tocopherol" on the label? You probably do, that is what 99 percent of E supplements contain. All synthetic forms of vitamin E are labeled with a dl- prefix. I wouldn't put this in my body if you paid me. Natural E has the d- prefix and is recognized by your cells.

    There is another part of the vitamin E molecule called "tocotrienols." It is like Kryptonite to Superman because of the strong antioxidant activity. Tocotrienols are 50 to 70 times more potent than tocopherols and penetrates deeper into fatty tissues like your brain, and liver. Tocotrienols are found in mostly in palm oil and rice bran oil with trace amounts in wheat, rye, barley, and oats (however, all those grains contain gluten which may harm the brain over time). What do you think the likelihood is that you're getting this amazing antioxidant in therapeutic amounts? Zero.

    To get enough, you'd have to slurp a cup of palm oil per day, two cups of rice bran oil per day or almost 3 and a half pounds of wheat germ per day! No, don't do it! Vitamin E supplements are stronger. High-quality versions contain all the components of vitamin E including 4 tocotrienols and 4 tocopherols. Those both have four subdivisions, alpha, beta, delta, and gamma. So natural vitamin E contains 8 different parts (4 tocotrienols and 4 tocopherols). Gamma tocotrienol is the prizewinner of the bunch!

    Natural vitamin E can help with cholesterol, clotting problems, certain cancers like breast and prostate cancer, and brain health. Tocotrienols in particular protect against destructive free radicals linked to chronic disease and inflammation. The bad boys are ROS, NF-kappa B, COX, and LOX, they have to be stopped. Medically, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. Medications such as Namenda, Aricept, Exelon and others lessen symptoms. They do nothing to quell these bad boys!

    A recent study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease on tocotrienols should have made headline news. Why it didn't is beyond me! Researchers know that poor mitochondrial function contributes to Alzheimer's disease. Mitochondria are the energy generators in you cells. When they malfunction, you feel fatigued, short of breath and may develop neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease. Researchers found more beta amyloid plaques with poor mitochondrial function, and the study participants developed early stages of Alzheimer's. The cells had poor function, low energy levels, and the cells weren't breathing right. Not good!

    They treated the dysfunctional cells for 24 hours with rice bran oil that contained tocotrienols (as well as some tocopherols). Not surprisingly, this treatment reduced dangerous plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. Ask your practitioner about supplementing with vitamin E, since rice bran oil may not be enough.