Tag Archives: Cholesterol

Antioxidants help arteries stay healthy in people at risk for heart disease

Lisa Says:  This is convincing clinical research showing the health benefits of antioxidants related to heart disease, and even diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, and high blood pressure.  The study used supplements which can also easily be found in fresh foods. The conclusion from the research posted by the National Institute of Health said, “Antioxidant supplementation significantly [...]

Lisa Says:  This is convincing clinical research showing the health benefits of antioxidants related to heart disease, and even diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, and high blood pressure.  The study used supplements which can also easily be found in fresh foods. The conclusion from the research posted by the National Institute of Health said, “Antioxidant supplementation significantly increased large and small artery elasticity in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. This beneficial vascular effect was associated with an improvement in glucose and lipid metabolism as well as decrease in blood pressure.”   I’m attaching the summary from Natural News (easier to understand!) and the link to the research is included. So get going on you’re fresh fruits, veges and such !  (HINT: the less cooked the better and best in ‘raw’ form).

 Antioxidants help arteries stay healthy in people at risk for heart diseaseThursday, July 22, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer,  NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews) Antioxidants are substances that protect cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to environmental toxins and radiation. Free radicals are believed to play a role in heart disease, cancer and other disorders. So it makes sense that antioxidants could help protect or even treat many health problems. Continue reading »

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Niacin is still the best natural way to lower LDL and raise HDL cholesterol, new studies report

Lisa Says: I came across this interesting study published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the use of Niacin (vitamin B3) vs. Zetia in addressing cholesterol imbalance. If I had this issue, it would be great information to discuss with my health care provider to make a more informed decision.
November 16, [...]

Lisa Says: I came across this interesting study published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the use of Niacin (vitamin B3) vs. Zetia in addressing cholesterol imbalance. If I had this issue, it would be great information to discuss with my health care provider to make a more informed decision.

November 16, 2009 12:37 PM Sacramento Nutrition Examiner Anne Hart

Latest studies have reviewed the data and the effects, and found that the simplest solution, natural niacin is still the best way to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol that signifies calcification, and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol that removes the (bad) cholesterol before it calcifies your arteries and organs.

One example would be Niacin-Time, among other brands of niacin, with cholesterol lowering abilities. You can buy niacin over the counter in either the non-flush form or the regular. But some doctors warn their patients not to take the time-release form of niacin, as past studies showed it might damage the liver or cause fatalities. How do consumers make informed decisions about what to do when the LDL cholesterol is judged too high by healthcare professionals and the HDL cholesterol is too low?

The newest study was intended to examine the potential benefits of adding a second drug — either Zetia or niacin — to the treatment regime of people already taking a statin. See the Nov. 16, 2009 article, “New Study Compares the Effectiveness of Cholesterol Controlling Drugs.”

That small study published in The New England Journal of Medicine compared the effectiveness of two drugs used in combination with a statin (Simvastatin or Atorvastatin) to control cholesterol levels. Also see the NY Times article, Nov. 16, 2009, “Study Raises Question About Cholesterol Drug’s Benefit.” The results of the study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, were presented Sunday night, November 15, 2009 at an annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

In the latest study, participants were randomly assigned into two groups, one group took Abbott Laboratories extended-release niacin, the other was given Merck and Schering-Plough’s ezetimibe (Zetia). Niacin can increase HDL cholesterol, known as good cholesterol because it is believed to scavenge bad cholesterol and remove it from the body. Researchers measured the differences in changes to arterial wall thickness in the two groups.

Would you rather take an over-the-counter vitamin (niacin–vitamin B3) or a prescription drug? If you still want a prescription, should you ask your doctor to prescribe Niaspan because then your doctor would be managing and testing how the Niaspan is working, how it’s treating your liver, for example? Niaspan, the prescription form of Niacin is listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference book of drugs.

Numerous studies compared Niaspan to a brand of lovastatin with extended release niacin. Also studies compared the special matrix of Niacin Time. For example a study showed Niacin-Time got into the bloodstream in a more convenient way.

On the other hand, you’ll hear niacin has been linked to abnormal liver enzymes such as elevated alkaline phosphatase. That’s why you’ll want your doctor to check your levels of liver enzymes. Here’s a question for your doctor: Did the possible liver abnormality that caused the high cholesterol in the first place also cause the liver enzyme elevations? Or was it the niacin? People on placebos also may have elevated liver enzymes. So that’s a problem your doctor will have to figure out through testing.

In the meantime, vitamin B3 (niacin) works well along with most of the other nutrients you need. You can’t use one vitamin as a drug alone by itself. It works when combined with the complex of all the other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you take in daily.

Ask your doctor this second question: When taking the prescription form of niacin called Niaspan, is there a raised chance or isn’t there a raised chance of liver toxicity because the dosage is so high? On the other hand, if you ask your doctor if your body is healthy enough to take over-the-counter niacin such as Niacin-Time, what is the best way to combine Niacin Time with other nutrients and/or supplements or foods that make it possible to get good cholesterol results from a lower dose of niacin?

Also ask your health care professional whether niacin is better because studies have confirmed its superior ability to get into the bloodstream better, to be better absorbed? That way a lower dose works just as well. And ask your doctor does that mean that a lower dose of niacin is a safer dose? For example, does a lower dose mean less chance of liver trouble caused by too high a dose or too fast a dose of niacin?

So the main question you want to ask your health care professional is what’s the benefits of Niacin-time compared to niacin over the counter, compared to Niaspan? You want to weigh benefits against risks and find out what your liver enzymes are doing with a simple blood test.

Other tests you’ll want to have done is to find out whether you have high fibrinogen. That protein shows you have an inflammation that might cause blood clots. And you want to find out whether you have a low HDL. You want to raise your HDL if it’s too low. A low HDL is worse than a high LDL as long as your HDL is high. For the HDL, the higher the better, regardless of how high your LDL is.

You also want to find out whether you have elevated lipoprotein A, called Lp(a). So get tested. It’s a simple blood test to find out all these answers. How niacin comes into this picture is that niacin decreases “cholesterol synthesis” in a safer way than most prescription drugs. You see, niacin, according to studies, works better than the statins in lowering fibrinogen, raising HDL, and lowering Lp(a).

Simply put, niacin is safer, but get tests anyone. You never know when you’re the one who can or can’t take niacin. If you look at niacin, it’s Vitamin B3. Take a look at the studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association from recent studies as well as past studies. The research in one study showed that niacin raised the good cholesterol (HDL) 29 percent, and lowered trigylcerides 28 percent.

In that same study, the statin drug tested then, did not do the same job. In another study, niacin reversed cholesterol transport. In another study, niacin reversed artery disease. Some doctors talk about Niacin-Time benefits. Other doctors warn you to test your liver enzymes so you won’t have a fatality from too quick and too high a dose of niacin. That’s why it’s important to talk to several health care professionals and get a liver enzyme test to find out how your liver responds to changes.

If you turn to red yeast rice, it’s a form of a statin, but some brands might contain citrinin, a mold toxin that might damage your kidneys. That’s why you want a product without citrinin. One safe brand is Wakunaga’s Kyolic Formula 107 Red Yeast Rice. It doesn’t have citrinin, according to the book The Cholesterol Hoax, page 49, in the section, “Not All Red Yeast Preparations are Safe or Even Effective,” by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D.

Vitamin C also is good for cholesterol when you lool up studies dating back to the 1950s. Some studies in the past have noted that a vitamin C deficiency causes high cholesterol, according to the book, The Cholesterol Hoax, by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., page 55.

If you’re deficient in vitamin C, naturally your bile acids are going to be reduced because vitamin C is required to change cholesterol into bile. You need bile because it helps you absorb fat-soluble acids, vitamins, and other nutrients from food. All these nutrients are supposed to balance your cholesterol. What consumers need to know, as they talk to health care professionals, is to compare studies of the past with the present.

A generation ago researchers tested vitamins. Currently scientists compare prescription drugs. It’s news when vitamins are actually compared to drugs and perform better at lowering LDL and raising HDL cholesterol, which is what the goal is for health. Here is a resource list below of articles on the latest studies comparing niacin, that is vitamin B3 against prescription drugs. It’s news when vitamins perform better at lowering the bad and raising the good cholesterol.

What’s the verdict on niacin going to be? On one hand the latest study was small, but on the other side, most consumers would rather use vitamins and nutrients as long as what is used is safer, works well, and does a better job of normalizing cholesterol.

The idea of using a vitamin you can buy over the counter at a health food store or supermarket sounds great in the face of rapidly rising drug prices. In the past year, the big pharmaceutical industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by around 9 percent, according to industry analysts.

Health food stores selling vitamins look at the more than $300 billion nation’s drug bill. By raising the wholesale prices of prescription drugs by 9 percent, another $10 billion is addded to the nation’s drug bill.

Niacin, a vitamin, if it continues to prove that it works well to lower the “bad” cholesterol and raise the “good” cholesterol over the long run, might look good to consumers considering the effects of the highest annual rate of inflation for prescription drubs since 1992. For further information on rising drug prices, see the New York Times article published in the Sacramento Bee on November 16, 2009, “Drug prices rise at rapid pace: industry has vowed to make cuts in future,” by Duff Wilson, New York Times. Also see, “Prescription Drugs: High Costs, Tough Choices.”

What The Latest Studies Report on Niacin Compared to Prescription Statins and other Drugs

Niacin shrinks artery plaque; Merck’s Zetia does not and may carry risks, new study finds

Niaspan has been gaining but lags far behind the prescription statins — 5.8 million prescriptions in 2008, up 11 percent from 2007.

Niacin beats Zetia in the ARBITER 6-HALTS trial
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, boosting HDL cholesterol with extended-release niacin (Niaspan) is a more effective way of slowing atherosclerosis in high-risk patients on long-term statin therapy than seeking additional LDL cholesterol reductions by adding ezetimibe.

In patients with elevated cholesterol levels, statin therapy reduces the incidence of cardiovascular events by 25 to 45%. Despite the administration of a statin, many patients require additional lipid-lowering therapy because their target lipid-level goals are not reached or they have a cardiovascular event. Treatment can be intensified through further reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or attempts to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.

New Study Raises New Questions About Cholesterol Drug Zetia.

This new study reported November 15, 2009 raised more questions about ezetimibe (Zetia), a drug used by millions of Americans in tandem with statins to lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol.

According to the article, ARBITER-6 HALTS clinical trial had been stopped early in June after it was discovered that LDL-cholesterol-lowering Zetia was less effective than extended-release niacin (Niaspan), which raises HDL, or “good,” cholesterol levels, in reducing plaque build-up in the arteries.

Why are clinical trials terminated early? The answer is safety issues rather than a finding of success, which could be temporary or permanent. But the niacin combination also reduced the number of heart attacks and deaths. For more information on this study and to read the entire article on the ARBITER-6 HALTS clinical trial that was stopped early in June, check out the drugs.com website for the latest medical news.

A New Cholesterol Study Puts Focus on Merck Drugs New York Times – Nov 12, 2009. According to this New York Times article, niacin can increase HDL cholesterol, known as good cholesterol because it is believed to scavenge bad cholesterol and remove it from the body.

New Study Compares Effectiveness of Cholesterol Controlling Drugs

Study Raises Question About Cholesterol Drug’s Benefit

Drug Side Effects

http://www.examiner.com/x-7160-Sacramento-Nutrition-Examiner~y2009m11d16-Niacin-is-still-the-oldest-natural-way-to-lower-LDL-and-raise-HDL-cholesterol-new-studies-report

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Cholesterol, Statins (and Diabetes)

Lisa Says: at the risk of beating the proverbial dead horse, here is another post on the vital role cholesterol has in our health, concerning clinical data on status use, and in the case, recommendations on use with diabetes. Dr. Mercola gives a good overview with a link to 900 studies showing statin drugs to [...]

Lisa Says: at the risk of beating the proverbial dead horse, here is another post on the vital role cholesterol has in our health, concerning clinical data on status use, and in the case, recommendations on use with diabetes. Dr. Mercola gives a good overview with a link to 900 studies showing statin drugs to be dangerous. You can also review the clinical data at Dr. Graveline’s website can review Dr. Graveline’s research at http://www.spacedoc.net/ as well as http://www.thincs.org/.

Here is the article:
Mayo Clinic DEAD Wrong on Diabetic Recommendations

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Mayo Clinic have developed a computer model that is intended to determine the best time to begin using statin therapy in diabetes patients to help prevent heart disease and stroke.

According to the lead author, “The research is significant because patients with diabetes are at high risk for cardiovascular disease and statins are the single most commonly used treatment for patients at risk of heart disease and/or stroke.”

The new model incorporates patient-specific data. An established risk model calculates each patient’s probability of heart attack and stroke based on risk factors, such as their cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. This overall risk “score” is used to weigh the medical advantages of beginning statin therapy against the financial cost of the statins.

Sources:

Science Daily July 26, 2009

Medical Decision Making May 2009; 29 (3): 351-367

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Statins, which are a class of drugs used to lower your cholesterol, are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the world, and I believe, one of the most unnecessary drugs there are.

This is one class of drugs that I am dedicated to sound the alarm about. We are actually in the process of seeking to replicate a campaign similar to what was done to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking, to inform the public about the dangers and combat the media fraud, deception and manipulation that causes people to believe otherwise.

They could have saved loads of time and money here by reading this website, because the answer to the question, “When should you begin taking a statin?” is “never.” No computer models required.

Why?

Because it’s safe to say that a drug intended to prevent heart disease which actually causes heart failure is not the right treatment for most people. Statin drugs offer a “cure” that is far worse than the disease.

Why It’s Highly Unlikely You’ll Ever Need a Statin Drug

At least 12 million Americans are already taking statins, and based on new expert recommendations another 23 million “should” be taking them.

Now, there are a small group of people with genetic enzyme defects that have cholesterols levels above 325-350 who seem to benefit from statins. However, in my clinical experience over more than two decades and tens of thousands of patients, there have been a grand total of three patients that required statins to control this relatively uncommon genetic problem.

What This Computer Model Will NOT Tell You

It’s the emergence of these kinds of dangerous diagnostic strategies that make it so important to remain educated on this issue and not simply go along with what the media and professionals claim.. Especially since statin drugs are linked to many, many dangerous side effects. And I can guarantee you this computer model will not evaluate your risk of being harmed by the drug, even though there are over 900 studies showing statin drugs to be dangerous.

For example, Bayer’s statin, Baycol, was pulled from the market in 2001 after 31 people died from rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle tissue breaks down resulting in kidney failure.

Other serious and potentially life threatening side effects include, but are not limited to:

Polyneuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, which is characterized by weakness, tingling and pain in the hands and feet, as well as difficulty walking

Heart failure

An increase in cancer risk

Immune system suppression

Potential increase in liver enzymes, so patients must be monitored for normal liver function

Another example is Zetia, a cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to about 1 million people each week. It was not only found to have no medical benefits, but the trial also discovered that arterial plaque growth increased, growing nearly twice as fast in patients taking Vytorin, a drug that combines Zetia with Zocor (another statin drug).

Despite these disturbing facts, Zetia and Vytorin account for about 20 percent of the cholesterol drugs on the U.S. market.

What You Need to Know About Cholesterol in Order to Understand the Dangers of Statins

Statin drugs work by preventing the formation of cholesterol, and reduce LDL cholesterol, which is considered the “bad” cholesterol.

There is no argument that these drugs do work very well at lowering your cholesterol levels. However, was has not been proven is that they significantly lower your risk of dying from heart disease. In no way, shape or form, do they treat the cause of your problem. They are nothing more than a toxic band-aid.

So just what makes statins so dangerous, and why are they not the answer for managing your cholesterol levels?

First you need to understand the biological workings of cholesterol.

In fact, there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. Both HDL and LDL cholesterol perform vital functions in your body, which is why it’s actually dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are actually proteins that transport the cholesterol to and from your tissues.

Cholesterol in turn is a precursor to steroid hormones. For example, you can’t make testosterone or estrogen, cortisol, DHEA or pregnenolone, or a multitude of other steroid hormones that are necessary for health, without cholesterol.

Even more importantly, your cells cannot regenerate their membranes without it. The reason you have LDL to begin with is to transport the cholesterol to the tissues in order to make new cells and repair damaged ones.

However, there are different sizes of LDL particles and it’s the LDL particle size that is relevant, and statins do not modulate the size of the particles. Unfortunately, most people don’t know about that part, and very rarely, if ever, get tested for particle size.

The particles are sticky, so very small LDL’s can easily get stuck in different areas, and the build-up eventually causes inflammation and damage.

The only way to make sure your LDL particles are large enough to not cause damage is through your diet. In fact, it’s one of the major functions of insulin.

Conveniently enough, a healthy diet is also the answer for type 2 diabetes, so by focusing on what you eat, you’re treating both your diabetes and your cholesterol levels, and reducing your associated risk of heart disease.

If you eat properly, which is really the only known good way to regulate LDL particle size, then it does the right thing; it takes the cholesterol to your tissues, the HDL takes it back to your liver, and no plaque is formed.

The second thing you need to know is that statins work by reducing the enzyme that causes your liver to make cholesterol when it is stimulated by high insulin levels.

Again, you can achieve the same, or better, result by simply reducing your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and most grains, which is also what you need to do to successfully address type 2 diabetes.

What Most Doctors Fail to Tell You When Prescribing Statins

Another important aspect that most doctors fail to tell you about is that statins are non-specific inhibitors of not just one, but a number of very important liver enzymes, one of of the most important being Coenzyme Q10.

CoQ10 is a vital enzyme that your body needs for energy and cardiovascular health.

It is widely recommended to repair heart damage, boost the function of the heart and acts as a protectant against heart attacks and valve damage. Additionally, CoQ10 has been shown to be beneficial in heart and lung cancer, as well as maintain cognitive function.

Thus, when you take statins your production of this enzyme is dramatically depleted and you do not reap the health benefits associated with it. Unfortunately, few patients are ever told about this fact and their health suffers accordingly.

How to Normalize Your Cholesterol Without Dangerous Drugs

Just about every person, other than thesmall minority with the genetic enzyme defects mentioned above, can normalize their cholesterol levels with the Total Health Program, which includes modifying your eating habits based on your body’s unique nutritional type.

If you truly want to normalize your cholesterol levels, following these simple lifestyle changes can get you there:

Normalize your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains.

Take a high-quality animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil or fish oil

Most men, and women who is in menopause, should check your iron levels as elevated levels of iron can cause major oxidative damage in the blood vessels, heart and other organs. Excess iron is also one of the major contributing factors of cancer risk

Regular exercise is another important tool that can help

Energy Psychology methods such as meridian tapping techniques can also be helpful for cholesterol. Read this press release for the possibilities.

As I stated earlier this week, one of our top priority goals is to spread the message that statin drugs are clearly not the weapon of choice for high cholesterol. I urge you to share this information as well, by forwarding this article to your friends and family.

Related Links:

The Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs (Statins), Cholesterol and Health

The Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven’t Been Told About Cholesterol-Lowering Medications

Cholesterol Drugs Actually Cause Heart Disease

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High Glycemic Foods Damage Arteries

Lisa Says: Here is a New Study of data published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “For the first time, scientists have documented how eating these foods can directly damage artery walls and cause cardiac problems,” reports NaturalNews.com in this article below. Those ’stuck’ on white bread/white sugar tend to [...]

Lisa Says: Here is a New Study of data published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “For the first time, scientists have documented how eating these foods can directly damage artery walls and cause cardiac problems,” reports NaturalNews.com in this article below. Those ’stuck’ on white bread/white sugar tend to not believe you can transition to whole grains – I certainly used to think that. But if you start gradually with “white” wheat, then ‘light wheat’, etc., it really does work. If I can convert teenage boys, ANYBODY can do it.

High Glycemic Foods Damage Arteries
by S. L. Baker, features writer

(NaturalNews) Anyone interested in healthy and nutritious foods has probably heard that whole grains are far better for you than the processed variety like white bread and sugar-laden cereals. There are several reasons for this, including the fact whole foods tend to be richer in fiber and they also have low glycemic indexes. That means they keep blood sugar and insulin levels steady without wide fluctuations. But a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concludes there’s another important reason to avoid high glycemic foods like white bread and corn flakes. For the first time, scientists have documented how eating these foods can directly damage artery walls and cause cardiac problems.

“It’s very hard to predict heart disease,” Dr. Michael Shechter of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center, said in a statement to the media. “But doctors know that high glycemic foods rapidly increase blood sugar. Those who binge on these foods have a greater chance of sudden death from heart attack. Our research connects the dots, showing the link between diet and what’s happening in real time in the arteries.”

For his study, Dr Shechter and colleagues worked with 56 healthy volunteers who were divided into four groups. One group ate cornflake cereal mixed with milk, a second consumed a pure sugar mixture, the third group ate bran flakes and the last group took water (as a placebo control). Over the course of four weeks, Dr. Shechter applied brachial reactive testing to the research subjects in each group. This test, a clinical and research technique pioneered by Dr. Shechter’s laboratory, uses a blood pressure type cuff on the arm that is able to visualize what happens inside arteries before, during and after eating various foods.

Before any of the study participants ate, the function of their arteries was essentially the same. After eating, however, all except the placebo group had reduced arterial functioning — especially the research subjects who ate cornflakes and sugar. In fact, the testing documented that during the consumption of these foods high in sugar, there was a temporary and sudden dysfunction in the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line the inside of arteries and reduce turbulence as blood flows throughout the entire circulatory system.

This is a critical finding because, when repeated over time, a sudden expansion of artery walls can cause a host of negative effects on health including damage to endothelial cells. That can reduce elasticity in arteries, resulting in heart disease or even sudden death. In fact, according to Dr. Shechter, endothelium dysfunction can be traced back to almost every disorder and disease in the body.

“We knew high glycemic foods were bad for the heart. Now we have a mechanism that shows how,” Dr. Shechter explained in the press statement. “Foods like cornflakes, white bread, French fries, and sweetened soda all put undue stress on our arteries. We’ve explained for the first time how high glycemic carbs can affect the progression of heart disease.”

Dr. Shechter agrees with natural health advocates who have long advised staying away from highly processed, high glycemic foods and eating a diet rich in low glycemic whole foods such as oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. In addition to helping protect your heart, this style of eating has other advantages. According to the Harvard School of Public Health web site, these healthy foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients.

On the other hand, white bread, white rice, pastries, sugared sodas, and other highly processed foods tear down instead of build health — they contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease. As reported earlier in Natural News, processed foods have also been linked with an increased risk for cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/022025.html) and recent studies indicate many processed foodstuffs, from bread to candy bars, may be contaminated with toxic mercury, too (http://www.naturalnews.com/025442_m…).

For more information :

http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?pag…

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutriti…

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Don't Let the Economy Endanger Your Health

Lisa Says: The statement that really struck me in this Parade Magazine article yesterday was from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius (see below). To hear a “WELLNESS” focus from government was refreshing. Remember, most all of the mainstream ‘american ills’ are preventable or reversable through simple lifestyle changes, [...]

Lisa Says: The statement that really struck me in this Parade Magazine article yesterday was from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius (see below). To hear a “WELLNESS” focus from government was refreshing. Remember, most all of the mainstream ‘american ills’ are preventable or reversable through simple lifestyle changes, not just “managed” on maintenance medications for someone’s lifetime. Perhaps many are turning to natural approaches which are far cheaper and deal with the root cause and not just mask symptoms and perpetuate problems?

QUOTE “Prevention Must Be a Priority. U.S. health care needs to shift its focus away from treating illnesses and problems and move toward prevention instead, declares Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. “We cannot achieve our ultimate goal—a healthier nation—unless we shift away from a sick-care system,” she said at a Senate hearing earlier this spring. “We pay for emergencies, not the care that prevents them, with little emphasis on the responsibility each of us has in keeping ourselves and our families well.”

for the full article

http://www.parade.com/health/2009/05/the-economy-and-your-health.html

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Quinoa Affords Many Benefits

Lisa Says: Kee-what?? (Keen-wah) That’s what we said too, and it’s become one of our FAVORITES. We use it just like rice (and prepare it the same way other than initially rinsing) but it’s powerpacked nutritionally. We add a little organic chicken broth while cooking and it’s just GREAT. PROMISE [...]

Lisa Says: Kee-what?? (Keen-wah) That’s what we said too, and it’s become one of our FAVORITES. We use it just like rice (and prepare it the same way other than initially rinsing) but it’s powerpacked nutritionally. We add a little organic chicken broth while cooking and it’s just GREAT. PROMISE on this one.

Quinoa Affords Many Benefits
by Sheryl Walters, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) Vegetarians and vegans often find it difficult getting enough protein in to their diets. They are usually stuck eating beans and soy products most of which do not actually contain all the necessary amino acids, or what is known as complete protein. A diet lacking in protein can cause many health problems ranging from lethargy and irritability to serious skin conditions, wasting muscles and a weakened immune system. This makes it essential for none meat eaters to get as much protein into their body as possible. The answer to this problem could come from a long forgotten South America Grain called Quinoa. Quinoa grain was once called “The gold of the Incas” and “The mother of all grains” and is known for its high protein content that contains all the amino acids essential for our wellbeing. The name Quinoa grain is in fact very misleading. Quinoa is actually the seed from a plant that is closely related to leafy green vegetables such as spinach and beets. It has recently become very popular because of its distinctive nutty taste, amazing versatility and incredibly high mineral content.

Quinoa and Magnesium

The benefits of Quinoa actually go far beyond that of a protein substitute for vegans and vegetarians. People who suffer from migraines wouldn’t go far wrong in making Quinoa a regular part of their diet. This is because Quinoa also contains high amounts of magnesium. People who suffer from persistent migraines often have problems sleeping at night, which may be due to a lack of Magnesium in their diets. A Magnesium deficiency can change electrical patterns in the brain causing restless sleep as well as frequent awaking. “It looks like magnesium is important for a good night’s sleep,” says researcher Forrest H. Nielsen. Magnesium is also an important mineral for relaxing the blood vessels, which can in turn lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also help in the battle against diabetes and is important for maintaining strong, healthy bones.

Quinoa and Iron

Iron is one of those minerals that we all know we need, but many of us are not sure exactly why we need it or how to get it. Iron actually plays an essential role in our body by helping to carry oxygen to our heart, lungs and brain. In doing so it keeps our minds alert and our bodies energized. Without enough iron, oxygen distribution in our body slows down and we may begin to get regular headaches, feel sluggish and become easily annoyed. A severe iron deficiency can lead to Anemia, which in certain situations can be life threatening. Around 65 % of Americans actually suffer from iron deficiency and are totally unaware of the fact. This could be cured by using Quinoa instead of rice in a risotto, as just a quarter of a cup contains around 20% of your recommended daily iron intake. This means that if everyone were to eat 3 or 4 cups of the grain a week many Americans would become more vibrant and energetic, which could in turn ease the obesity epidemic. No wonder Quinoa is now listed as one of the top ten super foods.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa

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Ending the Cholesterol-Heart Disease Myth

Lisa Says: This has become a big issue with Rex and I as so many of our closest friends are on the statin drugs yet study after study is showing that it’s not only not working, it’s making it worse.  Rex’s cholesterol levels changed dramatically with simple lifestyle and food changes, however there’s a much [...]

Lisa Says: This has become a big issue with Rex and I as so many of our closest friends are on the statin drugs yet study after study is showing that it’s not only not working, it’s making it worse.  Rex’s cholesterol levels changed dramatically with simple lifestyle and food changes, however there’s a much bigger issue here as this article demonstrates.  Cholesterol is necessary to normal, healthy body function.

by Andreas Moritz (see all articles by this author)

(NaturalNews) Why has there never been a record of cholesterol having blocked a vein in the body! What is it about arteries that makes cholesterol attach itself to their walls, while leaving the veins alone? It is really the sticky nature of cholesterol that is behind the blockage of healthy blood vessel walls?

The answers to these questions may surprise you. The body actually uses the lipoprotein cholesterol as a kind of bandage to cover abrasions and tears in damaged arterial walls just as it does it for any other wound. Cholesterol is nothing less than a life-saver. However, for the past thirty-eight years, this lipoprotein has been stigmatized to be the number one cause of deaths in the rich nations – heart disease.

This is how the theory goes: For reasons not really known, a form of cholesterol that has earned the name “bad” somehow increases in the bloodstream of millions of people today; it sticks to the walls of arteries, and eventually, it will starve the heart muscle of oxygen and nutrients. Accordingly, the masses are urged to reduce or ban cholesterol-containing fats from their diet so that they can live without the fear of arterial occlusion and dying from a heart attack.

The tremendous concern of being attacked by this “vicious” lipoprotein has finally led to innovative technologies that can even extract cholesterol from cheese, eggs, and sausages, thus making these “deadly” foods “consumer-safe.” Products that claim to be low in cholesterol, such as margarine and light-foods, have become a popular choice of “healthy eating.”

Cholesterol is Not the Culprit After All

But as INTERHEART and other studies have shown, cholesterol isn’t a serious risk factor for heart disease at all. An earlier study sponsored by the German Ministry of Research and Technology showed that no exact link exists between food cholesterol and blood cholesterol. Even more surprising, in Japan, the cholesterol levels have risen during recent years, yet the number of heart attacks has dropped. The largest health study ever conducted on the risks of heart disease took place in China. Like so many similar studies, the Chinese study found no connection between heart disease and the consumption of animal fats.

In an 8-year long heart study, researchers observed 10,000 people with high cholesterol levels. Half of them received a best-selling statin drug. The other half were simply told to eat a normal diet and get enough exercise. The results stunned the researchers. Although the statin drug did indeed lower serum cholesterol, this had no impact whatsoever on death rate, non-fatal heart attacks and fatal arterial disease. In other words, the statin-users had zero advantage over those who received no treatment at all. However, they had just spent eight years taking a costly drug with hideous side effects – risking liver failure, muscle wasting, even sudden death. Lowering cholesterol either through drugs or low fat diets does not lower the risk of developing heart disease.

All the major European long-term cholesterol studies have confirmed that a low-fat diet did not reduce cholesterol levels by more than 4 percent, in most cases merely 1-2 percent. Since measurement mistakes are usually higher than 4 percent and cholesterol levels naturally increase by 20 percent in autumn and drop again during the wintertime, the anti-cholesterol campaigns since the late 1980s have been very misleading, to say the least. A more recent study from Denmark involving 20,000 men and women, in fact, demonstrated that most heart disease patients have normal cholesterol levels. The bottom line is that cholesterol hasn’t been proved a risk factor for anything.

The current medical understanding of the cholesterol issue is more than incomplete. The argument that animal tests on rabbits have confirmed that fatty foods cause hardening of the arteries sounds convincing, but only when the following facts are omitted:

* Rabbits respond 3,000 times more sensitively to cholesterol than humans do.

* Rabbits, which are non-carnivorous animals by nature, are force-fed excessive quantities of egg yolk and brain for the sake of proving that cholesterol-containing foods are harmful.

* The DNA and enzyme systems of rabbits are not designed for consumption of fatty foods, and if given a choice, these animals would never eat eggs or brains.

It is obvious that the arteries of these animals have only an extremely limited ability to respond to the damage caused by such unsuitable diets. For over three and half decades, Western civilization assumed that animal fats were the main cause of dietary heart disease. This misinformation is highlighted by the fact that heart attacks began to rise when consumption of animal fats actually decreased. This was verified by British research, which revealed that those areas in the U.K. where people consumed more margarine and less butter had the highest numbers of heart attacks. Further studies revealed that heart attack patients had consumed the least amounts of animal fats.

In this context, it is important to differentiate between processed and unprocessed fats. It has been discovered that people who died from a heart attack were found to have many more of the harmful fatty acids derived from the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in their fat tissue than those who survived. These so-called “faulty” fats (trans-fatty acids) envelop and congest the membranes of cells, including those that make up the heart and coronary arteries. This practically starves the cells of oxygen, nutrients, and water, and eventually kills them.

In another more comprehensive study, 85,000 nurses working in American hospitals observed a higher risk for heart disease in patients who consumed margarine, crisps, potato chips, biscuits, cookies, cakes, and white bread, all of which contain trans fats.

Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53 percent over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study. While actually increasing LDL cholesterol, margarine lowers the beneficial HDL cholesterol. It also increases the risk of cancers up to five times. Margarine suppresses both the immune response and insulin response. This highly processed and artificial product is practically resistant to destruction, being one molecule away from plastic. Flies, bacteria, fungi, etc. won’t go near it because it has no nutritional value and cannot be broken down by them. It can last for years, not just outside the body, but inside as well.

It is very apparent that eating damaged, rancid fats or trans-fats can destroy any healthy organism and should be avoided by anyone. In 2007 New York City banned the use of trans fats in its restaurants; however, the trans fats are merely being replaced with new artificial fats that have the same or worse effects.

Healthy Today – Sick Tomorrow

Unfortunately, high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) has become the dominating health concern of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease that doesn’t show up as one. Even the healthiest people may have elevated serum cholesterol and yet their health remains perfect. But they are instantly turned into patients when a routine blood test reveals that they have a “cholesterol problem.”

Since feeling good is actually a symptom of high cholesterol, the cholesterol issue has confused millions of people. To be declared sick when you actually feel great is a hard nut to swallow. So it may take a lot of effort on behalf of a practicing physician to convince his patients that they are sick and need to take one or more expensive drugs for the rest of their lives. These healthy individuals may become depressed when they are being told they will need to take potentially harmful drugs to lower their cholesterol levels on a long-term, daily basis. When they also learn that they will require regular checkups and blood tests, their worry-free, good life is now over.

These doctors cannot be blamed for the blunder of converting healthy people into patients. Behind them stands the full force of the U.S. government, the media, the medical establishment, agencies, and of course, the pharmaceutical companies. All of them have collaborated to create relentless pressure in disseminating the cholesterol myth and convincing the population that high cholesterol is its number one enemy. We are told that we need to combat it by all means possible to keep us safe from the dreadful consequences of hypercholesterolemia.

The definition of a “healthy” level of cholesterol has been repeatedly adjusted during the past 30 years, which certainly does not give me much confidence in a system of medicine that professes to be founded on sound scientific principles. In the early days of measuring cholesterol levels, a person at risk was any middle-aged man whose cholesterol was over 240 and possessed other risk factors, such as smoking or being overweight.

After the adjustment of parameters during the Cholesterol Consensus Conference in 1984, the population was hit by a shock wave. Now, anyone (male or female) with overall cholesterol readings of 200 mg percent (200mg per 100 ml) could receive the dreaded diagnosis and a prescription for pills. The claim that 200 blood serum cholesterol is normal and everything above is dangerous was scientifically unfounded, though. At least, this was the consensus of all the major cholesterol studies. In fact, a report in a 1995 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association showed no evidence linking high cholesterol levels in women with heart conditions later in life.

Although it is considered completely normal for a 55-year-old woman to have a cholesterol level of 260 mg percent, most women that age are not told about this. Also healthy employees are found to have an average of 250 mg percent with high fluctuations in both directions.

The lack of evidence linking elevated cholesterol with increased risk of heart disease, however, didn’t stop the brainwashing of the masses. In the U.S. 84 percent of all men and 93 percent of all women aged 50-59 with high cholesterol levels were suddenly told they needed treatment for heart disease. The totally unproved but aggressively promoted cholesterol theories turned most of us into patients for a disease that we probably will never develop. Fortunately, not everyone has followed the advice to have their cholesterol levels checked but, unfortunately, millions of people have fallen into the trap of misinformation.

To make matters worse, the official, acceptable cholesterol level has now been moved down to 180. If you have already had one heart attack, your cardiologist will tell you to take cholesterol-lowering statins even if your cholesterol is very low. From the viewpoint of conventional medicine, having a heart attack implies that your cholesterol must be too high. Hence you are being sentenced to a lifetime of statins and a boring low-fat diet. But even if you have not experienced any heart trouble yet, you are already being considered for possible treatment.

Since so many children now show signs of elevated cholesterol, we have a whole new generation of candidates for medical treatment. So yes, current edicts stipulate cholesterol testing and treatment for young adults and even children! The statin drugs that doctors use to push cholesterol levels down are LIPITOR (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), and Pravachol (pravastatin). If you decide to follow your doctor’s advice and take one of these drugs, make certain to read the list of side effects so that you know the risks you are taking.

If you want to obtain objective and untainted information on cholesterol, agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Cardiology are certainly not the places from which to obtain it. Until recently, they wanted you to keep your overall cholesterol level below 150. Then, in 2001, they finally admitted that measuring overall cholesterol levels makes no sense at all, so they began recommending an LDL level below 100. Now their aim is to keep LDL lower than 70. Every time they lower the target, the number of “patients” requiring treatment jumps dramatically, much to the benefit of the drug producers. Being officially backed by these agencies, doctors feel motivated, if not obliged, to prescribe these expensive drugs to their new patients.

The extensive promotional campaigns by the pharmaceutical giants have already brainwashed the masses to believe they need these drugs to be safe from sudden heart attack. Even if a doctor knows the truth about the cholesterol deception, these anxious patients will demand a prescription from him. This is not just affecting their health, but everyone’s economic future. The massive sales of these best-selling drugs of all time drive up health care costs to levels that undermine economic growth and make basic health care unaffordable to an ever-increasing number of people. The masses have been so brainwashed with misinformation that this lurking financial crisis doesn’t seem to be their immediate concern.

In 2004, there were already 36 million statin candidates in the U.S., with 16 million using LIPITOR alone. When the official LDL target level drops to 70, another 5 million people will be eligible for their use. At the consumer markup price of $272.37 and an actual cost of $5.80 for a month supply of LIPITOR, you can understand the incentive that the pharmaceutical industry has to push their products and make them a mass commodity.

Excerpted from Chapter 9 of Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation by Andreas Moritz, (www.ener-chi.com) or (www.amazon.com) . Check out the book for more information about statins, cholesterol and heart disease, or any of the related topics listed below

* The Secret Cause Of Heart Disease – And Why It’s So Easily Reversed

* The Beginning Stages Of Heart Disease

* Major Contributing Factors

* Meat Consumption And Heart Disease

* Yes, Your Body Can Store Protein!

* Protein Storage – A Time Bomb

* The Revealing Role Of Homocysteine

* C-Reactive Protein Reveals The Truth

* How And Why Heart Attacks Really Occur

* Heart Attacks Can Occur In A Number Of Ways:

1) New Studies Question Value Of Opening Arteries

2) Risk Indications Of A Heart Attack

3) What Statins May Do To You!

4) But Doesn’t Aspirin Protect Against Heart Disease?

5) Dangers Of Low Cholesterol

6) Cholesterol – Your Life And Blood

7) When Cholesterol Signals SOS
8) Balancing Cholesterol Levels Naturally

9) Overcoming Heart Disease – Two Encouraging Stories

10) Non-Dietary Causes Of Heart Disease.

11) A Lacking Social Support System

12) Greatest Risk Factors: Job Satisfaction And Happiness Rating

13) Your Need To Love

14) What A Loving Spouse Can Do

15) The Healing Power Of “Loving Touch”

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Indole-3-Carbinol Nutrient in Broccoli Protects the Heart, Balances Cholesterol

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by: David Gutierrez
NaturalNews.com
(NaturalNews) Researchers have identified a naturally occurring chemical that may account for the cardiovascular health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
The cruciferous vegetable family (Brassicaceae) includes many popular food plants such as broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, [...]

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by: David Gutierrez

NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) Researchers have identified a naturally occurring chemical that may account for the cardiovascular health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

The cruciferous vegetable family (Brassicaceae) includes many popular food plants such as broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, canola (rapeseed), kale, mustard, radish, rutabaga, turnip and watercress.

Researchers discovered that the phytochemical indole-3-carbinol reduced human cells’ secretion of apolipopretein B-100 (apoB) in a laboratory culture. ApoB is a critical component of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and has previously been shown to be responsible for transporting cholesterol between the body’s tissues. Prior studies have also linked high concentrations of apoB to the formation of plaque in blood vessels.

Indole-3-carbinol reduced apoB secretion in a dose-dependent manner, with larger doses leading to lower secretion. A concentration of 100 micromoles per liter successfully reduced apoB secretion by 56 percent.

In addition to these effects, the scientists observed that the indole-3-carbinol-dosed cells showed decreased production of other fat compounds, including triglycerides.

“The results indicate that plant indoles have beneficial effects on lipid synthesis that could contribute to their potential cardioprotective effect,” the researchers said.

A prior study has suggested that indole-3-carbinol also helps prevent and slow the growth of cancerous tumors, while many studies have demonstrated that a higher intake of fresh fruits and vegetables helps prevent against both cancer and cardiovascular disease.

According to the American Heart Association, 70.1 million people in the United States suffered from cardiovascular disease in 2002 — 34.2 percent of the population. It is one of the primary killers in the United States and Europe, accounting for 30 percent of all deaths.

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Does Cholesterol Matter? Only if You're on a Cholesterol-Lowering Drug

by Jack Challem, The Nutrition Reporter ™ (NaturalNews) The makers of Zetia and Vytorin (which combines Zetia and Zocor) recently announced that their aggressively advertised cholesterol-lowering drugs failed to slow the development of fatty plaque in arteries. In fact, the drugs actually promote the formation of plaque in arteries, which fuels heart disease and increases [...]

by Jack Challem, The Nutrition Reporter ™ (NaturalNews) The makers of Zetia and Vytorin (which combines Zetia and Zocor) recently announced that their aggressively advertised cholesterol-lowering drugs failed to slow the development of fatty plaque in arteries. In fact, the drugs actually promote the formation of plaque in arteries, which fuels heart disease and increases the risk of a heart attack. The announcement –- in a news release, not a medical journal –- came after long delays in reporting the findings of their study.

Why the delays? Follow the money. Sales of the two drugs added up to $5 billion in revenues in 2007.

The news release was the first of several fascinating and bizarre reports on Zetia and Vytorin. Even though the drugs don’t prevent heart disease, the American Heart Association quickly issued an official news release in defense of the drugs.

If you’re confused by that, just follow the money trail again. According to an article in the New York Times, the American Heart Association gets $2 million a year from Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical group that markets Vytorin.

The failure of this and other recent cholesterol-lowering drug trials has renewed a long-simmering debate about the role of cholesterol in heart disease. Cholesterol is a symptom — get that, a symptom — not a cause of heart disease, and Vytorin and other drugs merely alter a symptom. In fact, cholesterol has long been known as only a weak indicator of heart disease risk (American Journal of Epidemiology, 1977;105:281-9). Half of the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels.

What then causes heart disease? The answer is a variety of factors, most of which are no-brainers, such as prediabetes and being overweight, which result from excess intake of refined sugars, processed sugar-like carbohydrates, and trans fats. This dietary pattern elevates blood sugar, insulin –- and, yes, cholesterol, see (www.stopprediabetesnow.com) . Even the oft-recommended high-carb diet for preventing heart disease raises cholesterol and triglyceride levels. That’s because, in most people, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels reflect sugar and carb intake, not fats.

If all this isn’t strange enough, consider one more recent report. The average cholesterol level of Americans is now lower than it was back in 1960 because of all the cholesterol-lowering drugs that have been prescribed. At the same time, two-thirds of Americans are now overweight –- the number one risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. In effect, Rome is burning while medicine fiddles with cholesterol.

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