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 Andrea Moritz,. 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"
About the author
Andrea Moritz is a medical intuitive; a practitioner of Ayurveda, iridology, shiatsu, and vibrational medicine; a writer; and an artist. He is the author of The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush, Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation, Lifting the Veil of Duality, Cancer Is Not a Disease, It's Time to Come Alive, Heart Disease No More, Diabetes No More, Simple Steps to Total Health, Diabetes -- No More, Ending the AIDS Myth and Heal Yourself with Sunlight.