It is true, increased blood pressure and high cholesterol have been linked to heart disease. Fortunately, both of these problems respond very well to changes in our eating habits and supplementing with nutrients.
Cholesterol is NOT the main culprit. However, our lifestyle (diet) is definitely a cause for concern.
It is possible to lower cholesterol levels naturally (HINT: you don’t need any medication).
Since stress aggravates ALL health problems, these bumper stickers will hopefully lower your blood pressure and cholesterol:
· I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
· I keep trying to lose weight, but it keeps finding me.
· I failed my urine test.
· I took an IQ test and the results were negative.
· I used to have an open mind, but my brains kept falling out.
· I don’t suffer from stress. I am a carrier.
“Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea.”
- Frederick Saunder
With all the bad publicity that cholesterol is getting, most people avoid cholesterol like the plague, trying to eat less cholesterol by avoiding meat and eating low-fat food.
Unfortunately, what most people don’t realise, is that our liver produces 70% of our body’s cholesterol requirements. As soon as you consume less cholesterol the liver compensates for the deficiency – and with very good reason.
Cholesterol serves many important functions in the body including the manufacture of all our hormones and uses cholesterol to manufacture vitamin D. It is also essential to waterproof cell membranes. If the cell wall contains too much poly-unsaturated fat the membrane is too fluid and the body inserts cholesterol into the membrane to stiffen it.
Cholesterol is transported through our bodies by lipoproteins. The most prominent is the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the “bad” cholesterol), which carries cholesterol and fats (triglycerides – TG) from our food and liver to our cells. The high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the “good” cholesterol), on the other hand, carries cholesterol back from our cells to the liver where it is Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000190 EndHTML:0000008424 StartFragment:0000003517 EndFragment:0000008388 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/gene/Desktop/07-1%20Newsletter%20(Cholesterol).doc
changed to bile and excreted into the digestive tract and eventually discarded with our stool.
Therefore, the LDL to HDL ratio is very important since it determines if cholesterol is being deposited in our cells or transported to the liver to be broken down and excreted.
The following are the recommended levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides:
· Total cholesterol – less than 5.2 mmol/L
· LDL cholesterol – less than 3.4 mmol/L
· HDL cholesterol – higher than 1 mmol/L
· Triglycerides – less than 1.3 mmol/L
· LDL:HDL ratio – less than 4.5
· TG:HDL ratio – less than 3.5
The AIM is to lower the LDL cholesterol while simultaneously increasing the HDL cholesterol, which is easier than you think!!! Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000190 EndHTML:0000008293 StartFragment:0000004108 EndFragment:0000008257 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/gene/Desktop/07-1%20Newsletter%20(Cholesterol).doc
Conventional wisdom says that cholesterol is the sole reason for heart disease. The shocking reality is that only 50% of people with high cholesterol die of a heart attack. The reason: cholesterol is NOT the only guilty party.
The STEPS to heart disease are as follows:
1. Injury/damage to inner lining of artery causing the artery to LEAK.
2. Cholesterol subsequently penetrates into the damaged artery causing it to stiffen thus preventing further damage to the artery.
3. Free radicals oxidise the cholesterol, which activates the immune system.
4. Immune cells (macrophages) invade the area to digest the oxidised cholesterol becoming “foam cells” causing chronic inflammation.
5. Repair: the body utilises blood clotting mechanisms to prevent any excessive blood loss and collagen to create a hardened plaque build-up, which stiffens the artery.
Research has found that cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, but OXIDISED cholesterol does.
What oxidises cholesterol? Free radicals!!!
FREE RADICALS like homocysteine, hydrogenated vegetable oils, radiation and cigarette smoke are “toxic compounds” that cause damage to the inner lining of our arteries and oxidise cholesterol.
When we are deficient in anti-oxidants we are prone to develop heart disease. ANTI-OXIDANTS are the only compounds that can neutralise the damaging effects of free radicals.
The most important anti-oxidants are the following:
A. Vitamin E
· is fat-soluble and is thus incorporated into cholesterol to protect it from free radical oxidation.
B. Vitamin C
· is water-soluble and helps to regenerate oxidised vitamin E thus boosting its
· prevents the damage to the inner lining of the arteries and is an important component in the manufacture of collagen, a constituent
in our arteries.
· is very effective in neutralising free radicals.
These will effectively prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and damage to the arteries. However, in order to facilitate the removal of the free radical HOMOCYSTEINE we need the following nutrients:
D. Folic acid, vitamin B2, B6, B12, zinc, magnesium and choline
· These nutrients work in combination to help the body rid itself of homocysteine.
· Fortunately, contains all the essential nutrients to help your body remove HOMOCYSTEINE.
We need to change our eating habits to ensure that we get sufficient anti-oxidants. Vitamin E, C and beta-carotene as well as all the other homocysteine neutralising nutrients are found in abundance in a natural diet, rich in wholegrain, vegetables and fruit.
Similarly, a diet with lots of whole, natural food also contains a lot of fibre. The fibre is essential since the cholesterol binds to it and is excreted with the stool, preventing it from being reabsorbed by the body.
This is the problem with our modern lifestyle. Most people eat a refined diet stripped of its healing and protective nutrients and therefore suffer the preventable consequences.
Although heart disease is the biggest killer it also responds very quickly to improvements in nutrition and changes in lifestyle.
We have been brainwashed into believing that FAT is the main culprit that causes cholesterol problems. Subsequently, people eat lots of low-fat food that is supposed to solve our cholesterol and heart disease problems.
If that were true, why are more people sick and dying from heart disease than ever before? Why do the Eskimos, whose diet is mainly meat, fat and cholesterol, have little heart disease?
Simple: dietary fat isn’t the problem, but SUGAR and refined foods are the cause of the heart disease epidemic.
When we eat low-fat foods, the fat is usually replaced with lots of sugar. Since these sugars contain more calories than we require for energy, the remainder is converted into cholesterol and especially FAT (triglycerides).
It just happens to be that triglyceride (FAT) levels are just as good a predictor of heart disease as cholesterol levels. In other words, throw out the refined/processed food and sweets.
So, how do you LOWER your cholesterol naturally?
1. Whole-leaf Aloe Juice is an excellent source of
· fibre that helps to excrete the cholesterol through the stool
· vital nutrients such as magnesium.
2. Body Basics contains
· magnesium that is essential for the correct functioning of the enzyme that regulates cholesterol production in the liver. Any deficiency will result in the liver’s inability to switch off cholesterol production.
· choline, which lowers cholesterol levels by increasing its solubility thus improving its removal from the body.
2. Omega 3 is vital since it helps to
· lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels
· raise the HDL (good) cholesterol level
· prevent blood clotting
· reduce inflammation.
In conjunction it would be advisable to consider the following:
Vitamin B3 and B5 play an important role in the metabolism of cholesterol and fat.
· They effectively lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and accelerate the breakdown of triglycerides (FAT) while simultaneously increasing
HDL (good) cholesterol level.
· They improve the HDL:LDL ratio.
I have used these supplements with great success. No need for all those toxic cholesterol medication with its nasty side effects.
Control your ANGER! and control your blood pressure and cholestrol.
It is fascinating to know how much impact our emotions have on our bodies. New research has demonstrated that high levels of anger as well as frustration and irritability are better predictors of heart disease risk than high cholesterol, smoking or excess weight.
These emotions activate our fight-flight (STRESS) response, which causes our bodies to produce more cholesterol since it is the building block of the stress hormone cortisol.
Add this to the rise in blood pressure and you significantly increase your RISK for a heart attack.
This article was originally published in the Aloe Ferox Newsletter by Ronnie Ambachtsheer( BSc) and published here with his permission.
(Erasmus, U. 1993. Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. Alive Books:Burnaby
Murray, M.T. 1996. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Three River Press:New York)