Sunday, May 18, 2014

FALSE BELIEFS ABOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET, AN OCCASIONAL SWEET TREAT AND THE BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE




“THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET IS THE HEALTHIEST ON EARTH"

This statement has probably done more health damage then one can think. Of course, if you compare the “Mediterranean diet” to the “Western diet” full of processed food saturated with sugar, bad quality, taste enhancer ect, you may get good results. But if you compare the Med Diet to a low-carb diet, your results will be different…

The world famous Med-Diet became known when Dr. Ancel Keys did his “7 countries study” with, as you may know, not including the statistics of the 22 countries he had with him at this time. Since then, luckily, the trick results he got became public. More recently, a doctor form Barcelona redid his observational studies on the island of Crete to discover Keys visited the island after World-War 2 when inhabitants where recovering from a period of famine, which had created a situation of “calorie restriction” with the positive health effect we know today.

More interestingly, he also discovered Keys did some of his observations during Lent which is, again, another period of fast. And as Lent is in spring, which is the season for salads in Europe (differently from today’s all-year-round salad availability…), and as the Cretans were eating the said salad because this is one of the rare thing they could get in this season from their gardens, he said they were healthy people because they were eating… salads! Soo much for a scientific approach.  Anyway, our Barcelone doctor conclusion are Dr. Keys didn’t collect well his data, misinterpreted them, and trick them when necessary (we must not forget this was back in the 60’s and computers were not available as of today…).
Finally, Keys, to be sure nobody could find the said data to reinterpret them, he published them in an obscure German magazine… while he could have made them available - in English - in the most prestigious American Medical Reviews…

Historically, we know the inhabitants of the Mediterranean islands had a diet based on meat and NOT on fish, as everyone think. The reason being these islands where frequently invaded by conquerors arriving by boat and so, the islanders knew the danger came “from the sea”. So, for most of them, they lived “inland” where they could easily escape and hide in the mountains until the danger was over.  The consequences being they would farm in summer and then for the rest of the year, they would survive on goat meat and cheese “soaked in olive oil”, making their diet 70 % fat!!!

And we must not suppose their diet was “carbohydrate rich” because they were farming: they were only getting fresh vegetables from small gardens, a few “sour” fruits that would come from wild plants and very occasional honey when they were lucky to find some. On these mountainous islands, there was rarely place for huge “fields of wheat or other cereals” as we can find them today.

More interestingly, in the last few decades, each time the Med Diet was studied and used in “another location”, it showed no health benefit.  For example, Italian doctors tried the Med Diet on patients in Rome, and they discovered it was useless as a preventive tool.

Anyway, EVERY studies done in the last 10 years comparing the “Med Diet” to a “Western World” diet AND to a “LC diet”, the conclusions were the LC diets are providing the best health outcome, including weight loss and maintenance, lipid profile, diabetes control, and all the components of the Metabolic Syndrome.



“AN OCCASIONAL SWEET TREAT IS OK”

I am sure your have heard of a grandmother giving the advice “not to overdo sweets” but adding that an “occasional sweet treat cannot do harm”. I do not like to argue with “old grandmothers” but recent studies have show they may be wrong…

The explications may be complicated but I will try to make it simple.

Inside all cells, our genes are arranged along twisted molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are structures called “telomeres”, which protect our genetic data AS each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. This shortening is associated with aging, cancer, and a higher risk of death. In other words, without “telomeres”, the main part of the chromosome would get shorter each time a cell divides.

All this being said, shorter telomeres are associated with shorter lives. When testing the DNA of older folks, the ones with shorter telomeres are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely to die from an infection.

Two factors are responsible for damaging our DNA and these are “oxidation” and “glycation”.
“Oxidation” is caused by oxidants which are highly reactive substances containing oxygen. They are produced when we breathe but also are a result from things like inflammation, infection, and consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. They bind to our DNA, proteins and lipids leaving them unable to do their jobs.

“Glycation” is about the same: it happens when glucose, the main sugar used as energy when on a high carb diet, binds to our DNA, proteins, and lipids.

Which brings us to the “occasional sweet treat” suggested by grandma.

When someone “rarely use sugar” or is on a “LC diet” (all depending on the individual carbohydrate tolerance), the mechanisms controlling blood sugar are switch “off”.  The consequence being it may take up to 3 days to normalize blood sugar in this situation (meaning 3 days with hyperglycaemia), an undesirable situation.

The consequences of this bein,g during these 3 days, there will be some extra “glycation” and some “telomeres” damages. In a few words, our telomeres will become shorter and will offer less protection to our DNA. This may be translated in early aging, more risk for diseases in general and an higher chances for developing cancer.

Which brings us to a VERY important rule for any one doing a modified carb diet and especially a Zero Carb diet: there is NO PLACE for an occasional “sweet treat”, even if it was prepared by your adorable grandmother…

Some LC folks sometimes do recommend “carb reloading one day per week”, thinking they can avoid this “3 days situation”. Personality, I do not agree with this suggestion, as there are no reasons to keep the mechanism switch “on” as, theoretically, they will not eat other carbohydrates the other 6 days of the week and so, it would be useless.

Anyway, it takes often so much time to get into “nutritional ketosis” AND just a few grams of carbohydrates to get “out of nutritional ketosis”, a day per week of carb reloading would  simply just be a step backward…

We must never forget today’s living grandmothers are, in majority, grandmothers born by the end of the 50’s, early 60’s, a generation having adopted the low-fat recommendations. I am not sure they are the best to give nutrition advice….


“CHOCOLATE OFFERS POSITIVE HEALTH BENEFITS”

I may have lost some “friends”, (luckily, no readers…), after my recent “alcohol advice”, so why not be brave again and lost some more talking about chocolate?

So let me say it right now: chocolate is an addictive substance, it is a stimulant of the nervous system and when eaten as “milk chocolate”, it comes full of sugar which makes it a bomb of “carbohydrate and fats”… maybe excellent for palatability and pleasure… but with eventual health consequences, especially if you are at any level of carb intolerance.

What made chocolate “famous” for health purpose, is it contains RESVERATROL. Some studies ON LABORATORY ANIMALS have SUGGESTED that consumption of resveratrol (drinking red wine and eating chocolate) MAY help you live longer and reduce risks like cancer and cardiovascular disease. BUT data are mixed in human studies. And…

And a recent study published in the JAMA Internal Medecine reported about some reseach done in Italy (in 2 small towns of Tuscany) on RESVARATOL. The study was well done, covers 9 years and includes older men and women. The searches have measured the level of resveratrol in urine samples, which is a reflection of dietary resveratrol intake from food sources (red wine, chocolate, fruits and berries). The study group was put into four groups, from the highest to lowest self-reported dietary resveratrol intake.

There were NO significant differences in the percentage of people dying among any of the resveratrol intake groups. There were also NO clear differences in markers of cellular inflammation, OR the rate of cardiovascular disease and cancer development among people across all resveratrol groups. Statistical analyses adjusted for age, sex, BMI, chronic diseases, and other variables.

These data suggest that the “HEALTH HALO” of dietary sources of resveratrol may NOT be justified and it do NOT appear to impact health risk or longevity. The study concluded: “These data argue against adding red wine or chocolate to a diet for health reasons alone”.
Interestingly, while resveratrol supplements are marketed to promote a myriad of health benefits, conflicting data in both animals and humans about direct health impact are well documented. As with many other food components translated to a supplement form by the industry, even in much higher amounts than ever naturally seen by the body, more may not always be better.

And do not forget: while one bar (1.55 oz) of MILK CHOCOLATE contains 40 g of carbohydrate, one bar of DARK CHOCOLATED still contains 25 g carbohydrates and MOST of it is pure sugar. Not forgetting chocolate presents a poor vitamin content.

So as you can see, antioxidant RESVERATROL is not showing as much glory as it us to.
Anyway, to be objective, I must add one last comment: did you know that the “concept of antioxidants and its pretended protection effects on the human body” is just a THEORY? Ok, it is probably a GOOD theory and has a lot of chances to be true but, as anyone on a LC diet has experienced in his life, health is much more about what you DO NOT EAT then about what YOU ACTUALLY EAT.

Denis































Monday, May 12, 2014

FROM 5 PORTIONS PER DAY, TO FIBER AND SUPPLEMENTS, NEW "FALSE BELIEFS" OF INTEREST ON A ZERO CARD DIET

We continue today with our chronicle on "false beliefs" in nutrition that are deeply rooted in today's society and might be not as true as one my think. They are, as you will see, of great interest if you do any type of "modified carb diet"...!!!


“WE NEED TO EAT 5 PORTIONS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES PER DAY”

I am always fascinated to see how a statement just likes this one, coming from nowhere and based on absolutely no science, becomes suddenly a “golden rule” that nobody dares to discuss.

No study has ever been done to support this saying. In the best conditions, questionnaires has demonstrated folks eating more fruits and vegetables do ALSO have better lifestyle, including no smoking, more exercise, fresher food items and better control of stress with the subsequent positive effects on their health.

Interestingly, some studies have demonstrated fruits and vegetables provide NO protection for diseases, including cancer, hearth or degenerative pathologies.

More interestingly, we know it was created by the marketing industry to push up sales of fruits and vegetables, which are cheap to produce, at least cheaper then the cost of farming meat, and bring in more revenues to the agri-business folks.

I even read recently some doctors had push up the recommendations to “8 portions of fruits and vegetables” per day… Again, just because “they think” it only can be good for patients, not asking themselves the consequences of eating huge amount of carbohydrates (including important quantities of fructose…) and the anti-nutrients they may contain (such as lectins) which are known to prevent absorption of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants…

Sadly, the general population bought the idea quite easily as, with the importance of obesity in today’s society, it seems so logical to eat “low calorie” food items… But this huge amount of fruits and vegetables do not decrease appetite instead, in the contrary, it just increases it. If it was so simple to eat 5-8 portions of these food items per day to solve the problem of obesity, I would not be here writing about this…



“A HIGH FIBER INTAKE IS NECESSARY FOR PROPER HEALTH”

Fiber, fiber, fiber… how many things were written about fiber and their importance for good health.

We find on a regular basis recommendations of taking in 25-30 g of fibers per day in our diet, if not 45-50 g per day according to other “nutrition specialists”… And, again, there is no science to back this up. Do you have any idea of what may look a diet including 50 g of fibers per day? Just to give you an idea, one cup of shredded lettuce provides .5 g of fiber, which means someone, would have to eat 100 cups of lettuce per day to get the recommended 50 g per day… Of course, they could argue there are more concentrated sources of fiber such as in apples: one apple contains 2.5 g of fiber which means you would have to take in 20 apples per day with the insane quantity of fructose it would include. Then, of course, they could underline things like “linseeds” or even “chickpeas” do contain a lot of fiber. But did you know these 2 food items do contain a lot of pseudo-estrogens”, just as “soy products” does, with serious health concerns like “hormonal dysregulation” or even “cancer stimulating agents”? And were you aware the FDA do not recommend eating more then 2 tablespoons linseeds per day because of this?

My other big concern here is the effects of such amount of fibers on the lining of our digestive track: with years, it do cause some damages, sort of “scratching” of the bowel walls, which then will develop some “scars” with the consequences of causing diminish nutrient absorption. So many “specialists” do affirm it is normal with aging that nutrients are less absorbed. I do not agree with them as “aging is not a disease”; aging is caused be “exterior stressing elements to the body” and a good example is… fiber!

If nature wanted us to eat these kinds of amount of fiber, it would have provided us with more then one stomach, just like cows. I do agree humans have the possibility to digest “some” fiber when there is nothing else to eat, but this is only for survival purposes…

Personally, I NEVER read someone on a “Zero Carb – Zero Gram fiber” diet ever had a constipation problem. It is the contrary: bowel movement is regular and painless on Zero Carb, just the way it should be.

But I have seen a lot of reported constipation on “low-carb diets” where folks do eat “some” fiber (but probably not enough…), which tends more to constipate them then anything else. As I like to say, probably most of LC diets do recommend some high fiber-low carb vegetables just to be “politically correct”…



“WE ALL NEED TO TAKE DAILY SUPPLEMENTS”

Supplements is a “big subject’ for those on any weight loss diet just as it is a “big business” and represent every big return for companies producing them… More exactly, we are talking here about 23 billions dollars profits… only in the US market… last year!

How many times have we heard everyone should take a “good daily multi-vitamin supplements” (whatever “good” means…) because, nowadays, our food items are empty of vital nutrients secondary to intense farming? Adding to this the marketing folks trying to push on us attracting vitamins like bright “Flickstones Vitamins”, not omitting “Disney’s gummies Children’s Multi-vitamins” to “+50 well-balanced Vitamins” to “Women’s vitamins” and “High-end vitamins”, it seems there is no end to what will be spend to convince us we NEED daily supplements.

Sadly, the general population is ALREADY taking supplements without really being fully aware of it: milk and most dairy products contain added vitamin A and D, often calcium. White flour is “enriched” with B vitamins, which are taken out by refining them. Folic acid is added to bread as well as in commercial rice. Cereals are enriched, again with with B vitamins, plus iron. Orange juice, aside containing added calcium, is supplemented with vitamin C because in the processing of the juice, this vitamin is “burn out”. Table salt has added iodine. Tap water contains added fluoride… the list is long… And do take note these added micronutrients are very often synthetic in origin… meaning they are produced artificially in large chemical factories.

What makes me really sad is when nutritionists want to recommend, for example, a good source of iron, they will suggest eating “cereals”… because cereals do contain “added iron”… I think this is insane and criminal. When they would be easily recommending eating red meat, which contains good amount of iron and is easily absorbed, differently from “plant sources” of iron. Vegetarians have iron needs 2-3 times higher then meat eaters because “their iron sources” are less efficiently absorbed…

Finally, and not the less, many recent and well-done studies have demonstrated vitamins supplements are dangerous for human health: it seems there is an increase of risk for cancer after taking vitamins for some time. Some well-known pharmaceutical companies, after observing this effect with some studies, smartly decided to “get out of vitamins” and sold their production units to less fearful individuals…

Supplements may find a place to “rapidly compensate” for a deficiency of one specific nutrient, but that’s it. And this should be only a temporary solution as eating the proper food items is probably the only secure and long-term way to get our required nutrients and assure us the maximum changes of good health.

Denis

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MORE "FALSE BELIEFS" OF INTEREST WHEN ON A ZERO CARB DIET


I just can’t believe how easy it is to find “wrong thinking”, or I should say, “false beliefs” that are repeated every day in the newspapers, on television, on Internet websites and, sadly, in doctors and nutritionist offices.

And probably your mother, your sister and even your neighbor have also repeated them to you; including, sadly again, if you stop anyone on the street, and you talk about the said belief, they will answer to you: “Of course, it is right… everybody knows this!”.

And all these sayings, repeated by millions of folks every day, to be again repeated the next day to another millions of folks, just creates this “false beliefs” pattern which is incrusted in today’s society and make people do bad choices and /or  bad changes in their lifestyle with, sometimes, serious health consequences.

So let’s go and continue our journey to put down more “cement blocks” in this “city of wrong knowledge”, based on bad science and, of course, which brings in huge amount of money to large corporations…


“ALCOHOL, IN MODERATION, IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH”

I decided to be brave and begin with a “big one”: alcohol consumption. Maybe I will not make friends here but still, read what I have to say. If you can pick up a few new hints about alcohol consumption, at least you will know what you are dealing with.

So here I go: alcohol (beer, wine and strong stuff, all of it) is toxic to the human body, especially to the brain and the liver. It is a poison, it is addictive, and it provides absolutely no nutrition to your system.

Ok, I said it, now let’s look at the science behind this.

The French’s were the first one to “exploit” the idea drinking wine was good for your health. Strangely, most of their sayings are based on… one observational study. Of course, they rapidly jumped on the results and they saw a rapid increase in sales of wine all over the planet. Just to give you an idea of the importance of the wine business in France, it represents 20% of all jobs for the 65 millions inhabitant of this country. We saw, over the years, the prices of French wine sky rock; now, it is not unusual to see the entire production of one season being sold… even before the grape plants have regain life in spring! The Japanese, which were never big wine drinkers, are now the largest client of French Bordeaux.

Except that there was a few “remake” of the said observational study and the difference this time is the “non drinking” folks, who were believe to have more health problem then the moderate drinkers, were selected with more caution. How this was done? Well in the first French study, they had included the “heavy drinkers that have stop to drink” in the group of the “non-drinkers”. And, as alcohol has a permanent and cumulative effect on the human body, we can understand why a lot of “folks considering themselves as non drinkers but are old heavy drinkers” have push up the bad health record of the non-drinking group…

So the Japanese government, seeing these huge imports of French wine entering their country redid the study and their conclusions are quite different: non drinkers (the ones that never drank) are in better health conditions then moderate and heavy drinkers.

Interestingly, when old centenarians European folks are questioned on their drinking habits (ex: in Crete, on the island of Sardinia, south of France or Italy where they have huge numbers of centenarians), they will admit, “daily drinking”. But they view wine as a “medicine” and they would only consume a very small glass after lunch and dinner. And when I say a “very small glass”, this is between ½ inch to max 1 inch of wine in the bottom of a small glass. Which has nothing to do with today’s 250 ml (one cup) portions of wine in our countries…

So what should one do about his alcohol consumption? Well it seems there are 2 patterns of recommendation that I think are good: if someone tends to overdrink, even occasionally, alcohol should be cut to zero. That simple.

On the other side, if alcohol can be kept in normal portion size (meaning one glass do not create the need for a second glass), “small quantities” can be tolerated by the body without too many consequences.

“Small quantities” means a glass of less then 100 ml (about a 1/3 cup), with a maximum of 2 portions per day AND AFTER THE MEALS AS A “DIGESTIVE DRINK”. I also like the idea of having 2 days per week without alcohol…

This is a personal choice and I think the best approach is to have one small glass “on special occasions” meaning you still allow yourself to drink but not on a daily basis.

Do never forget that each sip of alcohol entering your blood will automatically destroy some brain cells and will trigger inflammation in the liver, with an “permanent and cumulative damage effect”….!!!!


“IF YOU EAT TO MUCH MEAT, YOU MAY GET GOUT”

This is another very interesting subject, which still creates huge confusion in the medical field.

Classically, gout is caused by an accumulation of “uric acid” in an articulation, the “big toe” being the most known presentation with redness, swelling and excruciate pain. But it may also affect many other articulations in the body and often goes undiagnosed.

For more then a century, gout was known as a disease of the “rich man”, the ones being able to purchase meat (and especially organ meats), which contains a lot of purine. And when the said purines are metabolized, they produce uric acid; so, from this, the idea was born that “eating to much meat gives gout”…

Of course, research went on, and we discovered uric acid is a natural antioxidant produced by the body to defend itself against inflammation. You can see here a tricky thinking that leads to a question: is it uric acid that causes gout OR is uric acid produced to cut down inflammation in reaction to something else?

Interestingly, we discovered in the last decade that one of the most important substance creating inflammations in the body are carbohydrates, especially fructose, which make 50% of the structural elements of white sugar.  By the way, what do you think was also considered a treat for the “rich man” one century ago, aside meat? SUGAR!!! Sugar was for the rich, not the poor.

Yes, when you eat sugar, you eat fructose. And the said fructose gets metabolized in the liver, as does other toxic substances, having as by-product “uric acid”, which is use, luckily, as an anti-inflammatory substance to help calm down the damages of… fructose!

Nowadays we include in the description of the “Metabolic Syndrome” (hyperinsulinism with insulin resistance) a “high level of blood uric acid”. This also goes very often undiagnosed and it is a shame because the most serious consequences is the higher risk of “uric acid kidney stones”; which is, and those of you that ever had kidney stones will recall, a very painful experience.

Sadly, most doctors treating patients with kidney stones, keep the habit of recommending to cut dairy products (to limit the calcium intake) because “calcium kidney stones” use to be very common. But with today’s epidemic of Metabolic Syndrome, this has changed and patients should be advise, as you may have guess, to cut on fructose…!!!


“HUMANS NEEDS TO STAY HYDRATED AND DRINK 2-3 LITERS OF WATER PER DAY”

I have written in the past about this but now, I am even more convince there is no reason to push ourselves to “overdrink to stay hydrated”. The idea looks good, but overdrinking has terrible side effects, and any fluids that you take in more then what your body can handle can bring in health complications and even death.

The first and more severe problem with drinking too much is that you will have to eliminate this excess water and by doing so, you will flush minerals out of your body. From sodium to precious potassium, you will also force your body to evacuate important ions such as calcium, not talking about the precious micro minerals (trace elements) such as “selenium”. This may create electrolytes imbalance and increase the risk for hearth failure for anyone at risk for this pathology.

Overdrinking can lead to digestive problems, behavioral changes, brain damage, seizure and even coma. These problems are real and do occur. The pathology of this is simple to understand: overdrinking water causes the fluid outside of the cells to be low in electrolytes and this will causes a shift of water into the cell, causing its swelling and serious damage. It is bad for all organs, but particularly the brain as it can cause intracranial pressure. Some cases of folks passing away are regularly reported in medical literature: the most striking one is this woman who died because of overdrinking while on a “water cure” having 8 ounces of water per hour all day long…  

So don’t be foul: hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is the number one cause of athletes dropping dead when running marathons. The kidneys, in normal conditions, will eliminate a fixed quantity of water per hour but if one is under stress such as with any physical exertion, the kidneys will seriously diminish the excretion rate of water with subsequent consequences I just described.

Interestingly, infants and elderly are the most at risk for overhydrating because, or their sense of thirst is not yet well developed, or they have lost their sense of thirst with age, the result being they will drink not according to their needs but what it presented to them.

Anyway, the number one cause of urine incontinence in women, especially elderly women, is… overdrinking!!!

Some of the most common symptoms of overhydrating that are often not considered seriously are “muscle weakness” and “fatigue”. And if your are on any medication, this can be even worst, as it can be with illicit drug consumption, which can lead to serious damages.

Finally, a lot of folks think they need to drink a lot for proper bowel movement. Again, the idea seems good but aside flushing more electrolytes via your bowel, this is not the ultimate solution.

So, as the old Chinese doctor use to say: drink according to your needs, needs meaning according to your thirst, as this is a sense that was created by nature for your body for survival purposes.

Again, we have to learn to listen to our body.


“HUMANS SHOULD EAT 3 REGULAR MEALS PER DAY”

Did we ever ear this one as a kid AND do we still ear it nowadays. Interestingly, it appeared when breakfast cereals came on the market…

Interestingly, many studies came out in the last years demonstrating there is no advantage to have 3 meals per day. NO, breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day; NO, again, eating many small portions of food per day is NOT bad for your health: and, always NO, having a big lunch and a small dinner, is NOT the solution to all our problems.

They only thing that seems sort of sure in all this is, trying to eat “regularly” seems to do the trick. When centenarians are interviewed, they always describe regular eating habits, “regular’ meaning having their meals everyday at the same time and including about the same quantities. Interestingly, they also do not have these habits of doing things like “rewarding themselves on the weekend” with a big meal or having food “out of the ordinary”.

They often eat the same food items, variety not being of first importance and will prepare them about the same way. There I no place here for “Thai food on Monday”, “Mexican on Tuesday” ect. It may seem boring for someone wanting a “trendy 2014 lifestyle”, but seems to be the way it goes for these centenarians.

I strongly believe there are no “written in stone” recommendations about any “optimal eating pattern”. Everyone should look for what does better for them are go along. But, still, when someone has founded “his pattern”, I like the idea of keeping it regular and avoiding “excess feeding of special food items” on any particular day or on celebration days…


Denis











Thursday, May 1, 2014

MORE COMMENTS ON "WRONG THINKING" OF INTEREST WHEN ON A ZERO CARB DIET


It seems my last post had a big success so it got motivated to write more stuff about all these wrong ideas too many people have about eating a low carb diet, not forgetting all the bad science about the wrongful “lipid hypothesis” that we had to support since the ‘70s.

What I like to do is make knowledge “accessible” to all, trying to keep explanations clear and simple. Of course, I know I should provide references each time I state something new but this is extremely time consuming and, at the end, it will change nothing to what I want to bring in.

So again today, I will state some “wrong thinking statements” that are, according to today’s science and research, misleading a lot of people and, sadly, keeping sick folks as sick as when they were first diagnosed.

By the way, I hope many of you had the chance to see Dr. Oz recent shows where he admits having given wrong advice when advocating a low fat diet, especially a low saturated fat diet. Not that I am a fan of his shows but he certainly reaches a lot of folks out there…

 “CHOLESTEROL IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF HEART DISEASE”

Just recently, new statistics came out confirming what we already knew about the relationship between cholesterol and hearth disease: there is NONE. Sadly, this will be overlook, as usual…

So here we go: 75 % of patients presenting themselves at the emergency room with a ongoing heart attack “have a normal lipid profile”. Yes, 75%!!! This is more then significant. What is particular about this study is, this time, they have included patient taking STATINS. Do you realize what this means? Folks that had probably just a little bit blood cholesterol were given STATINS, which normalize their blood lipid profile and, still, they suffer a hearth attack… ALONG with the other folks with NO STATIN and a long history of normal lipids.

But this is not all: 50 % of patients with ABNORMAL blood lipids NEVER have a hearth attack. What do we need more to convince ourselves cholesterol has nothing to do with hearth diseases? The only reason there is “some” cholesterol in artery blockage is it came after to repair the damages CAUSE BY SOMETHING ELSE.

Even the COCHRANE GROUP, an independent international structure evaluating the real value of any medical treatment, have found NO relationship between cholesterol and hearth diseases after reviewing the available literature on the subject including more then 70 studies.

Of course, we must be careful here about the real problem with cholesterol, the “genetic hypercholesterolemia” diseases that can be very serious. But, even then, if there is NO initial damage done to the arterial lining, considering the excess LDL in the blood are not oxidized, the chances of having a hearth attack is very low. And how this is done? By cutting down inflammation in the body, which causes the said arterial damage and the said oxidation of LDL. And what is the BEST way to cut down inflammation? By cutting down carbohydrates in the diet…

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS IS MADE OF CHOLESTEROL DEPOSIT”

Strangely, it is quite difficult to find any pathological study of the lipid composition of arteriosclerosis deposit in arteries.

I said and insist on “strange” because this should be of the first interest. Anyway, one nice study was done in the 90’s and luckily, one more recently, and they have both the same conclusions: when one analyses the “fat profile” of artery deposit, nearly 80% is made of UNSATURATED fats (including monounsaturated like olive oil, AND polyunsaturated like corn or soy omega-6 rich vegetable oils).

SO WHERE IS THE SUPPOSE SATURATED FAT AND THE CHOLESTEROL DEPOSIT IN THE BLOCKED ARTERIES??? Well, they make up the 20% of what is left in the lipid profile… not very much…

I must also underline these “arteriosclerotic” blockage do not only contains lipids. They also include other materials like calcium, fibrous structures such as collagen, debris from dead cells, dendritic cells, mast cells, macrophages, foam cells, monocytes, smooth muscle cells, T cells, the list is so long that cholesterol looks like a minimalistic substance in all this (give a look to the following diagram showing a cross-section of a lumen blockage and look for the cholesterol…)




The end point: avoid unsaturated cheap vegetable oils full of omega-6  which can get easily oxidized and glycated (by glucose) when transported toward your cells by your LDL and so, are at ease to penetrate any lesion if they are present in your arteries.

“THE HUMAN BODY ‘NEEDS’ GLUCOSE”

Maybe I am repeating myself but, still, I will say it again: no medical or nutrition textbooks have ever stated the human body needs a diet containing glucose to work properly.

Still, and I will not argue here, some of the our body cells do need glucose to perform: our blood red cells, some cells in our eyes and a few in our kidneys. But this is it. And if you calculate these needs, which are evaluated at 30 g of glucose per day, which is extremely minimal, they are certainly far away from the 310 g of carbohydrates recommended per day by our “health authorities”.

Our needs in glucose are so small that our body can produce it from proteins and fats. To detail how efficient our body is at doing its job of “neoglucogenesis”, up to about 50% of proteins and 10% of the fat we eat can by transformed into glucose to answer our daily requirements.

The other sad thing about glucose is that, to often, it is provided as a “simple sugar” in diets, simple meaning “refined”. And, sadly again, “refined” means void of nutritious value. Yes, a thing like white sugar contains only “useless glucose” and nothing else: no vitamins, no minerals, no antioxidants, absolutely no nutrients the body desesperatly needs to keep working properly.

“FRUCTOSE IS A ‘GOOD SUGAR’ AS IT IS CONTAINED IN FRUITS”

In the recent years, and I am happy about this, fructose is getting bad marks. To make it short, fructose is to our body what alcohol is: it is toxic, especially to our liver and brain.

Fructose is not welcome in our body. Why? Because our body has no use for it and so, no real efficient pathways to metabolize it properly. So, as for other unwanted substances entering our system, our body will have to use its “desintoxication center” to get rid of fructose and this is when the LIVER become handy. But there is a price for this job and, as for alcohol, each time the liver has an overload of fructose to clear up, it suffers. The process is simple: it will transform fructose in triglycerides that will slowly “infiltrate” the liver and so, make it fat. This is what we call the “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD), a problem affecting 45% of the general population. It makes these folks at risk for permanent liver damage (where the liver enlarges) and, over time, liver cells are replaced by scar tissues. This is called cirrhosis, a situation when liver can’t work properly and may develop function failure, cancer and eventually death. And all these damages, very often underestimated, are not better then what alcohol can do to the liver…

So why do folks believe fructose, as it is contained in fruit, has to be good for us? We first have to understand today’s fruit have nothing to do with the original one created in nature. Nowadays, fruits are larger, contains much more sugar and much less fiber. To give an example of the gravity of the situation, monkeys in zoo are now getting diabetes because they are fed new hybrid of bananas that are so sweet, their liver cannot metabolize all the fructose they contain.

We now think that the “sweetness” of the fruits our ancestors got in nature (and only in season…) is comparable with the sweetness of a carrot from today. Not very sweet, indeed. So when some folks are gorging on fruits thinking it is good for their health, they expose their livers to huge amount of fructose with all the consequences you know.

But fructose is not only bad for your liver; it has also a lot of effect on the human body; but his will make the subject of a future posting.

“EVERYONE WITH HIGH CHOLESTEROL SHOULD TAKE STATINS”

I will begin writing on this subject by citing a striking fact: nowadays, any patient admitted into hospital for a hearth attack will automaticaly get some STATINS prescribed and, most of the time, even WITHOUT any lipid profile done. This is how much doctors are convinced (by who???...) STATINS are essential… no more discussion. This is scary; and certainly not a very objective approach.

I am always amazed when I see statistic about STATINS prescriptions. In the US population, 50%of all adult folks are taking STATINS and, in some regions, this number goes up to 75%. Personality, I do not think nature could have created the humane body SO weak and SO in need to take an artificial chemical molecule like STATINS to survive.

And this is done when studies have proven STATINS offers no protection for women, no protection for men without a history of hearth problem and certainly no protection for anyone over 65 years old…

Sadly, many “authorities” advice to continue STATINS up to 85 years old while other “authorities” are proposing to make them “mandatory for all” or, even worst, forcing Water Companies to add them into tap water like we did with fluorine….
But what scares me more is to think some “authorities” would like to do a lipid profile to all newborns (maybe even earlier by taking a blood sample while in the gestation state inside the mother) and prescribe STATINS if needed…

Again, I believe if a patient suffers from “familiar genetic hypercholesterolemia” and has a problem getting his liver to recycle his LDL because of a lack of receptors, maybe a STATIN would be required… but this has to come well after everything is done to prevent damages to the inside lining of arteries!!!

Denis





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