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Fewer Americans Should Use Statins

A recent report by doctors who believe in lowering cholesterol with statins said that even though 30% of adults now take statins, it should be more. Heart disease is indeed the biggest killer of both men and women but it hasn’t gone down in over 20 years of statin use. Shouldn’t doctors look at conditions that correlate better with cardiovascular disease than cholesterol does?
A high CRP (C-Reactive Protein) level is a better predictor of heart attacks. CRP can show that inflammation, a collection of certain white blood cells, is present. This may indicate micro-injuries in the walls of blood vessels. Factors that cause the cell walls to be stiff and prone to injury include trans-fats (artificially hydrogenated vegetable oils) and the formation of AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products) when sugars attach on to the proteins in cell walls. This occurs when blood sugar gets too high after a person has too much sugar. The average American used 100 pounds per year in 1970 and now has over 150 pounds of sweeteners per year.
When blood pressure rises in these less flexible vessels after smoking or from stress, then micro-injuries occur, patched by cholesterol along with certain white blood cells. Sometimes these collections are easily oxidized and break off to lodge in the heart as a heart attack or in the brain as a stroke.
Cholesterol does not cause heart attacks. It is necessary for life and is the major substance in your brain. No wonder that depression is one of the side effects of too low cholesterol. Your body uses cholesterol to make sex hormones and vitamin D and is important in all cells. Your liver does make excess LDL-cholesterol from high-fructose corn syrup, so avoid food and drink with this sugar. Raise your good HDL-cholesterol by exercise and eating organic saturated fat.
Side effects of statins include muscle pain and weakness. They are not benign. Statins not only block the liver’s ability to make cholesterol but also co-enzyme Q10, important in many cellular reactions. Most Americans are not the rare persons with faulty genes and cholesterol levels over 600 who prefer statins to niacin to lower their cholesterol.
Be naturally healthy by eating only organic animal fats or vegetable oils and avoiding trans-fats and too many sugars.

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The Truth about Cholesterol from a Heart Surgeon

Dr. Dwight Lundell has done heart surgery for over twenty years. When patients on anti-cholesterol drugs came back with a second heart attack, he knew cholesterol couldn’t be the cause of heart disease. Read his book “The Great Cholesterol Lie. Why Inflammation Kills and the Real Cure for Heart Disease” Dr Lundell notes that decreasing fat and cholesterol in the diet had no effect on the incidence of heart disease. He saw that the level of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in the blood did predict risk of a heart attack. CRP is a sign of inflammation somewhere in the body. He says aspirin helps prevent heart attacks by decreasing inflammation. He says a modern diet high in sugars and omega-6 fatty acids causes inflammation within blood vessels.

Removing a cause of deposits in arteries makes more sense than using a statin drug to block the enzyme in the liver that makes cholesterol. As mentioned in my talks and my book, cholesterol is used throughout the body and is essential for life itself. Heart attacks were rare a century ago. They increased during the 1900s as more people smoked. By 1970 most doctors said not to eat animal fat or cholesterol. This only helped the patients who also gave up smoking, exercised and ate lots of vegetables. Dr. Dean Ornish added yoga, meditation and group therapy. His strict regimen dissolved fatty deposits. Anti-cholesterol drugs and flattening out the fatty plaque with a balloon catheter has become an alternative quick fix. But it doesn’t get at causes of heart disease.

Most doctors ignored factors like excess homocysteine or effects of trans-fats like margarine on arterial walls. As people ate less fat, they ate more sugars. Sugar use went from 20 pounds per person per year in 1900 to 100 pounds in 1970 and is now over 150 pounds of sweeteners, the worst being high-fructose corn syrup. Sugars can combine with proteins and make cell walls stiff in a process called glycation. A stiff wall in an artery makes it prone to injury. If blood pressure goes up, whether from nicotine or stress hormones, vessel walls get micro-injuries, repaired by cholesterol, white cells and other components of inflammation. I agree with Dr.Lundell that we should eat like our ancestors to prevent heart attacks.

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Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

Magnesium is important for optimum health. It aids over 300 chemical reactions in the human body Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar, is important in energy metabolism and making new proteins. It helps nerves, muscles, the heart and normal blood pressure. It aids the immune system and along with calcium keeps bones strong.

A government study in 2005 showed that 68% of Americans don’t even get the recommended minimum of 420 mg. a day. If you ever got muscle cramps at night, your doctor may have recommended taking calcium. A very active hiker said he took calcium and still got cramps after an active day. I gave him some of my magnesium tablets. He chewed them well for good absorption and had no more cramps

D.King and co-workers (J.Am.Col.Nutr. 2005) showed that persons with low magnesium had high C-Reactive Protein levels. High CRP values indicate inflammation that may be a factor in cardiovascular disease, some cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease. Even sixty years ago, obstetricians injected magnesium for the high blood pressure in toxemia of pregnancy. It is used routinely in patients in intensive care units.

Dr. Michael and Dr. Mary Dan Eades say that magnesium can replace calcium-channel-blockers and other drugs used for high blood pressure, migraines, allergies and asthma attacks. However, magnesium js cheap and not considered a medication by most doctors.

Broccoli contains magnesium while cauliflower, another cruciferous vegetable, is white. Magnesium is in chlorophyll which gives some vegetables their green color. Even eating lots of green vegetables won’t give you enough magnesium and most bottled waters have little or none. You can get magnesium tablets at your drug store. You don’t want the higher doses that relieve constipation. I take about half as much magnesium as calcium to keep my bones strong and stay healthy without drugs.

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