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No Need to be a Vegan to Avoid Heart Attacks

After the first heart attack your doctor urges you to quit eating saturated fat and cholesterol and start exercising. If that doesn’t decrease the level of LDH-cholesterol you get a prescription for one of the statins that blocks a liver enzyme that makes the so-called bad cholesterol. Why doesn’t lowering blood cholesterol prevent a second heart attack? According to several articles in the journal “Life Extension” there are sixteen other factors besides high cholesterol that can contribute to heart attacks. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, stress and inflammation.

High homocysteine is an independent factor. This is an abnormal amino acid formed in the body when it doesn’t have enough of the vitamins B-12, B-6 and folic acid. Folic acid is in green leafy vegetables. Liver and yeast are good sources of vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-12 is made by intestinal bacteria when a person eats animal foods.

Smoking is the biggest factor in heart attacks. Nicotine makes the heart beat faster but constricts small blood vessels, raising blood pressure. The lining of blood vessels can be made stiffer by eating trans-fats or too many sugars that combine with the proteins in cell walls. Stiff cell walls are prone to injury from high blood pressure. The injuries attract white blood cells, cholesterol, fat and platelets. Later calcium might be deposited forming plaque.

The average person thinks that Bill Clinton had to have another heart operation because of eating too many hamburgers. No one talked about his smoking cigars or if he used soft drinks. Just because tri-glycerides (blood fats) and LDH-cholesterol are found in plaque doesn’t mean they came from the diet. The liver makes both cholesterol and blood fats from sugars, especially high-fructose corn syrup. Humans have been eating animal fats and cholesterol for eons of time. The French, the Amish and nomadic herders still do. Any study that claims that saturated fats are bad isn’t using organic fats. The animal fats in most cheeseburgers today come from factory farms so are loaded with insecticides, antibiotics and other toxins. These are the substances to avoid, not fat per se. For what you have been spending on anti-cholesterol pills you could have bought organic eggs and meat.

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Many Risk Factors in Cardiovascular Disease

A recent article in the journal “Circulation”talks about persons in the Framingham study begun in 1948. If men have more than 2 risk factors by age 50 they had a 69% chance of a heart attack. Women had a 50% chance. Those with only one factor had 5% and 8% chances respectively.

Factors include high blood pressure and diabetes but the head of the study has always implied that cholesterol levels were most important, even though a third of fatal heart attacks were in men with normal or low cholesterol.

William Faloon in the Sept. 2010 issue of “Life Extension” says there are 17 risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These can be measured by blood tests. He says that diet and high potency supplements can counteract these factors. You don’t have to take possibly dangerous drugs or have surgery to prevent possible heart attacks.

I see that several risk factors are interrelated. High blood glucose and high insulin are present in adult onset diabetes. High LDL-cholesterol especially when oxidized can clog arteries. Fifty years ago, the doctors Shutes found that vitamin E could prevent the oxidation that makes cholesterol sticky.

Many scientists now agree that elevated C-Reactive Protein is the best indicator of the risk of a heart attack. It shows that inflammation is present in the body. It might indicate micro-injuries in blood vessel walls. Since the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fish oils help the immune system and block inflammation, eating fish can help prevent heart disease.

An independent risk factor is high levels of homocysteine as shown by Dr. McCully. This can be corrected by folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12.

Newer research shows the importance of vitamin D and vitamin K to prevent deposits of calcium in blood vessel walls when micro-injuries are being patched with cholesterol. Use of sun-screens prevents your skin making vitamin D and no longer drinking vitamin D rich whole milk cuts out that source. Hardly anyone now eats organ meats that are a rich source of vitamin K. Most Americans now need supplements.

Note that vitamin D is made by the body from cholesterol Cholesterol is also the starting molecule for sex hormones and adrenal hormones. Cholesterol is a major component of brain tissue and is in all cell membranes. It is necessary for life.  LDL-cholesterol is dangerous only when made in excess by your liver from high-fructose corn syrup. A heart-healthy diet would eliminate soft drinks not egg yolks.

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