by Dr. Paul Jaconello
Doctor Jaconello is the Medical Director of the Jaconello Health Centre for Nutritional and Preventive Medicine
Ancel Keyes, one of America’s foremost epidemiologists stated in 1956 that "In the adult human, the serum cholesterol level is essentially independent of the cholesterol intake over the whole range of human diets." Then in the Journal of Nutrition in 1997 and Journal of Cardiovascular Risk in 1996, he stated: "There’s no connection whatsoever between total cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter, at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit."
But in the media and from many medical doctors and certified nutritionists, the public is told to reduce its consumption of fat and cholesterol. Labels on food packages boldly state "CHOLESTEROL FREE."
Also, in two major studies (Framingham Heart Study and The Tecumseh Study), the following conclusions were made:
The Tecumseh Study’s conclusion was that serum cholesterol and triglyceride values were NOT positively correlated with the selection of native dietary fat constituents.
The Framingham Study conclusions were that the more one ate of saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, the lower were these people’s cholesterol levels.
Dr. William Castelli, M.D., The Director of Framingham Study stated in American Journal of Cardiology in 2001, that the people who ate the most cholesterol, saturated fat and calories weighed the least and were the most physically active.
So what is a person supposed to do with this confusion of consequence and cause?
It seems that cholesterol and fat in themselves are not toxic to the vascular wall when they are in an non-oxidized state or not in an altered state from overheating (as in deep-frying) and hydrogenation (as in what are called transfatty acids).
It is oxidized cholesterol that damages the vascular wall. This is like the analogy of a pipe that rusts when it oxidizes and as an individual, you want to prevent biological rusting inside the blood vessels by appropriate eating habits.
For instance, eggs should be soft boiled or poached not fried or scrambled or omlettized! Avoid deep fried foods, potato chips, packaged fats with partially hydrogenated vegetable fats, french fries. A person needs to consume native fats and select fresh food produce whenever possible.
Also statin drugs are now widely used to lower cholesterol levels. Presently health authorities are promoting that every person take a pill that contains aspirin, a statin drug and an ACE inhibitor and they surmise that doing this would dramatically reduce mortality and morbidity from diseases of the cardiovascular system. This is an unsettling paradigm to use widespread pharmaceutical agents over the majority of the population.
What do statins do? It seems that their effects are independent of LDL-cholesterol level and LDL- cholesterol reduction and too fast for LDL changes to explain.
Statins are antioxidants in their own rights and so by reducing free radical activity and by correcting at least, in part, the antioxidant deficits that people at risk to heart disease have, they show benefit.
Also statins reduce levels of Co-Enzyme Q10 by up to 50% and this has been linked to accelerated muscle breakdown and chronic fatigue in those who take this group of drugs. In fact, all patients on a statin should take 100 mg of Co-Enzyme Q 10 on a daily bases.
It may be that a full range of non-reactive antioxidants would be more physiological than the statins as antioxidant compensating agents.
The goal is to eat what you can digest, assimilate and eliminate without wrongful oxidation with a high intake of alkaline foods. These would include fruits, vegetables, lentils, seeds, sprouts, roots and tubers. Acidifying foods such as grains, grasses, fowl, fish and seafood, dairy products, meats and most beans are acidifying and should compromise no more than 30% of a person’s food intake.
As Thomas Alva Edison said, "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food".
Paul Jaconello, M.D.
Doctor Jaconello is the Medical Director of the Jaconello Health Centre for Nutritional and Preventive Medicine.
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