Friday, November 01, 2013

Surprising new breakthrough in heart health….

Today's Post:  Friday, 11-1-2013

A really surprising new breakthrough in heart health showed up in my email this week.

Before I say what it is and the definite limitations on using it, here is the background to understand how truly huge this breakthrough is:

If you’ve been reading about the causes of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes -- either here or in any number of places knowledgable about this subject, here are some things you likely have read:

1.  Not all LDL is dangerous. 

The kind that has large fluffy particles rolls along the surface of your blood vessels like tumbleweeds.

And that only becomes a problem if high blood sugar puts spikes of sugar on them or they become highly oxidized.

2.  The LDL that is always harmful causes the gradual build up of heart disease, damage to the inside of your blood vessels, and builds up plaque inside them to reduce blood flow more and more and cause any clots to block blood flow entirely.

It’s been found that these tiny and dense LDL particles are like pouring fine sand into an engine.  They are literally so tiny they literally penetrate the spaces between the parts of your blood vessel walls.  They tend to get stuck.  THEN, when they do, your arteries become inflamed and order up repairs.  (They order up far less if you have no excessive chronic inflammation when that happens.)

But those repairs usually build up gradually into permanent plaque.  If that happens too much and too often, you begin to lose some blood flow and the plaque tends to calcify.

Then any clots become serious risks to block the remaining blood flow, your blood vessels become stiff, you get high blood pressure and your blood flow is less resilient and adaptable when you need more.

3.  So, if you prevent the formation of these tiny LDL particles and high chronic inflammation and take or eat the vitamin K2 so more of your blood calcium goes into your bones and far less into these plaques, you can get quite effective protection from heart disease.

4.  Work at Harvard found that while you can get a $600 or more test directly to find out how many of these dangerous small particles of LDL you have, you can get a 95% or better reading by just getting the dramatically cheaper standard lipid panel.

If your HDL is very high and your triglycerides are low, you hardly have any of these dangerous small particles of LDL.  (I’ve achieved that. My 100 HDL or more is almost three times as high as my typical triglycerides of 37.)

But, if you eat as most people still do in the United States and never really get any exercise you can easily have LDL of less than 40 and triglycerides of over 200!  YIKES!

That means you have more than five times as much triglycerides as your HDL. 

Only heavy smoking or massive exposure to second tobacco smoke will give you heart disease as fast and reliably as readings like that will!

5.  So if you do the things that boost HDL and lower triglycerides or simply reduce these particles of tiny LDL directly, you protect your heart.

And, if you don’t do those things and do the things that cause the reverse, you will gradually get heart disease and drugs like statins produce too weak an effect to do much for you!

6.  So what are these things to do and not do?

a)  Any regular exercise tends to reduce your amount of dangerous small particles of LDL.  Regular vigorous exercise reduces them even more.  And, the more years of regular vigorous exercise you do in a row the cumulative effect really cuts down on them research found recently.

b) Eating foods like choline (in egg yolks & supplements), raw tree nuts if you aren’t allergic, and organic berries increases your HDL level.  NOT eating oils high in omega 6 and using extra virgin olive oil instead; eating or taking animal based omega 3 oils; and eating garlic and onions each tend to lower triglycerides.  Drinking moderate or even high moderate amounts of red wine increases HDL.

Taking the B vitamin niacin and the supplement insositol hexaniacinate increase HDL AND lower both LDL AND triglycerides.  That means that like exercise, taking these likely reduces your amount of dangerous small particles of LDL.

c) To the absolute best of your ability NEVER, EVER ingest ANY hydrogenated vegetable oils.  They are quite literally heart attack starter.  First, they have been proved to directly increase the amount of dangerous small particles of LDL in your blood. 

Second, cutting down or eating less IS NOT enough to protect you!  Your body is only able to get rid of this half of this stuff over a period of weeks if you eat any.  So if you eat even a tiny bit such as daily use of nondairy creamer which is made out of the stuff, after a couple of months your blood has enough of this heart attack starter to do you serious harm every single day after that.

Never eat any food that fails to list zero trans fats or ANY amount of partially or fully hydrogenated oils as an ingredient.

d) Never eat or drink anything containing high fructose corn syrup.  Avoid using artificial sweeteners. Do your best to never eat refined grain foods or foods with refined wheat flour.  And minimize even your intake of whole grains.  Use real sugar very sparingly and NOT every day.  (The average American takes in 7 tablespoons a day of sugar.  7 tablespoons a week is the most you should eat!)


Every single one of these things boosts the dickens out of your triglyceride levels!

Readings of over 200 or even over 300 are quite common for people who eat and drink this stuff every day.

Remember that Harvard study?  That conclusively proves that these foods and drinks are also heart attack starter and also boost the dickens out your dangerous small particles of LDL!

So what is this really surprising new breakthrough in heart health?

It’s a new understanding of another way to reduce the level of dangerous small particles of LDL and increase the number of the safe and fluffy larger kind!

Eating saturated fats from plants and animals tends to boost the safe and fluffy kind of LDL and lower the dangerous small particle LDL.

Does that mean that coconut and coconut oil and chocolate and butter and cheese and beef can be OK for your heart to eat?!

Surprisingly it does!  (There are some limitations on that you must know about to use it safely.  But this is an astonishing finding!

Aseem Malhotra. a cardiologist in the UK, has found that “Patients with high LDL are told to cut saturated fats from their diets. But that's a tragic mistake. Take away saturated fats and the fluffy LDL disappears. Meanwhile, the small, dense (and dangerous) LDL increases.”


That’s a huge discovery! 

But were the folks who said to cut meat and cheese and butter wrong?

This finding says yes they were wrong in part.

Then why do people who eat less of these things often have better health?
And, why in BOTH France in China was it found by large scale studies that the more saturated fat food people ate in an area the higher their heart attack rate?

1.  The huge two things now that make this far less OK than this discovery suggests in the United States are:

The animals and poultry sold in most stores are fed grains, mostly corn, have fats that besides the saturated fat also contain so much pro-inflammatory omega 6 oils -- 10 to 20 TIMES too much -- that they cause more heart disease that way than this effect can reverse!

And these grains are GMO and highly sprayed with herbicides and pesticides that then become bioconcentrated in the oils and fats of those animals.  Oops!

So for such food, removing as much fat as you can; buying the leanest, most fat free version; and eating it less often all make excellent sense!  The DASH II diet does each of these things and gets good health results.

2.  Many meats are “processed” and have extra salt and preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites  added too.  Ham, bacon, sausage, lunch meat and the like all do this.  But high sodium and salt intake and these other preservatives tend to directly cause the same kind of damage that small particle LDL does in your blood vessels.

3.  If you eat foods high in saturated fat enough that you take in too little monosaturated fats from olive oil and other sources and omega 3 oils, doing so tends to cause deficiencies of those oils and boost inflammation.

4.  If you fail to eat enough organic vegetables for good health because you are already full from eating foods high in saturated fats, that too can cause health problems.

5.  The areas in China and France that ate higher levels of saturated fats were likely more affluent and may have also exercised less and eaten more sugars besides eating a lot of saturated fat.

So you now know that it IS OK to eat foods high in saturated fat.

But to do it safely act on those 5 factors.

Do as the DASH II diet suggests if you are eating saturated fat from animal foods where the animals were grain fed. Avoid as much fat as you can and don’t eat too much of it or too often.

Better yet, STOP buying those foods at all and only buy foods from naturally fed animals!  It costs more, so you’ll likely eat a bit less for that reason.  But in moderation and slow cooked, eggs from pastured hens, cheese and butter and yogurt from cows fed only grass; meat from cows or lambs fed only grass, and entirely wild caught fish ARE OK to eat.

Be sure to exercise and also eat a LOT of organic vegetables.

And only eat processed meats once or twice most months if at all.

Does this mean that the Atkins people and the people who follow Paleo are and were correct?

Yes.  Basically it does. 

But note the ways to make their eating style safe to do MUST be followed to avoid causing these other problems.

The fun thing is that many Paleo advocates and Atkins people now do exactly that!

Do their HDL and triglycerides show it?  Yes. They get excellent readings!

And, are they far less fat than people who don’t eat as they do? 

That’s also true!

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