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Posted by: | Posted on: November 22, 2019

8 Juicy Reasons to Eat More Strawberries

© 30th October 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/8-juicy-reasons-eat-more-strawberries

Posted on: Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 11:00 am

Who doesn’t love strawberries? And you don’t need any reason other than the pleasure of their sweetness to eat them every day. But according to researchers from Oklahoma State University, there’s lots more to strawberries than the flavor.[i]

Their study was published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition with funding from the NIH and the California Strawberry Commission. In it the researchers review over 130 studies attesting to the strawberry’s status as a “functional food.”

There is no regulated meaning for the term “functional food.” But it usually refers to a food that provides some benefit in addition to calories that may reduce disease risk or promote general health. That can be said of every fresh, organic whole food. But functional food is also a term that has become a marketing tool for food manufacturers who “enrich” their processed foods with vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements.

But strawberries don’t need any enriching. They consistently rank among the top fruits and vegetables for health benefits. They are full of powerful natural compounds that include:

  • Antioxidants – Strawberries were found to have higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) activity than black raspberries, blackberries or red raspberries.[ii] One study even found strawberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL fruits and vegetables commonly available in the UK as measured by the trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay.[iii]
  • Polyphenols – Strawberries have been listed among the 100 richest sources of dietary polyphenols.[iv] They contain flavonoids like catechin, epicatechin, quercetinkaempferol, cyanidins, naringenin, hesperadin, pelargonidin, ellagic acid and ellagitannins. Flavonoids are free radical scavengers, and have anti-inflammatory effects. They also dilate blood vessels and slow tumor growth.
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Strawberries are high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), B vitamins, vitamin E, folate, carotenoids and potassium.
  • Anthocyanins – These are water-soluble compounds responsible for the deep colors of berries and are among the principal bioactives in strawberries.
  • Phytosterols – These plant-derived sterols have structures and functions similar to cholesterol.

All of those natural components translate to a broad range of health benefits. Animal and cell culture studies show strawberries may be effective in reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease including obesity, hyperglycemiahyperlipidemiahypertension, and oxidative stress.

Here are eight scientifically proven reasons to eat more strawberries:

1. Strawberries Lower Heart Attack Risk

In an analysis of data from over 93,000 subjects in the famous Nurses’ Health Study I and the Nurses’ Health Study II, researchers looked at the effects of eating strawberries and blueberries on cardiovascular health. They found that over a 14-year period, women eating just three servings weekly of blueberries or strawberries reduced their risk of heart attack by 33% compared to those eating berries once monthly or less.[v]

In addition, in an analysis of data from over 34,489 postmenopausal women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, eating strawberries was associated with a significant reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease over a 16-year follow-up period.[vi]

2. Strawberries Reduce Hypertension

Researchers again used the data from the two Nurses Studies as well as data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study to measure cardiovascular health benefits of strawberry and blueberry anthocyanins. They found that higher intakes of strawberry and blueberry anthocyanins (16-22 mg/day) were associated with a significant 8% reduction in the risk of hypertension. That was compared to those consuming only 5-7 mg/day of berry anthocyanins.[vii]

3. Strawberries Lower Inflammation and C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

In a study of 38,176 female US health professionals enrolled in the Women’s Health Study participants were asked whether they ate fresh, frozen, or canned strawberries “never,” or “less than one serving per month,” or up to “6+ servings per day.” Over an 11-year follow-up period, cardiovascular disease was lower among those consuming more strawberries.

CRP levels were significantly reduced among women consuming just two or more servings of strawberries per week.[viii]Elevated CRP is strongly associated with inflammation and is a high-risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

4. Strawberries Reduce Cancer Risk

In a prospective five-year cohort study in an elderly population, higher consumption of fresh strawberries and other fruits and vegetables was associated with significantly reduced cancer mortality. The authors attribute these observations to the carotenoid content of fruits and vegetables known to exert anti-carcinogenic effects.[ix]

In another larger five-year prospective cohort study, eating more foods from the Rosaceae botanical subgroup, including strawberries, was associated with a protective effect against esophageal squamous cell carcinoma compared to eating less of this fruit group.[x] The same cohort also reported reduced rates of head and neck cancer among those consuming more servings of the Rosaceae botanical subgroup including strawberries.[xi]

Other studies show that strawberries can even reverse early stage esophageal cancer.

5. Strawberries Reduce Oxidized Cholesterol

Studies show strawberries increase plasma antioxidant capacity helping to reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol. In human trials fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried strawberries were shown to reduce oxidative stress associated with metabolic syndrome or eating high-fat meals.[xii]

6. Strawberries Lower LDL Cholesterol and Raise HDL Cholesterol

The fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenols in strawberries have been shown to lower serum total and LDL cholesterol.[xiii] It’s also been shown to raise serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol.[xiv]

7. Strawberries Help Control Blood Glucose Levels

Polypenols in a berry mixture that included strawberries produced a lower glucose response after eating a meal.[xv]

8. Strawberries May Help Reverse Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disorders

In an animal study researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts found that strawberry extracts significantly reversed signs of age-related neuronal deficits.[xvi]

And animals eating a diet including 2% strawberries for two months showed significant protection from radiation damage to neurons.[xvii] Researchers suggest that strawberries and other berries may have a role in reversing Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.[xviii]

Are Fresh or Frozen Strawberries Better?

Studies show benefits to all forms of strawberries whether fresh, frozen, dried, pureed, or made into juices or jams. But the more they’re processed the more strawberries can lose some of their active compounds.

Frozen strawberries have significantly higher vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and polyphenols than freeze-dried or air-dried.[xix] Processing strawberries into juices and purees also results in a loss of ascorbic acid, polyphenols, and antioxidant capacity.[xx] And canning strawberries or making them into jams can significantly reduce the levels of anthocyanins and total phenolic compounds.[xxi]

Fresh or frozen are the best choices for health benefits when it comes to strawberries. But processed strawberry products still have some benefits and are a good choice when the real things aren’t in season.

Just remember to buy organic berries. Most conventionally grown strawberries are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

For more studies visit GreenMedInfo’s page on strawberries.

Originally published: 2014-10-07

Article updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Arpita Basu , Angel Nguyen , Nancy M. Betts & Timothy J. Lyons “Strawberry As a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, (2014) 54:6, 790-806.

[ii] Wang, S. Y., and Lin, H. S. (2000). “Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 48:140-146.

[iii] Proteggente, A. R., Pannala, A. S., Paganga, G., Van Buren, L., Wagner, E., Wiseman, S., Van De Put, F., Dacombe, C., and Rice-Evans, C. A. (2002). The antioxidant activity of regularly consumed fruit and vegetables reflects their phenolic and vitamin c compositionFree Radic. Res. 36:217-233.

[iv] P’erez-Jim’enez, J., Neveu, V., Vos, F., and Scalbert, A. (2010). “Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: An application of the phenolexplorer database.” Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 64:S112-S120.

[v] Aedín Cassidy, Kenneth J Mukamal, Lydia Liu, Mary Franz, A Heather Eliassen, Eric B Rimm. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Circulation. 2013 Jan 15 ;127(2):188-96.

[vi] Mink, P. J., Scrafford, C. G., Barraj, L. M.,Harnack, L., Hong, C. P.,Nettleton, J. A., and Jacobs, D. R., Jr. (2007). Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: A prospective study in postmenopausal womenAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 85:895-909.

[vii] Cassidy, A., O’Reilly, E. J., Kay, C., Sampson, L., Franz, M., Forman, J. P., Curhan, G., and Rimm, E. B. (2010). Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93:338-347.

[viii] Sesso, H. D., Gaziano, J. M., Jenkins, D. J., and Buring, J. E. (2007). Strawberry intake, lipids, c-reactive protein, and the risk of cardiovascular disease in womenJ. Am. Coll. Nutr. 26:303-310.

[ix] Colditz, G. A., Branch, L. G., Lipnick, R. J.,Willett,W. C., Rosner, B., Posner, B. M., and Hennekens, C. H. (1985). Increased green and yellow vegetable intake and lowered cancer deaths in an elderly populationAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 41:32-36.

[x] Freedman, N. D., Park, Y., Subar, A. F., Hollenbeck, A. R., Leitzmann, M. F., Schatzkin, A., and Abnet, C. C. (2007). Fruit and vegetable intake and esophageal cancer in a large prospective cohort studyInt. J. Cancer. 121:2753-2760.

[xi] Freedman, N. D., Park, Y., Subar, A. F., Hollenbeck, A. R., Leitzmann, M. F., Schatzkin, A., and Abnet, C. C. (2008). Fruit and vegetable intake and head and neck cancer risk in a large United States prospective cohort studyInt. J.Cancer. 122:2330-2336.

[xii] Paiva, S. A., Yeum, K. J., Cao, G., Prior, R. L., and Russell, R. M. (1998). Postprandial plasma carotenoid responses following consumption of strawberries, red wine, vitamin c or spinach by elderly womenJ. Nutr. 128:2391-2394.

[xiii] Basu, A., Fu, D. X., Wilkinson, M., Simmons, B., Wu, M., Betts, N. M., Du, M., and Lyons, T. J. (2010). Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndromeNutr. Res. 30:462-469.

[xiv] Erlund, I., Koli, R., Alfthan, G., Marniemi, J., Puukka, P., Mustonen, P.,Mattila, P., and Jula, A. (2008). Favorable effects of berry consumption on platelet function, blood pressure, and hdl cholesterolAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 87:323-331.

[xv] T¨orr¨onen, R., Sarkkinen, E., Tapola, N., Hautaniemi, E.,Kilpi, K., andNiskanen, L. (2010). Berries modify the postprandial plasma glucose response to sucrose in healthy subjectsBr. J. Nutr. 103:1094-1097

[xvi] Joseph, J. A., Shukitt-Hale, B., Denisova, N. A., Prior, R. L., Cao, G., Martin, A., Taglialatela, G., and Bickford, P. C. (1998). Long-term dietary strawberry, spinach, or vitamin e supplementation retards the onset of age-related neuronal signal-transduction and cognitive behavioral deficitsJ. Neurosci. 18:8047-8055.

[xvii] Rabin, B. M., Joseph, J. A., and Shukitt-Hale, B. (2005). Effects of age and diet on the heavy particle-induced disruption of operant responding produced by a ground-based model for exposure to cosmic raysBrain Res. 1036:122-129.

[xviii] Joseph, J. A., Shukitt-Hale, B., and Willis, L. M. (2009). Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behaviorJ. Nutr. 139:1813S-1817S.

[xix] Asami, D. K., Hong,Y. J.,Barrett, D. M., and Mitchell, A. E. (2003).Comparison of the total phenolic and ascorbic acid content of freeze-dried and air-dried marionberry, strawberry, and corn grown using conventional, organic, and sustainable agricultural practicesJ. Agric. Food Chem. 51:1237-1241.

[xx] Klopotek,Y., Otto, K., and B¨ohm,V. (2005). Processing strawberries to different products alters contents of vitamin c, total phenolics, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacityJ. Agric. Food Chem. 53:5640-5646.

[xxi] Ngo, T., Wrolstad, R. E., and Zhao, Y. (2007). Color quality of Oregon strawberries-impact of genotype, composition, and processingJ. Food Sci. 72:C025-C032.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
LeanMachine Note: Strawberries may also be sprayed, so organic is best, and wash before eating.
Posted by: | Posted on: July 25, 2019

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked July 24, 2019
Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/07/24/cholesterol-myth-what-really-causes-heart-disease.aspx
cholesterol myth what really causes heart disease

Story at-a-glance

  • A 2018 scientific review presents substantial evidence that high LDL and total cholesterol are not an indication of heart disease risk, and that statin treatment is of doubtful benefit as a form of primary prevention for this reason
  • Three recent reviews that supported the cholesterol hypothesis were found to have misrepresented data and findings of previous studies to support their own conclusions
  • Overall, the analysis found the association between total cholesterol and CVD is weak, absent or inverse in many studies
  • Older people with high LDL do not die prematurely — they actually live the longest, outliving both those with untreated low LDL and those on statin treatment
  • A 2015 meta-analysis of 11 statin drug studies found statin use postponed death by a mere 3.2 days in primary prevention trials and 4.1 days in secondary prevention trials

For the past six decades, the U.S. dietary advice has warned against eating cholesterol-rich foods, claiming dietary cholesterol promotes arterial plaque formation that leads to heart disease. We now have overwhelming evidence to the contrary, yet dogmatic thinking can be persistent, to say the least.

After decades’ worth of research failed to demonstrate a correlation between dietary cholesterol and heart disease, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans1,2 finally addressed this scientific shortcoming, announcing “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

To this day, the evidence keeps mounting, showing there’s no link between the two. Similarly, the evidence supporting the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to lower your risk of heart disease is slim to none, and is likely little more than the manufactured work of statin makers — at least that’s the implied conclusion of a scientific review3 published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology in 2018.

Cholesterol myth kept alive by statin advocates?

The 2018 review4 identified significant flaws in three recent studies “published by statin advocates” attempting “to validate the current dogma.” The paper presents substantial evidence that total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels are not an indication of heart disease risk, and that statin treatment is of “doubtful benefit” as a form of primary prevention for this reason. According to the authors:5

“According to the British-Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, a theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be shown to be false. If it cannot be falsified, it is not a scientific hypothesis. In the following, we have followed Popper’s principle to see whether it is possible to falsify the cholesterol hypothesis.

We have also assessed whether the conclusions from three recent reviews by its supporters are based on an accurate and comprehensive review of the research on lipids and cardiovascular disease (CVD) …

Our search for falsifications of the cholesterol hypothesis confirms that it is unable to satisfy any of the Bradford Hill criteria for causality and that the conclusions of the authors of the three reviews are based on misleading statistics, exclusion of unsuccessful trials and by ignoring numerous contradictory observations.”

As reported by Reason.com:6

“A comprehensive new study on cholesterol, based on results from more than a million patients, could help upend decades of government advice about diet, nutrition, health, prevention, and medication …

The study … centers on statins, a class of drugs used to lower levels of LDL-C, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, in the human body. According to the study, statins are pointless for most people …

The study also reports that ‘heart attack patients were shown to have lower than normal cholesterol levels of LDL-C’ and that older people with higher levels of bad cholesterol tend to live longer than those with lower levels.

No evidence cholesterol influences heart disease risk

Indeed, the authors of the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology analysis point out that were high total cholesterol in fact a major cause of atherosclerosis, “there should be exposure-response in cholesterol-lowering drug trials.”7 In other words, patients whose total cholesterol is lowered the most should also see the greatest benefit. Alas, that’s not the case.

A review of 16 relevant cholesterol-lowering trials (studies in which exposure-response was actually calculated), showed this kind of exposure-response was not detected in 15 of them. What’s more, the researchers point out that the only study8 showing a positive exposure-response to lowered cholesterol used exercise-only as the treatment.

Patients with high total cholesterol should also be at increased risk of death from CVD, but the researchers found no evidence of this either, not-so-subtly pointing out that this is “an idea supported by fraudulent reviews of the literature.” They provide the following example of how research has been misrepresented:9

“The hypothesis that high TC [total cholesterol] causes CVD was introduced in the 1960s by the authors of the Framingham Heart Study. However, in their 30-year follow-up study published in 1987, the authors reported that ‘For each 1 mg/dl drop in TC per year, there was an eleven percent increase in coronary and total mortality’.

Three years later, the American Heart Association and the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute published a joint summary concluding, ‘a one percent reduction in an individual’s TC results in an approximate two percent reduction in CHD risk’. The authors fraudulently referred to the Framingham publication to support this widely quoted false conclusion.”

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Contradictory findings routinely ignored or misrepresented

To determine whether the three reviews under analysis had misrepresented previous findings, they scoured the three papers for quotations from 12 studies reporting results “discordant with the cholesterol hypothesis.” Only one of the three reviews had quoted articles correctly, and even then, only two of the dozen studies were quoted correctly.10

“About half of the contradictory articles were ignored. In the rest, statistically nonsignificant findings in favor of the cholesterol hypothesis were inflated, and unsupportive results were quoted as if they were supportive. Only one of the six randomized cholesterol-lowering trials with a negative outcome was cited and only in one of the reviews.”

The researchers also highlight a large meta-analysis that simply ignored “at least a dozen studies” in which no or inverse association was shown. Overall, the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology analysis found that “the association between total cholesterol and CVD is weak, absent or inverse in many studies.”

No link between LDL and heart disease either

The Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology paper11 also tears apart claims that high LDL causes atherosclerosis and/or CVD. Just as with total cholesterol, if high LDL was in fact responsible for atherosclerosis, then patients with high LDL would be diagnosed with atherosclerosis more frequently, yet they’re not, and those with the highest levels would have the greatest severity of atherosclerosis, yet they don’t.

The researchers cite studies showing “no association” between LDL and coronary calcification or degree of atherosclerosis. Ditto for LDL and CVD. In fact, a study looking at nearly 140,000 patients with acute myocardial infarction found them to have lower than normal LDL at the time of admission.

Even more telling, another study, which had originally reported similar findings, still went ahead and lowered the patients’ LDL even more. At follow-up three years later, they discovered that patients with an LDL level below 105 mg/dl (2 mmol/L) had double the mortality rate of those with higher LDL.12

Interestingly, the authors suggest this inverse relationship may be due to low LDL increasing your risk for infectious diseases and cancer, both of which are common killers.

They also review evidence showing older people with high LDL do not die prematurely — they actually live the longest, outliving both those with untreated low LDL and those on statin treatment. One such study13,14 — a meta-analysis of 19 studies — found 92% of individuals with high cholesterol lived longer.

Benefits of statin treatment are overblown

Lastly, the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology paper analyzes statin claims, showing how studies exaggerate benefits through a variety of different tactics. Again, in some cases, by simply excluding unsuccessful trials.

“Furthermore, the most important outcome — an increase of life expectancy — has never been mentioned in any cholesterol-lowering trial, but as calculated recently by Kristensen et al.,15 statin treatment does not prolong lifespan by more than an average of a few days,” the authors state.16

Indeed, the study they’re referring to, published in BMJ Open in 2015, which looked at 11 studies with a follow-up between two and 6.1 years, found “Death was postponed between -5 and 19 days in primary prevention trials and between -10 and 27 days in secondary prevention trials.” The median postponement of death in primary prevention trials was 3.2 days, and in secondary prevention trials 4.1 days!

Considering the well-documented health risks associated with statins, this is a mind-bending finding that really should upend the dogma. And yet, the dogma remains, and may even strengthen in coming days.

JAMA editorial calls for end to ‘fake news’ about statins

The cholesterol myth has been a boon to the pharmaceutical industry, as cholesterol-lowering statins — often prescribed as a primary prevention against heart attack and stroke — have become one of the most frequently used drugs on the market. In 2012-2013, 27.8% of American adults over the age of 40 reported using a statin, up from 17.9% a decade earlier.17,18 But that was six years ago, I suspect over a third of adults over the age of 40 are now using statins.

In addition to the BMJ Open study cited above, an evidence report19 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, published November 2016 in JAMA, found 250 people need to take a statin for one to six years to prevent a single death from any cause; 233 had to take a statin for two to six years to prevent a single cardiovascular death specifically. To prevent a single cardiovascular event in people younger than 70, 94 individuals would have to take a statin.

As noted in a 2015 report,20 “statistical deception created the appearance that statins are safe and effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.” The paper points out that by using a statistical tool known as relative risk reduction, the trivial benefits of statins appear greatly amplified.

Scientific findings such as these are the core reason why statins are given negative press. However, we may soon see a reversal in the news cycle, with negative statin articles being tagged as “fake news.”

According to a June 2019 editorial21 in JAMA Cardiology, written by cardiologist Ann Marie Navar,22 statins are the victim of “fear-based medical information,” just like vaccines, and this is what’s driving patient nonadherence. Cardiovascular Business reported:23

“We know that what people read influences their actions, Navar said, and indeed, one 2016 study in the European Heart Journal found that on a population level, statin discontinuation increased after negative news stories about statins surfaced in those communities.

In another study, more than one in three heart patients said they declined a statin prescription solely for fears of adverse effects. ‘Measles outbreaks are highly visible: a rash appears, public health agencies respond, headlines are made and the medical community responds vocally,’ Navar wrote.

‘In contrast, when a patient who has refused a statin because of concerns stoked by false information has an MI, the result is less visible. Nevertheless, cardiologists and primary care physicians observe the smoldering outbreak of statin refusal daily.’”

Cardiovascular Business summarizes Navar’s suggestions for how doctors can fight back against false information about statins and build adherence, such as handing out yearlong prescriptions with automatic refills.24

When I first wrote about the censorship of anti-vaccine material occurring on every single online platform, I warned that this censorship would not stop at vaccines. And here we’re already seeing the call for censoring anti-statin information by glibly labeling it all “fake news.”

Chances are, the censoring of anti-statin information is already underway. A quick Google search for “statin side effects” garnered pages worth of links talking about minor risks, the benefits of statins, comparison articles, looking at two different brands — in other words, mostly positive news.

The scientific fact is, aside from being a “waste of time” and not doing anything to reduce mortality, statins also come with a long list of potential side effects and clinical challenges, including:

An increased risk for diabetes
Decreased heart function25
Nutrient depletions — Including CoQ10 and vitamin K2, both of which are important for cardiovascular and heart health
Impaired fertility — Importantly, statins are a Category X medication,26 meaning they cause serious birth defects,27 so they should never be used by a pregnant woman or women planning a pregnancy
Increased risk of cancer — Long-term statin use (10 years or longer) more than doubles women’s risk of two major types of breast cancer: invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma28
Nerve damage — Research has shown statin treatment lasting longer than two years causes “definite damage to peripheral nerves”29

How to assess your heart disease risk

cholesterol levels

As a general rule, cholesterol-lowering drugs are not required or prudent for the majority of people — especially if both high cholesterol and longevity run in your family. Remember, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests your overall cholesterol level has little to nothing to do with your risk for heart disease.For more information about cholesterol and what the different levels mean, take a look at the infographic above. You can also learn more about the benefits of cholesterol, and why you don’t want your level to be too low, in “Cholesterol Plays Key Role in Cell Signaling.” As for evaluating your heart disease risk, the following tests will provide you with a more accurate picture of your risk:

HDL/Cholesterol ratio — HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your total cholesterol. That percentage should ideally be above 24%.
Triglyceride/HDL ratio — You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should be below 2.
NMR LipoProfile Large LDL particles do not appear to be harmful. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially be a problem, as they can squeeze through the lining of your arteries. If they oxidize, they can cause damage and inflammation.

Some groups, such as the National Lipid Association, are now starting to shift the focus toward LDL particle number instead of total and LDL cholesterol to better assess your heart disease risk. Once you know your particle size numbers, you and your doctor can develop a more customized program to help manage your risk.

Your fasting insulin level — Heart disease is primarily rooted in insulin resistance,30 which is the result of a high-sugar diet. Sugar, not cholesterol or saturated fat, is the primary driver. Clinical trials have shown high fructose corn syrup can trigger risk factors for cardiovascular disease within as little as two weeks.31

Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar.

The insulin released from eating too many carbs promotes fat accumulation and makes it more difficult for your body to shed excess weight. Excess fat, particularly around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease.

Your fasting blood sugar level — Research has shown people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dl have a nearly 300% increased higher risk of coronary heart disease than people with a level below 79 mg/dl.32,33
Your iron level — Iron can be a very potent oxidative stress, so if you have excess iron levels you can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should monitor your ferritin levels and make sure they are not much above 80 ng/ml.

The simplest way to lower them if they are elevated is to donate your blood. If that is not possible you can have a therapeutic phlebotomy and that will effectively eliminate the excess iron from your body.

Posted by: | Posted on: July 10, 2019

How to diminish, dissolve and reverse arterial plaque

Re-posted from original article: www.naturalhealth365.com/plaque-atherosclerosis-3037.html

How to diminish, dissolve and reverse arterial plaque(NaturalHealth365) As you probably know, it’s not cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes or auto accidents that make ups the conditions most likely to threaten the lives of American adults – it’s cardiovascular disease.  In fact, according to statistics published by the CDC, heart disease currently kills nearly 650,000 people – every year – in the United States.  And a primary factor in heart disease is arterial plaque – artery-clogging deposits of fat and calcium that can lead to angina, heart attack and stroke.

The grim figures on the consequences of arterial plaque – also known as atherosclerosis – continue to accumulate.  Every year, about 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack, while another 795,000 suffer a stroke.  Isn’t it time to learn how to reduce your odds – and prolong your life?

Breaking NEWS about plaque: Doctors don’t want you to know this truth about heart disease

Unlike most other animals, humans (along with primates, bats and guinea pigs) lack the ability to produce vitamin C in the body – a condition that is due to a long-ago genetic variation.  This means that vitamin C must be obtained through dietary means – and the consequences for failing to consume sufficient amounts can be dire.

According to the Pauling/Rath Unified Theory of Cardiovascular Disease – a theory developed by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Linus Pauling, in conjunction with German doctor Mathias Rath – the lion’s share of cardiovascular problems are really caused by shortages in vitamin C.

Having insufficient levels of this indispensable nutrient causes arteries to become brittle and vulnerable to cracks and fissures.  In addition, vitamin C shortages can elevate cholesterol levels – particularly that of lipoprotein A or Lp(a), a type of LDL cholesterol with “sticky,” adhesive qualities.

Lp(a) is believed to be the primary culprit in the formation of arterial plaque and the constriction of arteries.  This belief was reinforced in 1989, when researchers evaluating the clogged aortas of heart attack victims noted that they were finding only the Lp(a) type of cholesterol in the deposits.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

As arteries develop ruptures, the body attempts to repair the damage by sending cholesterol to the site.

But the “down side” is that this reparative cholesterol begins to accumulate and form plaque deposits, inhibiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood and triggering strokes and heart attacks.

Simple, yet revolutionary, these natural nutrients help to REDUCE the risk of plaque buildup

The key to preventing and treating heart disease, as set forth in the Pauling Therapy, is the administration of high doses of vitamin C, along with the amino acid lysine.

High doses of vitamin C serve to strengthen arteries and make them less susceptible to breakage, while supplementary lysine can stop Lp(a) from sticking to artery walls.  A later protocol developed by Dr. Rath calls for the addition of the amino acid proline.

Like lysine, proline can act as a sort of ‘teflon’ in the arteries, discouraging sticky Lp(a) and promoting better circulation of blood.  When given in sufficient dosages, this therapy can inhibit formation of atherosclerotic deposits – and even help to remove and dissolve existing plaques.

Proponents of the Pauling Therapy maintain that the protocol can also lower cholesterol, relieve the pain of angina pectoris, increase heart strength, improve natural immunity and promote overall health.

Address and prevent heart disease with simple lifestyle and dietary recommendations

According to Dr. Pauling, every person at risk for heart disease should take at least 5 g (5,000 mg) of vitamin C and at least 2 grams of lysine a day.

To address atherosclerosis, Dr. Pauling recommended daily dosages of 6,000 to 18,000 mg of vitamin C in divided doses, along with 2,000 to 6,000 mg of lysine.

Enhancements to the protocol can include 800 IU a day of vitamin E – which helps to make blood less “sticky” and likely to clot – and 100 to 300 mg a day of coenzyme Q10 – which helps the heart to pump blood more efficiently.

Note: it is particularly important to supplement with CoQ10 if you take statin medications to lower cholesterol. These can deplete the body’s store of this important nutrient.

The amino acids carnitine, taurine and arginine also benefit heart function, while vitamin K – found in leafy greens – has antioxidant properties and can help slow the deposit of plaque.  Note: if you are taking anticoagulant medication, talk to your medical doctor before consuming any food or supplement with vitamin K.

And supplementary DHEA – a hormone created naturally in the body – has been linked with reductions in atherosclerosis and clogged arteries, along with decreased mortality from heart disease.

Bonus health tip: DHEA can lower levels of disease-promoting inflammation, and can even help protect against the formation of harmful visceral fat around the abdomen.

As always, consult with a trusted integrative healthcare provider before trying the Pauling Therapy – or adding any supplements to your diet.  And, never reduce or eliminated prescribed heart medications unless specifically advised to do so by your doctor.

The Pauling Therapy also advises eliminating trans fats and refined sugar from the diet – while getting sufficient exercise and drinking plenty of pure, filtered water. A heart-healthy organic diet, rich in beneficial omega-3 oils, can also help reduce the risk of arterial plaque.

Hitting big  pharma in the pocketbook: The Pauling Therapy has the potential to bankrupt drug-based medicine

If the conventionally-trained medical community seems to be distinctly unenthused by the Pauling Therapy, it’s not hard to determine why.

Many natural health experts and advocates have observed that this low-cost regimen – for which no prescription is needed – has the potential to bring the medical and pharmaceutical industries to financial ruin.

Sound extreme?

Not when you consider the fact that heart-related surgical procedures can bring in more money to metropolitan hospitals than any other procedure – in many cases accounting for a stunning 30 to 40 percent of a hospital’s total income.

Clearly, the concept of patients becoming responsible for their own health – and employing natural vitamins, minerals and amino acids in order to combat and eliminate heart disease – is terrifying for big pharma!

Renowned scientist Dr. Pauling insisted that the proper use of vitamin C and lysine can prevent, and even cure, heart disease. Although the protocol has never been taken seriously (or properly studied) by conventional medical authorities, many patients have discovered the efficacy of the therapy – and its lifesaving benefits – for themselves.

Sources for this article include:

HeartTechnology.com
PaulingTherapy.com
CDC.com