Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cholestorol and the humble little Vitamin called "C"

I read an incredible article recently in Well Being Journal (online) about heart health and how vastly misunderstood this issue actually is.  This is a fascinating topic and I am truly flabbergasted at how we have been miseducated on this topic.  Time to hear the other side of the story - the story the nutritionalists and wholistics want you to hear... a story very different than the Statin-drug makers have been telling us.

But FIRST... I have been very busy.  I have been recalibrating my two-year-old... again.  Three months or so ago, we transitioned him into his much-anticipated big boy bed.  A beep-beep one, no less.  He took to it beautifully and we never missed a moment of bedtime bliss, consistently racking 12-hour nights and 2-hour naps without so much as a peep.  The bliss ended five days ago when he suddenly refused to fall asleep without mom or dad laying next to him.  Thus began the mommy creep...

Laying there quietly until he falls asleep, I wait.  He is relaxed but I am tense, waiting for just the right moment to make my move.  I get one arm out of bed.  Then I move a leg.  Then half my body positioned over the edge.  Then hold that pose for five more minutes because he rolled over and said in the world's sweetest voice, "I love you mommy."  Ten minutes later, finally I am free from the bed.  Then I begin the Catherine Zita-Jones acrobatic escape through the imagined laser beams to reach the door.  Once there, I must traverse the threshold without creaking the hinge.  Curse my husbands name for missing the WD-40, and if I'm lucky, I'm out.

Ah!!  This couldn't go on!  I was exhausted, our child was appeased but not happy like he used to be.  So today I had enough of the Fockerizing, I was ready to be firm.  I gave him a loving talk about how it was going to be, comforted him for five minutes, and then left the room and held the door shut while he wailed at the top of his lungs while pulling on the door.  After three minutes, went back in, five minutes of comfort.  Another attempt, hold the door shut, more screaming.  After five minutes, went back in to comfort.  Went out a third time - and POOF, just as my Babywise books promised he would, he went back in to bed and whimpered for a minute and fell sound asleep.  By himself.  The whole endeavor took all of 20 minutes.

So I am here to assure you that you have a choice, should you ever face this problem (which my Waldorf School moms assure me EVERY 2-year-old eventually does)... you can continue crawling across your child's floor like GI Jane, or stand up and be the mom. 

By the way, if you haven't read the Babywise books, I strongly encourage you to do so.  Everything they teach worked beautifully for me and many others I know.  Especially the first book. Babywise The second two I found a tad strict on just a few topics, but still, they have a point...

So now that I have restored peace in my house, I can sit down and write about the next topic on my list.  Heart Health.  This is most helpful in taking care of the other two-year-old in my house ... my husband.  When we first met, he had been on Lipitor for a couple of years already, having been told his cholestorol was a little high and having lost a brother to heart attack... naturally, he was concerned enough to listen to his doctor's recommendation of the drug.  I had heard enough from my wholistic sources to know that statin drugs have VERY serious side effects, and have never been proven to reduce the risk of Death from heart attack.  ALL they have been proven to do is reduce Cholesterol.  So if you believe cholesterol is bad, then I suppose statin drugs work.  But still, they do not reduce the risk of death. 

Here is a quick rundown on the side effects of statin drugs.

People who take statins have suffered ravaging health consequences, including permanent damage to their liver, muscles and nervous system. Statins can cause:  Nausea, Irritability and short tempers, Hostility, Homicidal impulses, Rapid loss of mental clarity, Amnesia, Kidney failure, Diarrhea, Muscle aching and weakness,Tingling or cramping in the legs, Inability to walk, Problems sleeping, Constipation, Impaired muscle formation, Erectile dysfunction, Temperature regulation problems, Nerve damage, Mental confusion, Liver damage and abnormalities, Neuropathy, Destruction of CoQ10, a vital nutrient for health. Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/001353.html#ixzz1Sa7jAYNF

Even CBS News reported on the "Mind-Boggling Effects of Statin Drugs", as they called their feature article, which describes CBS's Jim Matthews experience with just five weeks of the drugs.  Read more here.
On to the paradigm-shifting news as provided (in summary) by the Wellness Journal.  Basically this is the gist:  We have been misunderstanding just exactly what the term "heart disease" really means.  Previous to now I think most of us believed that heart disease meant a hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of nasty plaque deposited there because of an excess of fat and cholesterol due to diet that accumulate in the arteries and eventually cause heart attacks.  Am I right?
This is actually NOT the case.  Apparently what happens is the arteries get hard, as in stiff and inflexible, and over time this hardness means they don't expand and contract with ease anymore (which they must do because their job is to pump under high pressure).  This hardening is due to a lack of nutrients in the body, from lack of good nutrition - specifically from chonic lack of vitamin C.  Once they get too hard, what happens is tiny cracks begin to form in the "pipes", if you will, and what the body must do is patch these cracks with whatever sticky patching materials it has available.  So, it deposits "plaque," a mixture of cholesterol, lipoprotein-a and calcium, into these cracks in order to prevent the blood from leaking out everywhere and killing you immediately.  What I'm saying is the plaque is not the problem, it's the hardening and subsequent cracking that's the problem.

And that's why lowering your cholesterol doesn't actually affect your heart's health.
Fore the whole article go to http://www.wellbeingjournal.com/.  It basically says that heart disease is akin to a chronic low-grade form of scurvy, which if you recall, is a deadly condition caused by vitamin C difficiency.  My friends, vitamin C does MUCH more than ward of colds and flu.  It is absolutely essential for your heart. 
So all the FEAR around fat, cholesterol, even calcium-scoring is actually completely mis-guided. It is not the cholesterol that's killing us, it's our diets.  Let's recap:  Being overweight is bad.  Having a poor diet high in trans fat foods is bad.  (Trans fats are from hydrogenated oils and are found in french fries, regular peanut butter, and processed foods).  More on good fats vs. bad fats here.  But... eating full fat/good fat foods is NOT at all bad.  In fact, fat grams are not bad.  Teenage girls of the world, can you hear me?  FAT GRAMS ARE NOT BAD!  And neither is cholesterol.
Back to the topic at hand.  What can you do NOW to prevent heart disease?  You can begin by understanding and embracing Vitamin C.  Many animals' bodies can produce vitamin C independently.  Humans can not.  Humans have to eat it in their food and eat it often.  Vitamin C can not be stored so it has to be taken frequently and consistently.  Fortunately Vitamin C is found in nearly ALL fruits and vegetables, and even many meats.  Think about it.... fruits, vegetables, and meat - the foods our ancestors used to eat.  The foods we were meant to eat.

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't also eat lots of other wonderful foods, like good bread and olive oil or the bountiful and beautiful world of dairy... but I am saying you need to eat your fruits and vegetables, and do so regularly.  (Days living on Luna bars and diet coke are not acceptable...) 

Also it is probably a good idea (read: no-brainer) that you should take some vitamin C and/or multivitamin supplements.  Everyday.  My husband drinks an Emergen-C every morning, after his coffee, and I also give him and the children multivitamins and always extra Vitamin C.  These are extremely easy things to do for yourself and your family and can work wonders on your long-term health and longevity.

If you are dealing with advancing cases of heart disease, please understand that this article is not making light of the situation by incorporating a bit of humor.  This is a very serious and I highly recommend you read this whole article or do much more research on the topic because they provides an entire list of the vitamins recommended to reverse heart disease that work in conjunction with Vitamin C, including Rutin, L-Lysine, L-Proline, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Co-Enzyme Q10, Vitamin K, Copper, Zinc, B-complex, and Omega-3 fats.  You can read up on Linus Pauling Therapy who wrote How to Live Longer and Feel Better and who himself takes 18 grams (18,000 mg) of Vitamin C a day.
The bottom line is if you've been lax on taking your vitamins and your husband groans when you hand them to him.... keep doing it.  There's good reason to do so.  You're not only boosting your immune system by taking your vitamins and eating fruit & veggies, you're seriously protecting your heart.

More on the role of Vitamin C in the body can be read here:

I'll leave you today with a picture of my son's famous "Bulldogger face", which he showed me often this last week during our bedtime battles.  Hard to keep a straight face when I'm staring into this one!  I am so proud of his accomplishment today.  It wasn't easy for either of us, but after two peaceful hours, I got my work done and he got his rest.  Happy mommy and happy boy.

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