Miscellaneous Comments

[Home] [Simple] [Franais] [Good Food] [Bad Food] [Vitamins +] [Books & Links] [Email] [PDF]
[Diabetes & Weight] [Where] [Cholesterol] [Why] [More on Causes] [31 Tips & Info] [Index]

31 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS, TIPS & TIDBITS

 1.  About omega-3's: "...relatively simple dietary changes achieved greater reductions in risk of all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality .. than any of the cholesterol-lowering studies to date.  This is emphasized by the finding that the unprecedented reduction ... was not associated with differences in total cholesterol.."  This is from a landmark editorial in Circulation about the 70% [!] reduction in deaths in those given 2 table-spoons of canola oil per day, most as a non-hydrogenated margarine given to the family.  One measly tea-spoon of flax (linseed) oil has as much omega-3 (alpha-linolenic).  Flax, a unique nutritional power seed.

  More about this Lyon Diet Heart Study and the oil that 'prevents' 75% (!) of heart attacks is in Lancet 1994: 1454-9, AJCN; 1995: 1360S-6 and Circ; 1999: 779-85.  Read the full data [it's a little tough] and you'll agree that this regimen is best described as "The Canola Oil Happy French Cuisine".  Canola (rapeseed) is cheap, like its sister, mustard seed oil.  Cold pressed little refined canola tastes as good as English-walnut oil, another rare source of omega-3.  Canola may well lower the risk for stroke, and there was also much less cancer in the Lyon canola group.   More evidence 75% fewer heart attacks: 'important protection against cardiovascular disease' at the top intake of plant-based omega-3.

Just a few grams of omega-3 per day prevents irregular heart beat [arrhythmia] and decrease inflammation and promote blood flow and help keep a by-pass open and protect you after a heart attack.  Omega-3 from fish oil safely lowers the need for pain killers, from Aspirin to Celebrex, and they slash 'triglycerides' (high blood fats).  Imagine: 2 grams/day of fish oil after heart attack: 20% fewer deaths and 45% fewer 'sudden' deaths (GISSI trial).  Omega-3 is the rediscovered half of what used to be called vitamin F -with the F from Fat.  It takes omega-3 to balance the other half of vitamin F, the omnipresent omega-6 from soy, corn, sunflower, safflower and cottonseed, Linoleic Acid (LA).  Polyunsaturate has become synonymous with omega-6 only, which now appears to be part of a health disaster in heart disease, diabetes and cancer, especially breast cancer, excessive blood clotting and immune system problems including asthma.  Making things worse since 1911, hydrogenation trans-forms unsaturates and messes with their vitamin or structural roles while raising bad-boy Lp(a).  Hydrogenation preferentially zaps the most precious oil of all: omega-3.  Virgin olive is a healthy omega-9 oil but a poor source of omega-3 at only 0.6%.

Saturated fat, 40% of grey matter brain-fat, gives anchor and structure. Mono unsaturate (olive, canola) has molecules with 1 rigid 60 bend, 2x unsaturate linoleic (corn, soy) has 2, alpha-linolenic (flax, canola) 3, and EPA and DHA (fish) have 5 and 6 such bends. The 3, 6 or 9 with the letter omega is the location of the first bend from the fatty end.  Factory partial hydrogenation straightens these 'functional bends', leaving an oil unsaturated but with toxic 'trans' kinks.  All fats are mixes of various fatty acids from 4 to 22 carbons long.  Health depends on the length and the number and place of the 'cis' bends.

Fats: carbon chains with a fat end on one side, an acid end on the other
10 to 12 carbons (short): saturates found in coconut and palm-kernel oils (50%), in breast milk fat (10%) and in butter fat (5%).  Not made in people except for baby.  Anti-virus, anti-bacterial and energy roles; easy to digest.
16 carbon saturate: palmitic acid, made in our bodies (with the aid of insulin) when we eat excess sugar or starch [as do cows, pigs, poultry, etc.].  We can stretch this 16 to an 18 carbon saturate and make mono [not poly] unsatutrates out of either, like the ones dominating in olive, canola, and in "peanut, pork 'n poultry".
18 carbon polys: the "essential/must-eat" polys: omega-6 linoleic (always excessive) and omega-3 alpha-linolenic (rare and beneficial; good mixes in canola & flax).
20 carbon polys: the omega-3 [EPA] and omega-6 [AA] unsaturates we use to make (cell-wall generated) regulating-hormones (clotting, unclotting, pain, cramping, inflammation, anti-inflammation, etc.).  The 3's prevent irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and they must balance the 6's.  Used for nerve and cell-wall function (yes, walls function).  Fish is best source but we make some EPA from the 18 carbon plant omega-3.
22 carbon poly: DHA, the very delicate omega-3 polyunsaturate found in fish.  This is the 8%-of-the-brain-fatty acid we use for thinking.  It is effectively the keyboard of the eyes, brain and nerve cells.  From fatty fish but not self-made from plant omega-3.

   Adults, but not babies, slowly change the omega-3 from seeds or leaf veggies into EPA, one of the two omega-3's found in fish.  Both fish-oil derived fatty acids are found in our eyes, nerves and brain and are key for hormonal and cardio-vascular balance [and for full-term births].  Unlike human and horse milk, cow milk and most vegetable oil based baby-formula don't have the omega-3s needed for brain development between the last months before birth to age 2.

   
  One of these fish oils -DHA- does much of the work after a signal hits the brain/nerve cell while the other -EPA- is present in very small amounts to control the beginning and end of this work; it controls a thought, motion, depression or mood swing from start to finish.  In fact, the over-activity of certain brain-fats due to insufficiency of EPA [~1.8g/d?] may well underlie schizophrenia and some types of depression [Fincastle], Huntington's and post-partum (birth) depression.  Depression also predicts heart disease Or, thinking "nutritional deficiency" (made worse, trust me, by masses of omega-6), a lack of omega-3 [EPA] may be a common linking cause in schizophrenia, (bipolar)/-depression, M.S., cancers, adult diabetes, bone and heart disease [Horrobin et al].  Think: there's the DHA of a 2 kg (5 lb) salmon in your head --and appropriately enough, the molecule is shaped like a ? mark or fish-hook -in fact, it wiggles like a worm on a hook, millions of times a second, around that basic shape, making it arguably the brain's most versatile molecule.  This fat, DHA, is the keyboard of your eyes, the processor chip of the computer in your brain and may help prevent Alzheimer's Disease!

Another 1999 study found a 60% reduction in sudden heart deaths in the high omega-3 oil group -when associated with high vitamin E or low trans fat intakes: Am J Cl Nutr; May 99.  Fish oil is high in omega-3 and dramatically lowers blood triglycerides in people with very high starting levels: NEJM; '85:1210-6

An overview by Dr. Simopoulos of benefits of omega-3 and dangers of excessive cholesterol lowering omega-6 linoleic (again: soy, corn, sunflower, cottonseed and safflower) is here: Am J Cl Nutr; Sept '99 She has a practical book the Omega Diet.  Simply put: consume some canola [rapeseed, mustard] and flax, and soy in a pinch, and easy on the rest.  Some of the Heavy Science is here.  Fish oil (pills, vital to spare fish stocks) plus plant based omega-3 halves heart attack risk.  How bad is that??


The table above by the 'cream' of the world's fat experts is the standard by which fats, oils, mayos, margarines and labels must be measured.  If the label is bad, don't buy the fat.  There was some 2004 tweaking where marginally less alpha-linolenic is called 'healthy'.  Minimum 0.5g EPA+DHA is suggested for heart-health.  Since 2002, the American Heart Association agrees.  ISSFAL opposes trans-fats, made by industry from the healthiest of fatty acids.

Time for an oil-change... to unhydrogenated canola, flax (lin)seed & fatty fish.  Unhydrogenated soybean might be o.k. but it's also high in omega-6 linoleic, already an excess in most Western diets (an average person already stores over 1 kg -3 lb; see also points 29 and 30 below).  Here's an omega-3 reference for the little heart disease [and depression] in Japan where the oils are fish, canola and soy: AJCN; Jan. 2000, and here's the history of omega-3 by pioneer Ralph Holman.  P.S. You may want to add some vitamin E to your oils and refrigerated them: they (like cholesterol) become harmful when damaged by processing, heat or light.  While motor oils are designed for engine health, most "vegetable oils" are engineered for corporate health, lack of flavor, clear appearance and shelf life.  Short-chain saturates store well and are safest for frying.

 2.  Vitamin C's most important study was in the Canadian Medical Association Journal of Sept. 23 1972.  During 102 days (3.4 months) in winter, 407 about 25 year old Canadians took 1 g/day + 3 g/day during the first 3 days of any illness.  An identical group on taste and look-alike dummy pills had 40% more people seeking medical help (56 vs. 40), 58% more doctors visits [94 vs. 60] and a "similar" increased prescription drug use.  There was a 99.9% probable reduction in days of disability.  Here's the follow-up study also proving benefit; Here's Wikipedia.  For long-term benefits: Epidem; May '92.
In science, if no effect is found, there was none, the study was badly designed, or statistically unlucky.  Significant results from proper studies stand until proven wrong by other studies.
According to these non refuted results, 1 g per day of vitamin C with an increase during illness would change the face of everyday medical practice.
Comment.  200 mg, with some effort and cost obtainable from fruits and veggies, saturates blood and cells in totally healthy people.  Illness and infection makes the need for vitamin C skyrocket.  It is here and in long-term health that benefits of high amounts are likely.  The biochemistry is so complex -ProcNutrSoc; '99: 469-76- that only simple indicators like doctors visits, drug use and days of disability provide practical answers.

 
  3. 'The current evidence suggests that people who take such supplements and their children are healthier.'  This quote is from an editorial 'Eat Right and Take a Multivitamin' in the New England Journal of Medicine.  [Dr. G. Oakley from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention talking about 'standard' multi-vitamins with 400 mcg folic acid.]  Here's the effect in heart disease prevention.

4.  The same major study found a 75% reduction in colon cancer risk (one of the 3 biggies) after 15 years of multivitamin use and here is an intriguing observation about long-term multivitamin use and reduced cervical cancer.   Just like it takes decades to cause cancer, it may take decades of supplement use to prevent it.  Here is one folic acid based theory how: J of Nutr; Feb 2000 [also: point 11 below].  Folic acid (folate, folacin or B9) may well be the most dangerous and common long-term vitamin deficiency around; liver, beans, green veggies, multi-vitamins.  Anything you do to foods specifically destroys folic acid, and B6.

5.  Few have a financial interest in supplements but you, your family and your insurer -but supplements are taxed and you won't get a credit on your premium.  A life-time supply of folic acid (a cancer, Alzheimer's disease, birth defect & artery damaging homocysteine risk reducing vitamin) until recently cost $10.  The average 0.2 mg/day added to N. American grain products costs less than 1¢ per year.  The minimum needed dose is 0.4 mg (400 mcg), 1/10th the weight of a tiny flax seed.  Being low in folic acid is truly dangerous since it prevents many of life's diseases!

If Americans would take a good quality multi, like Twinlab's Daily One Caps, they would save about $100/yr in hospital costs regarding babies and heart disease alone (estimate Western J of Medicine; May '97), not to mention savings in other diseases and suffering.  New: the Down's syndrome link.

 6.  Multi-level pyramid sales, patented or special formulations are rarely cost effective, think: Coral Calcium.  Another is Ester-C, chemically not an ester but a costly degraded mix of oxidized vitamin C.  From their website: All of the .. studies are considered to be pilot or preliminary, and although the results suggest a positive result, further studies are necessary [but not for sales] to verify these conclusions."  Their largest study lasted 1 day.  Seventeen years after the patent, still only one 'preliminary study' suggesting their process of 'natural oxidation' [break down] of vitamin C makes Ester-C work differently.  Five years later, in 2011, they flog an even smaller 1 day lab-only study in only 15 men!  Feel like wasting time, here's their patent.  Such practices based on irrelevant 'research' give the vitamin industry a bad name, yet their very friendly watch dog, the Council for Responsible [sic] Nutrition, refuses to bite this industry-wide scam.  They know who pays the dog food, collecting 0.1% of Ester-C sales.  So much for being 'dedicated to enhancing the health of the U.S. population' -however, they do help keep vitamins legal (their CEO is a lawyer).  How'bout patenting pre-oxidized vitamin E?  Well no, they now flog Ester-'E' just because it would be oxidation protected in 'unpublished animal studies'.  Promoting Ester-C as 'fatty acid ester free' is like hyping sugar for being fat free.  Shame on that industry that price-fixes, that makes good cheap multi's hard to find on store shelves and refuses to self-police and weed out supplement scams.

 7.  Half of American men over age 40 are affected by degrees of impotence due to local artery dysfunction, smokers 2x as often as nonsmokers.  An early warning for a men's entire heart and vascular system.  Smoking and not taking B vitamins raises heart disease risk 12 fold; not taking C 8 fold!  Soon: nicotine gum, condoms and vitamins at the same counter.

8.  In women, the no-alcohol + low-folic acid group had 4.5x the heart disease deaths of the highest-alcohol + highest-folic acid group (JAMA; '98-2-4).  Another study found almost 2x the cardio-risk at the lowest intake of nuts, a risk that increased if no multi or vitamin E supplement was used (BMJ; '98-11-14).

 9.  Imagine ... that just maybe a friend's colon cancer or Alzheimer's disease was caused by low folic acid, breast or prostate cancer by low selenium or fatal irregular heart beat by low magnesium, potassium or omega-3.  Imagine most heart disease is caused by micronutrient deficiencies.  Imagine how cheap and easy it would have been to avoid ... and how hard to undo.  The list gets longer while we wait for "conclusive" evidence.
   Low vitamins D, C, B1, B3 or
iodine respectively cause rickets, scurvy, beriberi, pellagra and goiter (to the disbelief of the medical world at the time).  The next 2 sections tell how long-term low B6, B12 and folic acid (general malnutrition or processed diets) promote heart disease, cancer, brain (cognitive) decline and Alzheimer's.  Here's a teaser: 400 versus 100 mcg folic acid intake, and 19 years later, 20% less cardiovascular disease and stroke!

 10.  More-studies-are-needed.  While there will never be certainty, there is sufficient data to send the optimum-nutrition case to the jury with instructions that, in life, a hung jury is not an option.  This website is one such analysis.  Here's one by Nutrition Science News.  Here, in PDF, is another but more technical analysis by AltMedRev; '96: 132.  Any doctor not having read the latter and the Feb. 16 '99 issue of Circulation about omega-3's and McCully's homocysteine book has dangerous information deficiencies.  McCully, again a Harvard professor, established the link, via the blood chemical homocysteine, between many diseases and poor nutrition.  This link is the Mc [think McC-ully] of low micro-nutrient intake and disease: higher than minimal homocysteine proves malnutrition (in each of us and in groups).  This scientific link, for which he should be on the short-list for a Nobel Prize, supports some of Adelle Davis' views of the early research, like eating B-vitamin and methyl group supplying eggs and liver against heart disease (--research like the pioneering work of Lester Morrison and of Charles "insulin" Best before that; see also points 11 and 24. below).

11.  Dropping homocysteine is cheap and easy using a multi with high amounts of B vitamins [this author in Arch Int Med].  B vitamins reverse artery plaque [3rd figure below, and here] and help blood flow and balloon (angioplasty) operation success.  Without high intakes of B vitamins, this 'natural slow-poison' we make from protein hangs around longer than needed.  This damages arteries, liver, brain and DNA.  Let me propose: atheromas, the fatty swellings in arteries (and many cancers and Alzheimer's disease), are proportional to the time spent at homocysteine levels over 6, the level of most 10 year olds.  30 years at level '15' is ill-health and decline; that time spent at '6' is long-term health.  Science: this nasty little molecule opens at X when that carbon marries the 2nd nitrogen from lysine, disabling this amino acid needed to make collagen and elastin, the actual artery structural materials.  The opening of the ring then leaves the sulphur atom on its own, ready to do more damage. Also: bottom home page.

The effects of the 5 main agents [folic acid (B9), B6, B12, B2 & betaine (B14)**] are cumulative and together probably lower by the risk of heart, blood vessel and Alzheimer's disease (AJCN; Alzheimer's).  The left graph (over) simplifies NEJM, 2002-2-14, a homocysteine study in 1100 elderly and the % getting dementia and Alzheimer's many years later [vitamin B-3 and fish oil omega-3 may also help].  High homocysteine is and proves low B vitamin status: NEJM: "The simple addition to a normal diet of large doses of folacin, vitamin B12, or betaine will substantially reduce plasma homocysteine in most people." [magnesium and other B vitamins also play roles].

   Other benefits of these nutrients (directly and through homocysteine) are in birth defects, pregnancy complications, (significant) cancer prevention and artery relaxation.  These effects are the best rationale for taking a high-dose multi vitamin.  The book Methyl Magic is a fine reference.  High homocysteine is the best indicator of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency (the shameful rule in the home-bound elderly).

  Happy homocysteine: below 7 in mid-age and below 9 when elderly; the lower the better with 6 mol/L a "target".  In the Framingham Study, average was 11.5 at age 60-65 to 22.5 above age 90 but in all 7 age categories were people with ideal values of below 6!

Dimes per day for the multi and zero risk!  Add vitamins C and E, fiber, minerals (think: magnesium), omega-3 oils and eat low processed foods** and you'll reduce your statistical chances of early heart and mental ill-health to a fairly low level, regardless of your genetics.  Smoking, possibly unfiltered coffee, mega-niacin and fibrate drugs increase this blood toxin.  So do stress or anger!

Homocysteine lowering is especially important for the about one third of us with a genetic tendency to higher levels.  For some reason, most people with heart disease have "desirable" cholesterol levels.  McCully: "[In 2/3rds of autopsies with severe atherosclerosis] ...the disease developed without evidence of elevated ... cholesterol, diabetes, or hypertension."  Could low omega-3, mineral, antioxidant and homocysteine lowering nutrients cause that difference --or does your MD, heart specialist or lipidologist [yes, a "blood-fat-specialist"] have a better theory?   Since half of you reading this website have or will have heart and blood vessel diseases, this question is worth asking.

 

   **Betaine [be-tai-ne, bee-tain, TMG or B14] and choline are about 0.5% and 0.25% respectively of wheat bran or germ -leaving refined flour with only about 0.06% (Cereal Chem; 1-'67: 48-60).  New 2003 figures for wheat germ and bran are even higher.  Both nutrients have similar vitamin-like roles that are crucial for artery health (this author in AJCN).  Choline (eggs, liver, soy, wheat bran/germ, meat, fish, and self-made from lecithin) turns into betaine (3 methyl groups stuck onto the amino acid glycine; beets, spinach, wheat bran/germ, shrimp & beer) that, after donating a methyl group (like the famous and expensive SAMe) turns into DMG, another donor of methyl groups:

   These nutrients produce "methyls" that drop homocysteine and protect blood, arteries, brain, liver and DNA.  Methyl groups do hundreds of good things (excepting possibly in mania and some late-stage cancer).  Sticking methyl onto the sulfur of homocysteine generates the essential amino acid methionine, taming the beast.  Methionine, lecithin, choline and betaine are "lipotropes" that help us deal with fats [like fatty-liver caused by alcohol, overweight and type 2 diabetes].  Morrison first "improved" cholesterol "types" with betaine in patients and 50 years later we have trials of betaine improving homocysteine in normal people.  Interestingly, unlike B6, B9 and B12, betaine also lowers homocysteine after a meal.  Cancer: massive DNA damage and breakage with "low normal" folic acid intake [for scientists: RNA's uracil winds up in DNA and its removal causes major DNA disruption, prevented by sufficient methylation; RNA's uracil + methyl = DNA's thymine].

   Nutrient info is unlikely to come from a cardiologist.  For example, the ACC's expert panel on Heart Failure only mention of nutrients is: "Physicians should monitor [which is difficult] and correct any deficiencies in potassium and magnesium, since these may cause ... arrhythmias [irregular heart beat]".

   The ACC Guide to Preventive Cardiology for Woman: 'Diets rich in antioxidant ... nutrients and folate are preferred [says who?] over supplements.' (JACC; 5-1999: 1751-5).  Why not do both since folic acid (B9), and B12, are best absorbed from a multi-vitamin pill.  For example, 1 in 8 Americans over age 60 is B12 deficient (yet able to absorb B12 from a pill) because of low or drug-reduced stomach acid.  Doctors however like to inject people with B12.  In a different "vein" (sorry), vitamin E from food plus a multi will not get you, as all cardiologists know, the about 200 IU's linked to a 40% lowered risk of future heart disease.

   Some wise words about such "expert panels" or websites, including this one, as Dr. JRA Mitchell once said: "What passes for knowledge is often no more than well-organised ignorance." and "The alternative to scientific experiment is the expert committee.  Unfortunately, just as one cannot be sure of the relationship between risk factors and disease, we cannot be sure of the relationship between the opinion of the committee and the truth: the opinion of the committee will depend on who is selected for it."

12. In most heart attacks, plaque breaks, imitating a cut or a wound and thus blood clots and the vessel contracts.  Maintaining good intakes of magnesium, potassium and omega-3 oils will help save you by preventing the resulting irregular heart beat.

  In other words, heart disease, clotting and strokes start when repair Lp(a), fibrinogen and/or homocysteine are high, HDL & CoQ10 are low, or when LDL and artery walls are damaged by homocysteine or oxidized cholesterol (old, burnt or heated fats).  Plaque forms in damaged sites in vessel walls.  Vitamins B3, B6, B12, folic acid and betaine and antioxidants E, C, selenium, CoQ10 & omega-3 oils prevent LDL or inflammatory damage--by keeping LDL "good", and the arteries healthy, thin and flexible.

13. FIRST Assure Optimal Nutrition underlies the medical principle of first not to cause harm.  In other words, first insure that an illness cannot be cured or helped by nutrition.  Nutritional medicine is also called naturopathic or orthomolecular medicine or psychiatry.  The stupid idea that a "well balanced diet" gives optimum amounts of the nutrients you need is based on dogma, not on science.  While a 'balanced & varied' diet with lots of fruits, veggies & whole-grains is truly a superb idea (JNCI; 00-1-19), no scientist can say that even such diet (and more importantly your actual diet) has your optimum amounts of selenium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vanadium, silicon, molybdenum, chromium, vitamins C, E, etc.

  People don't readily change eating patterns shaped by taste, family, habit, price, availability, restaurants, vending machines, corporate profit, religion and custom --and 1/3rd of Americans get almost half of their calories from 'Energy-Dense, Nutrient-Poor' junk foods -AJCN; Oct. 2000.  This being a human and dietary advice reality [the 'CELL' study], taking a few supplements (a good multi, C, E, calcium / magnesium + vitamin D, and omega-3 in the diet) is one cheap and easy thing anyone can do about the known nutrients likely to be lacking.

 

14.  Selenium is crucial in heart disease and cancer prevention --or put the other way, many heart conditions and cancers are, at least in part, selenium deficiency diseases.  Selenium is found in US or Canadian wheat flour at 1 to 120 mcg/100g depending on where it was grown, making it either a good or a terrible source (you need about 200 mcg/day for long-term health).

 Since 1984, ultra-low selenium and ultra-high heart disease Finland supplements its fertilizers with selenium.  Rather than supplementing fertilizer and hoping you'll get optimal nutrients, your chances are much improved with a good vitamin-mineral supplement.   Sure, it looks like a pill but it's a targeted food concentrate.  This study in men found a 63% reduction in prostate cancer from 200 mcg selenium and it should work for breast and other cancers as well.  Selenium is an anti-inflammatory in rheumatoid arthritis, it likely improves longevity and it may reduce HIV / AIDS [book, science] and other virus diseases.

15.  Dog food contains a vitamin and mineral supplement, even the canned-meat variety.  This lack of added supplements explains the veterinary dogma that your dinner leftovers are bad for a dog!  Animal science accepted years ago that a supplement is an essential food group for dogs, cats, zoo, farm & lab animals.  Farm science also proved that supplements are vital to crop health because plants may not get all the nutrients they need from the soil.  As your pet and crop get supplemental micro nutrients, what are the chances you get them from restaurant or supermarket foods?

16.  Food-pyramids of the various food groups are made by portion size and some relative importance.  However the 1995 U.S. Dietary Guidelines and Pyramid do little to prevent disease according to studies 1 and 2, with fresh insight by the Ottobonis.  These studies call for a change in the guidelines.  A suggestion: promote whole and unprocessed foods, omega-3 oils and a multi, while refined rapidly absorbed carbs (now the base of the pyramid) would move into the 'use sparingly' category.  This was in fact the comment of one of U.S.'s top senior scientists at the May 2001 Linus Pauling Institute nutrition conference ... while a second top scientist commented that a multi is the most conservative thing one should consider for a hospitalized patient.
 

17a.  UNDER-dose of nutrients affects most people. The most common ones are: calories, protein, iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium & vitamins A, B, C, D, E, omega-3 oils (fish -% varies, flax -57%, unhydrogenated regular canola -9%, unhydrogenated soy -7%, wheat germ -5% & unrefined walnut -5%) and last but not least: folic acid.  Anything you do to foods (freeze, can, boil, age) specifically lowers 2 homocysteine lowering vitamins: folic acid and B6.

 17b.  OVER-dose of nutrients, apart from things like calories, omega-6, iron and copper are rare and usually benign.  About fluoride however, the "do not swallow", supervise-your-kids and "use only a pea-sized amount" warnings on toothpaste are ominous, and valid.  Fluoride is nearly as toxic as arsenic.  Fluoride causes aging, dark skin blotches, white-spotted teeth, cancer, collagen and DNA damage, "unwanted" bone growth (in cartilage and in artery walls and as spurs on bones), and it may not even prevent tooth decay long term --ref's 1 & 2.  Applied to growing teeth, it forms fluor-apatite, , a bone-hard mineral also found in bone-hard calcified arteries.  Promoted as if it could be a nutrient by money and bad science, fluoride is the toxin that raised permanent "mottle" tooth damage in U.S. kids (fluorosis = permanent white spots) from about 6 to 30%: CDC/JADA; Feb. 2002.  Here is an important Canadian summary: directly applied to growing permanent teeth, there might be a small benefit in age-group 5 to 9 [?] but ingested -from toothpaste, water, drinks or very high tea intake (leaves)- there is risk to all (bone-fracture, cancer).  P.S. The title of Dr. Leo Spira's 1953 book with the first 25 years of science is: The Drama of Fluorine, Arch Enemy of Mankind.  Fluoride anyone?

17c. "Properly" PRESCRIBED drugs in U.S. hospitals daily kill a jumbo-jet full of people (300) and cause 6000 adverse reactions defined as 'permanent disability, more hospitalization or causing death' (JAMA; '98-4-15).  This is 1 FDA approved drug-death and 20 very serious reactions every 5 minutes!  Why worry about Anthrax as the medical drug toll surpasses that of the World Trade Center calamity every 10 days in the U.S. alone.  In 2003, 1 in 4 Canadians was affected by medical mistakes.  Yet, only perceived dangers (fear, terrorists, exams) most motivate people, not death by medsAbout sudden heart problems: go to a hospital able to 'balloon' or 'by-pass the problem' and you'll have a 10 times greater chance of getting such intervention and a 14% greater chance of being dead 6 months later].


 18.  ASPIRIN daily kills about 46 Americans, as many as die from AIDS (NEJM; June 17 '99) but an ultra low dose (~1/4th of a high strength pill (125 mg) every 2nd day -but not if you take ibuprofen first) can be anti-clot + anti-inflammation heart healthy (for those at high-risk -see the FDA) and about 160 times more bang for your buck than cholesterol lowering statin drugs (BMJ; Dec. 5 '98).  Aspirin however is linked to 200,000 U.S. hospitalisations for congestive heart failure ["NSAIDs should be used with caution in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease."], internal bleeding and it triggers asthma.  "Aspirin, like all other drugs, is a poison" is the title of this editorial in BMJ that concludes that "..it may be more appropriate for some people to eat an apple rather than an aspirin a day." [here's the Jan. 2002 update and discussion].  Then there is Tylenol / paracetamol which like its parent, phenacetin, and aspirin to a lesser degree, may damage your kidneys and combined with alcohol is disaster for your liver --and it should therefore not be sold in bars, or used for hangovers.  Two vital reality checks ..: aspirin and Tylenol.

     Aspirin, Tylenol, Celebrex & Vioxx work by reducing inflammation and/or pain from omega-6 oil-based molecules.  The omega-3 family of oils, and most effectively fish oil, does the same but more gently, more safely and with more flavor (some would say: with too much flavor).  These omega-3 effects are from "COX-regulation" in addition to the electro-chemical effects of the oil itself.  These omega-3 benefits are evident in heart disease, in gut diseases like colitis and Crohn's, in arthritis, and health in general.  JAMA sounded an alarm in 2001 about COX-2 inhibitors Celebrex & Vioxx regarding 50% more heart attacks.  Three years later Vioxx was pulled off the shelves, then Bextra and Celebrex is under a similar cloud: they reduce one of the really good prostaglandins (prostacyclin PGI-2) and prevent bones from healing.

   Simply put: the aspirins prevent clotting but cause bleeding while the vioxxes may lower bleeding but promote clotting --and slow surgical, bone and wound healing.  CycloOXygenases (proteins clinging to fat-based cell membranes) put the loop (Cycle) into and the OXygen onto several already bent 20 carbon long fatty acids (removed from the host-membrane).  This turns them into prostaglandins.  Inhibitors prevent this, which can be good (for pain, inflammation and blood flow) or bad (for clotting, bleeding, kidney, blood-pressure, heart failure, etc.).  Such anti-inflammatories and pain killers are little nuclear weapons against the fat-based machinery of your system, the effects of which will not be understood for decades [and now there are P-COX-1a, P-COX-1b, COX-3, and whoknows..].

   All COX-1 and some COX-2 reside in a small sub-cell inside each cell and make the cell work properly.  Other COX-2 sits around your DNA and tells it what to do and how to behave but most COX-2 is made in inflammation and infection, hopefully only when needed (otherwise it promotes cancer, arthritis and heart disease, and possibly Alzheimer's).  Let me guess ... this is more than you wanted to know.


   19. Nutrient modification by processing is little questioned: pick any food store shelf.  This includes Europe where the foods are no better and where the nutrition labels are terrible.  Since the addition at a yearly cost of 1 in the U.S. of folic acid to grain products and flour, many highly processed foods are now endorsed as sources of folic acid --NEJM; May 13 '99.  While fortification helps, about 90% of the world eats non supplemented refined grain and rice products --and nobody replaces the 80 - 100% of removed magnesium, zinc or vitamin E to name but a few lost nutrients.  Low magnesium alone is linked to 11% of U.S. heart mortality (Int. J. Epid; 1999).


     20.  The combined supplements --E, C, the B's, minerals, CoQ10, flax or fish oil & niacin if desired & (maybe) ~1/4th of a high strength aspirin every other day (in non-hypertensives)-- are cheaper and a heart-healthier package than any of the cholesterol lowering statin drugs.  Over 50 billion $ in sales and related costs (JAMA; '00-4-12: $2.2-$5/day) and drug companies still aren't allowed to say they will improve or prolong life for most users --unlike niacin (JACC).
    Mega-niacin does take some medical guidance and for the first few days it will give a harmless but frightening hot-flush.  It is the only drug suggested by the AHA to raise HDL and it's 1 of 3 to lower LDL [including fibrates, drugs increasing deaths].  Best: plain niacin (not 'no-flush') and it may make your doctor feel better about law suits since you're doing something about 'your' cholesterol.  Always take with a multi otherwise it raises homocysteine and, bonus: it lowers clotting Lp(a) and fibrinogen.
 
    21.  CHOLESTEROL PILLS, statins, -Pravachol, Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, Lescol, Crestor- '..if diet and exercise alone are not enough..' make part of a lab report look 'better'.  This makes families poorer and less concerned about food choices while doctors aren't yet getting blamed for prescribing them.  They hardly raise HDL and slash the production of CoQ10 by the same % as LDL, forcing heart, in fact all cells, to work with less energy and more 'free radical' damage.  Their limited effect is clearly not from cholesterol but from lowering inflammation (2nd ref.) and blood clotting, and by changing artery function, as do more cheaply C-RP by aspirin, some omega-3 oils and some vitamins (high-dose E).

Stanol-sterol margarines, policosanol, fibrates, gugulipid, dextrothyroxine, estrogen, ezetimibe [Zetia, Ezetrol, part of Vytorin / Inegy -click for warning] and torcetrapib all 'manage cholesterol' in various ways but have never shown to save lives, just like Lipitor.

Some statin fine-print warns "The effects of ... on cardio vascular morbidity [illness] or mortality [death] ... have not [!] been established."  And: "Significant decreases in circulating ubiquinone [CoQ10] levels in patients treated with X or other statins have been observed [happens in all users, and this does] .. lead to impaired cardiac function [= heart failure, nerve death] ..".  Also: "..in some patients the beneficial effects of lowered... cholesterol may be partially "blunted" [canceled] by a concomitant [linked] increase in Lp(a) levels."

MedlinePlus list 100 side effects but not a most vital one, CoQ10 reduction.  Simply put:
 1. Sometimes good: Statins imitate nitroglycerin, resulting in less non-fatal chest pain ('stable' angina) and thus hospital visit and thus about 20-45% fewer stents.  Example: Lipitor in the ASCOT study, and now the 2008 JUPITER study with fewer stents but zero cardiac deaths prevented after 17,000 years of Crestor use!!  BETTER: To avoid 90% stents and bypasses, not just 20 or 45%, when having a heart attack, first go to a close and small hospital that cannot "go in" and statistically survival at 6 months is better.  'Planned' angioplasty (stents) also does not prevent heart attacks, make you live longer or make your life quality better;
 2. No effect: from changes to cholesterol [lipids];
 3. Always bad: pain (joints, weakness), 'senior moments' and memory problems (urgent: try using niacin instead!), less CoQ10, more Lp(a), birth defects and bleeding strokes and, likely, cancer;
 4. Scary ads & faulty science [Zocor, Vytorin and the Pfizer feet in the morgue fear of death campaign called 'unethical' by the World Health Organization];
 5. Don't prolong survival in most high-risk groups and not in women:

Massive benefits proclaims Oxford University about its 2002 Zocor -Heart Protection Study.  75% of heart attacks still happen and 300 on Zocor for 1 year to postpone one (1) death.  Massive drug use, few 'men' saved.  The next study claiming benefit in high-risk elderly, Pravachol's PROSPER had 28 fewer heart but 24 more cancer deaths and more 'new' cancers in each of 4 years in a group with 52 fewer smokers.  Next, zero 'anything' was found in Pravachol's ALLHAT in high-risk North Americans: 1 death postponed per 1.1 million $3 pills taken!  Next was Lipitor's ASCOT also without mortality benefit (graph below).  From 10 years ago: cholesterol lowering by any means increases deaths.  Cheers.  No statin benefit in "primary" prevention in 2003, click on the right picture: the University of British Columbia.

   "Ask your doctor if 'Rx' is right for you" prompt the ads but vital information is hidden from you and your doctor. This paves the way for after-the-damage criminal investigations and lawsuitsStatins, fibrates and high intakes of the common cholesterol-lowering polyunsaturated omega-6 'vegetable' oils (like corn) are linked to more cancer, as is just plain low cholesterol.  Canadian ads but not U.S. ads warn that statins lower CoQ10; there's your muscle and nerve pain, and lack of energy.  Fewer studies were done on women and elderly, groups where high LDL has no evident link to mortality [low HDL does have such link, but HDL is best raised by, for example, exercise, moderate alcohol use or mega-niacin with -or it will raise homocysteine- a multivitamin].  No mortality studies were done in people taking a good multi, whole foods and omega-3 oil.  Many B-vitamin (homocysteine) trials are now being done but some are in people where prevention is rather (too) late, some were destined for failure (VISP) and many are set-up to have statins share the credit.  The latter paves the way for combination therapy: statins + niacin and/or aspirin and/or fish oil and/or multi-B-vitamins ... if statins alone are not enough ...

A TV ad exclaims: 'Lipitor did it, the lower numbers you're looking for.'  Then, a small banner: "Lipitor has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks."  Isn't that what people expect when taking the drug?  Finally, Lipitor ads no longer mention heart disease, it simply 'treats' high cholesterol, a concept created by the drug and food industry.  Now, Pfizer pays others to not have its name appear on their scare campaigns [picture on left].

Eight authors of the U.S. ATP III 2004 treatment guideline 'update' got money from average 10 drug companies; one, a NIH gov't employee, got $114,000 + 'stock options' from the statin industry.  The 9th author earns a living as NCEP Coordinator with the job to '..increase the proportion [.. of Americans] who adhere to their cholesterol-lowering regimen.'  And, oeps, they forgot the largest statin study ever, J-LIT (figure above-right).  More in BMJ on study conflicts of interest.  Could the brilliant beauty of a drug (industry) blind a well meaning doctor?  Is it fear of not following 'guidelines'?  N.B.  Baycol (Lipobay) was withdrawn for causing unexpected deaths: here's an important comment about all statins.  A site for side effects: StoppedOurStatins.

How about Pravachol?  Two analysis by the Journal Club here and here; some high risk participant would have to be treated for over 200 years at a drug cost of $200 000 to prevent one cardiac 'event'.  The WOSCOPS study selected 6600 men out of 160 000 and treated half.  After 5 years and 30% giving up on the drug total deaths were not quite statistically different.  The CARE study found, in patients with prior heart attacks '.. no significant differences in overall mortality ..' [1.6 per 1000 years of drug use, a statistical fluke.]   NEJM; 99-4-8:1115 about a 3rd study (LIPID): '[Pravachol] has no particular advantage over placebo [dummy-pill].'  Finally the truly massive ALLHAT study found 'zip' in any health department!

    Scandal at Oxford: Sir Peto (left) and Dr. Collins refuse to publish the Heart Protection Study mortality curves in men, women, diabetic or not.  In 1992 both wanted 'total mortality' trials [they then thought this was relevant]; they did the study and now hide the mortality curves.  In 2004 Dr. Collins suggested they would release these data but did not.  In April 2007, author Dr. Baigent said it would be 'inappropriate' to publish these data and author Dr. Sleight: 'It is not my decision, but it looks like that.' [not releasing data about deaths].  Study sponsor Merck is also mum about deaths but as always, women did not benefit.  If you're a diabetic women with a 75% chance to die from blood vessel diseases, would you not like to know how days of life you might statistically gain, or lose, after taking Zocor for 5 years?  That is not an 'inappropriate' question but a real one.

 Twenty percent of 1st time Zocor users were motivated by cholesterol fear instilled by a football coach (Merck annual report).  Pfizer also uses sports figures and, before Feb. 25 2008, a doctor who had never practiced.

A shocking statement on the 2007 ALLHAT website: '..trials demonstrating a reduction in coronary heart disease from cholesterol lowering have not [sic] demonstrated a net reduction in mortality.'  MedlinePlus about ALLHAT: "..people taking pravastatin were no less likely to die or develop heart disease than people receiving usual care."  Lipitor's ASCOT 3.3 year mortality result is no different: 5168 people on statin, 5 million pills swallowed and the curves touch, and cancers, quality of life and muscle pain not reported.  The 2006 SPARCL trial ended after 5 years with 5 fewer deaths in the group on dummy pills than in the group taking the top dose Lipitor.

Statins aren't cholesterol but mevalonate lowering 'therapy'.  This mother-molecule also makes CoQ10 and other vital stuff with names like isoprene [it takes 10 to make Q10, 6 to make cholesterol], farnesyl, geranyl, dolichol and squalene.  Similarly, aspirin is not simply 'anti-clot therapy', it rearranges all fat-based 'house keeping', pain and signal machinery.  Whatever good necessarily comes with the bad.  On the other hand, niacin promotes over 300 reactions and has few harmful effects since it stimulates body processes, as do all vitamins.  Niacin must be taken with a multi-B-vitamin or it will raise homocysteine.  It is just a partial answer to heart disease and has other benefits but niacin did prevent heart attacks and did save lives; 2006 update.

Bottom Line: At 10 - 36x the price of generic niacin (1.2 kg for $50 or 80¢ per week here)*, in some types of (mainly male and non-congestive) heart patients, some statins may reduce the risk of "events" by one fifth [probably not "deaths", and you have to scrape the statistical barrel].  This leaves no less than 4/5ths of the risk.  To deal with the larger under lying problem, remember that fat substitutions have proven of no value, apart from those involving omega-3 oils, and that whole-foods and supplements cheaply lower most risk factors -and survival chances.  *(tel. 1.800.544.4440 or 1.954.766.8433; product 94.)
A doctor prescribing statin and not first niacin plus a good multi vitamin, without tracking homocysteine and Lp(a), and without replacement CoQ10, canola and fish omega-3 (pills) and likely a magnesium supplement is practicing incomplete medicine.

  22. BLOOD PRESSURE.  The Seven Countries Study tracked 49 year old men who curiously enough had (in all these varied countries) average systolic blood pressures of 138 +/- 3%.  'Normal' is 120/75 (2.4/1.5 psi); a 10 'point' long-term drop would be success for a drug, yet is only 13g/cm2 or 0.2 psi.  They found (after 25 years) that heart-mortality in northern Europe and the U.S. was 4 x higher than in coastal south-east Europe or southern Japan (NEngJMed; Jan 6 '00: p1).  At identical blood pressures, death by heart disease varied 'greatly' between populations.  The same factor 4 difference in heart deaths was also found at identical cholesterol levels.

Within each location however people with heart disease were found to have higher blood pressures.  The report and editorial interpret this as if blood pressure causes heart disease; thus the potential for drug treatment.  The reverse is more logical: the heart pumping into hardened less functional arteries evidently causes higher pressures than if pumping into healthy ones.
 
  Bottom line.  High blood pressure is not good for bleeding stroke -but helps maintain blood circulation and prevent dizziness and falls in the elderly.   An increasing pressure is a warning for artery and kidney disease.  The quality of your diet -and often your belt size- are the important risk factors for both heart disease and blood pressure.  If cholesterol or blood pressure are not risk factors in your case, simply lowering the numbers with drugs is like painting a car while ignoring the oil change.  Blood pressure drugs: in 85,572 patient-years of observation, 13% fewer deaths in men but 26% more deaths in women.  More heart attacks in men (figure below) as with a 3rd drug type, the -sartans and where 'patients may need to be told.'.

There seems consensus that drugs are maybe only warranted in very high blood pressure (and with added diabetes?) and that in all cases nutrition and often weightloss are of primary importance and proven worth [--as can be CoQ10].  If you must: 'go water pill' [less heart failure] but consider more magnesium, nature's 'calcium channel blocker'.

 All blood pressure drugs have side effects -and have not been clearly shown to prolong life!  If you have a drug name, check RxList.  You may also want to find out about lowering salt and increasing high potassium foods (fruits and veggies) and increasing omega-3 oils and the amino acid arginine that makes (with help from vitamin C) the artery relaxant nitric oxide (found in: lean meat, eggs, low fat dairy, nuts, whole grains, wheat germ or nitroglycerin; -think: dynamite).  There are several other nutritional approaches (see book 2 in links).  About the complexities of drugs in heart conditions: BMJ; Feb. 12 '00.


  23. The AHA is a 1/2billion$/year organization with 3.8 million volunteers.  Unfortunately, most of its prevention approach is tainted by the massive soft-money from interest groups [... treating to "targets", reaching number "goals" in lab reports].  The focus is prevention by lowering fat and cholesterol "as part of a balanced eating plan".  Its website recommends in general not to take supplements while among the foods suggested are water bagels, molasses cookies, angel cake and [check for yourself] ... frankfurter buns.  These are all refined-starch, finely ground flour-based foods, that are high-glycemic, that trigger insulin and that therefore promote obesity and type 2 diabetes which eventually leads to heart disease and stroke.

    There are 3 AHA "heart-checks" on Lipton's "Promise Ultra Fat Free Nonfat Margarine" which has "0% fat", zero protein, zero etc.  Some Promise, 2 of the 50 nutrients you need: water and supplemented vitamin A.  Telling you not to supplement, they endorse an imitation margarine for its supplemented vitamin A.  And how about "Smart Beat   Fat Free  American Flavor  Non-Dairy Slices"?  Cheers!  Also endorsed is the Breakfast Candy listed below, because it contains a piece of a multi-vitamin.  Such "nutrient-fortified and enriched starches" [sic] are in evident conflict with the CHD-Taskforce and AHA Dietary Guidelines: "...individuals should choose foods and beverages low in sugars, particularly added sugars.

    AHA endorsements are sold for a yearly fee and include Frosted Flakes (42% sugar and only 1 g fiber), Cocoa Krispies ("chocolatey sweetened rice cereal"), Cookie Crisp (sugar and hydrogenated oils) and Cocoa Puffs (1st ingredient sugar: 47% + 0.2 g fiber, 1/125th of your daily requirement --I managed to grow mold on it so it does support life).  Then, there's scary Count Chocula, synthesized from de-germed corn meal (corn starch), sugar and marshmallow bits, a hydrogenated Frankenfood through marriage to the equally spooky Frankenberry (95% carbs and 0.2 g fiber -not certified).  No joke, but no yolk!  No AHA scientists could possibly suggest that Count Chocula or spreads like Promise "fight heart disease and stroke".

    If a food has as much as 1/10th of an egg, a whole food with all the nutrients to make a new chicken and no evidence of harm, it won't be endorsed but sawdust with over 10% of 1 of only 6 required nutrients (fiber) qualifies.  Endorsements based on saturated fat and cholesterol and only one added nutrient is irresponsible.  America's most reliable source of heart-health information, according to itself, must change its orientation if it doesn't want to remain part of the core problem.  Using dedicated doctors and without corporate money, simple science based advise should be given, endorsing all healthy foods even without industrial sponsors.  A good step is AHA's position on omega-3 oils (flax, canola, fish-oil).  If only the AHA could ban the word cholesterol -that horse has been dead for 30 years, buried by the trials that found no fewer deaths from cholesterol lowering (page or CMAJ).  Cholesterol-thinking poisons heart associations world wide; time to face the facts and tell the people.

    Donations.  Until the AHA gets nutrient-wise, stops endorsing stuff like Cocoa Puffs and puts donation supported journals free on the Internet, Americans might consider instead giving to the excellent nutrition dedicated Pauling Institute with their free news-letter.  Why give to the AHA (or similar group) for probably over $200 million/yr corporate money tainted drug or food advice that helps cause disease in the first place?  The AHA also gets $90 million/yr from estates but spends $100 million on fund raising and $3 million on the CEO and vice-presidents with average $60,000/yr incentive bonuses.  Now, that is charity!

    America's most celebrated nutritionist, says her publisher*, Adelle Davis: '..eggs.. should never be restricted in the diets of persons with atherosclerosis.'  Her chapter about 'cholesterol problems' instead suggests high-cholesterol liver [4 oz or 110 g/day].  It is now clear that fresh unoxidized cholesterol is not toxic but that oxidized cholesterol as in egg or milk powder is.  It is also clear that the B vitamins in liver lower homocysteine.  Recently, Veteran's Administration and Harvard prof., career-long heart researcher McCully published a chopped liver recipe: 1 lb (450 g) chicken livers, 1 boiled egg, 1 tblsp. butter, 1 onion, salt and pepper -fry lightly.  Delicious and heart healthy!

   Over half of your brain, hormones, nerves and cell walls are various types of fats and cholesterol.  It is thus logical that even slightly modified or lacking fats or cholesterol have major effects on physical, and mental, health.  Since your brain is basically a machine made of fats (directing other fats and proteins), it is for its own protection not primarily equipped to burn fats and it constantly needs glucose for energy --dying quickly when blood sugar supply stops.  The brain also protects itself from oxidized cholesterol, the dried egg product variety, by making all of its own cholesterol.

Astonishingly, 40 years ago Davis suggested the amount of omega-3 now proven cardio-protective: 1 tblsp. flax/lin or 2 tblsp. unhydrogenated soy (or of the later developed canola).  She was also right that high omega-6 safflower, sunflower and corn don't have such benefit but wrong with the theory of the day that we can turn omega-6 into omega-3 [there may be good biological reason to keep these 2 systems separate].  *The same publisher who 6 years after her death concocted "her" to-be-avoided book Let's Stay Healthy.  Her original 1965 Let's Get Well with 2280 scientific references however could be a text book in a course Treasures of the First 50 Years of Nutrition Sciences (mistakes and foresight included).  A similar book with parallel thinking and 1100 references is Nutrition Against Disease by vitamin discoverer R.J. Williams.


25.  This chart illustrates the great underlying puzzle.  Some areas [and here] still have no heart disease while others suffer steep increases like some former East Block countries.  The steep part of the curve follows: 1.) the use of low fiber/nutrient flour, made by steel 'roller mills' rather than grind stones; 2.) the invent of hydrogenated fats; 3.) the explosion of added sugars and refined starches and 4.) the decreased use of eggs and other whole foods.  Leveling rates follow vitamin additions to breakfast cereals in 1962, the increasing supplement use and omega-3 intake from soy and canola.  Since 1998 when folic acid was added to grain products, the decline increased from 1 to 4.5%/year in the U.S.
   The American Heart Association directed the fat and cholesterol phobia and a 700% jump in heart disease that [no surprise] paralleled the one in cancer.  With this track record, endorsements of Cocoa Puffs, Count Chocula and other high glycemic index starches and heavy reliance on drugs, the role and direction of the AHA beg for an inquiry.  Now, there's a job for U.S. vice-president and 1st heart patient Cheney.  The year was 1912: Procter & Gamble introduced trans fats (foremost made from omega-3's; Crisco 1912) and heart attacks were first described in the U.S. (Herrick. JAMA; Dec. 12: 2015-).  Angina, nitroglycerin and digitalis were known but heart attacks were rare and journal worthy.  The Crisco ad writers with incredible foresight: "and realize why its discovery [trans fats] will affect every family in America."  Ain't that the truth!  Life without omega-3': On Sale in the U.S.: 3 lbs (1.4 kg) brick-like '100%' cholesterol-free soy margarine, 10,000 kcal, for $0.99 -Cheers!

 26. Carotenoids are "functional pigments" related to vitamin A of which beta-carotene and lycopene [ .org ] are 2 out of over 600.  They are best eaten in lightly steamed carrots, tomato (or tomato paste), and in all deeply colored fruits and veggies.  Without some oil in the same meal they won't be well absorbed!  Lack of vitamin A in some Asian and African countries is the major cause of blindness and one major cause of death in kids.  In Western countries, low antioxidants and low carotenoids lutein (the yellow in yolk; green-leaf veggies) and zeaxanthin (corn, spinach, greens, fruits) are linked to macular [central vision] blindness in older people (JAMA; 1994: 1413-20) and to adult onset diabetes (AJCN; 4-'00).  Low lycopene (tomato/paste, watermelon, grapefruit, guava and apricot) is linked to heart disease and prostate cancer (many studies).  While vital to good health, especially if pregnant or smoking, I'd avoid supplements with over about 10,000IU (6 mg) of beta-carotene.  Lycopene is the predominant carotenoid in the prostate, as are lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye where these "macular pigments" have protective antioxidant roles --AJCN June 2000: 1555-62.

 27.  Bone loss (osteo-arthritis / fracture): eat bone (water, 10% fat, 20% protein, and 25% mineral that is 96% calcium based).  It is surprising that not all research about low bone density first suggests to eat more bone and/or calcium.  Think: when your tire has low air density, you give it air.  Amazing: women at age 84 building better bones when given 1.2g calcium + 800 IU (20 mcg) vitamin D per day: 43% less hip fractures in just 18 months.  Low vitamin D is extremely common and a huge player in hip fractures and 22% fewer fractures with a 2.5 mg vitamin D supplement every 4 months (equivalent to 800 IU/day).  It is made in the skin when not using sun block under a high-angle sun only: burn is bad, sun exposure is vital [book].  Surprise, the "D" (all of 10 mg/year) is as important as the calcium.  More: the vitamin-D-council [best sources: sun, fish liver oil, fatty fish].  BMJ Lesson of the week: common muscle and lower back pain or here from the journal Spine!  Here's a free book, life saving news letters, a cancer link at SunArc.org, and a great 1932 song [try it!]

   Another bone-density risk is low vitamin K intake (green leaf veggies, broccoli and cabbage: 2/3rd reduced hip fractures in high vs. low intake --AJCN; May 2000).  Note that Coumad(r)in / Warfarin and antibiotics mess with vitamin K (think: Koagulation, Klotting, Kalcium and Koumad(r)in).

--PS  If you can now afford a broken hip or wrist, you could have afforded the about 1.2 g calcium, 700 mg magnesium, 800 -1600 IU vitamin D [2006 update: 4000 IU/day -Adelle Davis' amount proposed in the 1950's] and green leaf or cabbage type veggie for vitamin K, to have prevented this fracture, or indeed today's bad back.  Calcium + D may also prevent or help colon and breast cancer, tooth loss and gum disease and deliver healthy babies; how about flu / influenza!  Low D, NOT just an extinct disease in kids!  After the sun: my cheap source of D.

--PPS  High protein (even milk) or soft-drink intake eats calcium from bones unless you also get sufficient extra calcium-type minerals or alkali buffers (fruits and veggies) - and milk over age 30 may not help!

--PPPS  High omega-3 (fish oil) helps grow bone! [T Terano or BA Watkins].  Also, lowest vitamins [= highest homocysteine]: men 4x and women 2x the hip fractures in the Framingham Study.

--PPPPS  Paradox: faster bone loss in bone, faster bone growth in arteries.  In the lab, this happens by the presence of oxidized LDL-cholesterol [think: egg and milk powder].

 28.  Similarly, in the case of cartilage loss (again: arthritis): eat cartilage (when purified, called glucosamine -shells of crustaceans- and chondroitin -shark and animal cartilage- sulfates) and a lesser source, soft bone itself.  Biochemically not surprisingly, research links cartilage health with artery health and heart disease survival (Morrison/Schjeide, medical library book WG300 M879c 1973 and Angiology 1973; 24(5):269-87).  The chondroitin taken for cartilage (joint) health may well help the cartilage (connective tissue = collagen, elastin and 'glyco-s-amines') of your artery walls!

29.  People and animals store some types of fat they eat.  For example a rare 15 carbon fat in blood cells is indicative for milk use while 20 mg of butt-fat ("adipose tissue aspirate") scientifically reveals your long-term consumption of animal and plant type fats.  Feed chickens flaxseed or fish(!), their eggs retain omega-3.  The regular intake of flax oil makes one's heart beat (and skin) stay 'smooth', while lecithin and fish oil keep things 'fluid'.  Now imagine: more than half their energy from 'killer-coconut' fat yet artery disease was 'uncommon' in these Polynesians -found the great Dr. I.A. Prior.  Coconut has mostly rare fats that we don't store but that kill viruses and disease microbes.

  Naturally saturated tropical fats [link under palm-tree], tallow and butter are much healthier -and certainly for frying- than the common "vegetable" oils, margarines and shortening (think: French fry and donut) as shown in the Figure 1 in NEJM Surprise, fats are as important as protein: surrounding and controlling every cell and every factory in and on each cell.  There are hundreds of fat combinations in the miscellaneous cell walls that "host" this machinery: channels, proteins, enzymes and some DNA -all of which these fats control.  They, the fats of the host-membranes, control where the guest proteins go, how they behave and fats may perform tasks for the guest proteins.  Fats, in a balance between omega-3 and -6, control every motion, emotion, pain and heart beat, with your brain effectively a glob of smart fat ... so much for the lowly fat!

30.  Omega-3 is a problem to food processors as they are liquid and quick to spoil.  This is why this vitamin F that prevents death by -and in- a heart attack is eliminated by hydrogenation.  This turns it into toxic trans fat, a double nutritional whammy underlying heart-disease that is found in of N. American vegetable (read: seed) oils.  Omega-3 type vitamin F can also be eliminated from the plant, like in the low omega-3 (yellow, not brown) flax/linseed Linola or soy cross-breed Soyola.  There is no guarantee that these nutritionally inferior stains can be kept separate in the plant kingdom.  Regardless, they reduce the few available plant sources of omega-3.
    For deep-fat frying low omega-3 strains are still not as safe as saturated fat but they are safer than hydrogenated canola or soy -however at what risk to the long-term omega-3 type vitamin F supply?  The key in all plant and food engineering is extreme caution and long-term public interest.  This is clearly not served by vitamin F removal.  Superb omega-3 and trans labels are coming to Canada: here's the one proposed for soy.  That won't fix the fact that in the U.S. up to 0.49 g "per serving" [there's your loophole] will continue to be advertised as zero trans, like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! margarine (You Wouldn't Believe How Much Trans).  Trans warnings on labels and menus would give consumers important health options (until governments ban hydrogenation altogether).  Until then a handy tip: if the sum of the listed fats does not add up to the total fat listed, the balance is trans fat -and don't buy the stuff [in the label example: 14 equals 2+1+7+4, ergo: no trans].

 31.  Eddie's Muesli "The Breakfast Mix": 1/3 plain yogurt +1/3 fruits (currants, raisins, apple, banana, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, apricot, prune, papaya) + 1/4 whole rye (cook 1-2 min.) & oat kernels, oat bran & wheat germ (&/or rolled oats or low-fat granola type cereal) + 1/6 lecithin, flax seeds, flax oil, sunflower seeds, Brazil & walnuts (better oil than pecans and almonds).  Powdered vitamin C keeps things fresh.  Mix in 1 gal. (4 l) container.  Let sit for 12 hours.  Refrigerate & eat within 7 days.  Good & delicious breakfast and snack food; increase the fruits and you'll get a dessert -vary to taste.

   Eddie Vos, M Eng, waiving copyright for any 'social' use.  Thanks to: WebMaven://Marlene S, Dawn McK, Stephen & Susan G, Gail P, Steve Meyers LBNL, Joel K, Sorey PT, Geoff F, thincs.org members & many Others, and to Arachnophilia, a fine HTML editor.  Feel free to critique, spread or quote.  Be critical and use your own judgment when using this information. Disclaimer and privacy policy.  Made in Canada.   Good health!   May 4th, 2014.  IndexPDF this page only.
[Home] [Simple] [Franais] [Good Food] [Bad Food] [Vitamins +] [Books & Links] [Email] [PDF]
[Diabetes & Weight] [Where] [Cholesterol] [Why] [More on Causes] [31 Tips & Info] [Index]