Heart Disease - New Ideas About The Causes and Cures!
The most recent research and new revelations around many past studies has shown that cholesterol and saturated fat have little to do with heart disease! This is a radically different understanding which is well supported by research, and it is slowly gaining popular acceptance -- similar to the gradual way we've come to accept the Atkins low cabohydrate philosophy instead of the low fat diet philosophy for achieving weight loss.
The greatest contributors to cardiovascular disease are actually conditions and substances which cause damage and "inflammation" of the arteries, such as ...
TOO MUCH DIETARY SUGAR (OR DIABETES) Sugar forms coats on artery walls, much like a water glass with high sugar content will leave a film of sugar residue left behind. Higher than normal sugar allows the formation of a crystalline coat (glycosylation) which roughens the smooth surfaces of the blood cells and arterial walls, leading to damage due to their scraping against one another. This is one way that high blood sugar leads to inflammation in the heart and blood vessels. Areas of inflammation are smoothed by cholesterol depositing as placque.
HIGH STRESS - which raises blood pressure and increases stress hormone and cortisol levels (high cortisol raises blood sugar and simultaneously depresses the immune system.) Widespread inflammation once again is the result.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE - this causes micro tearing in the walls of the arteries setting up sites of inflammation, which is in part repaired by cholesterol patches.
SMOKING / ALCOHOL / AIR & FOOD BORN CHEMICAL IRRITANTS - these place stress on the heart muscle cell metabolism, weakening the heart, as well as damaging the arterial walls of the cardiovascular system. The damaged walls need to be repaired by cholesterol placques.
DIETARY DEFICIENCIES - a diet which is low in antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables, protein deficient, calcium/magnesium deficient, high in carbohydrates, high in trans fats (from hydrogenated oils), and low in the proper kinds of fats places metabolic stress on the cardiovascular system while also limiting the body's ability to repair itself and respond to normal stress.
SO WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CHOLESTEROL?
Cholesterol is made in our bodies, sometimes at a rate which even exceeds our dietary intake. It is an entirely natural component of our body's chemistry, necessary for making many essential hormones, transporting nutrients, and for proper function of the digestive system. Cholesterol's most often misunderstood role -- as we view it with respect to cardiovascular disease -- may be how it's used by the body as a repair substance to patch-up areas of arterial damage. With too much damage, and unchecked inflammation, thick cholesterol containing plaques and ultimately blockages may form. So is Cholesterol the main problem, or are those things which cause arterial damage and inflammation the main problem, leading to cardiovascular disease?
Here are some good references which will catch you up on the latest research findings…
And a brilliant and more detailed article by a cardiologist entitled...
"A Heart Surgeon Speaks Out on What Really Causes Heart Disease"