Cholesterol not the key issue in heart disease

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When will they get this right? It is not the cholesterol that is killing us.

I cringe when I hear the ads stating, “Now I trust my heart to Lipitor.”

Scientists in “the know” will confirm that at most, cholesterol-caused plaque is responsible for only about 2 percent of cardiovascular deaths. So if you have been encouraged to take one of the many cholesterol-lowering drugs, you’d do well to read the New York Times quoted below.

So what is the real cause of our high coronary heart disease problem?

Clots. That’s it.

If a clot forms in the bloodstream, eventually as the circulating blood will carry the clot into smaller and smaller vessels and it can get stuck. Whatever tissues lie beyond the clot will be starved for life- giving blood and will die.

This scenario most often occurs in one of three areas; the heart, brain or a lung. The clot will cause, respectively, a coronary occlusion, stroke or pulmonary occlusion. Any of these can be fatal. The larger the clot, the greater the damage.

The combined human death toll taken by clots is approximately 48 percent of all deaths in the U.S. compared to 2 percent caused by cholesterol.

What to do?

On Jan. 17, 2008, the New York Times carried a story stating that Zetia, Lipitor or Vitorin — taken by millions of patients daily intended to reduce cholesterol — in some cases actually caused heart attacks and strokes. What’s going on here? What if I told you that the total sales of these drugs is $40 billion dollars annually?

Cholesterol is produced in our bodies and needed for a multitude of purposes. If there is not enough, the liver will produce more. If there is too much, the liver will produce less. It also rises with the consumption of fatty meat and hydrogenated fats (mostly trans fats) in the absence of sufficient antioxidants. But this is something that can be controlled by diet.

You should know however that the cholesterol lowering drugs do have multiple side effects. So if they do no good and may actually harm you, why take them?

Here is a list of heart-disease factors, all coming from published scientific studies.

Factors that increase your risk of cardiovascular disease:

A high fat diet.

Rancid fats.

“Trans” fatty acids.

Constipation.

Ionizing radiation, which can be received from X-rays or even high altitude flights.

Chlorinated water.

Homocysteine.

Factors that reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease:

Omega-3 oils from cold-water fish.

B complex vitamins especially B6, niacin, and riboflavin.

Vitamins A, C, and E.

Minerals including zinc, manganese, selenium, molybdenum, copper, magnesium, and chromium.

Cytokine, an amino acid available in eggs and other complete protein sources.

Beta carotene.

Garlic.

Fiber.

Yogurt.

Beans.

Alfalfa seeds and sprouts.

Vegetables.

Exercise.

Lycopene, one of the carotenoids found in tomatoes.

Monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil.

Heparin (released during fasting).

Tocotrienols, part of the vitamin E complex.

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