By Anna Von Reitz
All I really need to tell you is that “G7” was a meeting of governments and Jackson Hole was a meeting of bankers, and you should automatically turn your attention to what went on in Jackson Hole.
By Anna Von Reitz
All I really need to tell you is that “G7” was a meeting of governments and Jackson Hole was a meeting of bankers, and you should automatically turn your attention to what went on in Jackson Hole.
1 Which of the following tests is a powerful measure of your heart disease risk?
2 Which of the following accounts for the majority of the metals found in dental amalgam?
3 Which of the following is currently the deadliest drug class in the U.S.?
4 According to the latest (2017) clinical guidelines, healthy blood pressure is:
5 Autophagy is activated during which of the following fasting phases?
6 Sirtuins are:
While agrochemical companies work hard to convince you their toxic chemicals are necessary in order to grow enough food to feed the world, this is not the case. One of the greatest treasures we have is healthy soil, without which humanity will not survive.
Soil is the mother of nearly all plant life and, ultimately, all animal life. Soils that have taken hundreds and even thousands of years to fully develop are being destroyed at a disturbingly rapid pace. Monocultural farming systems based on genetically engineered foods are coated with toxins. Operations such as these are quickly destroying the soil microbiome responsible for the growth of nutritious food.
It’s estimated that healthy soil may contain between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria.1 However, chemical farming has rendered the soil susceptible to erosion, resulting in one-third of the world’s arable land lost to erosion.2 In addition to this and the loss of soil biodiversity, modern farming practices have depleted food nutrients.3
A recent article in Scientific American4 laments the sad state of nutrition in food, pointing to a lack of microbial soil diversity, likely an effect of genetically engineered plants bred to withstand multiple applications of insecticides and pesticides. However, the information is not new.
In 2011, the publication covered this topic and discussed the landmark study of Donald Davis from the University of Texas. It was published in 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.5
Davis looked at 43 vegetables and fruits and found regular declines in nutritional value, which his team attributed to agricultural practices designed to improve yield as opposed to nutrition. Davis is quoted in Scientific American as saying:6
“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly, but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.”
Another analysis7 based on data over 50 years, from 1930 to 1980, found significant reductions in calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and potassium. The only mineral with no difference was phosphorus.
Journalist, author and past editor of the East West Journal, Alex Jack,8 writes9 of the differences he found in nutrients when comparing those from printed U.S. Department of Agriculture documents in 1975 against an online database from the USDA.
While comparing the differences between 1975 and 1997 he analyzed a number of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. He found that all the analyzed nutrients in broccoli declined, from 17.5% for vitamin C to a whopping 53.4% for calcium. Following this discovery, he examined 12 common vegetables he picked at random and discovered the results were comparable.10
Following his study in 2004, Davis11 continued to analyze nutrients in food, finding evidence of decline, including an inverse relationship between plant yield and mineral concentration, a decline in historical food composition and a reduction in nutrient density. This was based on studies in which side-by-side comparisons of high and low yield cultivars were conducted. Davis wrote:12
“In fruits, vegetables, and grains, usually 80% to 90% of the dry weight yield is carbohydrate. Thus, when breeders select for high yield, they are, in effect, selecting mostly for high carbohydrate with no assurance that dozens of other nutrients and thousands of phytochemicals will all increase in proportion to yield. Thus, genetic dilution effects seem unsurprising.”
In the 2018 Real Food Campaign survey of food across the Northeast and Midwest U.S., the results showed significant variation in the nutrient value of foods across sources from farms, farmers markets and stores. This campaign was undertaken with the mission of identifying the best ways to improve the nutrients in the food supply by better understanding the connection between soil health, food quality and human health.13
Yet another condition affecting plant growth and nutrient density was inadvertently discovered in a biology lab in 1998 when Irakli Loladze, Ph.D., learned zooplankton that fed on algae, struggled to survive when the algae grew faster than normal.
After years of investigation and research, Loladze found nearly 130 varieties of plants experienced a reduction in minerals by 8%, likely for the same reason the algae had become junk food to the zooplankton — as the rate of growth increased, the food became less nutritious.14
In other words, the decline in the nutrient content of food found in your grocery store is likely a complex issue related to a number of conditions. The majority of those conditions boil down to farming practices destroying soil health, polluting your environment and producing poor quality food grown from genetically modified seeds.
Soil bacteria 15 produce compounds that coat the surface of dirt particles and play a unique role in holding it all together. Some also produce nitrogen, which the plants use for nutrition. However, with higher pH and nitrogen available as nitrate, it’s the perfect scenario for weed growth.16 When there is less disturbance and greater plant diversity the soil becomes more balanced, increasing the nutrients available to plant life.
EcoFarming Daily reported on17 the five core principles involved in soil restoration, including improving microbial life and nutrient density. The goal of restoration is to provide plants with living soil that can significantly improve the mineral cycle. One strategy to maintaining healthy soil requires the reduction of synthetic fertilizers and other chemicals.18
Kristine Nichols, Ph.D., who served at the Rodale Institute as chief scientist and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, explained how soil microbes affect crop yield and nutrition.19 Some microbes improve pore space in the soil allowing for greater water holding capacity and root growth. Others reduce the prevalence of disease and still others are involved in decomposition.20
Insecticides kill both visible and microscopic insects that begin the process of decomposition by shredding organic matter.21 Without this population of microarthropods, populations of bacteria and fungi in the soil begin to decline, thus impacting the nutrition your food is able to absorb from the soil.
This cascading effect negatively impacts diversity and function of soil life. For instance, glyphosate is known to be a strong metal chelator, ultimately impacting the functions of microorganisms.22 Synthetic fertilizers, often salt-based, essentially absorb water away from microbes and change the acidity of the soil which becomes toxic to living organisms.
Although some scientists believe they will improve on nature by manipulating microbial growth,23 there is recognition microbes and their metabolites enhance nutrient uptake in plants, increase yield, control pests and mitigate plant stress response.
The death of soil microbial diversity often sparks the perceived need for greater amounts of synthetic fertilizer, insecticides and genetically modified seeds to make it possible for food to grow in soil that’s been stripped of its nutritional promise.
Although sparked by a “green revolution”24 in the hope of increasing food production, modern farming practices are not the answer to health and wellness. They are instead a means of lining the pockets of agribusiness.
The prevalent use of biocides, insecticides, pesticides and chemicals designed to kill living organisms have changed the landscape of soil microbial growth.25 This has negatively impacted the land’s ability to produce food with the same nutrient value it had just one generation ago.26
In addition to pesticides, genetically altered seeds can pose serious health risks. The Center for Food Safety27 wrote that 92% of U.S. corn, 94% of soybeans and 94% of cotton is genetically engineered. It is important to note corn, soybeans and cottonseed oil are used in many processed foods.28 The name Crisco, as an example, originated from crystallized cottonseed oil.
As agribusiness promotes the use of pesticides that reduce the nutritional content in your food, the National Institutes of Health29 says that eating too much of one type of nutrient and not enough nutrient-dense foods overall could raise the risk of dying by heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke.
The World Health Organization stated that30 “Eating nutrient-dense foods and balancing energy intake with a necessary physical activity to maintain a healthy weight is essential at all stages of life.”
One study31 published in Nature found that while acute vitamin and mineral deficiencies are rare in developed countries, suboptimal intake is a widespread problem. The researchers believe the solution may require the fortifying of foods and provision of multivitamin and mineral supplements to have a significant impact on public health.
In other words, while researchers have found that the nutritional value in food has declined, others are finding that suboptimal intake is a widespread problem affecting large populations. The lack of good nutrition is leading to a rising number of people suffering from disease.
In addition to being manipulated to withstand the application of pesticides, GE corn also includes genetic material that allows it to produce insecticide in every cell. The EPA calls this “plant-incorporated protectants,”32 or substances the plant produces to control the population of an insect that feeds on the plant.
In addition to ingesting insecticides bred into the plant, scientists have also found neonicotinoids are likely a primary cause of declining populations of pollinating insects such as bees.33 Despite growing evidence that neonics have significantly contributed to the collapsing bee population with no likelihood of improved crop yields,34 the insecticide continues to be used.
This is indicative of an overwhelming information campaign agrichemical companies have used to convince farmers and Americans that their chemicals, toxins and genetically altered plants are necessary. But, when you look at the statistics, the only conclusion is that the only “benefit” is increased company profits.
In an evaluation of the distribution of agricultural land using figures from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations,35 researchers found 76.8% of small farmers own just 26.1% of arable land in North America.36
With less than 25% of all farmland globally, small farmers are providing food for 70% of consumers with almost no fossil fuels or chemicals. Larger, industrial farms are using 75% of the land and feeding 30% of the world’s population.37 Small farmers around the world are proving you truly can feed large numbers using regenerative farming practices.
In addition to lower nutrient values reducing the ability to fight off diseases, researchers have found the application of glyphosate is strongly correlated with several health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.38
The key to finding nutrient-dense foods is to purchase organic produce grown on farms that use regenerative techniques. Regenerative farmers work with nature to protect pollinators and grow a diverse set of crops. These crops act as natural fertilizers to build soil biodiversity and improve the nutrients in your food.
One recent study39 highlighted the importance of eating organically grown foods. Investigators analyzed urine samples from a diverse set of families across the U.S. before and after they had eaten organically produced food during a period of just six days.
Before making the diet change, the researchers detected 14 pesticides and pesticide metabolites representing a potential exposure to 14 different pesticides. After the intervention, the urine levels of all but one pesticide decreased significantly.40 This indicates that in just six days your body can begin detoxifying from the chemicals in your diet. However, with consistent exposure, the toxins remain.
By purchasing food from local farmers who use organic, regenerative practices, you can help support them and your overall health. Consider stopping the use of agricultural chemicals in your own backyard in favor of regenerative practices.
By creating your own garden, you help improve soil microbiology on a small scale and you’re rewarded with nutrient-rich food. One of the insidious aspects of industrial food systems is the vicious cycle in which farmers become increasingly dependent on chemical technology.
In the end I’ve discovered you cannot optimize your health without including nutritious food. The time to act is now. Adopt preventive strategies that help reduce chemical pollution in your body and remember — you hold the power to choose foods that provide optimal nutrition for you and your family.
Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. While inflammation is a perfectly normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, it leads to trouble when the inflammatory response gets out of hand and continues indefinitely.
Your diet plays a significant if not primary role in this chain of events and is the perfect place to start to address it. Certain nutritional supplements can also be helpful as add-ons.
Below, I’ll review some of the foods, spices and supplements known for their anti-inflammatory power (and the foods known for their inflammatory effects). If you struggle with any chronic health condition, chances are you have inflammation in your body, and would be wise to take a cold hard look at what you’re putting into it.
A key part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves excluding refined vegetable oils, as they are clearly one of the most pernicious and pervasive poisons in the food supply. Simply avoiding all processed foods and most restaurant foods will go a long way toward helping you avoid them.
As for anti-inflammatory foods to eat more of, vegetables are a key staple. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens and Swiss chard contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C that can help protect against cellular damage. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw.
Juicing is an excellent way to get more greens into your diet. There’s a caveat, though. If you struggle with autoimmune disease or have significant inflammation in your body, consider limiting vegetables with high lectin content, as the lectins may pose a problem.
Among the most problematic lectin-containing foods are beans, grains, legumes and members of the nightshade family like eggplants, potatoes and peppers. High-lectin foods can be made safer to eat through proper soaking and cooking, as well as fermenting and sprouting. Using a pressure cooker is particularly beneficial for beans. You can learn more about this in my interview with Dr. Steven Gundry, author of “The Plant Paradox.”
Oxalates are another plant component that can cause problems, as they not only will increase inflammation but will worsen your mitochondrial function. Those prone to oxalate kidney stones typically need to be on an oxalate-free diet as well. Foods high in oxalates include potatoes (white and sweet), almonds, seeds, dark chocolate, beets, beans and many others.
On the other hand, raw berries — especially blueberries — are an anti-inflammatory basic, as most tend to be low in fructose while rating high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables.
The same goes for mushrooms, which are commonly overlooked. Shiitake mushrooms, for example, contain ergothioniene, which inhibits oxidative stress. Mushrooms also contain a number of unique nutrients that you may not get enough of in your diet.
One of those nutrients is copper, which is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to human health. Since your body can’t synthesize copper, your diet must supply it regularly. Copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
Another excellent anti-inflammatory mushroom is the Reishi, which contains ganoderic acid, a terpene that induces apoptosis (programmed cell death of damaged cells) and enhances the immune system.
Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are other anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. A majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut as the result of an imbalanced microbiome.
Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives and other fermented vegetables will help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria. Ideally, you’ll want to eat a wide variety of them as each contains a different set of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).
Fermented foods can also help your body rid itself of harmful toxins. Kimchi, for example, has been shown to break down pesticides that promote inflammation. As reported in a study1 in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos degraded rapidly during kimchi fermentation and was 83.3% degraded by Day 3. By Day 9, it was degraded completely.
If you don’t like fermented vegetables, consider yogurt made from raw organic milk from grass fed cows. Yogurt has been shown to reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of your intestinal lining, thereby preventing toxins in your gut from crossing into your bloodstream.
Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins — such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies — are also important anti-inflammatories2 and are particularly important for brain and heart health. In fact, your omega-3 level is a powerful predictor of mortality.
If you don’t enjoy these types of fish, you could consider using krill oil instead. Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology3 in 2012 confirmed that dietary supplementation with krill oil effectively reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.
As with vitamin D, it’s advisable to check your omega-3 index on a regular basis to ensure optimization. Ideally, you’ll want to maintain an omega-3 index of 8%. (GrassrootsHealth offers a convenient, cost-effective test4 to measure both your vitamin D and omega-3 levels.)
Many teas also offer anti-inflammatory benefits that can be enjoyed by most. Matcha tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea5 and comes in the form of a stone-ground unfermented powder. The best Matcha comes from Japan.
It’s an excellent source of antioxidants, especially epigallocatechin gallate6 (EGCG), a catechin with anti-inflammatory activity.7 Tulsi is another tea loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and other micronutrients that help protect against damage caused by chemical pollutants, heavy metals and physical stress.8
Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices are among the most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients available and making sure you’re eating a wide variety of them on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing chronic illness.
According to a novel study9 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, published in 2012, “cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric were able to significantly reduce oxidized LDL-induced expression of TNF-?” or tumor necrosis factor, a cytokine involved in systemic inflammation.
Ginger lowered three different inflammatory biomarkers, suggesting its superior anti-inflammatory action, but rosemary and turmeric also “showed protective capacity by both oxidative protection and inflammation measures.”
The interesting thing about this study is that they used “real world” dosages, meaning amounts you would normally use in your daily cooking, not megadoses you might find in a concentrated supplement. For example, those in the oregano group ate just half a teaspoon of oregano daily for seven days.
Garlic is another kitchen staple that has been treasured for its medicinal properties for centuries. Garlic exerts its benefits on multiple levels, offering antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Most recently, a 2019 review and meta-analysis10 concluded garlic effectively lowered several inflammatory biomarkers, including C-reactive protein, TNF-? and interleukin-6.
It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Research11 has revealed that as allicin digests in your body it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts faster with dangerous free radicals than any other known compound.
An earlier study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods12 found a direct correlation between the antioxidant phenol content of spice and herb extracts and their ability to inhibit glycation and block the formation of AGE compounds (advanced glycation end products), making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging.
Here, cloves were ranked as the most potent of 24 common herbs and spices found in your spice rack. The following were found to be the top 10 most potent anti-inflammatory herbs and spices:
Apple pie spice mixture
Pumpkin pie spice mixture
Gourmet Italian spice
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, also has a solid foundation in science with numerous studies vouching for its anti-inflammatory effects.13 As noted in a 2017 review in the journal Foods:14
“[Curcumin] aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and performance in active people.
In addition, a relatively low dose of the complex can provide health benefits for people that do not have diagnosed health conditions. Most of these benefits can be attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”
A drawback of turmeric is its poor absorbability and rapid elimination. As noted in this Foods review, taken by itself turmeric typically does not impart the health benefits with which this spice is associated.
Certain components or additives can significantly boost its bioavailability though. One is piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, which has been shown to increase the bioavailiability of curcumin by 2,000%.15 This is why you’ll typically find piperine as an ingredient in most curcumin supplements. A typical dosage of a standardized curcumin supplement is 400 to 600 milligrams three times a day.16
Another interesting paper in the journal Surgical Neurology International, “Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief,” highlights several foods and spices already mentioned, specifically omega-3, green tea and turmeric. In addition to those, it also discusses the anti-inflammatory potential of:17
Interestingly, a 2013 animal study18 found capsaicin “produced anti-inflammatory effects that were comparable to diclofenac,” a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly prescribed to patients with mild to moderate arthritis.19
The Surgical Neurology International paper20 also addresses the use of Frankincense extract (Boswellia serrata resin), noting it “possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and analgesic properties” and is an inhibitor of leukotriene biosynthesis.
As such, it’s valuable in the treatment of inflammatory diseases driven by leukotrienes,21 such as degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders. According to this paper, Frankincense:
“… reduces the total white blood cell count in joint fluid, and it also inhibits leukocyte elastase, which is released in rheumatoid arthritis. In one recent study, a statistically significant improvement in arthritis of the knee was shown after 8 weeks of treatment with 333 mg B. serrata extract taken three times a day …
A combination of Boswellia and curcumin showed superior efficacy and tolerability compared with nonsteroidal diclofenac for treating active osteoarthritis. Boswellia typically is given as an extract standardized to contain 30-40% boswellic acids (300-500 mg two or three times/day).”
An earlier study22 published in Scientific Reports in 2015 confirmed Frankincense and myrrh are both capable of suppressing inflammation by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines.
Some anti-inflammatory supplements have already been mentioned, such as curcumin, Cat’s claw, Frankincense and capsaicin. Other supplements with well-documented anti-inflammatory effects include vitamin D, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) and zinc. As reported by Science Daily, vitamin D inhibits inflammation by reducing inflammatory proteins:23
“… [R]esearchers examined the specific mechanisms by which vitamin D might act on immune and inflammatory pathways.24 They incubated human white blood cells with varying levels of vitamin D, then exposed them to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a molecule associated with bacterial cell walls that is known to promote intense inflammatory responses.
Cells incubated with no vitamin D and in solution containing 15 ng/ml of vitamin D produced high levels of cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, major actors in the inflammatory response. Cells incubated in 30 ng/ml vitamin D and above showed significantly reduced response to the LPS. The highest levels of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml.
Through a complex series of experiments, the researchers identified a new location where the vitamin-D receptor appears to bind directly to DNA and activate a gene known as MKP-1. MKP-1 interferes with the inflammatory cascade triggered by LPS, which includes a molecule known as p38, and results in higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha.
‘This newly identified DNA-binding site for the vitamin-D receptor, and the specific pathways inhibited by higher levels of vitamin D provide a plausible mechanism for many of the benefits that have been associated with vitamin D,’ said Dr. Goleva.
‘The fact that we showed a dose-dependent and varying response to levels commonly found in humans also adds weight to the argument for vitamin D’s role in immune and inflammatory conditions.’”
While I strongly recommend getting your vitamin D from sensible sun exposure, if you cannot maintain a protective level of 60 to 80 ng/ml year-round, a vitamin D3 supplement would be prudent, considering its importance for your overall health.
Zinc is a commonly overlooked antioxidant, but research shows it’s a potent anti-inflammatory. According to a 2014 review article25 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition:
“Zinc supplementation trials in the elderly showed that the incidence of infections was decreased by approximately 66% in the zinc group. Zinc supplementation also decreased oxidative stress biomarkers and decreased inflammatory cytokines in the elderly.
In our studies in the experimental model of zinc deficiency in humans, we showed that zinc deficiency per se increased the generation of IL-1? and its mRNA in human mononuclear cells following LPS stimulation.
Zinc supplementation upregulated A20, a zinc transcription factor, which inhibited the activation of NF-?B, resulting in decreased generation of inflammatory cytokines.”
Similarly, SAM-e is commonly recommended for patients with osteoarthritis,26 as it has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) properties. According to Arthritis.org,27 “Results may be felt in just one week but could take more than a month.”
Last but not least, it’s important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking root in your body, so avoiding inflammatory foods is just as important, if not more so, as eating anti-inflammatory ones.
As a group, processed foods of all kinds tend to be pro-inflammatory, thanks to ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, soy, processed vegetable oils (trans fats) and chemical additives. So, in addition to adding anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, spices and supplements (if needed) to your diet, you’ll also want to avoid the following as much as possible:
• Refined sugar, processed fructose and grains — If your fasting insulin level is 3 or above, consider dramatically reducing or eliminating grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level, as insulin resistance is a primary driver of chronic inflammation.
As a general guideline, I recommend restricting your total fructose intake to 25 grams per day. If you’re insulin or leptin resistant (have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or are overweight), consider cutting that down to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has normalized
• Oxidized cholesterol — Cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs
• Processed meats
• Industrial vegetable and seed oils (a source of oxidized omega-6 fats) such as peanut, corn and soy oil
• Foods cooked at high temperatures, especially if cooked with vegetable oil
Replacing processed foods with whole, ideally organic foods will automatically address most of these factors, especially if you eat a large portion of your food raw. Equally important is making sure you’re regularly reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria, as mentioned above.
To help you get started on a healthier diet, I suggest following my free Optimized Nutrition Plan, which starts at the beginner phase and systematically guides you step-by-step to the advanced level.
For those who aren’t sure the conventional health community is wholly in support of individual health when it comes to cholesterol levels — which in some cases still adheres to the story line that too much cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease — you’re right to be concerned.
Taking a global view of what cholesterol is and how it affects your body is a smarter way to approach it than the simple “cholesterol kills” narrative that’s been the drum beat for so many years.
Cholesterol, the soft, waxy substance found in every cell in your body, is used to produce several of your body’s vital functions, including those that involve hormones and vitamin D. About 75% of it is made by your liver and the remainder is derived from the foods you eat; 25% is in your brain.
There are two types: High-density is the first. It is also known as HDL, or the “good” kind that keeps cholesterol away from your arteries and removes it from your arteries. The second type is low density lipoprotein, or LDL. LDL is the “bad” kind that can build up in your arteries, form plaque that narrows your arteries and form a clot. This can then make its way to your heart or brain and cause either a heart attack or stroke.
The American Heart Association (AHA)1 now recommends that you balance your levels at about 150 (milligrams per deciliter) (mg/dL). According to old, unfounded science, your total cholesterol — the sum of all the cholesterol in your body — is not a gauge of your heart disease risk. When your levels are measured, elevated levels of triglycerides are also taken into account. According to Børge Nordestgaard, from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital:
“So far, both cardiologists and [physicians] have focused mostly on reducing LDL cholesterol, but in the future, the focus will also be on reducing triglycerides and remnant cholesterol.”2
In a commentary posted on Mission.org, a rhetorical question is presented: With all the ways you can die, does it really matter what kills you? On one hand, “If you’re dead, you’re dead, no matter from what,” so it seems silly to “focus on changing something that lowers the risk of death from one cause only to raise that risk from another.”3
It’s an astute observation when you read studies showing conclusively that cholesterol has very little to do with heart disease. Even more importantly, cholesterol is crucial for your health. If it’s too low, then eventually, your hormones, disease risk, cell signaling pathways, and yes, your heart, will suffer. In fact, new research shows that a too-low LDL level could put you at higher risk for a stroke.4
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), which reviews the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years, investigated the issue. The 2015-2020 guidelines noted:5
“While adequate evidence is not available for a quantitative limit for dietary cholesterol in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, cholesterol is still important to consider when building a healthy eating style. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines states that people should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible.”
Yet, even though that’s what it says on the government’s ChooseMyPlate public website, it’s obvious the committee at some point “flipped” its narrative entirely by acknowledging at a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meeting that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”6
It’s no wonder people are confused about where cholesterol fits in your diet, when they send one message to the public and a completely different one to their own group at an advisory committee meeting.
Interestingly, that statement was made nearly five years ago, but information on the importance of cholesterol is nearly two decades old.7 As the Honolulu Heart Program study published in The Lancet in 2001 states:
“Our data accord with previous findings of increased mortality in elderly people with low serum cholesterol, and show that long-term persistence of low cholesterol concentration actually increases risk of death.”
The narrative challenges those who insist that eating foods that contain fat of any kind — saturated fats and trans fats alike — are harmful. Many who make this claim also maintain that “Saturated fat is a bad fat because it raises your LDL level more than anything else in your diet.”8 However, as explained in the Mission.org article:
“While total cholesterol is a poor if not utterly worthless risk marker for heart disease, doctors have focused on it to the exclusion of how it might affect other causes of death. It does you little good to save yourself from heart disease if it means that you increase your risk of death from cancer. All-cause mortality — death from anything — is the most appropriate measure to use when looking at risk factors.”9
“Death from anything” may be a clearer term for the one so often used in clinical settings: All-cause mortality. Either way, as quoted by the following study, that’s what the latest research says is the best measure for the factors that increase the risk of what eventually and most likely will take someone’s life.
When it comes to your risk of death from heart disease, there’s much more evidence that inflammation is at the bottom of heart disease rather than high cholesterol, just as it is for a number of other serious diseases. If you want to find what might help you live longer, that’s the premise of a lengthy Japanese study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. As the featured study, it notes that regardless of someone’s age, people with higher cholesterol live longer:
“Overall, an inverse trend is found between all-cause mortality and total (or low density lipoprotein [LDL]) cholesterol levels: mortality is highest in the lowest cholesterol group without exception. If limited to elderly people, this trend is universal. As discussed in Section 2, elderly people with the highest cholesterol levels have the highest survival rates irrespective of where they live in the world …
Based on data from Japan, we propose a new direction in the use of cholesterol medications for global health promotion; namely, recognizing that cholesterol is a negative risk factor for all-cause mortality and re-examining our use of cholesterol medications accordingly.”10
After showing that people of all ages with higher cholesterol levels live longer in Japan, in support of these conclusions, similar conclusions were made by a study based in the Netherlands and published in BMJ in 2016.11
The study adjusted for several heart risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure and a history of diabetes melllitus. Participants were placed in groups depending on whether their cholesterol levels were low, medium or high, and those with the highest cholesterol levels were found to have the lowest death rates.
The title of the BMJ review reveals the outcome — there was a “lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly.”12
In short, older people with high LDL cholesterol generally live just as long as — and may even outlive — people with low LDL, which begs the question of how the current cholesterol theory was arrived at in the first place. At the very least, the study authors imply the cholesterol question should at least be re-evaluated. It concluded:
“Our review provides the basis for more research about the cause of atherosclerosis and (cardiovascular disease) and also for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for cardiovascular prevention, in particular because the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated.”13
One of the first studies published with information suggesting that high cholesterol is not as heart-damaging as once thought was the Honolulu Heart Program,14 offering further evidence that higher cholesterol levels may be heart protective. The authors concluded by questioning whether there is “scientific justification for attempts to lower cholesterol to concentrations below 4-65 mmol/L in elderly people,” adding that “prudence dictates a more conservative approach in this age group.”15
Perhaps the question that would get to the point quicker is to ask why the Japanese study infers that people with low versus high cholesterol die sooner? The Mission offers referenced studies that show a few factors that could be weighing in:
• Cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis, as “the many observations that conflict with the LDL receptor hypothesis, may be explained by the idea that high serum cholesterol and/or high LDL is protective against infection and atherosclerosis.”16
• Cholesterol may protect against cancer, although in previous cases where low cholesterol was linked to cancer, exclusions were made to tip the scales, such as excluding possible prior drug treatment, namely clofibrate, a popular cholesterol-lowering drug before statins, by subjects — leaving the question open as to whether it was the low cholesterol that caused the cancer, or the drug treatments that contributed to it.17
• Low cholesterol (180 mg/dL and lower) and violence in psychiatric patients have been linked. When patients in a long-term psychiatric hospital with a history of seclusion or restraints were compared with other patients, there was a “highly significant and strong association between lower cholesterol levels and violent behavior.” The authors did caution, however, that cholesterol levels should not be used to predict violence.18
• There’s also an association between low cholesterol and suicide dating back more than a decade, as researchers found that people in the lowest quartile of cholesterol concentration had more than six times the suicide rates than those in the highest quartile.19
It should be noted that at least one study in Japan20 determined that high cholesterol and suicide were connected.
But, in fact, numerous recent studies have corroborated the earlier ones connecting low cholesterol to suicide,21 with various findings: For example, one found that low triglycerides, reduced BMI and waist circumference, specifically, but not total cholesterol, were connected to a higher risk of suicide;22 while a 2019 study23 found that “low cholesterol is associated with aggression in suicide attempters.”
Significantly, the authors of an Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism study didn’t hold back when drawing conclusions regarding why the cholesterol conundrum has gone on so long when the evidence is so clear: “For the side defending this so-called cholesterol theory, the amount of money at stake is too much to lose the fight.”24
The Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism study’s introduction mentions a medical practitioner who advocated statins to his patients to drive down cholesterol until he read the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study,25 in which 4,444 patients with different types of heart disease were given simvastatin — which is touted to be a safe, long-term treatment to improve survival in cardiovascular heart disease patients.
As it turns out, the claim that high cholesterol causes heart disease and death is incorrect; it is, in fact, the opposite. Three reviews26,27,28 supporting the cholesterol hypothesis were found to contain altered data to support their conclusions, according to Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, in which it is noted that:
“Our search for falsifications of the cholesterol hypothesis confirms 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.”29
Drugs.com30 contributors state that the 35 million people on statins often experience myriad side effects. Liver damage, for instance, is said to be “rare,” implying that ongoing liver tests while taking statins likely aren’t necessary. Some doctors, however, say you’ll need a baseline liver function test beforehand. The most common side effects of statins are:
And, just in case you needed another source to implicate statins’ role in psychiatric problems, an April 2018 study found that lowering cholesterol levels in men could bring about changes in nerve cell membranes and behavior in men:
“Men seem to be more sensitive to low cholesterol levels as the association between low cholesterol levels and aggression is found mostly in men,” the authors said.” … “Lowering cholesterol levels with statins brings about several changes in the serotonergic system, nerve cell membrane microviscosity and behaviour, and needs to be done with precaution in susceptible individuals.
Cholesterol levels could serve as a biological risk marker for violence and suicidal tendencies in psychiatric patients with depression and schizophrenia.”
Rather than pointing patients in the direction of finding dietary solutions, including eating both the whites and the yolks when having eggs, and ditching processed vegetable oils in favor of healthy cooking oils like coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil, Harvard Health Medical School recently updated an article on how to “manage” muscle pain from taking statins, perpetuating the cholesterol myth. They stated:
“If you’re not taking a statin now, you may well be soon. These medications are commonly prescribed to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.
They are routinely recommended for people who have cardiovascular disease and for many people ages 40 to 75 who don’t have cardiovascular disease but have at least one risk factor (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking) and a 7.5% or greater risk of a stroke or heart attack in the next decade.
Moreover, recent research indicates that they may benefit high risk individuals over age 75 as well … Taking a statin may give you some assurance that you’re doing all you can to avoid heart attack and stroke …”31
Exercising, losing weight, adopting healthy eating habits and including vitamin D and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements in your diet are all good strategies for maintaining your cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, the common suggestion for alleviating muscle pain due to statin use is more of the same — just try taking a lower dose or switching to another statin prescription.32
As if that weren’t enough, experts say statins may impair your memory and cause amnesia, a possibility real enough to call for a warning on the labels of prescriptions.33 Statin use may precipitate a higher risk of developing cataracts34 and it “significantly” increases the likelihood of raising the fasting glucose levels of non-diabetics, as well as inducing high blood sugar.35
In another review of the adverse effects of statins, it was noted that “an array of additional risk factors for statin AEs [adverse events] are those that amplify (or reflect) mitochondrial or metabolic vulnerability, such as metabolic syndrome factors, thyroid disease, and genetic mutations linked to mitochondrial dysfunction.”36
Given the false information saying cholesterol is at fault for causing heart-related disease, the continued prescriptions being handed out to patients for statins, and the side effects they cause, it’s clear why, in their introduction, the authors of the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism study stressed:37
“This, we believe, marks the starting point of a paradigm shift in not only how we understand the role cholesterol plays in health, but also how we provide cholesterol treatment … Our purpose in writing this supplementary issue is to help everyone understand the issue of cholesterol better than before, and we hope that we lay out the case for why a paradigm shift in cholesterol treatment is needed, and sooner rather than later.”
|(Natural News) When it comes to apples, nutrition isn’t only skin-deep. To get the most out of your organic apples, you should enjoy the apple’s skin, along with its fleshy interior. There’s a good reason why organic apples are considered by some people to be one of the world’s healthiest fruits. This natural superfood contains high…|
For more than 60 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has known that the changes occurring to planetary weather patterns are completely natural and normal.
But the space agency, for whatever reason, has chosen to let the man-made global warming hoax persist and spread, to the detriment of human freedom.
It was the year 1958, to be precise, when NASA first observed that changes in the solar orbit of the earth, along with alterations to the earth’s axial tilt, are both responsible for what climate scientists today have dubbed as “warming” (or “cooling,” depending on their agenda).
In the year 2000, NASA did publish information on its Earth Observatory website about the Milankovitch Climate Theory, revealing that the planet is, in fact, changing due to extraneous factors that have absolutely nothing to do with human activity.
By Juliet Tang,
Modern Day Enslavement.
You have a job. You put food on the table, pay your bills, and possibly own a house and a car, or a ton of houses and cars.
But you feel enslaved. You are bound by invisible chains that tell you what to think, deprive you of your dreams that once made your heart sing, and remind you constantly just how undeserving you are in “the real world.”
Welcome to modern-day slavery that is rooted in lack, powerlessness and low self-worth.
You are the artist whose work is meant to inspire the world but you work as a banker because that’s the only way you’ve been taught to make a living… You are the writer whose words can take down walls and melt boundaries, who daydreams in a cubicle behind a computer screen, wishing life was anything but this… You are the curandero whose heart contains all the healing songs from the plants from the Peruvian Amazon, and feel weighed down by fulfilling the demands of a Wall Street CEO…
Are you longing to be free? Here are 5 ways to liberate yourself from a world that demands your enslavement.
The life you know isn’t fulfilling you, but you don’t even know what you are yearning for.
As a result, you fall into an endless search for that missing piece outside of yourself through money, relationships, substances, the general acquisition of more things you believe will make you happy, or even spiritual practices that promise you answers and tranquility.
Whether you believe you desire joy, inner-peace, social recognition, a cure, or something else; at the core, what you are seeking is freedom.
Freedom to own your brilliance and magic, and to express all your gifts and uniqueness.
Freedom to do and create whatever your heart desires.
And freedom to design a life that honors your choices and voice.
Freedom isn’t something that can be purchased, bargained for, or even acquired, that is because freedom is your ultimate birthright – you are born a sovereign being with intrinsic, absolute and unconditional freedom; nothing and no one can ever take it away from you, not even at the moment of your death.
Your essence, or the True You is eternal Source Energy, and the only thing Source Energy knows is limitless creation, expression and expansion.
In fact, this aspect of your being is what causes the anger and frustration whenever you allow external circumstances to make you feel limited and restrained. When your True Self desires to express itself as a jazz musician but you are going through a soul death at the office working eleven hours a day slaving for an egocentric boss, there is a drastic vibrational gap between who you believe you are, and Who You Truly Are, and that vibrational gap gives you a kick in the gut, aka, the feeling of dissonance to alert you to follow your internal guidance.
You are the only being in this world who has the power to tap into your absolute freedom and reclaim your power from life, and until you can own your birthright 100% without giving into external circumstances, you will always be bargaining for your freedom and cheapening your worth. All transformation begins with owning your freedom.
Living in world where we are conditioned to attach a “condition tag” to everything, it is so easy to get sucked into the mental trap of, “I’m in debt, how can I be free” or “I can only feel the peace and safety once I ____” (insert whatever conditions you have).
The thing is, if your ultimate freedom depends on that promotion, the number on your bank account statement, love from another, or social validation, what happens to you once the condition is removed?
Worse, once you believe a condition must be met in order for you to experience any desired state of being, you are actually jeopardizing your own creative power by closing doors to other options that can deliver the same desired state of being while limiting your own freedom.
No freedom can be unconditional if you place terms and conditions of any kind around it. The moment you do, you are willingly and unconsciously giving it away, and will always be looking for it outside of yourself.
You may be thinking to yourself this article is encouraging the releasing of all earthly desires. It is not.
On the contrary, I am the last person on earth who believes in mindless and unconscious self-deprivation in the name of empowerment or enlightenment, and I coach and teach the importance of having fun, and boldly embracing our dreams and desires in life CONSCIOUSLY without giving our power away.
Selling and donating all belongs and retreating from the world is a beautiful path for some, while creating and enjoying this game of life is a glorious path for others. Both are empowering if chosen with complete consciousness and love, and there is no right or wrong; there is only the path that is most aligned with what your True Self has come to earth to accomplish. No one can tell you what that is save for you.
To blindly renounce all your desires in life for the sake of following others’ teachings is simply another form of mental enslavement that often leads to more resentment, powerlessness and lack. This is the reason why many spiritual seekers remain in lack while equating conscious desires to unconscious materialism, but secretly wishing for more abundance with inner conflict. In order to claim your ultimate freedom, you must only walk the path that feels most joyous to you and shine your own light rather than allowing others to tell you how to shine.
After all, you are Divinity having a bit of fun in a human body, and you did choose to come to the earthly realm to create, so why not treat yourself like the God or Goddess you are, and surround yourself with beauty, abundance and joys in a way that feels right to you, that honors you, others and the planet?
The difference is once you have owned your unconditional freedom and worth, and released your terms and conditions on “what should be”, your desires in life are no longer bound by programmed beliefs from others, or the need for approval and acceptance.
As a result, you may still feel called to create conscious success, legacy projects, or community, but these desires vibrate on a very different frequency than the ego desires you may have once held, and whatever creative juices that are flowing within you stem from your soul mission, authenticity and power.
By releasing all desires that were generated by fears of the ego, you are simply freeing up inner space to channel whatever Source Energy wants you to Be, Do, and Create. Nothing is more liberating than this!
To stay centered in your freedom, and exercise your power of choice requires you to master your own thoughts and be able to choose a different perspective whenever you view yourself to be the victim of your surroundings.
You may identify yourself with every thought that goes through your head, but those thoughts are nothing more than learned ideas and adopted beliefs from others that found their way into your mind throughout your lifetime.
Your freedom meter in life can be measured by how much energy you invest into distressing and disempowering thoughts. The more you repeat them, act from them and react to them, the more they clutter the creative space within you and the less freedom you are able to access in life.
A shift in an emotional state sometimes does not come from a change of external circumstance, but from how you choose to perceive what is. Surrendering to life is a choice overlooked by many, but in the end, it IS a choice.
In any experience in life, vibrationally, you can only be an enslaved victim or a liberated creator; there is no middle ground. You can succumb to life believing things are being done to you, or you can embrace whatever life is offering you, and know that on some level, your True Self has consciously chosen this experience on some level for your soul evolution.
If you choose the latter, you are activating the divine freedom each of us has inherited from birth, but few have tapped into, and are at liberty to write whatever stories you wish to write in your journey of conscious creation.
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus
About the author:
Juliet Tang is an intuitive life coach, spiritual mentor and medicine woman. Her work empowers those who are looking for more alignment and expansion to awaken to their power and purpose on earth, activate more love, abundance and joy in their lives, and manifest their soul’s desires using the conscious creation process.