This is my personal “favorite” since both of my parents suffered from this number one killer of Americans. A person every 5 seconds dies from a stroke or heart attack in this country. 44% of American deaths (and rising) are attributable to atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries”. BUT, and here’s the interesting part, dogs and cats don’t have this all-too-common condition. Surely the reader wants to know how this could be. Those who have read The Answer already know.
Yes, atherosclerosis takes more women’s lives now than all cancer combined, including breast cancer, and yet dogs and cats never die from this devastating condition. The reason, I firmly believe, is so simple that it is stupefying. Two words: hydrogenated oils (You must read David Dewey’s article on these hazardous substances. Here’s the link: www.dldewey.com/hydroil.htm.) These unnatural, man-made oils are the key to atherosclerosis in that they are what allow the foreign materials that are found in the wall of the affected artery to get there in the first place. Think of these oils…hydrogenated this, partially-hydrogenated that…as “solvents” that carry anything mixed them into tissues that would normally not contain them.
With the aid of the hydrogenated oils, foreign materials such as dietary proteins (glycoproteins), viruses, and even bacteria find their way into the wall of the artery and begin to attract the immune system. This sets up the inflammation that, in turn, releases the C-reactive protein that you are (finally) hearing so much about on the news. This protein is a measure of the “degree” of inflammation in the arteries and used as an indicator of the severity of atherosclerosis. The idea of this arterial condition being inflammation is only new to the public. Scientists have known for years what occupied this area just inside the lining of the artery but have clearly withheld this information until a clearer understanding of the process was obtained.
In a recent study by leading cardiologists, a new ingredient was uncovered. In this study, it was found that 85%…that’s 85%…of lesions in the carotid and coronary arteries were found to be positive for Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria associated with stomach ulcers. Wow, what a finding! How could this be? Well, it is likely that these bacteria enter the bloodstream from the stomach ulcer, especially at a time when the immune system is suppressed, and make their way to a damaged area of artery and set up housekeeping. This may even immediately trigger the atherosclerotic event, such as a heart attack. These areas of cholesterol plaque formation are accidents just waiting to happen.
“But, what about the cholesterol?” most people ask. Great question. The answer will surprise those of you who think that cholesterol in the culprit here. The fact is that cholesterol is “nature’s band-aid”. It is called in to adhere to those areas of damage that have been created by the hydrogenated oils and all of the garbage that they dragged in. Once the damage is bad enough, the arterial wall starts to weaken. Cholesterol, your “hero”, comes in to strengthen this area. If it didn’t, the area could balloon into an aneurysm. But, if the cholesterol is properly laid down, this doesn’t happen. However, if we don’t get to the roots of the problem…the hydrogenated oils and all of the stuff that goes along with it…the cholesterol keeps being laid down in layers and layers until, ultimately, an occlusion forms OR a plaque flakes off, traveling downstream and causing a stroke.
The body, once again, is desperately trying to do the right thing. We are simply not helping it all with the steady “fast food” diet we feed it: dairy and wheat (two major sources of immunoreactive glycoproteins) and the hydrogenated oils. So is cholesterol the enemy? Absolutely not. All you have to do is ask yourself this question: What would you rather die from- a stroke or heart attack at age 70- 80 OR an aneurysm at age 30- 40? The bad news is that those mean ages are ancient history, aren’t they? We now have 19-33 year-olds dying of heart attacks, don’t we? The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way. You can do something to reverse this trend. Now you know what…and the answer does not lay in those cholesterol lowering statin drugs, does it? The recall on that last one was a warning shot fired across our bow. Once again, counteracting the body’s natural mechanisms often comes with a major price tag.
I almost forgot: Why don’t pets suffer from clinical atherosclerosis? Not enough hydrogenated oils in their diet. It’s that simple.