Sunday, February 05, 2006

Interesting reading

I've been reading a lot this weekend, and have learned some interesting things!

First off, I'm in the middle of reading The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD. I'll go into that more when I finish.

Because of back/neck problems, I can only read books for short periods of time, so I read my book, then read on the internet. It's amazing how much information is out there! And how much of it never reaches the public!

Based on a post by Anthony Colpo on his The Omnivore website, I looked up Thomas S. Cowan, MD and found his web-site The Fourfold Path to Healing. Dr Cowan believes in the power of low-carb diets and doesn't use statins, so of course I just had to read his latest newsletter!

Dr Cowan

In the first article of the newsletter, Dr Cowan talks about how he (and many others) feel that arterial blockage is the result of a Myocardial Infarction (MI or “heart attack”), not the result! As evidence, Dr Cowan notes that in a 1998 editorial in The American Journal of Cardiology, a Dr. W.W. O’Neill notes that many patients having an MI do not have blockages, or have blockages that are not felt to be enough to cause an MI! As evidence of this, Dr Cowan notes that not all patients that have an MI have arterial blockages on arteriogram. Early on the medical profession has been trying, unsuccessfully, to “prove” that arterial blockage causes MI, but as noted in study after study, the findings were similar. Some had a recent thrombus (blockage), about 49%....however, about 30% had NO blockage, while another 14% had moderate plaque buildup, but not enough to cause an MI. Another study showed that in MIs with sudden death, about 50-60% had blockage. In a third study the authors found that as high as 75% had blockages, but didn’t qualify the degree. Additionally, the authors of another paper found that the longer the time after the MI to either angiogram of autopsy, the higher the degree of blockage found! An hour after the MI, only about 16% showed blockage, but after 24hrs this increased to 53%!

WOW!!!! A lot of us have already concluded that the medical profession is wrong in telling us that cholesterol intake leads to heart disease….but what if they’re also wrong about the cause of heart attack! And what is the cause of MI? Acidosis? Homocysteine? Stress? Some other, unknown cause? All every interesting!

Dr Cowan also notes that the use of Digitalis, once common in the treatment of heart failure, greatly improves or even reverses the symptoms of Angina (chest pain) and MI, even in acute stages! Research of my own, however, indicates that Digitalis (Digoxin, Lanoxin and others) isn’t currently indicated for anything other than Heart Failure (HF) and Atrial Fibrillation (A. Fib, a condition where the top chambers of the heart twitches rather than contracts as it should). Approximately 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with HF and another 2 million with A. Fib.

Weston A Price Foundation

One of my favorite sites for finding unbiased information, the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF) has page after page after page of information about nutrition, environmental dangers, and myth busting. Read here about the foundation.

I’ve read many, but not all, of the articles on WAPF and came across two very interesting ones this weekend.

The first article is about the misconceptions of the Gorilla Diet. We’ve all heard that because primates, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, are vegetarians, we should be also. However, as pointed out in this article, all primates actually do eat animal protein, and in fact is necessary for their survival. As noted in the article, the great apes all take in some animal protein, whether it is in the form of grubs, larvae and eggs of insects, or as in the case of chimpanzees, in the form of monkeys and termites. While all monkeys, lemurs, and apes are classified as vegetarians and/or fruitivores, they all take in some animal protein….further emphasized by the fact that the National Zoo in Washington DC was unable to breed a near-extinct “fruitivorian”, the South American Golden Marmoset, until it added animal protein to its diet!

The article goes on to note that early man, as far back as Australopithecines (about 2 million years) we have been omnivores, not vegetarians. Early homo-sapiens were meat-eaters, as evidenced by their development of tools, and their ability to populate the world, even in areas where fruits and vegetables are only seasonal. (Also noted is that tooth decay was unseen until the start of using grains and increased dramatically when we started using refined grains!)

The Inuit, the Massai, and others have lived for generations on a mainly meat diet. Mainly meat, remember, means a lot of fat. Animal fat!

The human body, unlike out relatives the great apes, is unable to produce needed nutrients, namely certain amino acids, Vitamin B12 and many minerals. The only viable source for these nutrients is animal protein, such as red meat, fish, shell fish, eggs, milk, insects and worms.

Also noted is the fact that meat is needed for normal growth and development. In past times, when meat was only affordable by the upper classes, the differences in height and health were dramatic. The wealthy, who could afford meat, were taller than the masses, who couldn’t afford much if any meat.

The second article I read in WAPF destroyed the belief that we eat more animal fats, and more calories, today than we did at the turn of the century. By looking at popular cooking books between 1846 and 1986, it is seen that animal fats, in the form of eggs, butter, cream, lard, suet and other animal fats. The article also notes that according to one cookbook, the typical city-dwelling American consumed around 2900 calories a day, with about 40% coming from fat! And the ratio of animal to vegetable fat was closer to 1:1, not 1:3 as is advocated today.

Now, even if you say that Americans at the turn of the century were more active than we are today, it still doesn’t explain the discrepancy! We all know people who eat a “prudent” diet. A diet rich in grains, vegetables and fruit and skimpy on meat and fat, and they all seem to require an hour of more of intense exercise a day to prevent weight gain!

Check out the Weston A. Price Foundation for more information on soy, fats, modern diseases, environmental toxins, health issues, and so much more!

All very interesting reading!!!! I’ll post more as I am able to.

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