The Fat Wars: What’s A Health-Conscious Consumer To Do?

The Fat Wars: What's A Health-Conscious Consumer To Do?
Source: GreenMedInfo.com
Jennie Ann Freiman MD
June 29, 2017

The recent release of the American Heart Association (AHA) advisory on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease is a call to action, but exactly what that action should be is debatable. 

The recent release of the American Heart Association (AHA) advisory on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease is a call to action, but exactly what that action should be is debatable. The AHA recommends replacing dietary saturated fat with unsaturated fat, especially polyunsaturated fat (in an overall healthful dietary plan) as a strategy to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. The panel offers a one-size-fits-all recommendation, specifically the goal of lowering LDL, AKA “bad” cholesterol, as the primary, actionable risk-reducing measure. Their controversial comment that got health partisans in an uproar was: “we advise against the use of coconut oil.” Reactions ran the gamut from support to outrage, and as expected, resulted in sensational clickbait:

“Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.” Ashley May / USA Today

The internet is rife with opinion, so what’s a health-conscious consumer to do? The AHA based their recommendations on a review of population studies and randomized trials but those do not speak to any one individual’s personal risk. Regardless of your dietary bias, laboratory testing is an objective way to get a handle on cardiovascular risk and the potential need for dietary intervention.

Traditional cholesterol testing is not the most accurate way to assess cardiovascular risk. A quick screen that only checks total cholesterol can be very misleading. Total cholesterol measures the aggregate of HDL (“good” cholesterol) and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) in your bloodstream, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, a high cholesterol superficially suggests an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, but in fact, the risk is low if a very high amount of HDL (“good” cholesterol) is responsible for upping the total number. On the other hand, a normal total cholesterol may be falsely reassuring, if LDL makes up most of the value. Including a more complete “lipid profile” in annual medical testing is the minimum required for actionable information, but even that isn’t enough.

The generally accepted recommendations for cholesterol values come from the  National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Triglycerides, one of the very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease fully independent of cholesterol levels. Excess calories are converted to triglycerides and stored in fat cells. VLDL are precursors in the production of LDL cholesterol. Risk assessment based on cholesterol and triglycerides is far more accurate than basing it on either of those values alone. It should be noted that cardiovascular disease also rises when total cholesterol is too low; there is a sweet spot.

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To dig deeper and uncover even more valuable cardiovascular risk information, it’s necessary to fractionate LDL and HDL into their respective subtypes. Both particle number and size influence risk. Large, fluffy, buoyant LDL particles are cardio-protective. The bad guys, the ones that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease as much as threefold, are the small, dense, sticky LDL particles which promote inflammation, and increase blood clotting and plaque formation. As many as one third of those with low LDL levels, which seem superficially favorable, actually have increased risk because of elevated levels of hazardous, small LDL particles. Interestingly, low-carbohydrate diets selectively lower small particle LDL more than overall LDL, thus lowering cardiovascular risk. The NMR LipoProfile test evaluates lipoprotein particle size and number along with markers of insulin resistance to derive a more comprehensive view of cardiovascular risk.

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The VAP (Vertical Auto Profile) test goes even further in assessing cardiovascular risk by breaking down LDL into four measurable risk sub-factors: total LDL cholesterol, real LDL cholesterol, lipoprotein-a and intermediate density lipoproteins. The results generate very different dietary and supplement/pharmaceutical interventions that can be tailored into a treatment program targeting each individual’s specific results. Generic recommendations including low carb intake or a low fat diet, omega-3 supplements, niacin, statins and exercise do not optimize individual risk reduction.

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“After reading the AHA report in its entirety, I have no intention of reducing my daily dietary intake of coconut oil and ghee.” Jennie Ann Freiman MD

The AHA recommendations for dietary actions to reduce cardiovascular risk are flawed:

  • The AHA advises against the dietary use of coconut oil while simultaneously admitting, “clinical trials that compare direct effects on CVD (cardiovascular disease) of coconut oil and other dietary oils have not been reported.”
  • All of the studies supporting the AHA conclusions were performed in North America and Europe, on populations whose diet is not based on coconut oil.
  • Avoiding a more nuanced look at cardiovascular risk factors is simplistic and reductive, in no way reflecting the best interest of consumers serious about improving health.
  • The 2015-2020 US Dietary Guidelines no longer recommend lowering cholesterol and place no limit on dietary fat or cholesterol intake.

When deciding whether or not to include coconut oil, which is about 90% saturated fat, as part of a heart healthy diet, consider these facts:

  • Coconut oil raises total and HDL cholesterol.
  • Coconut oil lowers triglycerides and central, abdominal fat, both independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • Coconut oil reduces insulin resistance, another independent cardiovascular risk factor.
  • Countries with highest dietary intake of coconut oil are among those with lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular risk rises when refined vegetable oils, specifically those recommended by the AHA, are introduced to these populations.

For those choosing to incorporate coconut oil in an overall health plan, stick to organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil.

Health can’t possibly be promoted by any one-size-fits-all recommendation because those don’t take into account the infinite variety in our diet and lifestyle. To find out what’s right for you, a good start is to assess cardiovascular risk based on laboratory results, but don’t forget those values are only one part of an overall cardiovascular risk-reducing lifestyle that should include exercise, sleep hygiene and stress management.

Before dismissing coconut oil as risky, remember current AHA recommendations come from the same group who previously endorsed the now-disavowed low-fat-high-carb diet approach and failed to recognize the risks of trans fats in a timely manner. The rate of cardiovascular disease in Western populations has skyrocketed over the last fifty years or so, in tandem with what the AHA, governmental and other health professional organizations told us to do.

Read More At: GreenMedInfo.com
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REFERENCES:

AHA advisory:
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510
coconut oil:
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/50-latest-coconut-oil-benefits-backed-science
cholesterol too low:
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/underreported-dangers-low-cholesterol

insulin resistance:
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/virgin-coconut-oil-could-be-efficient-nutraceutical-preventing-development

HDL cholesterol AND waist circumference (same link):
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/diet-rich-extra-virgin-coconut-oil-seems-favour-reduction-waist-circumference
Additional reference available on request.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Mexico Just Legalized Medical Cannabis Nationwide Exposing America’s Oppression

Source: ActivistPost.com
Rachel Blevins
June 20, 2017

As a growing number of individual states in the U.S. stand up to the federal government on marijuana prohibition, Mexico legalized medical marijuana nationwide on Monday.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a decree, following the bill’s overwhelming approval from Mexico’s Senate in December, with a vote of 98-7, and from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress in April, with a vote of 374-7 vote.

The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes.

The decree stated that the nation’s Ministry of Health would be in charge of “public policies regulating the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of them.”

The measure was also applauded by Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. José Narro Robles. “I welcome the approval of the therapeutic use of cannabis in Mexico,” he wrote on Twitter.

While Peña Nieto was once a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization, he appears to have changed his tune, following a nationwide public debate on legalization in early 2016. He is now encouraging the U.S. to follow Mexico’s lead.

During a speech at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions, Peña Nieto called for a change in global drug policy, and said he believes drug use should be viewed as a “public health problem,” and users should not face criminal charges.

“So far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,” Peña Nieto said. “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”

Peña Nieto introduced a measure in April 2016 that would have decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. It would have also freed anyone who was on trial, or serving time for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill was stalled in Congress.

We Mexicans know all too well the range and the defects of prohibitionist and punitive policies, and of the so-called war on drugs that has prevailed for 40 years. Our country has suffered, as few have, the ill effects of organized crime tied to drug trafficking. Fortunately, a new consensus is gradually emerging worldwide in favor of reforming drug policies. A growing number of countries are strenuously combating criminals, but instead of criminalizing consumers, they offer them alternatives and opportunities.

As The Free Thought Project reported, Grace Elizalde, an 8-year-old girl with epilepsy, became Mexico’s first legally recognized medical marijuana patient in September 2015. Her family said they sought out the treatment, after their daughter began suffering from up to 400 seizures in a single day.

Mexico’s decision to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, accompanied with Peña Nieto’s newfound support for a change in global drug policy, serve as a reminder that after nearly 50 years of battling a failed “War on Drugs,” the U.S. federal government is still refusing to acknowledge the real answer to the problem.

Read More at: ActivistPost.com

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. This article first appeared here at The Free Thought Project.

Data Indicates Cell Phones Expose Consumers To Radiation Levels Higher Than Manufacturers Claim, Says The French Government

Source: ActivistPost.com
Catherine Frompovich
June 20, 2017

The Environmental Health Trust published “Cell Phone Radiation Scandal: More Exposure Than Manufacturers Claim ‘PhoneGate’  In France, government data release reveals 9 out of 10 phones tested exceed regulatory limits” [1].

The French ANFR published online on June 1, 2017, a listing of cell phone data “details of make, model and test results for each cell phone that was tested, after months of legal action by French physician Dr. Marc Arazi.”

According to Environmental Health Trust,

Popular brands such as Apple, Motorola, Samsung and Nokia were among the cell phone models tested. When tested in contact with the body, some phones have test results as high as triple the manufacturer’s previously reported radiation levels.  [1] [CJF emphasis]

Here’s something that for the life of me, I cannot understand parents permitting or allowing their toddlers to play with!

Source [1]

Dr. Arazi replied with the following statement as a result of a French court order to publish the results of cell phone radiation exposure when used next to the human body, as most cell phones are handled, even worn “live” in women’s bras, men’s trouser pants pockets, on belts, or anywhere on the body:

As a physician, I am deeply concerned about what this means for our health and especially the health of our children. People have a right to know that when cell phones are tested in ways people commonly use phones – such as in direct contact with their body – the values exceed current regulatory limits. This is a first victory for transparency in this industry scandal.

Here are Dr. Arazi’s less than 2 minute comments about the French court’s decision on cell phone radiation dangers.

Continue Reading At: ActivistPost.com

Dr. Mercola and Dr. Shanahan on Dietary Fats

Source: Mercola.com
Dr. Mercola | Dr. Cate Shanahan
June 21, 2017

Dr. Joseph Mercola, natural health expert and Mercola.com founder and Dr. Cate Shanahan, a family physician and author of “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food,” talk about good and bad fats. To know more, watch this video or visit Mercola.com.