“Almost everyone in America now appears to have abnormal fatty substances – of which part is cholesterol – deposited in the walls of the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. These deposits, which have the same composition as the fats in the blood, may narrow the channel through which blood passes to the point that circulation is markedly decreased.
Cataracts, Cold Hands and Feet, etc
“Such a partial blockage, limiting the blood supply in the eyes, hastens the onset of cataracts and other abnormalities, in the legs, feet, or hands, it causes coldness, discomfort, cramps, pain, and sometimes gangrene, making amputation necessary; in the brain it may cause confusion, forgetfulness, premature senility, or strokes; and in the heart, angina or attacks known as coronary occlusion.
“These fatty deposits seriously complicate such diseases as diabetes and nephrosis* and delay recovery from almost every illness. They may be localized as tumors, or atheromas, on the skin or be so generalized that they clog all arteries uniformly, the space left for the blood so decreased that high blood pressure results and becomes progressively more elevated as the atherosclerosis advances. High blood pressure from other causes, however, makes atherosclerosis worse.
Is Cholesterol the Problem or Diet?
“Although atherosclerosis has been described as “universal and life-long”. It has been produced in hundreds of thousands of animals, and when the diet is made adequate, health is restored. The same is equally true of humans.
“Atherosclerosis is reversible. Deposits containing cholesterol can often be seen in the skin around the eyes as yellow fatty accumulations; these tiny tumors quickly disappear after the diet is improved.
“A woman who consulted me had dozens of them under pendulous breasts; six weeks later none remained.
“On one occasion I was asked to see a ten-year-old child who had more than 200 such deposits on her back and abdomen and a blood cholesterol above 1,000 milligrams; after her diet was made adequate, the deposits seemed to melt away.
“A retired postman, brought to see me in a wheelchair, had such constant, severe pain in his legs because of atherosclerosis that his physician had recommended amputation; two months later he walked in to see me.
“Such cases indicate that this problem can be corrected.
“Countless experiments with healthy volunteers, survivors of heart attacks, persons in prisons, and innumerable animals show that when fatty substances are being deposited in the arterial walls, the blood cholesterol is invariably high and in abnormally large particles; and that the fat in the blood which combined with phosphorus, known as phospholipids, or lecithin, is too low.
“Yet these abnormalities are corrected as soon as all nutrients needed to utilize fats are supplied. Atherosclerosis and such seemingly unrelated problems as gallstones and much obesity appear to be caused a combined under-supply of many nutrients essential before fat can be used normally.
“Cholesterol is merely the innocent little pig who got stuck in the barn door.
Cholesterol is Vital to Life
“All tissues synthesize cholesterol but only that produced in the liver reaches the blood. Some of it is made into pituitary, adrenal, and sex hormones; some into bile acids which aid the absorption of foods; and some into vitamin D if the skin is exposed to summer sunshine.
“Cholesterol, however, which is particularly concentrated in the brain, appears to have functions not yet understood. It enters the small intestine with bile, passes into the blood, and, if all nutrients are generously supplied, is eventually broken down by the cells into carbon dioxide and water.
Are All Fats Bad?
“Saturated and unsaturated fats. In an attempt to correct atherosclerosis, much attention has been focused on fats, which, during digestion, are broken down into fatty acids.
“The chemical terms saturated and unsaturated (or polyunsaturated) refer to the hydrogen content of these acids; and most fats are a combination of both varieties. Fats that are solid are predominantly saturated: margarines, hydrogenated cooking fats, tallow, butter, lard, and fats from all meats. The unsaturated fats are liquids such as fish oils and vegetable oils. The body and blood fat of person with atherosclerosis is made up largely of saturated fatty acids, whereas the storage and blood fat of individuals free from the disease contain a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids.
Cholesterol and Fatty Acids
“Three fatty acid, linoleic, linolenic, and arachidonis (a fancy word referring to peanuts), which can be obtained from vegetable oils, are essential before cholesterol and saturated fats can be utilized. If the diet furnishes sufficient linoleic acid, the other two essential acids can be synthesized from it provided a bevy of vitamins and minerals are also present, but several of these nutrients may be under-supplied.
“Though many factors are involved, when fats cannot be burned readily by the tissues, they are dammed up in the blood. Because peanut, safflower, and soy oils are among the richest sources of arachidonic, linoleic, and linolenic acids respectively (editor’s note: please note that this data was written in 1965 and our soy is mostly GMO so another source should be used), I recommend using equal parts of these three, though mixtures of other oils are also excellent.
The Importance of Lecithin
“The importance of lecithin, or phospholipids. Like cholesterol, lecithin – the phospholipids – is continuously produced by the liver, passes into the intestine with bile, and is absorbed into the blood. It aids in the transportation of fats; helps the cells to remove fats and cholesterol from the blood and to utilize them; and increases the production of bile acids made from cholesterol, thereby reducing the amount in the blood.
“Lecithin also serves as structural material for every cell in the body, particularly those of the brain and nerves.
“In a healthy person, it forms 30 per cent of the dry weight of the brain 73 per cent of the total liver fat, both of which are greatly decreased in persons dying of heart disease.
“Lecithin is a powerful emulsifying agent and for this very reason is particularly important in preventing and correcting atherosclerosis. Although blood is essentially water into which fats cannot dissolve, lecithin , if present in normal amounts, causes cholesterol and neutral fats to be broken into microscopic particles which can be held in suspension, pass readily through arterial walls, and be utilized by the tissues (as can be seen in the picture to the right where both glasses contain oil and water but the one on the right also has lecithin).
“All atherosclerosis is characterized by an increase of the blood cholesterol and a decrease in lecithin.”
“If enough lecithin is given, the disease does not occur regardless of how much cholesterol is fed.“
LECITHIN HIGH IN PHOSPHORUS
“Most foods contain phosphorus; hence Americans have an extremely high intake. When the phosphorus intake is too high in relation to calcium, both phosphorus and calcium are lost in the urine. Such losses are greatly accelerated by the stress of illness…..
“Unfortunately, such particularly nutritious foods as yeast, liver, wheat germ, and lecithin are extremely high in phosphorus and low in calcium.”
It is therefore vital that the phosphorus levels are balanced with a good source of calcium and magnesium, like Instant Calmag-C. Keep the phosphorus and calcium balanced and the calcium and magnesium balanced and your body will be happy.
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So, there you have it. Without cholesterol, we would die. It is vital for life. Just make sure you have enough lecithin.
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Extracted from Adelle Davis’ Let’s Get Will, chapter Those “Cholesterol” Problems
*Nephrosis: kidney disease, especially when characterized by edema and the loss of protein from the plasma into the urine due to increased glomerular permeability. Also called nephrotic syndrome.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article or e-mail is meant to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any medical condition. This information is not a substitution for medical care provided by a licensed medical doctor. It is solely for educational purposes.