Hi Ron thanks for the hospitality.
***On our return from a month long trip we stopped to see a friend I’d known since the early 60’s. While we were there I made a few observations and included them in a letter for him to peruse. I told him, like I tell my readers, any information I pass along is exactly that: information for him to do with as he sees fit. I didn’t edit the letter for this article and it’s thrown together from bits and pieces and not in order. ***
High blood pressure (HBP) and high cholesterol (CHO) pretty much go hand in hand. What causes or aggravates one does the same to the other. Likewise, what helps one helps the other. You may want to check all the following out with your doctor but, unless he/she is into prevention and nutrition, it may get nothing more than pooh-poohed. But, if you decide that any of the following is something you want to look into, do it with your doctors knowledge so he/she can monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol so you know if, what and when it’s working. Don’t go off your medication!
I noticed you drink diet soda, which is probably the worse thing you can do for either HBP or CHO. Our body makes 80% of the serum (blood) cholesterol in the liver; the other 20% comes from dietary sources. The liver combines various chemicals including glucose with acetate to create cholesterol. The chemicals in sodas, particularly artificial sweeteners, HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), coal tars used for coloring and lab chemicals in diet sodas, react with acetate in the liver to raise the cholesterol levels. Dietary fructose depletes copper in the system. Copper is necessary for the production of elastin and for equilibrium. Elastin is what gives the blood vessels their strength and also helps keep them pliable.
In 1990 the FDA discovered that many soft drinks contain two ingredients, benzoate preservatives and ascorbic acid. In combination, these ingredients can form benzene. Benzene is a carcinogen linked to leukemia, cancers of the blood, immune and nervous system disorders and disruptions of chromosome normalities. The percentage of benzene is increased with storage times and temperature where stored. The products that contain the highest amounts of benzene are diet and sugar free drinks. Those at highest risk are children and frequent users.
The FDA did not require manufacturers to change their practices and ingredients, preferring to have the soft drink producers regulate and make the changes necessary on their own. Recent studies by the FDA and others, have found benzene in soft drinks of undisclosed origin. Independent testing has found 79% of the soft drinks tested contained benzene at concentrations up to ten times the federal limits for drinking water. There are no limits on beverages, only drinking water. Finding out which beverages actually contain sodium benzoate, or other benzoate preservatives, and ascorbic acid can be difficult, they may not be listed in the ingredients on the labels.
Fructose stimulates the release of the adrenal hormone cortisone, one of the fight or flight (also known as the death) hormones. Coffee and alcohol are also contributors to high cholesterol. Some foods that help lower cholesterol are apples, bananas, carrots, cold water fish, garlic, dried beans, grapefruit and olive oil. Fiber in the diet can help pull cholesterol from the system. One of the best forms is freshly ground flaxseed. Flaxseed oil goes rancid too quickly and has no fiber although high in essential fatty acids. Brown rice, barley, beans, fruits, and oats are also good sources. Stay away from hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils they’re made basically the same as plastic and you end up with about the same qualities.
I have so much information on sugar that it overwhelms most people. The one thing that all research has shown is that sugar restricts the arteries in the eyes and brain and it seems only logical that it does the same in the rest of the body. Sugar and alcohol both raise the levels of natural (body manufactured) cholesterol. Sugar contributes to hardening of the arteries through artery calcification and loss of pliability of arteries (arteriosclerosis) and by setting up the conditions for fatty deposits in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis). A report in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that as the consumption of coffee goes up, decaf included, so does the cholesterol level. Saturated fats increase cholesterol more than dietary cholesterol does.
Lecithin, you can get it in granular form as a supplement, helps keep fatty substances in solution in the blood and helps keep blood vessels pliable. Citrin is an herbal extract that inhibits the formation of fatty substances in the blood. Vitamin E helps improve circulation and is in dark leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, soybeans, wheat germ and whole grains. Cayenne, chickweed and ginkgo biloba can help with arteriosclerosis as can Kombucha tea.
If you’re taking aspirin to thin the blood it won’t be effective unless you limit the amount of vitamin K in supplemental or food form. Even moderate amounts of sugar and salt in combination in the diet have shown to increase the chance of stroke three fold. All processed foods are generally high in both sugar and salt, especially processed meats.
The liver is the body’s master chemist. Any toxin that comes in has to go through the liver for detox. The liver is where cholesterol is made and if the liver is overworked it can produce too much. Acetate compounds are in certain chemicals, including paints, primers and body fillers. Most body shop people have high incidences of liver and kidney problems. I don’t know if you use a respirator when working on your antique cars, but you might want to look into it.
If you want to read further you might see if your library has Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide, anything from Dr. David Williams who writes Alternatives, information from Dr. Bruce West or Dr. Marcus Laux. Unfortunately most, except Bruce West, downplay the importance of exercise. There are lots of other sources and the library may have info that can be accessed from worldwide research projects, usually I have to have the publication data to access that type of info. The Internet can be good and bad. A lot of info that’s not valid gets passed along as gospel once it hits the Internet.
Good luck, health is pretty much a journey of one. We all have to decide what we’re willing to do.
All the best, Larry