A fi sau a nu fi...liber

Personal growth ,life-coaching,positive and transpersonal psychology , education for all,INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. HAPPINESS, WELL-BEING,WISDOM, HARMONY, COMMITMENT TO LIFE MISSION AND VALUES


Sleeping time influences weight !

(NaturalNews) Those who try to lose weight by monitoring calories and increasing exercise may now have another weapon in their obesity-fighting arsenal -- a good night's sleep. A new European study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition augments existing evidence that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, not only by increasing appetite, but also by slowing metabolism. Some American doctors have expressed caution against drawing definitive conclusions, however.

The research conducted in Uppsala University in Sweden suggests that habitually getting sufficient sleep is a helpful aid in the pursuit of weight loss, Reuters reports. Christian Benedict, who led the study, states the investigation found as little as a single night's sleep deprivation can significantly lower energy expenditure in healthy men. This indicates that sleep plays a prominent role in determining daytime energy production.

Previous research has revealed an association between sleep loss and weight gain and also has found that sleep disorders affect blood levels of stress and hunger hormones. In a quest to determine the exact means by which a lack of sleep affects weight, the team of investigators induced differing degrees of sleep conditions in 14 male college students. They divided the men into three groups, consisting of no sleep, normal sleep and limited sleep. The men were then assessed in regard to alterations in factors such as metabolic rate and amount of food consumed.

The results revealed that as little as a single night of curtailed sleep reduced metabolism the following morning. The energy outlay for activities such as breathing and digestion was lessened by 5 to 20 percent. Higher levels of appetite-regulating hormones and stress hormones were also noted. Even though the appetite hormones were affected, the men did not eat more during the day.

In spite of these findings, experts say the link between sleep loss and weight gain has not been proven. Sanford Auerbach, of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Boston Medical Center, recommends the results of the new study be kept in context, as sleep is a complex condition influenced by other factors. He states that although the study's results reveal sleep loss produces physiologic changes that could cause obesity, evidence is lacking to conclusively substantiate the proposed link.

Although research data is inadequate to prove the link between sleep loss and weight gain, evidence is quite sufficient to suggest it. According to Dr. Michael Breus of AOL Healthy Living, data collected over the past 50 years reveals an inverse relationship between obesity rates and average sleep time, with the highest obesity percentages found in adults getting the least amount of sleep. Another study cited by Dr. Breus found that women who received seven to eight hours of sleep had the lowest incidence of significant weight gain.

The optimal amount of sleep for adults recommended by The National Sleep Foundation is seven to nine hours every night.




Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032502_sleep_deprivation_weight_gain.html#ixzz1NN3zWrbu

Anxiety/depression stay in the gut more than in the head

(NaturalNews) We're all familiar with the term "gut feeling". As it turns out, the term may be more apt than we realize. In recent years, research has increasingly identified the role the gut can have on mood and behavior, leading many scientists to refer to the gut as the "second brain". Now, for the first time, researchers have found conclusive evidence that conditions such as anxiety can originate in the gut instead of the brain.

In a study just published in the journal Gastroenterology, researchers at McMaster University found that bacteria residing in the gut influence brain chemistry and behavior. The research is important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease are frequently associated with anxiety or depression. In addition there has been speculation that some psychiatric disorders, such as late onset autism, may be associated with an abnormal bacterial content in the gut.

"The exciting results provide stimulus for further investigating a microbial component to the causation of behavioral illnesses," said Stephen Collins, professor of medicine and associate dean of research at McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Collins and Premysl Bercik, assistant professor of medicine, conducted the research in the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

Working with healthy adult mice, the researchers found that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behavior; the mice became less cautious or anxious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety.

When oral antibiotics were discontinued, bacteria in the gut returned to normal and Collins reported that there was "restoration of normal behavior and brain chemistry."

To confirm that bacteria can influence behavior, the researchers colonized germ-free mice with bacteria taken from mice with a different behavioral pattern. They found that when germ-free mice with a genetic background associated with passive behavior and were colonized with bacteria from mice with higher exploratory behavior, they became more active and daring. Similarly, normally active mice became more passive after receiving bacteria from mice whose genetic background is associated with passive behavior.

Collins said that his team's research indicates that while many factors determine behavior, the nature and stability of bacteria in the gut appear to influence behavior and disruptions from antibiotics or infections might produce changes in behavior. Bercik said that these results lay the foundation for investigating the therapeutic use of probiotic bacteria in the treatment of behavioral disorders, particularly those associated with gastrointestinal conditions.

The gut is home to about 1,000 trillion bacteria. The gut also contains around 100 million nerve cells (neurons), more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. This multitude of neurons in the enteric nervous system enables us to "feel" the inner world of our gut and its contents.
Neurons in the gut also use serotonin to signal back to the brain - and 95% of all serotonin in the body is in the gut. About 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain.

Generally when people think of "gut feelings," they are thinking about instinctive-like reactions such as the "butterflies" or "hollow feelings" one may get due to fear, bad news or an upcoming daunting task. Now it is apparent that other serious conditions may originate at least partially in the gut. Maintaining a healthy digestive system, including a healthy intestinal flora mix, could be a key in helping to prevent and control such conditions.

Note: Neither Natural News nor this author approve of the inhumane use of animals for laboratory experiments.

Sources included:


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032508_anxiety_gut_feeling.html#ixzz1NN2u9wbS


How evil science without consciousness can be...

(NaturalNews) The response to the release of our new mini-documentary, The God Within, has been extraordinary. In just the first 16 hours after its release, we have received an inflow of positive comments from people who are elated that we have helped pull back the veil of secrecy and expose the mindless, soulless core philosophies of the conventional scientific community.

People were shocked, they wrote, to discover that most conventional scientists believe human beings are mere "biological robots" with no mind, no soul, no free will and no consciousness. "Now it makes sense," one reader told us, "that the GMOs and vaccines are done in the name of science, because scientists have no respect for conscious living creatures."

See it for yourself! Watch part one of this mini-documentary at YouTube:

or NaturalNews.TV:

In it, you'll see the disturbing truth of how conventional scientists not only disavow the existence of God and spirit, but they also claim that human beings have no minds, no free will and no consciousness. In fact, the core philosophy of "science" is a Godless, mindless, soulless, empty chasm of pointless despair utterly lacking in ethics and empathy. This is why so much destruction is unleashed upon our world in the name of "science" -- pesticides, vaccines, mercury fillings, GMOs, nuclear weapons and much more. Because it is all based on a system of belief that is devoid of meaning.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_science_consciousness.html#ixzz1M9dT0ct4

Even J Robert Oppenheimer, the "father" of the atomic bomb, ultimately realized the destruction that science had unleashed upon the world. After the dropping of the science-based atomic bomb on innocent civilians in Japan, Oppenheimer said:

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that one way or another.

Watch Oppenheimer yourself at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f94j...

Oppenhiemer was right: Science has become the destroyer of our world. Through its runaway genetic pollution of our planet (GMOs), the chemical contamination of our world (pharmaceuticals), the destruction of our soils (pesticides) and the very denials of our own conscious existence, science has become a diabolical, wicked mechanism of destruction that has delivered suffering, despair and death to our world.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_science_consciousness.html#ixzz1M9dvdZAR

This denial of our consciousness, free will and even our humanity is a thread that permeates the thinking of modern science. As another example of this, Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, is on the record saying:

"You, your joys and sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." - The Astonishing Hypothesis (book)

Yet Francis Crick is the "god" of the conventional scientific community which says DNA and evolution explain how life came to be on our world -- without a higher power, without spirit, without conscious intention and without even a creative force in the universe. It all just randomly assembled itself, including the random assembly of mindless, soulless human beings who only suffer under the illusion of being truly "alive" with free will and consciousness, they claim.

It is this kind of mindless, soulless belief that probably allowed another intellectual giant of the scientific community to commit crimes against children. Dr. Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine has been exposed as someone who can only be called a criminal-minded doctor who conducted illicit medical experiments on children (http://www.naturalnews.com/031564_J...).

In one of his diabolical experiments, Dr. Salk "injected experimental flu vaccine in male patients at a state insane asylum in Ypsilanti, Mich., then exposed them to flu several months later." The victims of this medical experiment were described as "senile and debilitated."

The history of "science" is replete with accounts of insanely evil madmen who carried out crimes against humanity as part of their "scientific" advancement. For example, the former Chairman of the drug company Bayer (yes, the aspirin company) was a Nazi war criminal who was convicted of crimes against humanity during the Nuremberg trials. As reported on NaturalNews.com:

Dr. Fritz ter Meer, a director of IG Farben who was directly involved in developing the nerve gas, Zyklon-B, which killed millions of Jews, was sentenced to seven years in prison but was released after four years through the intervention of Rockefeller and J.J. McCloy, then U.S. High Commissioner for Germany. An unrepentant Fritz ter Meer, guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, returned to work in Bayer where he served as Chairman for more than 10 years, until 1961.

In fact, here's a quick summary of just a few of the "scientific" medical experiments carried out on innocent human beings over the last 150 years or so: http://www.naturalnews.com/029924_m...

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_science_consciousness.html#ixzz1M9e3uv4O

All of these evil, even downright demonic medical experiments were done in the name of "science." And it was all made possible because science believes there is no such thing as a real, conscious human being. Therefore, murdering them (or using them for medical experiments) is of no ethical consequence.

But this belief that human beings do not have a mind, a soul, or even free will stands at odds with the core beliefs of the vast majority of human beings. Most people believe either in God or in some higher creative force that permeates our universe. Most people believe they are, themselves, conscious beings with free will. But scientists do not! They insist that there is no such thing as a "mind" and only the human BRAIN controls your actions, thoughts and words. The brain is a deterministic biochemical machine, they proclaim, and YOU do not even exist as a soul, or spirit, or reflection of God or anything resembling a conscious being.

Do you now understand how these core, distorted beliefs of the scientific community are evil in nature? They are diabolical. They deny the value of you and everyone else as a living, conscious being. This is why science offers the perfect pretext for genocidal crimes against humanity. This is why the Nazi war machine and its IG Farben chemical experiments on Jews were all carried out in the name of science. This is why "science" can give us atomic weapons, GMOs, population control vaccines, mass chemical poisoning and the rampant destruction of our world -- because science is based on an empty, mindless, soulless philosophy that denies our conscious existence.

This is why "scientific medicine" can conduct medical experiments on monkeys, rats and even human children. To the scientists working for Big Pharma, there is no consciousness in a monkey, a rat, or a human baby. Therefore, causing them suffering, pain or death is of no importance. YOU and your children are no more valuable to them than vermin.

Many of the greatest evils our world has known were carried out in the name of "science" and its empty, mindless distortions.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_science_consciousness.html#ixzz1M9e9SgLh

In his recent book, The Grand Design, Physicist Stephen Hawking reiterates that human beings are not conscious beings at all, saying:

"It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion."

And yet Hawking is celebrated as one of the brightest and most influential minds in the physics community today. He is the "God" of popular astrophysics and is quite literally worshipped by many of his followers. Yet he denies the existence of not merely God, but also your human soul! To him, you are nothing more than an organized walking bag of skin cells and organs, with biochemical impulses swishing around your head that give you the illusion that you are somehow a real person with a real mind and soul.

These people like Hawking are a danger to humanity. They put forth these dehumanizing ideas that claim we are all delusional for recognizing our own consciousness. They disparage those who believe in spirit (or God) and demonize anyone who talks of free will. These scientists are evil soulless people who attempt to strip away our humanity and convince people that life has no value because consciousness doesn't exist in the first place.

Science today has become technology without ethics...

...mathematics without understanding...

...engineering without empathy.

"Science" has become the Godless, mindless, soulless platform from which the darkest evils of our world now fester and attempt to expand their domination. GMOs, chemical pesticides, rampant over-vaccination of children, fluoride chemicals in the water, chemotherapy poisons... the list seems endless.

"Science" has found a way to measure the electrical impulses of a heart beat but is incapable of understanding what it means to have a heart in the first place. "Science" says you should abandon any belief in your own God or spirit or creative force in the universe and instead put your faith in them as if they were gods! Believe in science, they insist, but nothing else.

And yet it's not difficult to realize science is not the answer to our questions. Science has no real answers. It only has the mathematics to pretend that it knows something, but underneath the math it is devoid of understanding.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_science_consciousness.html#ixzz1M9eFop9b

We must seek not just technical knowledge but an integrated understanding of our existence

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_science_consciousness.html#ixzz1M9eMiFSV

The real answers to the questions that matter can only be found through channels that are more advanced than science itself: philosophy, spirituality, consciousness and even meditation -- these are all channels through which knowledge and wisdom can be gained. These are the pathways of true understanding where the integration of mind, body and spirit takes place.

One person undergoing a spiritual journey in a single afternoon can learn more about life, consciousness and the universe than what would be gained by a scientist with three PhDs and a lifetime of mindless "scientific" research.

While "scientists" spend their days blowing things apart in supercolliders, the real knowledge seekers of our world spend their time integrating mind, body and spirit to achieve a holistic and fully-integrated understanding of our existence.

As a civilization, we have followed these scientists too far down the path of delusion and destruction. It is time that we changed our course and sought a different path -- a path of wisdom that requires, at its outset, the simple and obvious recognition of the existence of consciousness. Even this rudimentary step in the journey toward wisdom cannot be achieved by all the sciences in the world, it seems. Virtually the entire scientific community stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the existence of anything it cannot see, weigh or measure. So ideas of prayer, intuition, precognition, connection with spirit, and even empathy are considered worthless fragments of nonsense that are cast aside by the "scientific" community.

This is why science can never enhance our understanding of our existence. It has no tools to explore those things that supersede the physical universe, and it has no interest in opening the door to those spooky questions that invoke anything resembling intention, conscious creation or a higher power in the universe. Only a small fraction of actual scientists operating today are even asking questions about consciousness, mind-matter interactions or "quantum mind" effects. And those few scientists -- bless them all -- are being widely disparaged by the arrogant conventional scientists who are desperately trying to convince us all that they are our gods and there's nothing else out there.

Well, I say they're wrong. And I say that as a conscious, free-thinking and fully aware spiritual being inhabiting a human body. Which is more than I can say for any of them.

If you're intrigued by all this, watch The God Within to learn more:


or on YouTube at:

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_science_consciousness.html#ixzz1M9eTSbHm

God within

(NaturalNews) I have a timely and important message to share with you today. As explained in this important mini-documentary we've decided to release at this moment (link below), it is time that we tore away the false facade of "modern science" and exposed the core philosophical underpinnings that have enabled so much pain, suffering and destruction to be carried out in the name of "science."

The world of "science" has given us atomic weapons, GMOs, vaccines, toxic synthetic chemicals, pesticides and psychiatric drugs. It has used innocent people in deadly medical experiments (http://www.naturalnews.com/019189.html) and unleashed widespread genetic pollution on our world through the careless proliferation of genetically modified organisms (http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=2...). But the scientists insisted they were creating a better world. "Better living through chemistry," they said two decades ago. And now, a generation later, we are dealing with a collapse of life on our planet so large and so disastrous that it is being called the sixth great extinction of life on our planet (http://www.naturalnews.com/031625_m...).

How could science have paved the way for such destruction on the planet?

Watch The God Within mini-documentary to find out. It's available for viewing right now on NaturalNews.TV:

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032359_The_God_Within_documentary.html#ixzz1M6cxDjd5

This new documentary, The God Within, seeks to answer the question of why science is so destructive and dangerous. It begins by denouncing the false philosophy fronted by famed physicist Stephen Hawking, who insists that human beings are biological robots with no consciousness, no free will, no minds and no spirit.

In his own words, from his book The Grand Design:

"It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion."

Like most conventional scientists, Hawking believes that human beings are not conscious beings. Thus, we are incapable of empathy; incapable of love, pain, suffering or making our own decisions based on free will.

This utter lack of recognition of the value of consciousness in living beings is the core principle of evil upon which most of modern science is built. It is the lack of empathy itself that gives rise to great evil.

Interestingly, this is precisely the conclusion of a member of the scientific community -- Cambridge University psychology professor Simon Baron-Cohen, who has written a new book in which he concludes that evil originates with a failure of empathy (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011...). He explains that psychopaths have "zero degrees of empathy," meaning they do not recognize nor value the thoughts and feelings of others.

This just happens to be the core principle of conventional science, which believes that feelings and thoughts are mere "biological ricochets" of brain chemistry, lacking any spirit, intention or consciousness. Thus, the core principle of conventional science as practiced today is psychopathic and delusional.

This is why so many offshoots of so-called "scientific" thinking -- the pursuit of GMOs, the mass-vaccination harming of innocent children, the widespread chemical poisoning of the natural world -- are so blatantly psychopathic in nature. To unleash genetic contamination upon the world through the use of seeds containing "terminator" technology is a dangerous act from a psychopathic industry operating without any empathy toward living creatures.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032359_The_God_Within_documentary.html#ixzz1M6dQ42PJ

A psychopath is defined as "A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse."

Yet this perfectly describes the behavior of many corporations operating under the label of "science." The GMO seed companies, pesticide companies, fluoride chemical companies, psychiatric drug manufacturers, chemotherapy makers and vaccine manufacturers are, in effect, "psychopathic" in their behavior. They all claim to be operating as "scientific" entities, however, and they aggressively attack those who disagree with them as being "unscientific." It is this perverted, criminal and amoral behavior -- and a total lack of empathy for living beings -- that qualifies much of today's "scientific" corporate behavior as inescapably psychopathic.

Drug companies are engaged in ongoing medical experiments involving the widespread suffering of animals. Vaccines are manufactured by harvesting the organs of diseased lab monkeys who are imprisoned in utterly inhumane living conditions. Vaccine manufacturers conduct medical experiments on children in developing nations. GMO companies run genetic crop experiments that harm the chain of life in our natural world. All of this is conducted under the umbrella of "science," and yet all of it is psychopathic in nature and utterly lacking the core philosophy of recognizing consciousness or a soul.

They teach disease and drugs in medical school, in other words, but they don't teach doctors to value the life experience and consciousness of their patients. The idea that the patient even has a "spirit" or a "mind" is so alien to modern medicine that the entire conventional medical system utterly denies the existence of mind-body medicine... as if somehow the mind did not even exist.

This denial of the existence of the mind (and its interaction with the body) is a kind of scientific insanity that has infected the minds of modern doctors and medical researchers. But it doesn't stop at medicine, of course: This delusion also runs rampant through the physics community.

Watch The God Within to learn more on these topics:

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032359_The_God_Within_documentary.html#ixzz1M6dYIsDk

That our world's top physicists such as Stephen Hawking fully embrace the frightening belief that human beings have no consciousness, no minds and no free will is a gigantic warning sign that the human race must not follow "science" blindly to its own self destruction.

"Science" has led us down the path of nuclear catastrophe, the depletion of natural resources, the chemical saturation of our agricultural lands and the ongoing collapse of food pollinators such as honey bees and bats. "Science" has irradiated our bodies, drugged our children, polluted our spaces with electromagnetic cell phone broadcasts, contaminated our water supplies and impoverished our genetic future with the incessant burden of DNA-damaging chemical contamination. "Science" is leading humanity to its own destruction while promising progress. "Science" has become the modern-day justification for the advancement of evil -- the destruction of life on our planet for the sole purpose of furthering a corporate or political agenda (at the expense of protecting life).

Science has become evil, in other words. Through its lack of empathy and its failure to recognize the existence of the mind, it is carrying out agendas that go far beyond mere "crimes against humanity" and border on the demonic. In the name of "science," life is being destroyed across our planet, and yet, astoundingly, those poison pushers who profit from it proclaim that they are the saviors of our world! "People will starve if we don't grow genetically modified crops," they cry. Yet at the same time they refuse to let a farmer in India save his own seeds from one generation to the next. They have refused him the natural right to plant his own crops, year after year, without paying royalties to the monopolistic evil corporation that has used scientific genetic engineering to cause seeds to self-terminate after one generation.

This is a template of absolute evil, carried out in the name of science. And it is being conducted by truly evil human beings who are quite literally psychopathic in that they have no capacity to value the lives or experiences of others. They are the demons who roam our world, destroying everything in their path while attacking those who dare to protect life. These demons must either be transformed or destroyed if we hope to have a sustainable future of life on our planet.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032359_The_God_Within_documentary.html#ixzz1M6deVSCT

It is time that we, the citizens of our planet, denounced the mindless, soulless philosophy of the scientific community and embraced a wiser, more advanced philosophy that recognizes the reality of consciousness... not merely human consciousness, by the way, but the consciousness of all living things: Animals, trees and plants.

Only by embracing a new philosophy that celebrates the existence of consciousness, the mind, the soul and free will can we ever hope to achieve wisdom and peace as a species.

Only by valuing life can we ever hope to sustain it.

Only by recognizing the suffering in others can we ever hope to end it.

Only by abandoning the empty mindless underpinning of modern science can we ever hope to halt the destruction it has unleashed upon our world.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032359_The_God_Within_documentary.html#ixzz1M6dkaTez

The real solutions to our world's problems, you see, do not merely require banning GMOs or outlawing certain chemical pesticides. They require a wholesale philosophical upgrade that advances human understanding from the outmoded Newtonian era of understanding to the "quantum era" of human and animal consciousness. The next stage in our evolution, in other words, will not come from the realm of science at all but rather the realm of philosophy.

Without such an advancement in understanding -- and the subsequent core shifts in human values -- we will never achieve sustainable life as a species. If we follow "science" as our great leader and teacher, we will only follow it to our own self destruction. Because science has no soul. It has no spirit. It has no mind. It is an empty shell of mathematics that lacks meaning. It has nothing more to offer our civilization until we attain a deeper appreciation of empathy, consciousness and free will. Because only from that place can we hope to properly understand and apply the sciences in a way that protects life rather than destroying it.

Watch my mini-documentary, The God Within to see a more complete discussion of these ideas:

What's available now is Part One of the documentary (roughly 22 minutes). The next part of this documentary will be released on May 30th, 2011, at www.NaturalNews.TV and announced here on NaturalNews.com.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032359_The_God_Within_documentary.html#ixzz1M6dqpJTJ


Cod liver oil

Cod Liver Oil: The Number One Superfood

Written by Krispin Sullivan, CN
Saturday, June 29 2002 21:54

Several visitors to our website have noted inconsistencies in various statements about vitamin A, vitamin D and cod liver oil. These issues revolve around questions of dosage and safety. Please see Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Cod Liver Oil: Some Clarifications.

Doctor Price was right, as usual. Cod liver oil is very good for you, more than you ever knew. Research studies ranging from 1918-2001 give cod liver oil an A+ rating. This marvelous golden oil contains large amounts of elongated omega-3 fatty acids, preformed vitamin A and the sunlight vitamin D, essential nutrients that are hard to obtain in sufficient amounts in the modern diet. Samples may also naturally contain small amounts of the important bone- and blood-maintainer vitamin K.

There is hardly a disease in the books that does not respond well to treatment that includes cod liver oil, and not just infectious diseases but also chronic modern diseases like heart disease and cancer. Cod liver oil provides vitamin D that helps build strong bones in children and helps prevent osteoporosis in adults. The fatty acids in cod liver oil are also very important for the development of the brain and nervous system. "If you want to prevent learning disabilities in your children," said David Horrobin, distinguished medical and biochemical researcher, "feed them cod liver oil."

Cod liver oil contains more vitamin A and more vitamin D per unit weight than any other common food. One hundred grams of regular cod liver oil provides 100,000 IU of vitamin A, almost three times more than beef liver, the next richest source; and 10,000 IU vitamin D, almost four times more than lard, the next richest source. Of course, cod liver oil is only consumed in small amounts, but even a tablespoon (about 15 grams) provides well over the recommended daily allowance for both nutrients.

In addition, cod liveroil contains 7 percent each of the elongated omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA is the precursor of important prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones that help the body deal with inflammation; and DHA is extremely important for the development and function of the brain and nervous system. So it's no surprise that in numerous studies cod liver oil has proven to be a powerhouse in fighting disease.
Good for What Ails You

Cod liver oil greatly improves heart function to prevent heart disease and to treat it even in advanced stages, after a heart attack and after heart surgery. Cod liver oil alters the linings of the arteries in such a way as to improve healing after damage. This is attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids but vitamin A, D and K all have important roles to play in facilitating mineral absorption, improving muscle function and supporting elasticity of the blood vessels. The inflammation-reducing prostaglandins made from EPA help mediate the inflammatory response in the arteries. In other studies the heart-protective effect was associated with changes in the muscle response to serotonin, increasing the heart's ability to "relax."1-15 In a study with rats, treatment with cod liver oil actually caused artery-blocking atheromas to become smaller and blood vessel diameter to enlarge.55 Weston Price noted that heart attack deaths increased during periods when the vitamin A content of the diet was low. Cod liver oil can provide vitamin A on a continuous basis throughout the year.

Many of the conditions addressed by cod liver oil are considered related under the title Syndrome X. These include obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, adult onset diabetes and stroke. Evidence is accumulating that these diseases of civilization are the result of high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids along with deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins. We may be paying a very high price for our rejection of parental wisdom to take our cod liver oil.

In numerous studies, the elongated omega-3 fats found in cod liver oil have been shown to improve brain function, memory, stress response, immune response, allergies, asthma, learning and behavioral disorders, including bipolar syndrome and manic-depression.

Cod liver oil is most famous for contributing to bone health, preventing and reversing rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.16, 17 Before the discovery of cod liver oil as a source of vitamin D, many children suffered greatly with deformed bones. Osteoporosis responds to vitamin D and to cod liver oil. Sufficient elongated omega-3 oils found in cod liver oil are one of the keys to keeping and rebuilding bone.18, 19 In women, higher levels of vitamin D from cod liver oil improve bone mineral density.20

Two of the symptoms of low levels of vitamin D are bone pain and muscle pain. This may manifest as pain in the legs, muscle weakness and difficulty climbing stairs. Numerous studies have shown improvement in muscle pain, muscle strength and bone pain scores with cod liver oil.40, 41

Cod liver oil is effective in treating arthritis as well. Researchers funded by Great Britain's Arthritis Research Campaign found that the elongated omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil reduce both pain and damage in inflamed joints.56

Pregnant women using cod liver oil have infants with a lower risk for juvenile type 1 diabetes.21 This effect was found only in mothers taking cod liver oil, not in mothers taking multivitamin supplements. Cod liver oil taken by nursing mothers improves the fatty acid profile in breast milk to promote optimal brain development and also increases levels of vitamin A to prevent infections. Interestingly, cod liver oil does not provide increased vitamin D in breast milk.23,24

Cod liver oil given to infants after birth and during the first year had no protective effect against type 1 diabetes but it nevertheless is an important source of nutrients for optimal infant health.22 In more than forty trials, vitamin A has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality of children.25 Cod liver oil was the supplement of choice in many of these trials. Books on feeding infants published in the 1930s and 1940s routinely recommended cod liver oil, starting with 1 teaspoon at the age of three weeks. It was Dr. Spock who threw this wisdom out the window by recommending vaccinations instead of the powerful nutritional support of cod liver oil. Few modern books on infant care mention the importance of the fat-soluble nutrients in this wonderful superfood.

As for treating diabetes in adults, cod liver oil has been used in a number of trials with both insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In both conditions cod liver oil improved glucose response and other markers of the disease.26-31 Vitamin A in cod liver oil helps promote healing and protects the retina, both problem areas in the diabetic patient.

Cod liver oil has lowered blood pressure induced by stress-elevated levels of cortisol.32-35 Cod liver oil given to rats reduced intraocular pressure suggesting a use in prevention and treatment of glaucoma.36 Vitamin D in cod liver oil promotes absorption of calcium and magnesium, thereby lowering blood pressure.

Colitis responds more effectively to the type of omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil than to medication.37-38 Cod liver oil should be the first protocol for this condition as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease.

Topically applied, cod liver oil contributes to faster wound healing and improvement in skin quality.39 An excellent treatment for diaper rash and other skin conditions is cod liver oil mixed with zinc oxide. And cod liver oil taken orally helps maintain soft skin and minimize wrinkles.

And what about cancer? All the nutrients in cod liver oil help prevent cancer. Vitamin A has been part of every successful alternative cancer therapy so far. In a study in China, use of cod liver oil was found to be protective against childhood leukemia.57 In a study of Norwegian men and women, consumption of cod liver oil was found to protect against lung cancer.58
Practical Aspects

Eating fish will not provide the levels of nutrients that are found in cod liver oil. Even in heavy fish-eating populations, the addition of cod liver oil improves health.42-43 And taking fish oils is not the same as taking cod liver liver oil. One tablespoon of regular cod liver oil and one-half tablespoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil provide the amount of elongated omega-3 fatty acids found in twelve 1,000 mg fish oil capsules.

As for vitamin D, body oils of fish can be good sources as long as you are willing to eat a lot of them. One-half pound of fatty herring or sardines gives a dose of vitamin D equal to that of about one tablespoon of cod liver oil. But salmon oil has one-fifth the potency of cod liver oil.

One concern about taking cod liver oil is the presence of contaminants--heavy metals (such as mercury, cadmium and lead), PCBs and so forth. Fortunately, consumers need not worry when it comes to cod liver oil. All cod liver oils in the US must be tested according to protocols of the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) and approved free of detectable levels of 32 contaminants before they can be imported into this country. Furthermore, mercury is water soluble. It may be present in the flesh of fish, but it is not present in the oil.

Another concern is rancidity. Cod liver oil can become rancid if improperly handled. In a 1988 study, peroxide values (indicating rancidity) ranged from a low of 2 to a high of 44.7.44 Nevertheless, properly handled cod liver oil is relatively stable. It contains 21 percent saturated fatty acids and 57 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, which provide stability. The fishy smell of cod liver oil is due to the presence of small amounts of fish protein and is not a sign of rancidity. To ensure that your cod liver oil is fresh, avoid buying the large economy size or the end-of-season sale item. Buy cod liver oil in small dark bottles and keep them in a cool dark place. Cod liver oil need not be refrigerated after opening if it is used up quickly--within two months.

Virtually all cod liver oil imported into the US comes from Norway, and while all of it is safe, there are different grades, depending on vitamin levels. The lighter oil from the "top of the barrel" has a lower molecular weight, goes rancid more quickly and has lower levels of vitamins, while the heavier oil, which sinks, is richer in vitamins. The heavier oil is what Dr. Price referred to as high-vitamin cod liver oil. It contains double the amounts of vitamin A and D as regular cod liver oil. Virtually all cod liver oil imported into the US is the lighter, "top of the barrel" variety. The Norwegians keep the best for themselves!

Whenever taking cod liver oil, remember the findings of Dr. Price. He noted that he did not get good results from cod liver oil unless he gave it concurrently with high-vitamin butter. Just why this is so is a matter of speculation, but we do know that the very unsaturated fatty acids found in cod liver oil cannot be effectively assimilated and stored in the tissues without the presence of adequate saturated fatty acids, the kind that would be provided by butter. This means that even regular butter would help support cod liver oil therapy; but Price found that the combination of cod liver oil with high-vitamin butter, from cows eating rapidly growing green grass, was nothing short of miraculous, reversing tooth decay and bringing patients back from the brink of death.

I do not find it hard to take Carlson's cod liver oil on a spoon, but for many, the big challenge is how to get this oily substance down. One technique is to add cod liver oil to a small amount of water or fresh juice, stir and then quickly send it down the hatch. If you can't bring yourself to take cod liver oil on a spoon or in water, then use the capsules. For babies and small children, use an eye dropper.
Old Research Brought to Light

In researching this article, I had the great fortune to stumble upon a book published in the 1930s--it is truly exciting to come upon material found and lost and found again. Ultraviolet Light and Vitamin D in Nutrition, by Katharine Blunt and Ruth Cowan, published by the University of Chicago, contains fascinating material, including a chapter on the research of Mrs. May Mellanby published in 1918 in The Lancet II, page 767.

The book describes the work of scientists E. M. Honeywell, A. F. Hess and C. E. Bills (after which the Bills's Scale for determining antirachitic value for vitamin D is named) who studied all aspects of fish oil potency, production and seasonal distribution. Early in their research they discovered that oil extracted from cod when the fish were fat in the summer contained much lower amounts of vitamin D. Summer oil scored 100 on the Bills scale but winter oil scored above 1,000 and some oils scored 20,000. Their conclusion: "For a fish of a given size, antirachitic potency varies inversely with the amount of fat or oil in the liver." In other words, the less oil in the fish, the more concentrated it was.

In one fascinating study, they found that fish kept in darkened aquariums and fed on trimmed raw veal muscle had the same amount of vitamin D as free-swimming fish exposed to sunlight. So how the fish obtain vitamin D remains a mystery. Perhaps they are able to extract it from microscopic plankton and algae.

It is important to note that the amount of vitamin A in cod liver oil does not have any consistent relation with the amount of vitamin D. In numerous samples, oils rich in vitamin A were poor in vitamin D, and oils rich in vitamin D were poor in vitamin A.

According to the book, in 1922 the US imported about 1.8 million gallons of cod oil and cod liver oil. By 1927 this amount grew to almost 5 million gallons based on data from the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce of the United States Department of Commerce. Cod oil is rancid oil used in the tanning industry, not for human consumption. The figures don't distinguish the difference, but most of the increase was in the edible cod liver oil due to research showing its benefit in preventing rickets. According to the Commerce Yearbook of 1928, "Medicinal oil production has increased greatly, and the advance in its price has lessened the supply of common cod oil for tanning."

In 2000, America imported only about one tenth that amount (less than half a million gallons), indicating a huge decline in use.

In 1930, when the book was compiled, the technology was just being developed to determine vitamin D potency. The accepted value as of August 31, 1929 was " one rat unit of vitamin D," defined as "that amount of vitamin D which, when uniformly distributed into the standard vitamin D deficient diet-ration, will produce a narrow and continuous line of calcium deposits on the metaphyses of the distal end of the radii and ulnae of standard rachitic rats." "Potent cod liver oil" is defined as that containing one of these rat units per 0.75 mg. The International Units started out as rat units!

Testing of 18 oils in use at that time showed great variations in potency. Luckily today we have methods of standardization and much better methods of transportation and storage to improve the amount of vitamin D and freshness of our cod liver oil.
Eat Your Eggs

In 1929, researchers tested a variety of foods for vitamin D content and found the second most potent source of vitamin D was egg yolk. The book describes studies in which Hess both cured and prevented rickets in rats by giving them egg yolks. He also gave prophylactic treatment to 12 infants to forestall development of rickets in the winter months, which his experience had taught him to expect in the great majority of bottle-fed infants. He gave them one egg yolk added to their regular formula starting in December. None of the 12 developed rickets in March as expected and, unlike prior years, blood phosphates remained stable at summer values.

About this same time, Johns Hopkins University investigators cured seven African-American children of rickets, in most cases severe, by adding one or two eggs daily to their diet of milk and cereal.

Like the vitamin D in cod liver oil, the amount of vitamin D in egg yolks also varies. Researchers in Kansas looked at four groups of hens: one group got sunlight in the yard plus 30 minutes under a quartz mercury vapor lamp producing UV-B light; another got sunlight through glass plus 30 minutes under the lamp; the third group got sunlight alone; and the fourth group got sunlight under glass alone. Eggs from hens under glass produced rickets in rats. Those with considerable UV-B prevented rickets completely and those with less (no lamp) caused the development of slight rickets. Only the sunlight plus lamp completely prevented rickets, showing that the natural UV-B in Kansas did not provide sufficient light for optimal vitamin D. Giving cod liver oil to the chickens had the same effect as exposure to UV-B light. Cod liver oil as two percent of the ration increased levels of vitamin D in the egg yolks fivefold.

The surprising conclusion is that chickens should either be given sunlamp treatment or cod liver oil. Poultrymen and consumers alike need to recognize that the axiom "an egg is an egg" is a mistaken one. Rather, "an inadequate ration may yield impoverished eggs as well as animals." The authors suggest that eggs be graded by vitamin content. What a concept! Too bad no one listened. What would they think of our so-called "organic" eggs from hens raised in barns, never exposed to light and given "all-vegetarian" feed?
Meet Mrs. Mellanby

The most fascinating part of this little book is the chapter describing the experiments done in England by a Mrs. May Mellanby. Her husband, Dr. E. Mellanby, was the author of over 400 studies and the first to control rickets with diet. Cod liver oil had been used for centuries as a remedy but the specific application to rickets was first demonstrated by Dr. Mellanby. (Control of rickets using UV-B light was demonstrated almost simultaneously by investigators at Columbia and Johns Hopkins University in 1921.) In his research into rickets in dogs, he discovered the mineral-blocking effect of phytic acid in grains and legumes. Dr. Mellanby demonstrated that diets containing high levels of cereals, especially oatmeal, and lacking vitamin D, are the most effective producers of rickets. If vitamin D is inadequate there is poor tooth development, but Mrs. Mellanby then went on to prove that no matter how much cereal is fed, if vitamin D is adequate tooth formation is normal. Mrs. Mellanby believed that as cereals increase in the diet, vitamin D must also be increased to offset their anticalcifying effects--think of the implications of this research on today's baby-feeding habits, where infants are given cereals as their first food but denied egg yolks until they are one year old!

Mrs. Mellanby also determined that vitamin D must be present from conception in order for proper tooth formation to occur. If vitamin D is absent during the early gestational period, the enamel cannot form properly, and it cannot be repaired by giving vitamin D later.

In her initial studies Mrs. Mellanby used dogs as the source of data but she later examined more than one thousand "baby" teeth from children. She divided these teeth into four categories--normal, hypoplastic (slightly underdeveloped), moderately underdeveloped and grossly underdeveloped. Only 149, or about 14 percent, of the total 1,036 were sound. About one-quarter were slightly underdeveloped, but nearly two-thirds were moderately or grossly underdeveloped.

It is more difficult to examine teeth in place, but of 266 adult teeth examined by Mrs. Mellanby, not one was sound. The teeth were extracted only for purposes of straightening the teeth, which means that they were erupting in a jaw that was underdeveloped. Thus, children with narrow faces most likely have underdeveloped teeth. Tooth structure and later decay are directly related. Prevention of cavities must start in the womb.
Curing Cavities

A final plum from this most fruitful book regards secondary dentine. Secondary dentine, a less well-organized form of tubular dentine, is produced throughout life as a patching material where cavities have begun, where the overlying enamel has been worn away, and within the pulp chamber as part of the aging process. Sometimes when cavities occur, production of secondary dentine can "heal" the decayed spot or rebuild portions of the tooth that have worn away. If vitamin D is adequate, secondary dentine will be well calcified. If vitamin D is lacking, dentine will be of poor quality or not present at all.

There is some evidence that the mineralization of dentine may depend on calcium derived from saliva rather than blood; in other words, it is deposited from the exterior rather than the interior of the tooth. The book describes studies by Dr. C. L. Pattison who, working with Mrs. Mellanby, determined that the calcium content of saliva doubled or even tripled when the diet contained adequate vitamin D from cod liver oil.

Now that I have told you all this good news about cod liver oil, I need to comment on the research surrounding its possible toxicity. Over-elevated serum levels of vitamin D are a possibility if you combine summer or southern sun and cod liver oil. So if you are spending a lot of time out in the sun during the summer months, it's probably best to cut back on the dose. If you are unsure, you should test your blood levels of vitamin D.

Cod liver oil is no longer recommended in Great Britain and in the US pregnant women are advised to avoid most vitamin A and vitamin A-containing foods, including cod liver oil. Both countries have adopted this policy because of the recognized teratogenicity (may cause birth defects) of retinoic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin A. But low vitamin A also causes birth defects. In the developing countries, such as Brazil, Pakistan and India, vitamin A deficiency is widespread, afflicting millions. A 1992 survey of the US population determined that 50 percent of Americans consume 19 percent or less of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) or 400 IU.

The original study showing birth defects associated with intake of mostly synthetic vitamin A exceeding 5,000 IU daily was published November 23, 1995 in the New England Journal of Medicine.46 Other studies showing an association of birth defects with vitamin A concerned topical creams containing vitamin A derivatives such as Accutane, or extremely high doses of A used in animal studies.47-52

A later study, less well publicized, from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), found no association with birth defects in women who took up to 10,000 IU of vitamin A during pregnancy. Because few women took more than 10,000 IU, researchers could not determine whether higher doses were a problem. Later Mills and others continued their research and determined that after serum testing and determining safe serum levels, women taking 30,000 IU of preformed vitamin A from animal foods (not beta-carotene) daily had the same blood levels of A as healthy pregnant women in the first trimester who had healthy babies. The conclusion is that a dosage over 30,000 IU vitamin A daily may be teratogenic for a certain few, but anything up to that amount is safe.53-54

Thus if you are or may become pregnant, limit cod liver oil intake to not more than a total vitamin A value of 30,000 IU. If using my favorite brand, Carlson Labs cod liver oil, that would equal the amount of vitamin A found in 12 teaspoons or 4 tablespoons, more than anyone would ever take. If using high-vitamin cod liver oil, the limit would be 2 tablespoons. Two tablespoons of regular cod liver oil provide 15,000 IU vitamin A, 2600 IU vitamin D and 6 grams of mixed omega-3 fatty acids, safe for pregnancy and good for mom and baby.

There is one situation in which high levels of vitamin A are not recommended and that is the condition of certain types of liver disease in which there is altered vitamin A metabolism. This is frequently the case with alcoholism. Alcoholics should not take high doses (not more than 1-1.5 tablespoons of regular cod liver oil) and what they do take should be accompanied by zinc supplements. The enzymes needed for vitamin A metabolism in the liver are zinc dependent.

The most likely culprits for production of birth defects in humans are topical and oral vitamin A analogs, not cod liver oil. Researchers have criticized the original 1995 study, from which governmental policy has been derived, for overstating the negative effect. Only 1.4 percent took supplements exceeding 10,000 IU a day, not a large enough sample from which to draw conclusions. However, it is important to never combine cod liver oil or vitamin A from supplements with oral or topical medications for acne or other skin disorders treated with retinoic acid derivatives.

If you sunbathe regularly and have found that your vitamin D levels are within the normal range, do not use cod liver oil unless you are willing to test and retest to determine that your blood levels of vitamin D have not gone too high. We do not know enough to say whether or not sunbathing and cod liver oil work synergistically or antagonistically. If you decide to get lots of sun and also use cod liver oil, please send me your vitamin D tests for my continued research. Cod liver oil use is safe in most of the US and all of Canada in winter but it should not be combined with other sources of vitamin D without careful testing and monitoring.
Price Was Right

Dr. Price was right. . . we all need to take cod liver oil (and eat plenty of good butter). For growing children, and for almost every disease condition, cod liver oil is the number one superfood, the supplement of choice.

For Vitamin D testing and monitoring information, send for the Sunlight and Vitamin D protocol from www.sunlightandvitamind.com or send $38.50 to K. Sullivan, PO Box 961, Woodacre, CA 94973. You can wait until May 2002 for the publication of Naked at Noon--The Importance of Sunlight and Vitamin D, which will contain the sunlight and vitamin D protocols in greater detail. We are also working with DiagnosTechs laboratory to develop a saliva test for vitamin D, calcium and vitamin K. Since these are the factors regulating teeth and bone it will be an easy way to diagnose and to monitor treatment. Stay tuned.

Note: High-vitamin cod liver oil is available from Radiant Life (888) 593-8333, www.radiantlifecatalog.com.

What If We Run Out of Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver oil is not the only rich source of vitamins A and D. In 1926 Hess and Weinstock determined that puffer fish liver oil was 15 times more potent than cod liver oil in vitamin D, or what was then called antirachitic factor. On the rating scale with cod liver oil as 100, puffer liver oil posted 1500. (Haddock liver oil posted a lowly 10.)

The best cod liver oil replacement for Americans is the burbot or Lota lota, a fish found extensively in most of the Great Lakes. The burbot was not typically consumed as a food in the US, but burbot liver oil was found to be eight times as active as cod liver oil, scoring 800 on the antirachitic Bills scale.

Commonly called "lawyers" in the Great Lakes region, the burbot is a mottled olive-green fish weighing 1-3 pounds and measuring 15-22 inches. These elongated, cylindrical, freshwater codfish inhabit most waters of Alaska, Canada and northern United States as well as corresponding latitudes of Eurasia. Despite the burbot's homely form, its meat is palatable and nutritious and considered a delicacy in Scandinavia.

Early Great Lakes fishermen derided the burbot as trash fish. In the middle of the 20th century, the Great Lakes burbot populations declined under the onslaught of the sea lamprey. Today, however, burbot are returning to the lakes in increasing numbers. Burbot spawn under the midwinter ice, usually in one to four feet of water, though sometimes deeper. By midsummer, they move out to the cool depths of the lake, where they roam the open waters with lake trout, lake whitefish and other deepwater fish.

Many knowledgeable fishermen savor burbot. When boiled and buttered, the sweet flavor of burbot has earned it the title of "poor man's lobster." Though they continue to have an undeserved reputation as "trash fish," the commercial harvest of burbot from Green Bay and northern Lake Michigan increased nearly fivefold during the early 1980s to a total of nearly 100,000 pounds annually. Perhaps it's time to look into the burbot as a commercial source of high-vitamin oil. Of course it will be important to test the oil for the presence of heavy metals and pesticides. Development of a domestic source of high-vitamin fish liver oil provides additional incentive to clean up the Great Lakes!
Dosages and Dangers

If pregnant or pregnancy is possible, limit cod liver oil intake to not more than 30,000 IU A per day. Two tablespoons of regular cod liver oil, one tablespoon high-vitamin cod liver oil is a dose that is safe and adequate for pregnant women and, in fact, all adults. There is no indication that anyone needs a dose of cod liver oil exceeding two tablespoons except in certain special circumstances. More is not better.

Infants and growing children can tolerate higher-per-pound doses of vitamin D and cod liver oil. Recommended dosages are as follows: one teaspoon from birth to six months, two teaspoons from six months to three years, one tablespoon from 4-10 years and two tablespoons thereafter during winter months or when not sunning.

Never combine sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A and its derivatives are found in skin lotions and creams, oral medications and vitamin supplements. The 30,000 IU limit is from all sources.

If you sun regularly and spend winter months in the South, you need to find another way to get elongated fatty acids (such as organ meats). You really do not want too much vitamin D. High doses of cod liver oil are used to promote atherosclerosis in animal studies. Too much D is too much D.

When using a UV-B meter and sunning to raise vitamin D, you will need the Vitamin D and Sunlight protocol. Cod liver oil can be reduced or eliminated depending on your location and exposure times.

Cod liver oil mixed with zinc oxide is better for the skin than any of the prescription medications, and safer.

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This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2002.

About the Author

Krispin Sullivan, CN, is a Clinical Nutritionist in private practice in California. She has been practicing Clinical Nutrition since 1968. In 1988 she received her certification and licensing from the National Institute of Nutrition Education. She is licensed to teach nutrition in California post-secondary schools and is a frequent lecturer at schools, community centers, hospitals and medical centers. She has written the book, Naked at Noon, Understanding Sunlight and Vitamin D and is working on her second book about fertility, pregnancy, nursing, and nutrition.


Guide to Superfoods

Written by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD
Friday, December 31 1999 21:48

Note: After reading this article, please also read Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Cod Liver Oil: Some Clarifications

Superfoods—as opposed to vitamins or supplements—are foods that naturally concentrate important nutrients. Unlike dietary supplements, or vitamins taken in isolation, superfoods provide many nutrients that support each other and prevent the kind of imbalances that often occur when vitamins are taken singly.

Do we need superfoods? In theory, if the diet is good, we should need nothing more to supplement our daily fare; but can even the most conscientious among us say that our diet is or has been perfect? With the depletion of our soils, the widespread use of additives and the prevalence of sugar, refined carbohydrates and rancid vegetable oils, which all of us have invariably ingested—if not in adulthood, at least in our youth—no one living in an industrial society today can say that his diet has been perfect. For those unwilling or unable to give up bad habits like caffeine, alcohol or smoking, a daily supply of superfoods is essential.

Even those who live in isolated primitive societies seek out special foods for optimum health—foods high in fat-soluble vitamins, such as fish eggs and organ meats, to ensure reproduction and strong healthy children; soaked grains for strength and stamina; and herbs to prevent certain diseases.

The following short list is not meant to be exhaustive but only to provide a few examples of superfoods that can, in general, be taken by everyone. Herbal products for specific ailments are best taken with the advice of a holistic health practitioner.

Azomite Mineral Powder: This powdery mineral supplement, containing montmorillonite clay and many other compounds, comes from an ancient seabed. It is an excellent source of silica, calcium, magnesium and the gamut of trace minerals. Clay also has detoxifying effects as the negatively charged clay particles attract positively charged pathogens and take them out of the body. Technically sold as an anticaking compound and available only in 40-pound bags, Azomite is incredibly cheap when used as a mineral supplement, costing less than one dollar per pound delivered. Take a heaping teaspoon mixed with water daily as an insurance of adequate macro- and trace mineral ingestion in these days of soil depletion through intensive farming.

Acerola Tablets: A berry rich in ascorbic acid, acerola provides vitamin C with numerous cofactors, including bioflavonoids and rutin, to optimize the body's uptake and use of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C, the most important dietary antioxidant, was popularized by Linus Pauling who recommends taking pure ascorbic acid in amounts up to 15 grams a day for a variety of ailments. But large quantities of vitamin C may be harmful to the kidneys and can lead to deficiencies in bioflavonoids. Only small quantities of natural vitamin C in the form of acerola tablets can provide the same protection as large amounts of pure ascorbic acid, without the side effects.

Bee Pollen: Bee pollen has been popularized by famous athletes who take it regularly for strength and endurance. It has been used successfully to treat a variety of ailments including allergies, asthma, menstrual irregularities, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, low energy, cancer, rheumatism, arthritis and toxic conditions. A Russian study of the inhabitants of the province of Georgia, where many live to 100 years and a few to age 150, revealed that many of these centenarians were beekeepers who often ate raw, unprocessed honey with all its "impurities," that is, with the pollen. Bee pollen contains 22 amino acids including the eight essential ones, 27 minerals and the full gamut of vitamins, hormones and fatty acids. Most importantly, bee pollen contains more than 5,000 enzymes and coenzymes. It is the presence of enzymes, many of which have immediate detoxifying effects, that sometimes provokes allergic reactions in those taking bee pollen for the first time. If this happens, start with very small amounts and slowly build up to a tablespoon or so per day. Some brands are more easily tolerated than others. Avoid pollen that has been dried at temperatures higher than 130 degrees. Bee pollen can be taken in powder, capsule or tablet form—or in raw unprocessed honey mixed with cereal or spread on toast.

Blue-Green Algae, Spirulina and Chlorella: Blue-green micro algae, and its cousins spirulina and chlorella, grow on inland waters throughout the world—visible as greenish scum on still lakes and ponds. The Aztecs ate it as a staple food, dried and spread on tortillas. Africans of the Sahara region also use dried spirulina with grains and vegetables. These algae are high in protein, carotenoids and minerals. Beware, however, of claims that they can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets. Nevertheless, the high mineral and protein content of the various algae make them an excellent superfood, a good supplement to the diet and a useful product for the treatment of a variety of health problems. Of the three main types of algae, spirulina is said to be the easiest to digest and absorb, because its cell walls are composed of mucopolysaccharides rather than indigestible cellulose. Chlorella needs special processing to improve digestibility of a tough outer cell wall but is valued for its ability to bind with heavy metals and carry them out of the body. Wild blue-green algae is said to have remarkable healing properties but can transform into an exceptionally toxic plant under certain conditions. Freeze drying is said to denature these toxins.

Bitters: Herbal extracts of bitter, mineral-rich herbs are a traditional tonic for stimulating the bile and increasing digestion and assimilation of fats. They often are the best remedy for calming a queasy stomach. One such product is made by Floradix. Another is Swedish Bitters originally formulated by Paracelsus and later "rediscovered" by a Swedish scientist. Bitters supply nutrients from bitter leaves that are often lacking in the Western diet. Many cultures, including the Chinese and Hindu, value bitter herbs for their cleansing, strengthening and healing properties.

High Vitamin Butter: Deep yellow butter oil from cows eating rapidly growing green grass supplies not only vitamins A and D but also the X Factor, discovered by Weston Price (now believed to be vitamin K2). It can be used as a supplement to regular dietary butter, particularly during winter and early spring.

Cod Liver Oil: Once a standard supplement in traditional European societies, cod liver oil provides fat-soluble vitamins A and D, which Dr. Price found present in the diet of primitives in amounts ten times higher than the typical American diet of his day. Cod liver oil supplements are a must for women and their male partners, to be taken for several months before conception, and for women during pregnancy. Growing children will also benefit greatly from a small daily dose. Cod liver oil is also rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The body makes this fatty acid from omega-3 linolenic acid as an important link in the chain of fatty acids that ultimately results in prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones. It is very important for the proper function of the brain and nervous system. Those individuals who have consumed large amounts of polyunsaturated oils, especially hydro-genated oils, or who have impaired pancreatic function, such as diabetics, may not be able to produce EPA and will, therefore, lack important prostaglandins unless they consume oily fish or take a cod liver oil supplement. Buy cod liver oil in dark bottles and store in a cool, dark, dry place. Some studies indicate that cod liver oil is toxic in large amounts so don't overdo—1 teaspoon per day is a good rule for adults, half that for children. It's easy to take when stirred into a small amount of water. Dr. Price always gave cod liver oil with butter oil, extracted by centrifuge from good quality spring or fall butter. He found that cod liver oil on its own was relatively ineffective but combined with butter oil produced excellent results. Your diet should include both good quality, organic butter and cod liver oil.

Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil or Black Currant Oil: These oils contain a fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, which the body produces from omega-6 linoleic acid by the action of special enzymes. In many individuals the production or effectiveness of this enzyme is compromised, especially as they grow older. Malnutrition, consumption of hydrogenated oils and diabetes inhibit the conversion of omega-6 linoleic acid to GLA. GLA-rich oils have been used to treat cancer, premenstrual syndrome, breast disease, scleroderma, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and cystic fibrosis. They have been shown to increase liver function and mental acuity.

Glandular and Organ Extracts: Dried tissue from the glands and organs of animals are being successfully used to treat the same gland or organ in human beings including thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, liver, thymus, spleen, kidney and eye tissue. Athletes and those suffering from chronic fatigue should consider taking dried liver if they do not like the taste of fresh liver. Look for products that have been freeze dried rather than processed at high temperatures. Glandulars are best taken under supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Kelp: Like all sea vegetables, kelp provides minerals found in sea water, especially iodine and trace minerals that may be lacking in our depleted soils. For Westerners unaccustomed to including seaweeds in the diet, a small daily supplement of kelp in tablet or powdered form is a good idea, but don't overdo—excess iodine may also cause thyroid problems.

Noni Juice: Juice of the Tahitian noni fruit is revered by the Polynesians for its curative powers, possibly due to the presence of an alkaloid precursor called xeronine, which contributes to the effectiveness of proteins on the cellular level. Noni juice has been used successfully to treat blood sugar problems, injuries and pain, digestive disorders, depression and many other ailments. It should be taken on an empty stomach.

Wheat Germ Oil: Expeller-expressed wheat germ oil is an excellent source of natural vitamin E, which is our best natural protection for the cell membrane. The Shute brothers of Canada demonstrated that vitamin E supplements are an effective protection against heart disease. In their studies they used wheat germ oil, not synthetic vitamin E preparations.

Yeast: Dried nutritional yeast is an excellent natural source of B complex vitamins (except for B12) plus a variety of minerals. Look for yeast that has been processed at low temperatures. Yeast does not contribute to candida as has been claimed—candida feeds on refined carbohydrates, not yeast. The late eminent physician Dr. Henry Bieler treated many cases of chronic fatigue with yeast supplements.

Copyright: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD. © 1999. All Rights Reserved. To order contact www.newtrendspublishing.com.

About the Authors

Sally Fallon Morell is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (with Mary G. Enig, PhD), a well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods with a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. She joined forces with Enig again to write Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and has authored numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. The President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, Sally is also a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. Her four healthy children were raised on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.

Mary G. Enig, PhD is an expert of international renown in the field of lipid biochemistry. She has headed a number of studies on the content and effects of trans fatty acids in America and Israel, and has successfully challenged government assertions that dietary animal fat causes cancer and heart disease. Recent scientific and media attention on the possible adverse health effects of trans fatty acids has brought increased attention to her work. She is a licensed nutritionist, certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists, a qualified expert witness, nutrition consultant to individuals, industry and state and federal governments, contributing editor to a number of scientific publications, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and President of the Maryland Nutritionists Association. She is the author of over 60 technical papers and presentations, as well as a popular lecturer. Dr. Enig is currently working on the exploratory development of an adjunct therapy for AIDS using complete medium chain saturated fatty acids from whole foods. She is Vice-President of the Weston A Price Foundation and Scientific Editor of Wise Traditions as well as the author of Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol, Bethesda Press, May 2000. She is the mother of three healthy children brought up on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.

Our friend, cholesterol !?

Cholesterol: Friend Or Foe?

Written by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD
Sunday, May 04 2008 14:17

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. --Voltaire

In our modern world, cholesterol has become almost a swear word. Thanks to the promoters of the diet-heart hypothesis, everybody "knows" that cholesterol is "evil" and has to be fought at every turn. If you believe the popular media, you would think that there is simply no level of cholesterol low enough. If you are over a certain age, you are likely to be tested for how much cholesterol you have in your blood. If it is higher than about 200 mg/100ml (5.1 mol/l), you may be prescribed a "cholesterol pill." Millions of people around the world take these pills, thinking that this way they are taking good care of their health. What these people don’t realize is just how far from the truth they are. The truth is that we humans cannot live without cholesterol. Let us see why.

Our bodies are made out of billions of cells. Almost every cell produces cholesterol all the time during all of our lives. Why? Because every cell of every organ has cholesterol as a part of its structure. Cholesterol is an integral and very important part of our cell membranes, the membranes that enclose each of our cells, and also of the membranes surrounding all the organelles inside the cell. What is cholesterol doing there? A number of things.
Structural Integrity

First of all, saturated fats and cholesterol make the membranes of the cells firm—without them the cells would become flabby and fluid. If we humans didn’t have cholesterol and saturated fats in the membranes of our cells, we would look like giant worms or slugs. And we are not talking about a few molecules of cholesterol here and there. In many cells, almost half of the cell membrane is made from cholesterol. Different kinds of cells in the body need different amounts of cholesterol, depending on their function and purpose. If the cell is part of a protective barrier, it will have a lot of cholesterol in it to make it strong, sturdy and resistant to any invasion. If a cell or an organelle inside the cell needs to be soft and fluid, it will have less cholesterol in its structure.

This ability of cholesterol and saturated fats to firm up and reinforce the tissues in the body is used by our blood vessels, particularly those that have to withstand the high pressure and turbulence of the blood flow. These are usually large or medium arteries in places where they divide or bend. The flow of blood pounding through these arteries forces them to incorporate a layer of cholesterol and saturated fat in the membranes, which makes it stronger, tougher and more rigid. These layers of cholesterol and fat are called fatty streaks. They are completely normal and form in all of us, starting from birth and sometimes even before we are born. Various indigenous populations around the world, who never suffer from heart disease, have plenty of fatty streaks in their blood vessels in old and young, including children. Fatty streaks are not indicative of the disease called atherosclerosis.
Lipid Lifesavers

All the cells in our bodies have to communicate with each other. How do they do that? They use proteins embedded into the membrane of the cell. How are these proteins fixed to the membrane? With the help of cholesterol and saturated fats! Cholesterol and stiff saturated fatty acids form so-called lipid rafts, which make little homes for every protein in the membrane and allow it to perform its functions. Without cholesterol and saturated fats, our cells would not be able to communicate with each other or to transport various molecules into and out of the cell. As a result, our bodies would not be able to function the way they do. The human brain is particularly rich in cholesterol: around 25 percent of all body cholesterol is accounted for by the brain. Every cell and every structure in the brain and the rest of our nervous system needs cholesterol, not only to build itself but also to accomplish its many functions. The developing brain and eyes of the fetus and a newborn infant require large amounts of cholesterol. If the fetus doesn’t get enough cholesterol during development, the child may be born with a congenital abnormality called cyclopean eye.1

Human breast milk provides a lot of cholesterol. Not only that, mother’s milk provides a specific enzyme to allow the baby’s digestive tract to absorb almost 100 percent of that cholesterol, because the developing brain and eyes of an infant require large amounts of it. Children deprived of cholesterol in infancy may end up with poor eyesight and brain function. Manufacturers of infant formulas are aware of this fact, but following the anti-cholesterol dogma, they produce formulas with virtually no cholesterol in them.
Vital Brain Matter

One of the most abundant materials in the brain and the rest of our nervous system is a fatty substance called myelin. Myelin coats every nerve cell and every nerve fiber like the insulating cover around electric wires. Apart from insulation, it provides nourishment and protection for every tiny structure in our brain and the rest of the nervous system. People who start losing their myelin develop a condition called multiple sclerosis. Well, 20 percent of myelin is cholesterol. If you start interfering with the body’s ability to produce cholesterol, you put the very structure of the brain and the rest of the nervous system under threat.

The synthesis of myelin in the brain is tightly connected with the synthesis of cholesterol. In my clinical experience, foods with high cholesterol and high animal fat content are an essential medicine for a person with multiple sclerosis. One of the most wonderful abilities we humans are blessed with is the ability to remember things—our human memory. How do we form memories? By our brain cells establishing connections with each other, called synapses. The more healthy synapses a person’s brain can make, the more mentally able and intelligent that person is. Scientists have discovered that synapse formation is almost entirely dependent on cholesterol, which is produced by the brain cells in a form called apolipoprotein E. Without the presence of this factor we cannot form synapses, and hence we would not be able to learn or remember anything. Memory loss is one of the side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

In my clinic, I see growing numbers of people with memory loss who have been taking cholesterol- lowering pills. Dr Duane Graveline, MD, former NASA scientist and astronaut, suffered such memory loss while taking his cholesterol pill. He managed to save his memory by stopping the pill and eating lots of cholesterol-rich foods. Since then he has described his experience in his book, Lipitor: Thief of Memory, Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol in fresh eggs and other cholesterol-rich foods has been shown in scientific trials to improve memory in the elderly. In my clinical experience, any person with memory loss or learning problems needs to have plenty of these foods every single day in order to recover.
Necessary Product Of The Body

These foods give the body a hand in supplying cholesterol so it does not have to work as hard to produce its own. What a lot of people don’t realize is that most cholesterol in the body does not come from food! The body produces cholesterol as it is needed. Scientific studies have conclusively demonstrated that cholesterol from food has no effect whatsoever on the level of our blood cholesterol. Why? Because cholesterol is such an essential part of our human physiology that the body has very efficient mechanisms to keep blood cholesterol at a certain level.

When we eat more cholesterol, the body produces less; when we eat less cholesterol, the body produces more. As a raw material for making cholesterol the body can use carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which means that your pasta and bread can be used for making cholesterol in the body. It has been estimated that, in an average person, about 85 percent of blood cholesterol is produced by the body, while only 15 percent comes from food. So, even if you religiously follow a completely cholesterol-free diet, you will still have a lot of cholesterol in your body. However, cholesterol-lowering drugs are a completely different matter! They interfere with the body’s ability to produce cholesterol, and hence they do reduce the amount of cholesterol available for the body to use.
Dangers Of Low Cholesterol

If we do not take cholesterol-lowering drugs, most of us don’t have to worry about cholesterol. However, there are people whose bodies, for whatever reason, are unable to produce enough cholesterol. These people are prone to emotional instability and behavioral problems. Low blood cholesterol has been routinely recorded in criminals who have committed murder and other violent crimes, people with aggressive and violent personalities, people prone to suicide and people with aggressive social behavior and low self-control.

I would like to repeat what the late Oxford professor David Horrobin warned us about: "Reducing cholesterol in the population on a large scale could lead to a general shift to more violent patterns of behavior. Most of this increased violence would not result in death but in more aggression at work and in the family, more child abuse, more wife-beating and generally more unhappiness."

People whose bodies are unable to produce enough cholesterol do need to have plenty of foods rich in cholesterol in order to provide their organs with this essential-to-life substance.

What else does our body need all that cholesterol for?
Endocrine System

After the brain, the organs hungriest for cholesterol are our endocrine glands: adrenals and sex glands. They produce steroid hormones. Steroid hormones in the body are made from cholesterol: testosterone, progesterone, pregnenolone, androsterone, estrone, estradiol, corticosterone, aldosterone and others. These hormones accomplish a myriad of functions in the body, from regulation of our metabolism, energy production, mineral assimilation, brain, muscle and bone formation to behavior, emotions and reproduction. In our stressful modern lives we consume a lot of these hormones, leading to a condition called "adrenal exhaustion." This condition is diagnosed very often by naturopaths and other health practitioners. There are many herbal preparations on the market for adrenal exhaustion. However, the most important therapeutic measure is to provide your adrenal glands with plenty of dietary cholesterol.

Without cholesterol we would not be able to have children because every sex hormone in our bodies is made from cholesterol. A fair percentage of our infertility epidemic can be laid at the doorstep of the diet-heart hypothesis. The more eager we became to fight animal fats and cholesterol, the more problems with normal sexual development, fertility and reproduction we started to face. About a third of western men and women are infertile, and increasing numbers of our youngsters are growing up with abnormalities in their sex hormones. These abnormalities lead to many physical problems.

Recent research has "discovered" that eating full-cream dairy products cures infertility in women.2 Researchers found that women who drink whole milk and eat high-fat dairy products are more fertile than those who stick to low-fat products. Study leader Dr Jorge Chavarro, of the Harvard School of Public Health, emphasized: "Women wanting to conceive should examine their diet. They should consider changing low-fat dairy foods for high-fat dairy foods, for instance by swapping skimmed milk for whole milk and eating cream, not low-fat yoghurt."
The Liver And Vitamin Regulation

One of the busiest organs in terms of cholesterol production in our bodies is the liver, which regulates the level of our blood cholesterol. The liver also puts a lot of cholesterol into bile production. Yes, bile is made out of cholesterol. Without bile we would not be able to digest and absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Bile emulsifies fats; in other words, it mixes them with water, so that digestive enzymes can get to them. After it completes its mission, most of the bile gets reabsorbed in the digestive system and brought back to the liver for recycling. In fact, 95 percent of our bile is recycled because the building blocks of bile, one of which is cholesterol, are too precious for the body to waste. Nature doesn’t do anything without good reason. This example of the careful recycling of cholesterol alone should have given us a good idea about its importance for the body!

Bile is essential for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E. We cannot live without these vitamins. Apart from ensuring that fat-soluble vitamins get digested and absorbed properly, cholesterol is the major building block of one of these vitamins: vitamin D. Vitamin D is made from the cholesterol in our skin when it is exposed to sunlight. In those times of the year when there isn’t much sunlight, we can get this vitamin from cholesterol-rich foods: cod liver oil, fish, shellfish, butter, lard and egg yolks. Our recent misguided fears of the sun and avoidance of cholesterol-rich foods have created an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in the Western world.

Unfortunately, apart from sunlight and cholesterol-rich foods there is no other appropriate way to get vitamin D. Of course, there are supplements, but most of them contain vitamin D2, which is made by irradiating mushrooms and other plants. This vitamin is not the same as the natural vitamin D. It does not work as effectively and it is easy to get a toxic level of it. In fact, almost all cases of vitamin D toxicity ever recorded were cases where this synthetic vitamin D2 had been used. Toxicity is almost impossible with natural vitamin D obtained from sunlight or cholesterol-rich foods because the body knows how to deal with an excess of natural substances. What the body does not know how to deal with is an excess of synthetic vitamin D2.

Vitamin D has been designed to work as a team with another fat-soluble vitamin: vitamin A. That is why foods rich in one tend to be rich in the other. So, by taking cod liver oil, for example, we can obtain both vitamins at the same time. As we grow older, our ability to produce vitamin D in the skin under sunlight is considerably diminished. Taking foods rich in vitamin D is therefore particularly important for older people. For the rest of us, sensible sunbathing is a wonderful, healthy and enjoyable way of getting a good supply of vitamin D.

Skin cancer, blamed on sunshine, is not caused by the sun. It is caused by trans fats from vegetable oils and margarine and other toxins stored in the skin. In addition, some of the sunscreens that people use contain chemicals that have been proven to cause skin cancer3.
Immune System Health

Cholesterol is essential for our immune system to function properly. Animal experiments and human studies have demonstrated that immune cells rely on cholesterol in fighting infections and repairing themselves after the fight. In addition, LDL-cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), the so-called "bad" cholesterol, directly binds and inactivates dangerous bacterial toxins, preventing them from doing any damage in the body. One of the most lethal toxins is produced by a widely spread bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, which is the cause of MRSA (Methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a common hospital infection. This toxin can literally dissolve red blood cells. However, it does not work in the presence of LDL-cholesterol. People who fall prey to this toxin have low blood cholesterol. It has been recorded that people with high levels of cholesterol are protected from infections; they are four times less likely to contract AIDS, they rarely get common colds and they recover from infections more quickly than people with "normal" or low blood cholesterol.

People with low blood cholesterol are prone to various infections, suffer from them longer and are more likely to die from an infection. A diet rich in cholesterol has been demonstrated to improve these people’s ability to recover from infections. So, any person suffering from an acute or chronic infection needs to eat high-cholesterol foods to recover. Cod liver oil, the richest source of cholesterol (after caviar), has long been prized as the best remedy for the immune system. Those familiar with old medical literature will tell you that until the discovery of antibiotics, a common cure for tuberculosis was a daily mixture of raw egg yolks and fresh cream.
Varying Blood Cholesterol Levels

The question is, why do some people have more cholesterol in their blood than others, and why can the same person have different levels of cholesterol at different times of the day? Why is our level of cholesterol different in different seasons of the year? In winter it goes up and in the summer it goes down. Why is it that blood cholesterol goes through the roof in people after any surgery? Why does blood cholesterol go up when we have an infection? Why does it go up after dental treatment? Why does it go up when we are under stress? And why does it become normal when we are relaxed and feel well? The answer to all these questions is this: cholesterol is a healing agent in the body. When the body has some healing jobs to do, it produces cholesterol and sends it to the site of the damage. Depending on the time of day, the weather, the season and our exposure to various environmental agents, the damage to various tissues in the body varies. As a result, the production of cholesterol in the body also varies.

Since cholesterol is usually discussed in the context of disease and atherosclerosis, let us look at the blood vessels. Their inside walls are covered by a layer of cells called the endothelium. Any damaging agent we are exposed to will finish up in our bloodstream, whether it is a toxic chemical, an infectious organism, a free radical or anything else. Once such an agent is in the blood, what is it going to attack first? The endothelium, of course. The endothelium immediately sends a message to the liver. Whenever our liver receives a signal that a wound has been inflicted upon the endothelium somewhere in our vascular system, it gets into gear and sends cholesterol to the site of the damage in a shuttle, called LDL-cholesterol. Because this cholesterol travels from the liver to the wound in the form of LDL, our "science," in its wisdom calls LDL "bad" cholesterol. When the wound heals and the cholesterol is removed, it travels back to the liver in the form of HDLcholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). Because this cholesterol travels away from the artery back to the liver, our misguided "science" calls it "good" cholesterol. This is like calling an ambulance travelling from the hospital to the patient a "bad ambulance," and the one travelling from the patient back to the hospital a "good ambulance."

But the situation has gotten even more ridiculous. The latest thing that our science has "discovered" is that not all LDL-cholesterol is so bad. Most of it is actually good. So, now we are told to call that part of LDL the "good bad cholesterol" and the rest of it the "bad bad cholesterol."
Marvelous Healing Agent

Why does the liver send cholesterol to the site of the injury? Because the body cannot clear the infection, remove toxic elements or heal the wound without cholesterol and fats. Any healing involves the birth, growth and functioning of thousands of cells: immune cells, endothelial cells and many others. As these cells, to a considerable degree, are made out of cholesterol and fats, they cannot form and grow without a good supply of these substances. When the cells are damaged, they require cholesterol and fats to repair themselves. It is a scientific fact that any scar tissue in the body contains good amounts of cholesterol.4

Another scientific fact is that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant in the body, dealing with free radical damage.5 Any wound in the body contains plenty of free radicals because the immune cells use these highly reactive molecules for destroying microbes and toxins. Excess free radicals have to be neutralized, and cholesterol is one of the natural substances that accomplishes this function.

When we have surgery, our tissues are cut and many small arteries, veins and capillaries get damaged. The liver receives a very strong signal from this damage, so it floods the body with LDL-cholesterol to clean and heal every little wound in our blood vessels. That is why blood cholesterol goes high after any surgical procedure. After dental treatment, in addition to the damage to the tissues, a lot of bacteria from the tooth and the gums finish up in the blood, attacking the inside walls of our blood vessels. Once again, the liver gets a strong signal from that damage and produces lots of healing cholesterol to deal with it, so the blood cholesterol goes up.

The same thing happens when we have an infection: LDL-cholesterol goes up to deal with the bacterial or viral attack.

Apart from the endothelium, our immune cells need cholesterol to function and to heal themselves after the fight with the infection.

Our stress hormones are made out of cholesterol in the body. Stressful situations increase our blood cholesterol levels because cholesterol is being sent to the adrenal glands for stress hormone production. Apart from that, when we are under stress, a storm of free radicals and other damaging biochemical reactions occur in the blood. So the liver works hard to produce and send out as much cholesterol as possible to deal with the free radical attack. In situations like this, your blood cholesterol will test high. In short, when we have a high blood cholesterol level, it means that the body is dealing with some kind of damage. The last thing we should do is interfere with this process! When the damage has been dealt with, the blood cholesterol will naturally go down. If we have an ongoing disease in the body that constantly inflicts damage, then the blood cholesterol will be permanently high. So, when a doctor finds high cholesterol in a patient, what this doctor should do is to look for the reason. The doctor should ask, "What is damaging the body so that the liver has to produce all that cholesterol to deal with the damage?" Unfortunately, instead of this sensible procedure, our doctors are trained to attack the cholesterol.

Many natural herbs, antioxidants and vitamins have an ability to reduce our blood cholesterol. How do they do that? By helping the body remove the damaging agents, be they free radicals, bacteria, viruses or toxins. As a result, the liver does not have to produce so much cholesterol to deal with the damage. At the same time, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, herbs and other natural remedies help to heal the wound. When the wound heals there is no need for high levels of cholesterol anymore, so the body removes it in the form of HDL-cholesterol or so-called "good" cholesterol. That is why herbs, vitamins, antioxidants and other natural remedies increase the level of HDL-cholesterol in the blood.

In conclusion, cholesterol is one of the most important substances in the body. We cannot live without it, let alone function well. The pernicious diet-heart hypothesis has vilified this essential substance. Unfortunately, this hypothesis has served many commercial and political interests far too well, so they ensure its long survival. However, the life of the diet-heart hypothesis is coming to an end as we become aware that cholesterol has been mistakenly blamed for the crime just because it was found at the scene.

Dietary Sources Of Cholesterol
Caviar is the richest source; it provides 588 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams. Obviously, this is not a common food for the majority of us, so let us have a look at the next item on the list.
Cod liver oil follows closely with 570 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams. There is no doubt that the cholesterol element of cod liver oil plays an important role in all the well-known health benefits of this time-honored health food.
Fresh egg yolk takes third place, with 424 mg of cholesterol per 100 gram. I would like to repeat: fresh egg yolk, not chemically mutilated egg powders (they contain chemically mutilated cholesterol)!
Butter provides a good 218 mg of cholesterol per 100 gram. We are talking about natural butter, not butter substitutes.
Cold-water fish and shellfish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and shrimps, provide good amounts of cholesterol, ranging from 173 mg to 81 mg per 100 gram. The proponents of low-cholesterol diets tell you to replace meats with fish. Obviously, they are not aware of the fact that fish is almost twice as rich in cholesterol as meat.
Lard provides 94 mg of cholesterol per 100 gram. Other animal fats follow.
Vitamin D Deficiency

What does it mean for our bodies to be deficient in vitamin D? A long list of suffering:
Diabetes, as vitamin D is essential for blood sugar control
Heart disease
Mental illness
Auto-immune illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis
Rickets and osteomalacia
Muscle weakness and poor neuro-muscular coordination
High blood pressure
Chronic pain
Poor immunity and susceptibility to infections
Hyperparathyroidism, which manifests itself as osteoporosis, kidney stones, depression, aches and pains, chronic fatigue, muscle weakness and digestive abnormalities

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According to one theory, trans fats interfere in the metabolism of omega-3 fats, making them ineffective in producing their derivative eicosanoids, which leads to many types of cancers, including skin cancer. Trans fats also interfere with enzyme systems that help protect the body against cancer. References for the relationship of trans fats to skin cancer include:
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Prev Med. 1993 Jan;22(1):132-40.
Review; Berg JM, Tymoczko JL and Stryer L. Biochemistry, 2006; _Does sunlight prevent cancer? A systematic review._
Eur J Cancer. 2006 Sep;42(14):2222-32. Epub 2006 Aug 10. Review; _Does sunlight have a beneficial influence on certain cancers?_
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Recent Results Cancer Res. 2003;164:371-7. Review; _Geographic patterns of prostate cancer mortality. Evidence for a protective effect of ultraviolet radiation._
Cancer. 1992 Dec 15;70(12):2861-9; Skrabanek P, McCormick J. Follies and fallacies in medicine.
Tarragon Press, Glasgow, 1989; _Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease._
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_ui ds=15585788)
Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1678S-88S. Review; _UV radiation and cancer prevention: what is the evidence?_
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This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2007.

About the Author

Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSci (nutrition), graduated with honors as a medical doctor in 1984 from Bashkir Medical University in Russia. In the following years she gained a postgraduate degree in neurology.After practicing for five years as a neurologist and three years as a neurosurgeon, she started a family and moved to the UK. Fairly shortly after that her son was diagnosed autistic, which prompted an intensive study into causes and treatments of autism. It was during this time that Dr. Campbell-McBride developed her theories on the relationship between neurological disorders and nutrition. She then completed a second postgraduate degree in human nutrition at Sheffield University, UK.

Having successfully treated her son, Dr. Campbell-McBride has returned to practice in 2000 and runs the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic. She has specialized in using nutritional approach as a treatment, and has become recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in treating children and adults with learning disabilities and other mental disorders, as well as children and adults with digestive and immune disorders.

In 2004 she has published Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment Of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression and Schizophrenia, in which she explores the connection between the patient's physical state and brain function. The book gives full details of the GAPS Nutritional Protocol, highly successful in treating patients with learning disabilities and other mental problems.

In her clinic, Dr Campbell-McBride works with many patients suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and other complications of atherosclerosis. She has become acutely aware of the existing confusion about nutrition and these conditions, which spurred an intensive study into this subject. The result of this study is her new book Put You Heart In Your Mouth! What Really Is Heart Disease and What We Can Do To Prevent and Even Reverse It.

Dr Campbell-McBride is a keynote speaker at many professional conferences and seminars around the world. She frequently gives talks to health practitioners, patient groups and associations. She is a member of the Society of Authors and a regular contributing health editor to a number of magazines and newsletters.