Author: Robert Stephens

Mouse study finds toxic effects of glyphosate in the second and third generation after exposure

When a pregnant mouse (F0) was injected with glyphosate, effects are seen on the children (F1), grandchildren (F2), and great-grand mouse children (F3).

Autoimmune Disease: A Weak Immune System?

Common knowledge says that autoimmunity is an overactive immune system. In other words, “the body is attacking itself.” Not exactly. In most cases, the immune system isn’t too strong, it’s actually too weak, and becomes dysfunctional. The immune system is made up of various components.…

Do blood-thinning drugs cause heart disease?

Summary: If you are taking coumadin, you may be at risk of heart disease because of vitamin K deficiency. This risk can be reduced by supplementing with certain forms of vitamin K, without adversely affecting your clotting risk. Only change your medication dose under the supervision of your doctor.

Older style blood thinning drugs such as coumadin worked by blocking vitamin K, a co-factor in blood clotting. This has mistakenly caused some people to think that vitamin K causes blood clotting. Doctors frequently advise patients on these medications to avoid leafy green vegetables, such as kale and collards, because of their vitamin K content. This outdated advice is based on poor understanding of vitamin K, and it’s many functions outside of blood clotting.

For someone at risk of blood clots, coumadin can be a life-saving medication, but these types of drugs can also be dangerous, and the dosage must be carefully monitored. Too much can be dangerous, and too little will be ineffective.

But the long-term side effect of these medications is arterial calcification, and calcification of other soft tissues. Why? Because vitamin K is not just a clotting vitamin, it’s a family of many vitamins that are co-factors in both clotting and anti-clotting enzymes, and many enzymes that regulate calcium metabolism, including matrix gla protein, which keeps calcium from precipitating in soft tissue. Using a drug to induce a deficiency in all of the K vitamins has makes matrix gla protein ineffective, and allows calcium to deposit in soft tissues.

The clotting factors are primarily activated in the liver using vitamin K1. The other enzymes that are dependent on the K vitamins, such as matrix gla protein, work in other tissues, and primarily uses vitamin K2 for its function. Vitamin K2 is much more difficult to obtain in our diet, and is more easily depleted. The intake of vitamin K2 has been associated with lower rates of heart disease, and many other chronic health conditions. So if someone needs to take coumadin, why not take a supplement of K2 to prevent the negative effects on our arteries? Recent research has shown that this might indeed help to prevent artery calcification, without having a significant affect on clotting factors.

The American Heart Association vs. Coconut Oil

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently issued a “Presidential Advisory” which linked saturated fat with heart disease, and encouraged the increased use of vegetable seed oils. The lead author said, “…coconut oil is a fad right now — but it is actually a saturated fat,…

Coconut Oil Is Healthy…. Now It’s Not?

Coconut oil is healthy, … Coconut oil is bad for you. Saturated fat causes heart disease… now it doesn’t? Sigh. It seems like every few days a report comes out that “proves” that saturated fat causes all kinds of diseases. What do studies really prove?…

Coconut Oil Observational Studies

Very few scientific studies have been done comparing coconut oil to other types of fats. A few studies found fats from coconut oil to be helpful in reducing LDL oxidation and lipoprotein (a) (Nevin, Rajamohan, 2004). This suggests that coconut oil might actually protect against heart disease!

Coconut Oil – Observational Studies

Why not study people that are actually consuming saturated fat as part of a traditional diet?

 

In the South Pacific islands, coconuts have been a staple food for many generations. Early records of people living on the Pukapuka and Tokelau islands found them to be consuming the majority of their diet from coconut. People in Tokelau were getting 63% of their calories from coconut, which means nearly 50% of their total calories came from saturated fat! This is over 4 times as much as the maximum allowed by the American Heart Association, and with no heart disease! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7270479).

 

Tokelau

Tokelau is an isolated island in the south Pacific Ocean. Early explorers found the inhabitants of this island to be living happy and healthy on diets of coconut, fish, birds, and fruit. With increased travel to the island, the diets of the people became to be more westernized. From the 1960’s to the 1980’s saw the increased importation of refined flour, sugar, and canned foods. During this time, consumption of coconut, fish, and other traditional foods went down.

 

India – The 1950s to 1990s

In India, food consumption varies by region, but locally produced oils such as mustard, peanut, and coconut have been staples of the diets for generations. In the recent decades, genetically engineered vegetable oils have replaced these artisanally produced foods. These imports has hurt the livelihood of many small food producers. In this same time period, diabetes and heart disease have greatly increased (Sircar and Kansra, 1998).

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, coconuts have been part of a normal diet. Heart attacks were rare before 1950. Following the westernization of the food supply, coconut consumption decreased from an estimated 132 nuts per year in 1952 to only 1 coconut per year in 1991. Over this same time period, hospital admission rates for heart attacks increased dramatically (Shilhavy and Shilhavy, 2012).

 

The Sri Lankans did exactly what the AHA recommended: they decreased their saturated fat intake, replacing it with vegetable oil. The result? A dramatic RISE in heart disease.

 

Perhaps modern, processed foods are the real culprit. Let’s stop listening to so-called experts who are promoters of the food industry, and get back to common sense.

Sources:

Nevin, K.g., and T. Rajamohan. “Beneficial Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil on Lipid Parameters and in Vitro LDL Oxidation.” Clinical Biochemistry 37.9 (2004): 830-35. Print.

Prior IA, Davidson F, Salmond CE, Czochanska Z. “Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau island studies.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Aug;34(8):1552-61. 1981

Sircar, S., and U. Kansra. “Choice of Cooking Oils–myths and Realities.” Journal of the Indian Medical Association. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 1998. Web. 09 July 2017.

The Lowdown on Coconut Oil

By Terry Stephens Perhaps you have read the recent headlines: “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy” – USA Today. “Nutrition experts warn coconut oil is on par with beef fat, butter” – Chicago Tribune “This popular health food is worse for you than…