An Apple A Day Helps Keep The Doctor Away
Yes it is true, eating an apple a day really will keep the doctor away. In fact, according British researchers, if individuals ate just one extra apple a day, approximately 8,500 deaths from vascular disease could be prevented in the UK.
The reduction in vascular deaths by adding an apple to the diet is equal to the reduction that would be observed if all UK individuals over 50 years of age were prescribed statin therapy. In that scenario, 9400 deaths from vascular disease could be prevented if these adults were started on simvastatin 40 mg. They add that prescribing statins to all those eligible would lead to 1200 cases of myopathy, 200 cases of rhabdomyolysis, and 12 300 new diagnoses of diabetes mellitus.
Given the choice of eating an apple a day or taking a statin drug to lower cholesterol, I’ll happily choose an apple!
Over the last twenty years, the pharmaceutical companies have promoted cholesterol-lowering statin drugs with such fervor that they’ve become household names: Lipitor, Crestor, Vytorin, Zocor, and others. Sixteen million Americans take Lipitor, the most popular statin drug. Statin sales in the U.S. alone are over $20 billion a year. No doubt, the statins lower cholesterol levels and perhaps do lower the risk of dying from a heart attack–at least in patients who already have had one–but the size of the effect is unimpressive. For instance, in one of the experiments, the CARE trial, the odds of escaping death from a heart attack in five years for a patient with manifest heart disease was 94.3 percent, which improved to 95.4 percent with statin treatment. This difference of 1.1 percent is surely not worth all the hype these medications have received, especially since the potential side effects from these drugs may include congestive heart failure.
The acknowledged side effects of statins include muscle pain and weakness, nerve damage, and a potentially fatal muscle-wasting disorder called rhabdomyolysis. One statin, Baycol, has been withdrawn because it was linked to 31 deaths from rhabdomyolysis. Interference with production of Co-Q10 by statin drugs is the most likely explanation. The heart is a muscle and it cannot work when deprived of the essential nutrient, Co-Q10. A deficiency of CoQ10 can lead to nerve damage and congestive heart failure. I recommend anyone taking statins consider stopping them and begin taking CoQ10.
For those who’ve recently been on satin drugs or who elect to continue to take them, start to immediately take 100-200mg of CoQ10 a day. If you do you may find you have more energy, less achy pain, increased mental clarity, and other health benefits related to increasing CoQ10 levels back to normal.
While heart attacks have slightly declined, CHF (congestive heart failure) has more than doubled since Lipitor and other statins were first prescribed in 1987.
Taking statins for one year raised the risk of nerve damage by about 15 percent. Researchers studying CoQ10 have estimated that as little as a 25 percent reduction in bodily CoQ10 will trigger various disease processes, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer, immune dysfunction, and fatigue.
If you want to know more about the medical myth associated with high cholesterol-hint for 98% of population high cholesterol means nothing, read my book Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You.
Red Yeast Rice
Ok one last thing, if you decide you must lower your cholesterol (maybe due to fearing what your doctor will say-I know he or she is still brainwashed), then I recommend a good optimal daily dose multivitamin, CoQ10, 2,000mg-6,000mg of fish oil, and Choleaste, a red yeast rice formula.
Studies have shown that red yeast rice can significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and specifically LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. One showed that taking 2.4 grams per day of red yeast rice reduced LDL levels by 22% and total cholesterol by 16% in 12 weeks. Another study showed that taking 1.2 grams per day lowered LDL levels by 26% in just eight weeks.
Red yeast is far healthier than taking life robbing stain drugs, however please know they can, though considerably less than statins, reduce CoQ10 levels. For this reason I recommend taking CoQ10 along with a red yeast rice formula.
And please know that for 98% of folks, I don’t recommend treating elevated cholesterol levels, especially with dangerous satin drugs.
You can read more about the myths of heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardio issues on my website: The Medical Myths of Heart Disease.
Gluten Free Alternatives
The growing, some might say fad, information on potential negative health effects of eating gluten, poses a good question-what can I eat?
Coconut flour is a sweet-tasting, low-GI (glycemic index) flour derived from coconut meat. Though it doesn’t taste strongly of coconuts, it does contain all their health benefits. For example, one tablespoon of coconut flour contains a whopping 10 grams of fiber, which is double the amount of fiber as wheat bran and 20 times as much fiber as white flour. Coconut flour is also high in protein and low in fat. Long-term consumption of it has been linked to reduced blood pressure and blood sugar, improved thyroid function, increased energy and even boosting testosterone levels.
Coconut flour is best suited for baked desserts such as muffins, pancakes and waffles. You can find a big list of coconut flour recipes here.
Buckwheat flour is a gluten-free flour ground from buckwheat, an Asian fruit plant with edible, triangular seeds. It has a pronounced, earthy taste and a fine texture. Like coconut flour, buckwheat flour is healthier than white flour in every aspect. It is high in fiber and protein (including all eight essential amino acids), rich in trace minerals like magnesium and copper, low in fat and calories, and contains two flavonoids – quercetin and rutin – that protect us from cell inflammation and damage.
The heavier grains (including pseudo-grains like quinoa) tend to contain more protein. Think of flours like buckwheat, quinoa, millet, cornmeal, nut meal (almond flour), and bean/legume flours as akin to baking with whole-wheat flour. You get a similar denser product, often darker in color, and with less rise.
Medium flours are similar to an ‘all purpose flour’- and include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. Brown Rice flours tend to be gummy, unless proper fiber and starch is added.
Light, starchy GF flours include these gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour) and arrowroot starch.
Dangers of Excess Chlorine
A hot, steamy shower or bath is a great way to relax and unwind but doing so without a shower filter can cause some real health problems.
According to the Global Healing Center post “Chlorine, Cancer, and Heart Disease”:
“There is a lot of well-founded concern about chlorine. When chlorine is added to our water, it combines with other natural compounds to form Trihalomethanes (chlorination byproducts), or THMs. These chlorine byproducts trigger the production of free radicals in the body, causing cell damage, and are highly carcinogenic. The Environmental Defense Fund warns that, ‘Although concentrations of these carcinogens (THMs) are low, it is precisely these low levels that cancer scientists believe are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States.'”
A study done in Hartford, Connecticut, found that those with breast cancer have much higher levels of chlorine byproducts (by 50 – 60 percent) than women who are cancer-free. Research in Spain reveals a higher incidence of bladder cancer in people exposed to chlorine through bathing, showering, ingestion, and swimming in chlorinated pools.
As stated by the EPA, chloroform exposure affects the central nervous system and liver. It can also provoke depression and irritability. Unfortunately, chloramine (ammonia combined with chlorine) is often added to the water supply as well, creating an even heavier toxic load.
My family and I use special shower heads that filter out the chlorine. Simply Google chlorine free shower and you’ll find several products that work well. I like the Culligan RDSH-C115 Rain Disc Shower head with Filter, Chrome Finish – it isn’t perfect the head itself is plastic, although it looks like polished metal. It is inexpensive and provides filtered water delivered as rain shower with good flow.