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Medical science has discovered that cholesterol accumulations in the blood vessels attract calcium and cause a hardening of the walls. We are told that eggs and butter are the commonest sources of cholesterol, and many people are cutting down on their intake of these wholesome foods in fear of bringing on some form of heart or blood vessel disease. Since these diseases are the major cause of death in this country, the question is, is it due to wrong eating?
Here again, I fear, we have a situation where “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” What are the normal antidotes to cholesterol, the factors that balance it and prevent harm? We can name three or four:
- Lecithin, the form in which choline and certain fatty acids of the vitamin F group are found in combination.
- Chlorophyll, found in the green vegetables, spinach, beet greens and lettuce.
- Inositol, a fraction of the phytates in cereals, that we can only assimilate if we also get the enzyme phosphatase (the enzyme so valuable in raw milk, lost in pasteurizing).
- The lipotropic hormone of the pancreas, that we eat as “sweetbreads.”
More Butter and Eggs
Of all these the most important is no doubt the lecithin in butter and eggs, the best nutritional source. So we see that although butter and eggs are high in cholesterol, they are also high in the antidote. So, to get rid of cholesterol, we need to eat more butter and eggs, not less.
Now, just why should we lack lecithin, anyway? Simply because, in making all commercial refined shortenings, the lecithin is carefully removed, and sold as a valuable by-product. There is none in oleo, none in any hydrogenated synthetic fat, none in refined salad oil.
It’s just the same old story of progressive robbing of good food, and the substitution of synthetic counterfeits.
Medical science has discovered that a strict rice diet will help the chronic high blood pressure patient. Why? Simply because rice has a lot of phytin, inositol-calcium-magnesium-phosphate. Under the influence of phosphatase it splits up into inositol, ortho-phosphoric acid, and phosphates of calcium and magnesium. The ortho-phosphoric acid dissolves the calcium carbonate that has become part of the cholesterol-calcium partnership in the vascular wall, the inositol promotes the formation of the choline-fatty acid union to form lecithin; the lecithin then emulsifies the cholesterol so that it can be transported to the liver where it is discharged into the bile channels. A sort of cascade chain of events like “the house that Jack built,” all halted by such a simple thing as robbing a staple food of a factor that nobody thought was of much importance.
The effect of the beet-green complex is a little more specific, as it contains an, as yet, unidentified factor that prevents the cholesterol from precipitating into the bile while it stands between meals in the gall bladder. (The gall bladder only empties after a meal). Such precipitation is the cause of gall stones, which are usually pure cholesterol, of the consistency of bees-wax.
The use of beet greens is known to relieve very promptly in most cases the distress of gall bladder obstruction by this tendency for cholesterol to precipitate out. Cooking the greens does not impair this effect, and the juice is just as effective as the whole leaf. It is most tasty if used with half tomato juice.
There is a strange thing about the recommendation of the rice diet by doctors for high blood pressure. Invariably the patient uses white rice, the death-dealing refined form of rice that has killed untold thousands of Oriental people before they discovered that the beriberi it caused was a deficiency disease, and totally unnecessary.
Rice in the polished white form is illegal in all Oriental countries today. It is considered as dangerous as poison. I am told that in parts of China the possession of white rice is punished by the same formula as the possession of opium–by beheading.
Just why such a food as white rice, white bleached flour, synthetic fat or any food that has been proven unfit to support life, proven to bring on inevitable disease, should be permitted to be sold under the misrepresentation that it is a food is a mystery to me. At least in a country that pretends to be interested in the welfare of its citizens. Our million-per-year death rate from preventable cardio-vascular disease alone is the monument to our indifference to fact.
Our bread and butter at least should be protected as to basic life-giving quality.