Sonia Jones ND from The Haven Spa and Health Clinic
Cholesterol is a word most people consider equal to a poison, the very word sends shivers down most people’s back. Yet much closer to the truth is the fact that processed oils and fat are poisons. Cholesterol is so important that if we don’t consume any, our liver will just make more! Yes, our liver makes cholesterol for us. Our hormones depend on cholesterol so much so that it will make its own if we don’t supply enough for its needs.
Every single cell in our body depends on cholesterol for its shape. Most of us do not have a problem with cholesterol as the body has some very good strategies in place for disposing of any excesses of this natural fat. However, the processed oils and fats are so new and foreign to our body’s breakdown mechanisms, it has real difficulties dealing with them. There are a percentage of people, who make too much cholesterol or have a poor functioning breakdown system for removing the excesses.
To put it in a nut shell cholesterol is needed by all cells and many systems in the body. Eat some and/or liver makes it. It is broken down by the liver stored in bile in the gall bladder ready for removal. Bile is released into the bowels where it attaches to fiber (assuming you have eaten enough) ready for removal from the body. Lack of fiber and/or constipation allows cholesterol to be re-absorbed back into the blood stream!
Generally, 30 percent of the cholesterol we need comes from our diet and the rest is made by the liver. It has been found in autopsies that processed oils and fats account for 74 percent of the build-up of plague in our arteries. In our rush to throw out natural fats we have ended up eating plenty of toxic processed fat.
So what does all of this have to do with arthritis? When most people think of cholesterol, they think of heart disease. The condition known as atherosclerosis and aortic calcification has been associated with a poor diet full of processed fats. Atherosclerosis is basically the “furring up” of arteries due to fatty deposits, (it’s like having your arteries stuffed full of congealed fat!) while aortic calcification is when the main artery in the abdomen, the aorta, has calcium deposits.
These conditions greatly restrict the flow of fluids, nutrients and oxygen to certain areas of the body. Abdominal aortic atherosclerosis is believed to cause back pain and disc degeneration through narrowing of the arteries that originate from the aorta that supply the vertebrae in the lower back with oxygen and nutrients. The inter vertebral disc (IVD) is thought to be the initial structure to suffer from decreased blood and therefore nutrients and oxygen supply, making deterioration inevitable. This deterioration results in inflammation and pain. A sudden blockage in the arteries can cause acute scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and severe back pain.
To try and reverse this condition you need to remove all processed fats and oils from your diet. No margarine, no hydrogenated fats, no partially-hydrogenated fats (found in thousands of products, no ordinary oils (unless they are cold pressed, extra virgin, or first pressed and come in glass bottles, preferably dark glass bottles). Lean meat is fine and eggs in moderation are okay. If you are a cheese lover, cut right down and add more things like cottage cheese.
Add loads of fiber rich foods to your diet – from oats, beans, lentils and fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are also rich in nutrients that will help to bring much needed nutrients to the area of deterioration. Anything the encourages the circulation will encourage regeneration – like chili, ginger, especially ginkgo biloba.
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