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Heart Disease / Inflammation

The Source of All Our Dis-Eases
(Along with a possible remedy for most of them)
A Christian Medical Perspective

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" wrote the Apostle Paul to the Romans in the First Century. That groaning and suffering continues today even at the biological level. Ever since our original parents made that first wrong choice of fruit in the garden the whole creation has been in a state of perpetual disease. The biosphere is on fire with pain and suffering. The flames of this fire lick at our nerves and harass our psyche, tormenting our joints and disrupting our lives. The common denominator in most of our suffering and pain has the rather poetic medical appellation of "inflammation" with all its fiery imagery.
Inflammation is characterized by warmth, pain, redness, and swelling . This fiery red and painful reaction orchestrated by the immune system may present as gastritis, enteritis, arthritis, appendicitis, meningitis, cholecystitis, dermatitis, or any other "-itis". "Itis" simply means inflammation in Greek. The inflammatory response is a normal defense mechanism intended to eliminate infections by microbial invaders or to expel foreign bodies that afflict us in a cursed creation. The splinters and thorns, stingers, and barbs, microbes, and spears and bullets and shrapnel are expelled by the skin when the swelling and redness from increased blood flow softens the tough layer of the dermis. Warrior immune cells gather against invaders and form the pus that kills living microbes and that pushes out foreign bodies. The pain that results invites our conscious attention to pull the offending foreign body out. Infections trigger inflammatory responses that kill off the invaders with fevers by raising the body temperature above the level the microbes can survive. All suspected foreign invaders are identified and singled out for destruction or expulsion by the immune system's inflammatory responses.
Some bacteria and fungi as well as various parasites are walled off by immune guard cells when they cannot be killed. This quarantine is accomplished by an inflammatory response. In the case of tuberculosis the immune soldier guards that have walled off these odd bacteria will respond with an inflammatory attack against anything that resembles any subsequent attempted invasions. The redness, and swelling at the site of a positive tuberculin test are part of this inflammatory response by an immune system that does not forget its targeted enemies.
The increased warmth, redness, pain and swelling of everything from abscesses and pneumonias to pimples and minor cuts all come from the flood of immune system warrior cells pouring onto the biological battlefield from the blood. But this war on the microbes has nasty consequences for the territory over which it is fought and scarring is the result. Sometimes the scars disfigure the skin, at other times they disfigure internal structures forming intestinal adhesions or forming scars that block the lining of arteries.
Not all mobilizations of the immune system are mounted against real foreign invasions. Some inflammations are drills or scrimmages, like vaccinations and immunizations. Some reactions are false alarms or mistaken identities like allergies. No matter the trigger, all inflammatory reactions produce discomfort. Soothing balms, cold water, and plant alkaloid compounds have been employed for millennia to relieve the itching, pain, and swelling produced by inflammatory reactions. More anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and steroids along with antihistamines like Benadryl are purchased than all other forms of medication combined. Inappropriate suppression of inflammatory reactions by steroids and some of the expensive newer anti-psoriasis drugs may interfere with immune cells that are killing off dangerous microbial invaders. That is why these newer drugs and steroids are available by prescription only and why the new drugs are so expensive. Many diseases are said to "run their course" when, in fact their true natural course would have lead to death were it not for the fevers, pain, and swelling that were aimed at killing off the invaders. War is hell at any level.
Surprisingly inflammation is also the first step on a pathway that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol plaques cannot form without inflammation of the artery wall. Most inflammatory reactions that cause cholesterol plaque scarring and narrowed arteries are not associated with any known microbial invasion. Cytomegalic-inclusion viruses and rarely other organisms have been detected in the cholesterol layers of atherosclerotic plaques, but most plaques give no hint of any outside microbial invaders. Why cholesterol plaques form and how to prevent this from happening has been the holy grail sought by modern medical science for half a century. The association of high cholesterol with high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes has mistaken cholesterol as the cause rather than merely an effect of atherosclerotic plaque formation for many years. Just as smoke is associated with fire and may be deadly, firemen need to put out the fire not the smoke. But the absence of high cholesterol smoke is an indicator that the inflammatory fire is finally out. Cholesterol is a marker or harbinger reflecting the state of the inflammatory battleground.
Cholesterol turns out to be a harmless bandage that is applied to the inflammatory wounds of artery linings. High cholesterol levels have been aggressively "treated" with toxic drugs and absurd dietary restrictions in order to lower a cholesterol number. We are barraged by television and print adds encouraging us to lower a laboratory result that may only be detected by high-tech, expensive and moderately painful inconvenient blood sampling. It has only been in recent years that the role of cholesterol has been identified as a protective dressing that accidentally causes narrowed arteries. Artificially lowering cholesterol is like taking off the bloody bandages from all the wounded on a battlefield; and decreasing cholesterol intake is like preventing the transportation of bandages to the front lines of the war. The warfare of inflammation is what we need to prevent, not the dressings and bandages of the wounded in the form of a harmless molecule called cholesterol.
Cholesterol in all its forms is not an essential nutrient and so cannot be regulated very much by eating it or avoiding it. Cholesterol is produced by every cell in the body, even if it is not included in the diet. Elevated cholesterol is clearly associated with high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. But the reason for this is that large numbers of bandages are often associated with many wounds and there is often more smoke with more fire. The best way to lower cholesterol is to prevent unnecessary inflammation and its wounds that cholesterol bandages. The presence of high cholesterol is a messenger warning us of inflammatory damage from an immune system battle somewhere in the circulatory system.
So why, in the absence of invading microbes, is there so much meaningless inflammatory warfare raging inside the blood vessels of advanced industrialized civilized people?
Cardiovascular disorders and cancers are rare in developing nations and were rare before the industrial revolution in the past. Cholesterol levels in native populations of people that do not speak western languages is generally half or even a quarter of the cholesterol levels found in industrialized nations. Arthritis, appendicitis, cholecystitis, vasculitis, and most other noninfectious inflammations are also rare in native populations who do not eat any so-called "health" foods, or granola bars or California wraps or use margarine and processed foods. The lower cholesterol common among people in so-called "under-developed nations" is clearly the consequence of less inflammation inside their arteries. This decreased incidence of inflammation is always found in under-developed nations. This is true even taking into consideration the devastating inflammations that take place from malaria, typhoid fever, viral tropical fevers, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases and many other tropical illnesses much more prevalent in Third World populations than in the industrialized nations.
Whatever is causing our internal inflammations in western civilization is clearly much worse than even the invading microbial scourges that decimate the Third World. Only a small part of the non-industrialized population suffers from infections, but nearly every American or Japanese, or European, or British citizen is at risk for developing cardiovascular disease or some non-infectious inflammatory disorder or other. So whatever is plaguing western civilization affects everyone and should be common to every household. The risk of developing inflammatory conditions and cardiovascular disease increases with age. Therefore, whatever is causing our plagues of artery, joint, gastric, and a host of other inflammatory reactions must also be cumulative over time since fewer young people suffer from what all their parents and grandparents have developed. As western children start out healthy and progress into adults with cancer and heart disease and all the other inflammatory diseases common to advanced civilization it is evident that something has gradually affected everyone, despite or possibly as a consequence of our best efforts to prevent diseases.
One of the most pervasive, common and yet subtle changes that has affected industrialized societies over the last century of ever increasing cancer, and cardiovascular disease may surprise you. This important change has not been the development of a sedentary lifestyle. Although lack of exercise certainly contributes to obesity and poor health it is not necessarily the most important cause of cardiovascular disease because even active thin people, like David Letterman, get heart attacks and strokes and high blood pressure. It is not smoking either. Even though smoking is an unnatural drug delivery system that narrows arteries producing high blood pressure and also causes some cancers by the way, not everyone smokes; but everyone eventually is at risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer. In fact, even as smoking is on the decline, Metabolic Syndrome X and every other cardiovascular disease and cancers are on the increase along with arthritis and many other inflammations.
The most likely culprit responsible for most of our mysterious inflammations sits innocently in the kitchen cabinets and refrigerators of everyone with electricity. All of us who eat out are exposed to a source of inflammation that we have forced upon ourselves in the name of good health and with all the best intentions. In a futile effort to avoid cholesterol we have resorted to a high-tech industrial alternative to natural animal fat used for millennia worldwide. The culprit appears to be all of the new vegetable and plant oils that we invented to lower our cholesterol. Yes, that pure golden oil that replaced the evils of pork lard; those beautiful rows of glistening clear bottles that line our supermarkets may be Trojan Horses loaded with hidden agents of suffering and death. Synthetic processed plant oils smuggle into our diets too much of an innocent essential nutrient that can harm us if consumed unbalanced by itself. These modern processed plant oils force upon us an unbalanced diet in place of a perfectly good diet highly recommended by our Creator for six thousand years. Once again, just like our first parents, we have picked from the wrong tree, and then tried to fix it with plant leaves instead of accepting the sacrifice of an animal. Our high-tech innovative offering of vegetable oils without the fat of animals has not been accepted, by nature or by nature's God.
Modern innovative plant oils contain too much of one essential fatty acid. We now use this modern human invention in place of animal fat that had a more balanced proportion of essential fats. The essential fatty acid present in large amounts in vegetable oils is likely the culprit that gives rise to most if not all of our mysterious inflammations that have no smoking germ as their cause. Artificially processed modern plant oils contain too much of the Omega-6 essential fatty acids and too little of the Omega-3 variety. It is the relative proportion of essential fats that makes all the difference. You are now breathing a mixture of 78% nitrogen, about 21% oxygen with an additional mixture of noble gases, carbon dioxide and hydrogen that total only about an additional 1%. There is nothing poisonous about any of the other gases mixed with oxygen. But the proportion of oxygen to the other gases is critical. Too little oxygen and we get lightheaded, suffer shortness of breath and eventually die. Too much oxygen and premature infants will have loss of vision and other complications. Too much oxygen can shut down receptors in chronic lung disease patients causing them to stop breathing. Too much oxygen in their space capsule killed Astronauts, Grissom, Chafee and White in a fire. It is the mixture and proper proportions that make all the difference in everything.
Our diet is a trinity of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. These foods need to be consumed in a reasonable proportion. All of these foods are composed of the Sixth Element, Carbon. That is why burned food is blackened like charcoal which is the pure carbon leftovers of all carbon-based life forms. Mankind and all life on earth are carbon-based life forms. The texture, consistency, strength and toughness or pliability of tissues depends on how these carbon atoms are chained together with hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen in the various proteins that make up all parts of every living tissue. The carbohydrates in starches and sugars are the source of energy for the body. The body stores up excess energy most efficiently in the form of fats.
Fat is more than just an energy reserve however. Fats are called triglycerides because a three carbon chain of the alcohol molecule, glycerol, acts as the root for three longer carbon chains. Fats help make up the insulating tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Fat molecules linked with phosphorus make up the thin structure of every one of trillions of cell membranes. Some fats are the building blocks of all the hormones that regulate every aspect of our comfort or disease. Fats are not as sexy or interesting as the DNA that regulates reproduction and governs the cells and protein synthesis. Fats are not as easy to understand as the carbohydrate sugars that we burn for energy. But every cell and all of the nervous system depend on the fatty acids. These are also called lipids and phospholipids are the structure of every cell membrane. The cell membrane is the city gate of trillions of walled individual city states in every living thing. The city wall with its tribute and taxation gates, import and export regulation portals, and all the daily regulation of life inside is where the rubber meets the road. DNA and protein transcription may be important distant legal regulators and architects but the minute-to-minute intense traffic of hormones, nutrients and waste products across the cell membrane is the respiration of life.
Any alteration of the delicately balanced and refined structure of the cell membrane impacts daily life and metabolism in an incredibly powerful way. If the function of the cell nucleus and DNA may be compared to the Supreme Court's rulings then the cell membrane's function would be traffic regulation. Even if landmark Supreme Court decisions like Roe V. Wade were reversed, the direct effect on the daily lives of most people would not be affected for months or years. But suddenly change the color scheme of traffic lights from red, yellow, and green to beige, chartreuse, and purple and millions of people would be devastated immediately. Any change in the mixture, proportion, and makeup of the fatty acids that make up trillions of cell membranes would be equally devastating.
Essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the human body. That is why they are called "essential". In addition to forming the structure of cell membranes these essential fatty acids are also the precursors of steroids and other powerful regulatory hormones that affect every aspect of our lives from obesity to sex drive to appetite to heat regulation. The two most important fatty acids that we must eat because we cannot make them are the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Animal fat and naturally occurring fats in butter and eggs contain both of these in a natural proportion. But vegetable and plant oils have far more of the Omega-6 form than our bodies could ever really use. Omega-6 fat is an otherwise harmless essential fatty acid as long as it is combined with Omega-3 in a proportion of about three parts Omega-6 for every one part Omega-3. Once all the Omega-3 has been all used up in the production of cell membranes etc. the excess Omega-6 cannot be used properly. Some of the excess Omega-6 gets inappropriately built into cell membranes deforming and diminishing the normal function of every cell in the body. To prevent this from proceeding any further, the excess Omega-6 fatty acids have to be disposed of and dismantled into shorter carbon chains. Every daughter product from the metabolic breakdown of Omega-6 fatty acids is a precursor or direct cause of inflammation. These inflammatory mediators may generally be lumped into the category of "evil humors" and include such things as thromboxanes, kallikreins, bradykinin, cytokines, leukotrienes, and various other harmful molecules. Excess consumption of artificially processed plant oils with too much Omega-6 is the most likely source of all inflammatory conditions including cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, headaches, irritable bowel disease, rashes, allergies, and a host of other "itis's".
Artificially processed plant oils were substituted for animal fat with the best of intentions and based on incomplete scientific data that illogically attributed a danger to cholesterol that was not real. Now that we have effectively legislated animal fat, lard, tallow and other naturally occurring fats out of our diet simply because they contain cholesterol, we are left with those glistening pure amber bottles of vegetable oil with the wrong proportions that force feed us too much Omega-6. It is now very difficult to find any bakery, restaurant, or food product that is not made with vegetable oils in place of butter or animal fat.
Imagine a building contractor constructing the reinforced concrete walls of a large office building with five times the needed reinforcing steel bars arriving every day. The first priority would be disposing of all the unnecessary rebar. Artful incorporation of more rebar than the original design called for would be inevitable. The very same thing takes place at the cellular level when too much Omega-6 fatty acids arrive all the time for the available Omega-3 components of every cell membrane in the large office building we call the human body.
Vegetable oils like canola, corn, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, and other modern substitutes for animal fat were not available until the turn of the twentieth century. High pressure steel rollers, hexane extraction and hydrocarbon cracking techniques with high pressure filtration had to be developed before plant oils could be extracted economically. The growth of the hydrocarbon industry and the development of knowledge on how to manipulate and alter the consistency of oils into the paste forms of Crisco and margarine by hydrogenation occurred in the first two decades of the Twentieth Century. The popularity of these new low-cholesterol spreads and oils exploded after World War II in the post-war medical research boom that wrongly implicated cholesterol as the culprit in cardiovascular disease. The increase in inflammatory conditions, cancer and heart disease has paralleled the move to supposedly healthier diets laced with Omega-6, and is a consequence of our own presumption that God's dietary advice was insufficient.

Omega is the final letter in the Greek Alpha-bet and it is mentioned in Revelation where Jesus says He is the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end". Omega-6 is a technical biochemical term describing the structure of a class of fatty acid carbon chains called eicosenoids. "Eicoso" is Greek for the number 20. An icosahedron is a soccer-ball with 20 sides. Eicosenoids are carbon chains that are about 20 carbons long. If all of the hydrogen that can be attached is present on a chain, the carbon chain is said to be saturated with hydrogen. If a hydrogen atom is removed then the carbon atoms are no longer joined together by a single bond. The bond that had held the hydrogen in place now is shifted to the two carbon atoms making a double bond. If there are two or more unsaturated double bonds in the chain it is said to be "polyunsaturated", hence the term in health-food literature. When the double, or unsaturated bond occurs 3 carbons from the Omega-end carbon it is called "Omega-3". A double bond that is 6 carbons from the end of the chain is an "Omega-6". If the double bond is located 9 carbon atoms from the end it is called Omega-9 and this form is found in olive oil. It is important to note that olive oil with Omega-9 formation is not an essential fatty acid and has no detrimental effects and has always been safe to eat.

Despite all the high-tech research and complexities of medical Greek terminology, the basic cause of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, strokes, poor circulation, allergic reactions and many other diseases may be very easily understood. Since all of the plant oils are modern inventions we must reset our thinking back to the days of our founding fathers in an agricultural age. All things modern and new are not bad, but some bad side effects of modern technology have crept in quietly like inflammatory wolves in healthy sheep's clothing. It is not necessary to memorize hundreds of facts and antidotes to prevent or reverse the damage from excess Omega-6 fatty acid consumption. All that you need to ask is what would my great grandma have eaten? Or better yet, what would Jesus have eaten? When a computer system is damaged by a virus that programs it to wrong thinking, it may be rectified by restoring the system to an earlier date before the errors were introduced. As a culture in our industrialization we need to do a system restoration back to a time before we were fooled into thinking our wisdom in selecting food could be superior to our Creator's. After all, we have always had a problem selecting food ever since our very first parents ate the forbidden fruit from that tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The simple memory aid of the biblical significance of the numbers 3 and 6 will help keep things simple. Three is the number of the Trinity, the composition of body, soul and spirit, the completeness of time, space and matter, height width and depth, past present and future. Three is the complete goodness of Omega-3. Six is the number of man who was made on the 6th day and whose number in Revelation is 666. Omega-6 is bad in excess without the balance of the Trinity of Omega-3. Since Omega-6 excess from plant oils is everywhere in almost all processed foods in modern supermarkets and restaurants and cannot be completely avoided, consumption of more Omega-3 oils in the form of fish oil can compensate for some of the excess Omega-6. The three fishermen, Peter, James and John are a poetic way to remember which oil is healing, and which Omega is good.

A surprising thing happens when the essential fatty acids are brought back into their natural balance. Weight loss even in obese diabetics begins to happen with ease. Arthritis disappears, and walking becomes possible. Inflammation ceases inside arteries and as the war winds down the need for cholesterol bandages decreases. As cholesterol levels drop the old cholesterol plaques give up some of their dead layers of cholesterol and the arteries partially return to normal size and better flexibility, lowering blood pressure. The scarring of the arteries will always remain, but should not get worse. Lowered blood pressure permits the heart to beat easier and decreases congestive heart failure. The GI tract begins to return to normal absorptive capacity and vital nutrients and vitamins are once again made available to the rest of the body. Immune function returns to pre-war stability and peace reigns in the body.
The regimen that is used by those who have had the most consistent improvement is listed below. It is important to follow this regimen and not add any additional health food, or other supplements and to avoid any health product that contains better or additional ingredients like flaxseed or flaxseed oil which is actually full of Omega-6. Most of the health food and dietary literature is turning out to be mistaken, so be careful.
Avoid all modern artificial plant oils: Peanuts & peanut oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, soy oil, corn oil, margarine and Crisco. Replace these with butter, tallow, lard, and other animal fats. Avoid all the deep-fried food like doughnuts and fried chicken, all chips and French fries unless they have been made with animal fats. Avoid chicken, fish, and turkey that have been corn-fed since these species can concentrate Omega-6 fatty acids from the corn. Wild-caught fish and truly free range fowl and poultry do not have the high concentrations of Omega-6 fatty acids in their flesh that industrial farming and corn feeding produce. Beef, pork , and lamb have safe proportions of essential fatty acids.
It is very important to remember that Omega-6 fatty acids are not poisons any more than mankind whose number is 6 is unredeemable. Omega-6 like mankind is made complete and whole only when combined in proper proportion with Omega-3. Our corrupted sinful nature is corrected and made whole by the Trinity of the Father's direction, the Son's redemption, and the help, comfort and anointing of the Holy Spirit's oil of gladness.

Regimen to restore healthy proportions of fatty acids

Omega-3 fish oil gel capsules 1000 mg #5 with each meal
Magnesium with meals
Cinnamon, 2 or 3 capsules with meals (especially for diabetics)
Vitamin B 100 once daily
(Sublingual B12, B6, & Folate from for some people)
Centrum Silver (it has no vitamin K for those on Coumadin) once daily
Vitamins need to be fresh

KimMore information may be obtained from a National Institutes of Health website archives here/. At this site there is a box in the lower left of the screen is a box that reads, "Download a personal interactive computer-aided food choice program". Download KIM (Keep It Managed) in a ZIP file format to your desktop. Unzip this file and run KIM by clicking on the KIM-2.exe file buried in the unzipped files. You must have PowerPoint to run this program. There are menus and tutorials in this very simple program that may save your life if you take the time to do this.

The revolutionary way of looking at the most common diseases in our culture we have presented here is a rough framework and is not intended to be used without an experienced medical guide with advanced training and experience in the medical sciences. Share this information with your doctors and take their advice seriously. Remember that Jesus sent the lepers he healed back to their doctors, the Levites, for their approval. Not all diseases will respond to simple dietary changes, and some diseases that often respond may have progressed too far to be reversed. Remember that nobody gets off this planet alive and death is a certainty. It is suffering and disease that we seek to remedy until death. Dr. Albert Sabin, the polio vaccine pioneer often spoke of "dying in good health".
These thoughts are offered as an additional resource and are not intended to replace any current therapies. Do not discontinue any medication without first getting the approval of the doctor or doctors that are prescribing them. Anti-cholesterol medications, anti-hypertension medications, insulin, and other hypoglycemic medications as well as thyroid and other hormones should never be changed or discontinued without scientific and laboratory confirmation and the approval of your physician. Health is more than diet, exercise and medicines.

"May you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers." III John 2
2006 Charles J. Thurston, MD
1st Opinion, 13316 Marietta Rd., Kingston, Ohio 45644, (740) 701-1437,

Romans 8:22

This quartet was described in Latin by Galen, the personal physician of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius as Calor, Dolor, Rubor, and Edema.

Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13

Revelation 13:18

Because pork is so similar to human flesh and has an association with increased levels of homocysteine, an artery irritant, and common allergic reactions to pork this is not a first choice for everyone. We will not address the possible theological objections here except to refer to Acts 10:11-17 especially for gentiles.



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