But do consumers really need to be concerned about eating meat they buy at the grocery stores?
The group analyzed 2011 data recently released by the U.S. government and found 81 percent of ground turkey and 55 percent of ground beef sold in supermarkets carried antibiotic-resistant strands of salmonella and Campylobacter. Together these bacteria cause 3.6 million cases of food poisoning a year. More than half of all chicken sampled carried antibiotic-resistant E. coli.
Almost 90 percent of all store bought meat also had signs of normal and resistant Enterococcus faecium – a bacteria that indicates the product came in contact with fecal matter at some point during or after processing.
Even if the idea of a little diarrhea or a urinary tract infection does not faze you (both of which can be caused by E. coli), the problem is that as strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more commonplace in our lives, the less we are able to use the drugs to treat common human diseases.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and 11 other government departments including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health reported in 2012:
Antimicrobial resistance (AR) is not a new phenomenon; however, the current magnitude of the problem and the speed with which new resistance phenotypes have emerged elevates the public health significance of this issue…. Since their discovery, antimicrobials have been used extensively in livestock and poultry for the treatment, control, and/or prevention of animal diseases, as well as for production purposes… The impact of increases in resistant bacteria in food animals on the management of human infections is an ongoing concern as many classes of antimicrobials used in food-producing animals have analogues to human therapeutics and are therefore capable of selecting for similar resistance phenotypes.
What the CDC report did not mention is that many involved in the livestock industry like the American Meat Institute, the International Egg Commission, and the Animal Health Institute (whose membership includes Bayer, Merck, and Mars) reject these concerns. They also hold enormous power over legislators and committee members.
In other words, if we continue to buy these meats, it is likely industry will continue to use antibiotics to raise animals. But by doing so, we will put our own health, and the health of the global population, at risk.
So how to stay away from these contaminated meats?
Yes, you could cook the hell out of your hamburger to keep you and your family safe from contamination.
But you could also eat better raised meat (and less of it).
An estimated 8.9 billion animals a year are raised in confinement where cramped conditions, a lack of exercise (or fresh air), and high stress environment necessitate the use of antibiotics. These animals are also fed “subtherapeutic” doses of the drugs in their feed to promote faster growth and to make them susceptible to the rampant diseases caused by jamming too many animals into one facility.
Alternately, if you purchase organic meats or those raised without antibiotics, bacteria has not had the exposure to the drugs to develop resistance. Less cramped conditions also mean less disease, and processing only a few animals at a time allows for more care and less contamination of meats. Several stores, like Whole Foods, have a great selection of meats raised without any antibiotics. (See this infographic and post for more information on where to buy meats raised without antibiotics.)
Or, you could stop eating meat.
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For an unapologetic capitalist, it’s particularly frustrating when an allegedly pro-capitalist politician lacks the intellectual ammunition to adequately defend the free market. Concessions to statist opponents provide the illusion that statists have the moral upper hand. This is especially self-defeating when a politician — a successful capitalist in his private life who should recognize the dangers of statist principles — is reduced to merely quibbling over good and bad applications of an inherently pernicious principle.
Mitt Romney was just such a politician in the last election.
While arguing against the hyper-regulation embodied in Obamacare and Dodd-Frank during the first presidential debate, Romney simultaneously conceded: “I mean, you have to have regulations so that you can have an economy work. Every free economy has good regulation.”
Notice that no indication of what constitutes “good regulation” is given, nor is any moral or political justification provided. It is simply asserted. Despite the fact that regulation has harmful consequences for business, as Romney rightly observed in his answer, he still planted his feet firmly in the political middle ground of “good regulation”. Romney even went one step further and declared regulations necessary for a “free economy.”
Let’s first consider this concession to central planning with a thought experiment.
Imagine that before you wrote a letter, an internet post, a book, gave a speech, or any other form of exercising your right to free speech, you first had to run the content by a bevy of government bureaucracies.
The Department of Defamation or the Bureau of Inciting Violence would examine the content to cull out those particular unprotected uses of speech. Or worse, the government would screen out what should be protected speech under the 1st Amendment, using such agencies as the National Institute of Hateful and Offensive Speech and the Obscenity Administration.
At the cost of your time and money, the government would be playing prosecutor before you ever published a word.
Any serious defender of free speech would rebel at such a prospect. SCOTUS has consistently held that prior restraints on free speech are the “essence of censorship” and generally void as a matter of law (see, e.g., Near v. Minnesota).
To hold prior restraints as valid is an inversion of the basic American principle of innocent until proven guilty. The government would be holding the speaker as guilty, and the speaker would bear the burden of proving himself innocent — before even a word was spoken or published.
This 1st Amendment example broadly captures the essence of objective law vs. regulation; namely, the protection of one’s freedom to act vs. the necessity of gaining the government’s permission before one is allowed to act.
Economic regulation is directly analogous to prior restraints on free speech. Just as a preliminary injunction on free speech holds one guilty before a word has been spoken, economic regulations constitute prior restraints on commerce whereby the businessman must first prove his innocence before he is allowed to engage in commerce.
For some reason, prior restraints on right to property are not only not given parallel treatment, but are considered necessary for a “free economy” — by an alleged defender of the free market no less. Since the Left despises private property and thinks profit is made by poisoning and harming customers, businessmen are treated as guilty until they prove themselves innocent before a phalanx of government bureaucracies, such as the FDA, EPA, SEC, OSHA, ATF, and on and on.
Yet, nobody thinks to ask why the marketplace for ideas has not collapsed without concomitant bureaucracies strangling free speech with prior restraints?
If a customer is negligently or intentionally harmed by the actions of a business, criminal and civil liability exists under the law — just as it does for unprotected speech, such as defamation and inciting violence. However, while prior restraints on free speech are regarded as tantamount to censorship under the 1st and 14th Amendments, no consideration is given to the oppression prior restraints have on the use and disposition of one’s property, even though the right to property is similarly protected under the 5th and 14th Amendments.
Much is made, quite rightly, of the “chilling effects” prior restraints have on free speech and the marketplace for ideas, but nary a second thought is given to the “chilling effects” economic regulations have on the marketplace for goods and services.
According to the Small Business Administration, the total cost of regulations in 2008 was $1.75 trillion dollars. In other words, over 13% of the U.S. economy is chewed up just so services can be delivered, or just to get goods on the shelves.
Advocates of economic regulation will claim that regulation is a necessary cost of doing business and will reduce the costs of harm created by businesses. Let’s dig a little deeper into that claim.
In the case of free speech, one of the “chilling effects” is that one may not exercise his right due to the prohibitive legal costs in having to prove his innocence. Indeed, the same is true for business development and innovation. For instance, consider that the average cost of getting a new drug past the FDA is $1.3 billion dollars, and can be as much as $11 billion dollars.
How many live-saving and life-enhancing drugs are never developed because of the prohibitive cost of regulation? How many other products are never produced because of the capital wasted in complying with government edicts, which would otherwise be put to productive enterprises? The number is inestimable. And this is just one product market.
Classical economist Frederic Bastiat referred to this phenomenon as “the seen, and the unseen”. The “seen” being the allegedly prevented harms, the “unseen” being the development of new life-enhancing technologies that were never undertaken because of the prohibitive cost of regulation.
Just as a prior restraint on speech may “freeze” information for a period of time and render that information moot — such as uncovering a crime that is about to happen — so too does economic regulation “freeze” the benefits of new products. In this study, it was found that delays in FDA approval of drugs approved elsewhere in the world resulted in over 200,000 deaths over a thirty year period. Again, one product market.
What of the claim that regulation keeps us “safe”? Not only do FDA-approved drugs kill 106,000 people per year, but the increased FDA regulations in 1962 increased the number of deaths — due to increased delays and expenditures — by a 4:1 margin over the allegedly live-saving benefits of the new regulations, according to this study.
This last study brings up an important question that advocates of regulation need to answer: if regulation allegedly prevents harm, then why do harms such as death increase with increasing regulation?
While the U.S. has never had a completely unregulated free market, one cannot deny that regulation retards economic growth — within an industry, across industries, or across countries. Makes sense, as individual producers and consumers are best able to judge what is in their mutual self-interests, not government bureaucrats in a distant capital.
But this is not primarily a cost/benefit analysis. The essential issue is an individual’s moral and constitutionally-protected right to the possession, use, and disposal of property. The goal of statists is to condition individuals to placidly accept paying tribute to the government for the privilege of exercising their inalienable rights.
When an allegedly pro-capitalist presidential candidate concedes that such an assault on private property is necessary for a “free economy”, you know the statists have achieved their goal.
Attacks on free speech are more transparent, but once sundry statists condition individuals to beg for government permission, censorship of free speech is a fait accompli — set up by first destroying the right to property.
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This is what real salt looks like—we all know what regular white salt looks like—and we mistakenly think it is real salt when it is not. The fact is that refined white salt, such as commercial table salt is bad, very bad stuff. Unrefined natural salt on the other hand is good, very good stuff providing many health benefits.
Unrefined sea salt is healthy. The blood-pressure-raising effect of table salt can be due to its high content of sodium with not enough magnesium to balance it. This has a magnesium-lowering effect that can constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure. Real salt (of various kinds) contains plenty of magnesium and other important minerals, which is why it usually does not affect blood pressure in a negative way.
Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels for nerve signaling. Some sodium is needed in your body to regulate fluids and blood pressure, and to keep muscles and nerves running smoothly.
Without appropriate amounts of sodium, your body may have a difficult time cooling down after intense exercise or activity. When the body is hot, you sweat. If you do not have enough sodium, your body may not sweat as much and you may then become overheated. This could result in a stroke or exhaustion as well as dehydration.
Sodium is an energy carrier. It is also responsible for sending messages from the brain to muscles through the nervous system so that muscles move on command. When you want to move your arm or contract any muscle in your body, your brain sends a message to a sodium molecule that passes it to a potassium molecule and then back to a sodium molecule etc., etc., until it gets to its final destination and the muscle contracts. This is known as the sodium-potassium ion exchange. Therefore, without sodium, you would never be able to move any part of your body.
Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine. Most of the sodium in the body (about 85%) is found in blood and lymph fluid. Sodium levels in the body are partly controlled by a hormone called aldosterone, which is made by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone levels determine whether the kidneys hold sodium in the body or pass it into the urine.
Dr. David Brownstein weighs in heavily on this matter saying, “Nobody makes a distinction between unrefined and refined salt. They ‘lump’ all salt together as a bad substance. This is a terrible mistake. There are two forms of salt available in the market place: refined and unrefined. Refined salt has had its minerals removed and has been bleached to give it the white appearance that we are accustomed to seeing with salt. It is the fine, white salt that is available at almost any restaurant or grocery store. Refined salt has been bleached and exposed to many toxic chemicals in order to get it to its final product. It has aluminum, ferrocyanide, and bleach in it. I believe this refining process has made it a toxic, devitalized substance that needs to be avoided.”
“Unrefined salt, on the other hand,” Brownstein continues, “has not been put through a harsh chemical process. It contains the natural minerals that were originally part of the product. Its mineral content gives it a distinct color. The colors of unrefined salt can vary depending on where it is taken from. This is due to the changing mineral content of the various brands of salt. It is the minerals in unrefined salt that provide all the benefits of this product. The minerals supply the body with over 80 trace elements needed to maintain and sustain health. Furthermore, the minerals elevate the pH (correct acidity) and lower blood pressure. Our maker gave us salt to use in our diet—unrefined salt—with its full complement of minerals. It should be the salt of choice. It is a vital ingredient that needs to be part of everyone’s diet.”
In addition to sodium and chloride, Celtic Sea Salt® provides other nutrients that naturally occur in salt beds, including trace amounts of calcium, magnesium potassium, iron and zinc.
In accordance with standards set by The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, independent analysis indicates that levels of heavy metals are non-detectable (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, mercury) or well below published safe limits in Celtic Sea Salt®. Perhaps most importantly, Celtic Sea Salt® is not exposed to refinement and bleaching used to manufacture typical table salt and there are no additives. Celtic Sea Salt® is harvested from the ocean using the sun, the wind and shallow clay ionizing ponds, a method passed down through the generations.
Many Americans over consume refined salt by eating processed foods, fast foods and canned foods with salt added. Celtic Sea Salt® is a good alternative as part of a healthier diet. Recommended use is a half teaspoon per day.
Himalayan crystal salt that is mined 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan mountain range was subject to enormous pressure over millions of years and is over 99% pure. The higher the amount of pressure the more superior or excellent the state of order within the crystalline structure of salt. Many Himalayan salts are sold cheaply but are collected from higher up near the tops of the Himalayan Mountains instead of from the deeper mines. These salts contain more impurities, do not have the same structure and are not as easily assimilable by the body.
Himalayan salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements in ionic state and is a delightful pink color. People often state that they use less of this salt than of other types. Many sizes are available from 3 oz in a salt grinder to larger 1-kg bags (2.2 lb). Salt chunks are also available for making your own “sole,” which is a saturated solution of purified water with Himalayan salt. A specific recipe (see below) must be followed to make sole and results in a solution that has much less sodium than just adding salt to water would have. Daily use of sole is believed to stimulate the peristalsis of the digestive organs, balance the stomach acid, support the production of digestive fluids in the liver and pancreas, regulate the metabolism and harmonize the acid-alkaline balance.
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Fragments of a 1.5-million-year-old skull from a child recently found in Tanzania suggest early hominids weren’t just occasional carnivores but regular meat eaters, researchers say.
The finding helps build the case that meat-eating helped the human lineage evolve large brains, scientists added.
“I know this will sound awful to vegetarians, but meat made us human,” said researcher Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, an archaeologist at Complutense University in Madrid.
Past research suggested prehuman hominids such as australopithecines may have eaten some meat. However, it is the regular consumption of meat that often is thought to have triggered major changes in the human lineage, the genus Homo, with this high-energy food supporting large human brains.
Given its importance to human evolution, scientists want to learn when eating flesh became a regular activity. Stone tools dating back about 2.6 million years to Gona in Ethiopia are often considered the earliest signs of the human lineage butchering meat, and contentious evidence suggests butchery may have existed at least 3.4 million years ago. “Despite this ample evidence, some archaeologists still argue that meat was eaten sporadically and played a minor role in the diet of those hominins,” Domínguez-Rodrigo said. (Hominins include humans and their relatives after they split from the chimpanzee lineage.)
Now shards of a child’s skull found in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania suggest the infant suffered from a form of malnutrition seen in meat-poor diets. This hints that meat-eating was normally a regular part of the human diet at the time. [10 Things That Make Humans Special]
The skull fragment is thought to belong to a child somewhat younger than 2. It remains unclear what hominin it belonged to — likely candidates include extinct human species such as Homo habilis or Homo erectus, or perhaps the “Nutcracker Man” Paranthropus boisei.
The kind of bone lesions the researchers saw in this fossil are known as porotic hyperostosis, which typically results from a lack of vitamins B9 and B12 in the diet. This kind of nutritional deficiency is most common at weaning, when children switch to solid foods. The researchers suggested this particular infant died because of lack of meat, which is rich in B-vitamins. Alternatively, if the child still depended on the mother for milk, it may have been the mother who lacked meat.
These findings suggest that “human brain development could not have existed without a diet based on regular consumption of meat,” Domínguez-Rodrigo said. “Regular consumption of meat at that time implied that humans were hunters by then. Scavenging only rarely provides access to meat and is only feasible in African savannas on a seasonal basis.”
However, there are other potential causes for porotic hyperostosis besides malnourishment, such as malaria or parasites. “Basically, anything that correlates with low red-cell count — either due to an infection of the blood or blood loss, or nutritional insufficiency — can cause the marrow of the skull to ramp up its production massively, causing the hyperostosis,” said paleoanthropologist John Hawks at the University of Wisconsin, who did not take part in this study.
Still, Hawks noted that Domínguez-Rodrigo and his colleagues took alternative explanations for these bone lesions into account and were reasonably cautious in their interpretation of this data. “This is an interesting addition to what we know,” Hawks told LiveScience.
Now, Domínguez-Rodrigo said, “research should try to find out how humans were acquiring meat regularly. What hunting strategies were used?”
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To put this summary post and, more importantly, this 10-part series in perspective, let’s examine one of the most pervasive pieces of dietary advice given to people worldwide:
“Eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy.”
- T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author of The China Study.
No summary of this length can begin to fully address a topic as comprehensive as cholesterol metabolism and the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In fact, those of us who challenge conventional wisdom often find ourselves needing to do exactly what Frederic Bastiat suggested:
“We must admit that our opponents in this argument have a marked advantage over us. They need only a few words to set forth a half-truth; whereas, in order to show that it is a half-truth, we have to resort to long and arid dissertations.”
So, at the risk of trying to minimize the “long and arid” part of this process, below are the 10 things you need to know to be the judge – for yourself – if the conventional advice about cholesterol is correct.
1. The sine qua non of atherosclerosis is the presence of a sterol in an artery wall. How it gets there is the only thing we should be worrying about.
Contrary to popular belief, atherosclerosis is not caused by many of things we think of, such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol), or low HDL (the so-called “good” cholesterol). Some of these are certainly markers of risk – low HDL, for example – while others accelerate the process – smoking, for example – but none of these are the direct cause of atherosclerosis.
The sine qua non of atherosclerosis is the presence of sterols (cholesterol or phytosterol) in arterial wall macrophages. Sterols are delivered to the arterial wall by the penetration of the endothelium by an apoB-containing lipoprotein, which transport the sterols. In other words, unless an apoB-containing lipoprotein particle violates the border created by an endothelium cell and the layer it protects, the media layer, there is no way atherogenesis occurs. If this is a bit confusing, don’t worry. It’s all made clear below.
2. Cholesterol is vital for life; no cholesterol = no life.
Cholesterol is a 27-carbon molecule shown in the figure below. Each line in this figure represents a bond between two carbon atoms. That’s it. Mystery over.
All this talk about “cholesterol” and most people don’t actually know what it is. So, there you have it. Cholesterol is “just” another organic molecule in our body.
I need to make one distinction that will be very important later. Cholesterol, a steroid alcohol, can be “free” or “unesterified” (“UC” as we say, which stands for unesterified cholesterol) which is its active form, or it can exist in its “esterified” or storage form which we call a cholesterol ester (“CE”). The diagram below shows a free (i.e., UC) molecule of cholesterol. An esterified variant (i.e., CE) would have an “attachment” where the arrow is pointing to the hydroxyl group on carbon #3, aptly named the “esterification site.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that cholesterol is “bad.” This could not be further from the truth. Cholesterol is very good! In fact, there are (fortunately rare) genetic disorders in which people cannot properly synthesize cholesterol. One such disease is Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (also called “SLOS,” or 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase deficiency) which is a metabolic and congenital disorder leading to a number of problems including autism, mental retardation, lack of muscle, and many others.
Cholesterol is absolutely vital for our existence. Every cell in our body is surrounded by a membrane. These membranes are largely responsible for fluidity and permeability, which essentially control how a cell moves, how it interacts with other cells, and how it transports “important” things in and out. Cholesterol is one of the main building blocks used to make cell membranes (in particular, the ever-important “lipid bilayer” of the cell membrane).
Beyond cholesterol’s role in allowing cells to even exist, it also serves an important role in the synthesis of vitamins and steroid hormones, including sex hormones and bile acids. Make sure you take a look at the picture of steroid hormones synthesis and compare it to that of cholesterol (above). If this comparison doesn’t convince you of the vital importance of cholesterol, nothing I say will.
One of the unfortunate results of the eternal need to simplify everything is that we (i.e., the medical establishment) have done the public a disservice by failing to communicate that there is no such thing as “bad” cholesterol or “good” cholesterol. All cholesterol is imperative for life to exist!
The only “bad” outcome is when cholesterol ends up inside of the wall of an artery, most famously the inside of a coronary artery or a carotid artery, AND leads to an inflammatory cascade which results in the obstruction of that artery (make sure you check out the pictures in the links above). When one measures cholesterol in the blood we really do not know the final destination of those cholesterol molecules!
3. The cholesterol we eat has little to do with the cholesterol we measure in our bloodstream.
We ingest (i.e., take in) cholesterol in many of the foods we eat and our body produces (“synthesizes”) cholesterol de novo from various precursors. About 25% of our daily “intake” of cholesterol – roughly 300 to 500 mg – comes from what we eat (called exogenous cholesterol), and the remaining 75% of our “intake” of cholesterol – roughly 800 to 1,200 mg – is made by our body (called endogenous production). To put these amounts in context, consider that total body stores of cholesterol are about 30 to 40 gm (i.e., 30,000 to 40,000 mg) and most of this resides within our cell membranes. Nearly every cell in the body can produce cholesterol, and thus very few cells actually require a delivery of cholesterol. Cholesterol is required by all cell membranes and to produce steroid hormones and bile acids.
Of this “made” or “synthesized” cholesterol, our liver synthesizes about 20% of it and the remaining 80% is synthesized by other cells in our bodies. The synthesis of cholesterol is a complex four-step process (with 37 individual steps) that I will not cover here, but I want to point out how tightly regulated this process is, with multiple feedback loops. In other words, the body works very hard (and very “smart”) to ensure cellular cholesterol levels are within a pretty narrow band (the overall process is called cholesterol homeostasis). Excess cellular cholesterol will crystalize and cause cellular apoptosis (programmed cell death). Plasma cholesterol levels (which is what clinicians measure with standard cholesterol tests) often have little to do with cellular cholesterol, especially artery cholesterol, which is what we really care about. For example, when cholesterol intake is decreased, the body will synthesize more cholesterol and/or absorb (i.e., recycle) more cholesterol from our gut. The way our body absorbs and regulates cholesterol is really amazing, so I want to spend a bit of time discussing it.
- The blue circle in this figure represents something called a Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 protein (NPC1L1). It sits at the apical surface of enterocytes and it promotes active influx (i.e., bringing in) of gut luminal unesterified cholesterol (UC) as well as unesterified phytosterols into the enterocyte. Think of this NPC1L1 as the ticket-taker at the door of the bar (where the enterocyte is the “bar”); he lets most cholesterol (“people”) in. However, NPC1L1 cannot distinguish between cholesterol (“good people”) and phytosterol (“bad people” – for reasons I won’t discuss here) or even too much cholesterol (“too many people”).
- The pink circle in this figure represents a structure called the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters ABCG5 and ABCG8. This structure promotes active efflux (i.e., kicking out) of unesterified sterols (cholesterol and plant sterols – of which over 40 exist) from enterocytes back into the intestinal lumen for excretion. Think of ABCG5/G8 as the bouncer at the bar; he gets rid of the really bad people (e.g., phytosterols, as they serve no purpose in humans) you don’t want in the bar who snuck past the ticket-taker (NPC1L1). Of course, in cases of hyperabsorption (i.e., where the gut absorbs too much of a good thing) they can also efflux out un-needed cholesterol. Along this analogy, once too many “good people” get in the bar, fire laws are violated and some have to go. The enterocyte has “sterol-excess sensors” (a nuclear transcription factor called LXR) that do the monitoring, and these sensors activate the genes that regulate NPC1L1 and ABCG5/G8.
There is another nuance to this, which is where the CE versus UC distinction comes in:
- Only free or unesterified cholesterol (UC) can be absorbed through gut enterocytes. In other words, cholesterol esters (CE) cannot be absorbed because of the bulky side chains they carry.
- Much (> 50%) of the cholesterol we ingest from food is esterified (CE), hence we don’t actually absorb much, if any, exogenous cholesterol (i.e., cholesterol in food).
- Furthermore, most of the unesterified cholesterol (UC) in our gut (on the order of about 85%) is actually of endogenous origin (meaning it was synthesized in bodily cells and returned to the liver), which ends up in the gut via biliary secretion and ultimately gets re-absorbed by the gut enterocyte. The liver is only able to efflux (send out via bile into the gut) UC, but not CE, from hepatocytes (liver cells) to the biliary system. Liver CE cannot be excreted into bile. So, if the liver is going to excrete CE into bile and ultimately the gut, it needs to de-esterify it using enzymes called cholesterol esterolases which can convert liver CE to UC.
4. The cholesterol in our bloodstream has little to do with the cholesterol in our artery walls (i.e., atherosclerosis).
To understand how cholesterol travels around our body requires some understanding of the distinction between hydrophobic and hydrophilic. A molecule is said to be hydrophobic (also called nonpolar) if it repels water, while a molecule is said to be hydrophilic (also called polar) if it attracts water. Think of your veins, arteries, and capillaries as the “waterways” or rivers of your body. Cholesterol is precious “cargo” that needs to move around, but it needs a “boat” to carry it.
The proteins that traffic collections of lipids are called apoproteins. Once bound to lipids they are called apolipoproteins, and the protein wrapped “vehicle” that transports the lipids are called lipoproteins. Many of you have probably heard this term before, but I’d like to ensure everyone really understands their important features. A crucial concept is that, for the most part, lipids go nowhere in the human body unless they are a passenger inside a protein wrapped vehicle called a lipoprotein. As their name suggests, lipoproteins are part lipid and part protein. They are mostly spherical structures which are held together by a phospholipid membrane (which, of course, contains free cholesterol). The figure below shows a schematic of a lipoprotein.
You will also notice variable-sized proteins on the surface of the lipid membrane that holds the structure together. The most important of these proteins are called apolipoproteins, as I alluded to above. The apolipoproteins on the surface of lipoprotein molecules serve several purposes including:
- Assisting in the structural integrity and solubility of the lipoprotein;
- Serving as co-factors in enzymatic reactions;
- Acting as ligands (i.e., structures that help with binding) for situations when the lipoprotein needs to interact with a receptor on a cell.
Apolipoproteins come in different shapes and sizes which determine their “class.” Without getting into the details of protein structure and folding, let me focus on two important classes: apolipoprotein A-I and apolipoprotein B. ApoA-I is the apolipoprotein that wraps HDL particles. ApoB is the apolipoprotein that wraps VLDL, IDL, and LDL particles.
5. The only way sterols end up in artery walls – the one place we don’t want them to be – is if the sterols are carried there by an apoB-containing lipoprotein particle.
So what drives a LDL particle to do something as sinister as to leave the waterway (i.e., the bloodstream) and “illegally” try to park at a dock (i.e., behind an endothelial cell)? Well, it is a gradient driven process which is why particle number is the key driving parameter.
As it turns out, this is probably a slightly less important question than the next one: what causes the LDL particle to stay there? In the parlance of our metaphor, not only do we want to know why the boat leaves the waterway to illegally park in the dock with its precious cargo, but why does it stay parked there? This phenomenon is called “retention” in lipidology-speak.
Finally, if there was some way a LDL particle could violate the endothelium, AND be retained in the space behind the cell (away from the lumen on the side aptly called the sub-endothelial space) BUT not elicit an inflammatory (i.e., immune) response, would it matter?
I don’t know. But it seems that not long after a LDL particle gets into the sub-endothelial space and takes up “illegal” residence (i.e., binds to arterial wall proteoglycans), it is subject to oxidative forces, and as one would expect an inflammatory response is initiated. The result is full blown mayhem. Immunologic gang warfare breaks out and cells called monocytes and macrophages and mast cells show up to investigate. When they arrive and find the LDL particle, they do all they can to remove it. In some cases, when there are few LDL particles, the normal immune response is successful. But, it’s a numbers game. When LDL particle invasion becomes incessant, even if the immune cells can remove some of them, it becomes a losing proposition and the actual immune response to the initial problem becomes chronic and maladaptive and expands into the space between the endothelium and the media.
The multiple-sterol-laden macrophages or foam cells coalesce, recruit smooth muscle cells, induce microvascularization, and before you know it complex, inflamed plaque occurs. Microhemorrhages and microthrombus formations occur within the plaque. Ultimately the growing plaque invades the arterial lumen or ruptures into the lumen inducing luminal thrombosis. Direct luminal encroachment by plaque expansion or thrombus formation causes the lumen of the artery to narrow, which may or may not cause ischemia.
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For the love of the father and of the mother for the child when it has just been born is not like their love for it when it is one year old, and their love for it when it is one year old is not like their love when it is six years old. Consequently if it were left uncircumcised for two or three years, this would necessitate the abandonment of circumcision because of the father’s love and affection for it. – Moses ben Maimon Guide for the Perplexed Part III Chapter 39
It seems that secular humanism in Germany has finally completed its decades-old plan to ruin the moral heritage of our grand United Empires of Earth. How? By ending the genital mutilation of children.
For some, circumcision is a religious concern. For others it’s simple hygiene. It’s well known that the covenant of Judaism is predicated upon the act of circumcision, and a host of other cultures around the world work it into their rites of passage in the most horrendous of ways. For others it was necessary to make it a more universally accepted practice. Therefore, circumcision was medicalised. Some may find it difficult to imagine that Aborigines and African tribes found their genitalia so dirty that they started hacking away at them. Therefore a lot of work has been put into providing “evidence” for circumcision’s effectiveness, ranging from protecting against penile cancer, HIV, and just general dirtiness.
So, you see, though it’s long been understood by the sane men and women of planet Earth that the only way to guarantee a clean, mature, or holy child is to rip the skin off of their most tender of places when they are too young to be able to put up a good fight, this plausible lie might be at its stretching point. Yet it’s easy to see why it has been accepted for so long: who has the bravery to enter the labyrinthine complex surrounding this brutal act and face the monster, within and without, that demands the mutilation of children?
Circumcision started in America during the masturbation hysteria of the Victorian Era, when a few American doctors circumcised boys to punish them for masturbating. Victorian doctors knew very well that circumcision denudes, desensitizes, and disables the penis. Nevertheless, they were soon claiming that circumcision cured epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, elephantiasis, tuberculosis, eczema, bed-wetting, hip-joint disease, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, wet dreams, hernia, headaches, nervousness, hysteria, poor eyesight, idiocy, mental retardation, and insanity.
In fact, no procedure in the history of medicine has been claimed to cure and prevent more diseases than circumcision. As late as the 1970s, leading American medical textbooks still advocated routine circumcision as a way to prevent masturbation. The antisexual motivations behind an operation that entails cutting off part of the penis are obvious.
The idea that ritual circumcision was motivated by concern for health was the invention of nineteenth century doctors. They knew nothing of anthropology, but they were keen to find a respectable ancestry for the new surgical therapy they wanted to introduce. Antiquity, they thought, conferred legitimacy. …The ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1876) discussed the practice as a religious rite among Jews, Moslems, ancient Egyptians and several tribal peoples, rejecting sanitary or hygienic explanations in favour of a religious one:
Like other bodily mutilations … [it is] of the nature of a representative sacrifice. … The principle of substitution was familiar to all ancient nations, and not least to the Israelites. … On this principle circumcision was an economical recognition of the divine ownership of human life, a part of the body being sacrificed to preserve the remainder.
This “economical recognition” is rather interesting, isn’t it? It reminds me of how much money pharmaceutical companies and the medical industry makes off of foreskin: surgeries, clamps, and even selling the foreskin itself for use in cosmetics.
But, on with the story:
By the eleventh edition (1910) the entry has been turned on its head: …suddenly circumcision was primarily a medical procedure and only after that a religious rite. The entry explains that “in recent years the medical profession has been responsible for its considerable extension among other than Jewish children … for reasons of health“. By 1929 the entry is much reduced in size and consists merely of a brief description of the operation, which is “done as a preventive measure in the infant” and “performed chiefly for purposes of cleanliness“; readers are then referred to the entries for “Mutilation” and “Deformation” for a discussion of circumcision in its religious context.
Due largely to the obvious degradation of language, if heaven and hell doesn’t do it for you, you by now “know” what you’re supposed to know; that circumcision is just plain healthy, was all along, and reduces the risk of getting HIV. That is, as long as the researchers don’t complete the random trials that prove it, and are themselves circumcision advocates.
But of course, that’s adult circumcision, so I can hear you say: ‘but babies and children aren’t supposed to be having sex in the first place!’ Tell that to the people in charge of all of the major institutions of the world then. They seem to have no qualms concerning sexual acts with children, and I’m not just talking about the Catholic Church, although a very large spotlight should be shone on the inner workings of that particular institution. They’re all, at the very top, involved in the disgusting business of child abuse. Just check out the Dutroux Affair, or the Franklin Scandal, and you’ll realise why the ‘leaders’ of this world haven’t found the act of male, or female circumcision, where the common people allow it, very objectionable.
So once again they make money off of misery, and the only ‘trickle down’ we get is the reinforcement of pathological ideas. The ideas approved of by the elite are those that are accepted, if only through gritted teeth, by the majority, until the next generation is born and accepts them as their own. In fact, Western civilization has a history of hating the very idea of circumcision (for obvious reasons).
So if we really think those in charge of the mass circumcision movements – the media and all of the major institutions that have shaped this pathological, desensitized, barren landscape – are interested in our well-being, then we haven’t been paying attention at all have we? Further into the labyrinth we wind.
“The bodily pain caused to that member is the real purpose of circumcision. … For if at birth this member has been made to bleed and has had its covering taken away from it, it must indubitably be weakened.” – Moses ben Maimon Guide for the Perplexed Part III Chapter 39
So no matter just how “mutilation” and “deformation” are defended, be it through hygiene or religion, what is the real point behind circumcision? Let’s be blunt! It’s pain! What a novel idea; you hurt someone to inflict pain! The original schizoidal idea was to eliminate sexual immorality, but of course the damage done is much more extensive.
Closely following (and contradicting) the ‘no pain’ story, one frequently encounters the following statement: ‘Alright, maybe it hurts, but it only lasts a moment and they forget about it the minute its over. They’re too young to have any memory of it‘. In fact, the raw surface of the glans may bleed and be painful for several days after the circumcision, so the pain is far from momentary. Further, there is ample evidence that newborns do have some memory of the event, which takes the form, not of conscious remembering, but of a permanent restructuring of the nervous system. The result is an intensification of the behavioural response to subsequent painful stimuli, as though the nervous system has been ‘sensitized’. Thus, for example, Taddio et al. found that pain responses in children being vaccinated were significantly greater in those who had been circumcised (several months previously) than in those who had not. Other studies show that pain experienced in early infancy can disrupt breast-feeding, mother-infant bonding and sleeping patterns.
Not only do newborn babies feel pain, they feel it more intensely, for longer and over a wider area of the body than do older children or adults subjected to the same stimulus. Fitzgerald and her team at University College London, have shown clearly that the nervous system of a newborn baby differs from that of an older child or adult, both anatomically and physiologically, so that what would constitute a light or harmless stimulus to the older child or adult actually produces pain in the newborn. Furthermore, newborns lack the inhibitory or ‘damping down’ mechanisms of the more mature nervous system, so they cannot protect themselves from the experience of pain in the way they could at a later stage.
And if you’re not sick yet, I’m going to ask you to remember that this is real; this is not a dream. The pain of children is of course the entire point, but we’ve been so conditioned to believe in our officials and traditions (and by we I mean all of us, mentally emotionally and physically via diet) that we can’t see what’s staring us right in the face! Because we can’t really have everyone thinking that we’ve been led to purposefully mutilate children in order to hurt them, we must be told that we’re saving them from a life of sin, or disease, etc. And it’s repeated enough that people believe it. We have to accept that lie, otherwise…what kind of a creature would trick a tribe, then a society, then a continent into doing this? We’d have to face what’s at the center of this labyrinth without substituting happy thoughts for cold, dark reality; we act out the world view of psychopaths by brutalizing our children as soon as they enter this world. The pain that their body experiences at such a formative stage is likely encoded in them for the rest of their lives, controlling them through fear and suffering. We cripple children when all they reach out for is affection. They ask for love and we give them the blade.
So any denial over this subject is likely due to our need to be right and feel safe, because then our virus-like civilization is right, and we can continue to deny the death-dealing reality that has grown up as a consequence of our abundant ignorance, all around us. But we’re not right. We are so wrong that we can hear the death knell if we listen, and before long we will see its effects.
So when I hear that the Conference of European Rabbis calls the end of circumcisionin Germany “the worst attack on Jewish life since the Holocaust,” I no longer wonder what the hell kind of a world they’re living in that they can possibly say something so heinous, painting themselves as the victims in an act that strips the flesh off of week old babies, selectively interpreting their own religion in favor of genital mutilation. I know that they’re the walking dead, crying for blood. I don’t need a random control study for that.
In Judaism there is a law of ‘Shmirat Ha Guf’, the guarding or protecting of the body. Body-piercing, tattooing and amputation are all forbidden for this reason. Further, there is the Talmudic concept of ‘Tsa’ar ba’alei chayyim’, compassion for all living creatures. If compassion in all its fullness were applied to 8-day-old babies, circumcision would become impossible.
So to come back out of that labyrinth, I don’t need anyone to tell me that it’s been “proven” or “disproven” in a randomly controlled trial that children should not have their bits amputated in the name of any ancient tribal religion that we don’t belong to and has no one’s best interest at heart. I can think for myself, thank you.
I know that infants feel pain. And as they grow, I know that the pain persists when they’re restrained in desks for hour after hour awaiting the ding of a bell, only switching from one indoctrination chamber to another, feverishly avoiding the bullying on the bus and the distant, stressful home life that awaits them.
I know that children feel pain when they’re sent off to die for the objectives of the richest of society. I know how desperate they are for money, for social standing, for meaning in their lives. So desperate, in fact, that if they survive, or avoid war, they’ll end up dragging the ball and chain of debt for the rest of their adult lives.
I know that children feel pain when they are molested for “scientific progress” by the same types of psychopaths that have sought complete power for so many generations. And I know that so few seem to care, that it is likely that this opinion may become extinct the day those who hold it pass on.
And I know that anything that threatens the integrity of our bodies threatens the integrity of our planet and vice versa. These are lessons learned too late. But they’re still lessons learned, for me. How about you?
I don’t buy into the religious BS or the hygiene BS. They’re both based on corruption, the kind of corruption that comes from pathological people in power using any means possible to exert control over others.
So, unlike the countless others who are channeling their money into the German court battle to insure the time-proven tradition of the psychopathic elite to enjoy their new generation of mutilated children, I’ll be using that truly divine part of me to think for myself and choose the best for myself and my family. This psychopathic system be damned, and the ideologies that it’s built on. I’d rather face the terror of reality than mutilate either my son or my daughter. Trust me, it will never happen.