Cholesterol Is Not the Culprit: A Guide to Preventing Heart Disease
Fred A. Kummerow, PhD with Jean M. Kummerow, PhD
At one hundred years of age, Fred Kummerow is still going strong! For decades he has researched the subject of trans fats and heart disease at the Burnsides Laboratories of the University of Illinois. Much of what we know about the dangers of trans fats can be attributed to Kummerow, whose research Mary Enig quoted when she began her crusade against these nasty industrial products.
It’s industrial fats and oils, not cholesterol and natural saturated fats, that cause heart disease and Kummerow delineates the fruits of his decades of labor in this short volume. Kummerow explains how both hardened trans fats and rancid liquid oils lead to a train of biochemical events that result in hardened arteries. What hardens the arteries is not cholesterol but calcium, which is built into the endothelial cells under certain conditions, namely the consumption of industrial fats and oils, along with nutrient deficiencies.
Kummerow is particularly critical of efforts to lower cholesterol. He points out that by taking drugs to lower cholesterol, the capacity to make new cells needed by our bodies is diminished. Normal cholesterol in our food and bodies is not the culprit, but oxidized cholesterol—created by polyunsaturated oils and encouraged in diets low in protein, natural fat, vitamin D, B vitamins and magnesium, is the villain in the process that leads to hardened arteries and heart disease.
Kummerow is a product of conventional training and misses some of the finer points brought up by students of traditional diets. Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see such logical thinking coming from this source. His chapter on protein is especially good, and in fact was published in an earlier issue of Wise Traditions. Thumbs UP for this book and a big thank you to Fred Kummerow for his service to mankind!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2014