|The Price Of A|
( Fat IsToxic )
Editor's Note: Due to nationwide interest in weight loss and fat,
we have decided to print a copy of Dr. Brocato's outline of a
talk he gave recently (April 8, 2004) at a meeting of the Golden
Triangle Chapter of the Medical Transcriptionists' Association.
The U.S. is Big ... and getting bigger. In 2001,
one in five U.S. adults were "obese." This extrapolates to
approximately 45 million people. But twice as many fall in the
next category, "overweight." The most active and trim segment of
the population is now also too heavy -- some 15 percent of the
- Fat is Toxic and obesity is now considered a major health
problem. As people get fatter, they become more prone to a host
of chronic diseases -- including
The problem is more than aesthetic, especially in U. S.
residents under 60 years old. These people experience weight-
fostered back injury, other musculoskeletal problems and
diabetes. The largest rise in obesity■related disabling injuries
and illnesses are people aged 30 to 49 years old. Lost wages and
productivity further compound obesity's toll.
- atherosclerosis, and
- Mechanisms By Which Fat Makes People Sick.
Scientists are homing in on inflammation as a cause in
diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. But what causes or
triggers the tissue irritation that "plumping" up can damage the
- Ongoing studies now suggest that getting fat increases
the macrophages in abundance in fatty tissue. Macrophages are
cells in the body's immune system and are not typically
associated with fat. Macrophages appear to be a primary sources
of chemicals sparking inflammation in fat and beyond. One
inflammatory substance that fat or adipose tissue spews out when
in excess is tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a). This inflammatory
chemical can trigger insulin resistance.
- These macrophages secrete chemicals that create an
inflammatory response, and this causes an even bigger response by
calling up an immune response, involving T- and B-cells. But
herein lies the problem, there is no infection nor injury that
should originally call up the macrophages. So, as one gets
fatter, more and more macrophages actually are found in fat
cells, a spot which scientists had originally thought didn't
harbor macrophages, other than a few.
- It appears that as animals get obese, macrophages move
into fat tissue in larger and larger numbers and start spewing
potentially dangerous amounts of inflammatory compounds. And as
more individuals consume more foods or energy than they burn,
that energy fattens them more. Their adipocytes or fat cells
become gorged with fat and start leaking fat out through tears in
the cell membrane, or the cells actually break open. When this
happens, the macrophage clean-up crew swoops in to sop up the
material released and thus begins the inflammatory response,
generating the immune response with all the eventual chronic
illness attached to the inflammation. That is the mechanism of
"How Fat is Toxic to Your Health," but there is more to it.
(Science News, "Inflammatory Fat"; February 28, 2004 Vol. 165;
- Pot Belly
"People with abdominal obesity appear to be at much greater
risk of stroke or heart attack than people with peripheral fat
deposits." This is the typical "Pot Belly" we see quite often in
men; yet, a number of women have this type of fat distribution
also. This is easily understood by comparing an APPLE to a PEAR.
Generally, women who are overweight have the "pear" shape rather
than the typical "apple" shape. The pear shape has fat
distribution on the limbs and gluteal portions of the body --
peripheral fat deposits.
- The easiest way to determine increased risk for
myocardial infarction or stroke: (Measure the waist, then measurethe hips, and divide the waist measurement by the hip
measurement. Example: if a woman's waist size = 32 inches, and
her hip size = 42 inches, her waist-to-hip ratio would be 32/42 =
- Waist-to-hip ratio: Ratios over 1.0 in men (3 to 5 fold increase risk)
- Waist-to-hip ratio: Ratios over 0.8 in women (3 to
5 fold increase risk)
- Also women have five-fold the risk for higher
triglycerides, increased glucose levels, increased blood
pressure, and increased prevalence of diabetes compared to other
women with just peripheral fat deposits--limb fat (gluteal, arms
and legs), the "pear" shaped woman. These measurements have a
significant impact on prognosis. And even among patients who
aren't clinically obese by standard measurements, linear
increases in the Waist-to-Hip Ratio correlate with increased risk
of stroke and heart attack. This was given in Medical World News,
February 11, 1985. It took fourteen years before scientists knew
why. In Science News, Vol. 155, #18, May 1, 1999, it was reported
that obesity may trigger chronic inflammation.
- The mechanism by which this occurs involves
cytokines, chemical messengers between immune cells. These cells
produce IL-6 (interleukin-6), TNF-a, and others. However, fat--
especially, it appears, abdominal fat, produces IL-6, and we now
know TNF-a. These chemical substances, along with interleukin-1B,
get into the blood stream; travel to the liver, and there cause
the liver to spew out C-Reactive Protein, an acute-phase protein
generated by an acute-phase response of IL-1, IL-6, TNF-a. When
these cytokines spill into the blood, the liver "may misread the
message," thinking that infection is present somewhere. The liver
begins generating CRP, because CRP binds to phosphorylcholine on
bacterial surfaces, acts like an opsonin, and activates the
classical complement pathway; in effect, the body thinks it is
under chemical/biological warfare attack. The liver also
generates more fibrinogen and serum amyloid A. (Innunology: A
Short Course, 4th Ed., Pp. 24-26, 236; Life Extension, January,
2001, Pp. 11-14.)
- CRP can rupture plaques in the body, causing
clots or debris to block small blood vessels in the brain, heart
and elsewhere. Substances to help lower CRP are omega 3 oil and
nettle leaf extract. To lower IL-6, take vitamin K and DHEA. To
lower fibrinogen, take aspirin, green tea, ginkgo, garlic,
vitamin E (1200 iu) grape seed/skin extract, and niacin.
- You can easily see, from what we have said now
and at the beginning of this talk, that a "fat attack" can occur
in anyone who is not just obese, but just overweight, and this
can cause diabetes, cardiovascular problems, stroke, immune
system disorders and arthritis. All these things and others are
now known to be caused by an exaggerated inflammatory response.
As if to make matters worse, the diet that you have been told to eat is generating this "fat attack," as well as the
polyunsaturated fatty acids you have also been told are "heart-healthy" to eat.
- On this matter of high carbohydrate Diets as exemplified by
the Pyramid Diet:
When the body over eats carbohydrates, even complex carbohydrates, those the body can't burn for energy or use immediately, is stored as sugar in the form of glycogen. However, the problem is that the liver can only store about 108 grams of glycogen; any excess, and the body reverses the fatty acid oxidation chain, stores excess starch as fat. This is why you see so many fat children as well as their parents because everyone has been told in America to eat more carbohydrates.
- 1970s Definition of Complex Carbohydrates Compared to Present Definition
- Burkett gave a "layman's" definition by saying
complex carbohydrates consisted of some starch, associated
proteins and fats, and mostly fiber. This was like eating only
1/4 inch down of a potato and receiving the fiber and throwing
the starchy part away. In other words, eat the peeling, and just
a small portion of the starch.
- The scientific definition of complex carbohydrate is
sugar molecules in linear and branching fashion, forming starch
which is complexed. This new definition suited the current
appetites in 1992, when the USDA's Food Pyramid was introduced.
"You could have your potatoes too, and eat it" -- starch and all.
- The Pyramid's Future
The pyramid has been controversial since its debut, and the
fact that it's undergoing an update points not only to new
nutritional information that has emerged in the last decade, but
also to fundamental miscalculations in the original design.
- The amount of Starch You Are Told To Eat.
- Critics argue that the plan is too carbohydrate
heavy, with up to 11 servings of grain products a day. This is
supposed to be 1/2 - cup servings of starch per day. The measures
out to 11 x 1/2 = 5 cups of starch daily! Not only is this
excessive, but the public demands super-sized servings, and they
are getting it, at today's inflated portion sizes that far
exceeds one's carbohydrate quota. (Muscle & FITNESS, March 2004;
p. 214, 216)
- And those on a low fat diet, in order to have
satiety, often eat more starch than they should, but the starch
doesn't last as long as fat does in digestion; thus, they are
hungrier sooner, so they often eat more starch, thus generating a
fat gaining cycle.
- Therefore, it is to be understood with all the
starch floating around out there, and you're given social
permission to eat it, there is no way America is going to stay
lean and trim, as well as healthy.
- And What Else Does ALL That Starch Do?
- It causes the body to generate excess insulin. Insulin is
necessary to control blood sugar, but it also stimulates protein
synthesis from amino acids, and causes fat storage, which means
obesity. However, over time, "insulin thickens the artery walls.
The smaller arteries that feed the heart are the first to clog,
which over time can be fatal. Insulin also increases the blood's
tendency to clot, adding to the problem. Thicker arterial walls
mean less room for blood flow. This, coupled with increased
clotting, spells high blood pressure. Insulin also increases the
tension in the arterial walls making them stiffer and less able
to expand. This results in even higher blood pressure."
(MuscleMagazine, June 2004, p.168.)
- But there's more: "insulin ... increases the activity of
the enzymes that convert linoleic acid (Omega-6, found mostly in
vegetable oils) into the more highly unsaturated fatty acids.
Excess insulin [is] involved in many degenerative diseases." (Ray
Peats Newsletter, November 2003; p. 5)
"Several studies suggest that a high degree of unsaturation
in the fats is fundamentally related to the aging process, since
long lived species have a lower degree of unsaturation in their
fats. Caloric restriction decreases the age-related accumulation
of the fatty acids with 4 and 5 double bonds." (Ray Peat's Newsletter, March 2004; p. 5)
- Polyunsaturated Fats/Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA)
Generally associated with starch is greater ingestion of
unsaturated fats. The reason is that those "trying to avoid
saturated fats and cholesterol will probably eat more TRANS fatty
acids, because these are used in foods promoted as low in
saturated fat and cholesterol." Trans fats are everywhere; fast
foods, baked goods, chips and crackers, mixes, sauces, spreads,
breakfast bars, tortillas, breakfast cereals, fish sticks and
many convenience foods such as some puddings and peanut butters.
The Pyramid Diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may
have promoted accelerated degeneration and decrepitude in the
American population, especially the elderly.
- What Do PUFAs Do to Our Body That You Have Not Been Told?
- PUFAs from vegetable oils, whether Omega-3 or Omega-6,
when extracted with heat, become oxidized, which is another way
of saying "rancid." This is usually masked by deodorizing the
oils. Udo Erasmus, author of Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, says
this about Canola oil: "Canola is like the rest of the vegetable
oils that are treated with Draino, window washing acid, bleach
and fried before they go into the bottle. It has some n-3 (Omega-
3). Sometimes they partially hydrogenate to prevent flavor
reversion. I don't recommend it." (Ironman Magazine, January
2004, pp. 163-174).
- Others have said that Canola oil with its high Omega-3s
becomes rancid when extracted and must be deodorized. When this
process is performed, the Omega-3s go down to very little present
and by ratio, the Omega-6 go up in quantity. The excess n-6 is
what you want to avoid.
- Many polyunsaturated oils were tested by a university
from supermarkets and health food stores. A number were found to
be partially hydrogenated, and this process was not listed on the
- What happens when vegetables oils are partially
hydrogenated? You form "trans" fatty acids. These generate free
radicals in the body that can cause heart attacks, stroke,
cancer, and other diseases, researchers have illustrated (The Oiling Of America, p. 14.). Oils are partially hydrogenated so
that they act more like shortening, lard, or other solid fats in
cooking. Also, when added to processed foods, they increase the
shelf life -- and this means greater profits for food companies
(Ironman Magazine, April 2004; p. 128.).
- Another problem with "trans" fatty acids in the diet
is that they generate or increase levels of Lipoprotein [a] or
Lp[a]. This is nothing more than "an LDL particle with an
additional adhesive protein surrounding it. This biological
'adhesive tape' is named apoprotein (a) or, apo (a). The letter
(a) could, in fact stand for 'adhesive.' The adhesive apo (a)
makes the lipoprotein (a) fat globule one of the stickiest
particles in our bodies." Some researchers out of Germany are now
saying it is the Lipoprotein [a] that is the main culprit in
heart disease. Not so much the cholesterol -- as you've probably
heard by now -- nor LDL, but this very sticky protein surrounding
LDL that increases our risk value for cardiovascular accident.
(Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks...But People Do! Rath,
Matthias, M.D.; pp. 89-92, 72-77.)
- How Do We Lower this Lp[a]?
- "Lp[a] is thought to be mostly under
genetic control, but "trans" fatty acids in the diet increase its
levels and saturated fatty acids in the diet decrease its levels."
---Know Your Fats, Enig, Mary G; p. 257.
- "Nobel laureate Linus Pauling and his
colleague Mathias (sp) Rath proposed that our bodies produce
Lp(a) to compensate for low levels of vitamin C. They caused
atherosclerosis in guinea pigs by depleting their bodies of
vitamin C. Vitamin C depletion caused Lp(a) to appear in the
plaque. A high level of Lp(a) is a risk factor for heart disease.
That does not mean the Lp(a) is the cause. The cause may be
vitamin C deficiency in association with other factors, such as
low levels of vitamin B-3 (niacin) which also lowers Lp(a).
Consumption of 'trans' fatty acids causes levels of Lp(a) to rise
while consumption of saturated fats lowers blood levels of
Lp(a)." (Wise Traditions, Spring 2001, p. 22.)
"Note: Research has shown that saturated fat
in the diet is needed by the body to enable it to adequately
convert the essential omega-fatty acid (a-linolenic acid to the
elongated omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These latter fatty
acids are necessary for prostaglandin formation and visual
function, respectively. (Gerster 1998)"---Know Your Fats, Enig,
Mary G. Ph.D.; p. 107.
- Writing in Life Extension Magazine, March
2004, pp 73-76, William Davis, MD, FACC, cardiologist, author,
and lecturer who specializes in coronary disease regression and
strategies to improve human performance, recommends the
- L-carnitine - 1000mg twice a day; lowers Lp(a) 7-8 %
- Flaxseed - 2 tbsp per day, ground; lowers Lp(a) 7%
- Raw almonds - 1/4-1/2 cup per day; lowers Lp(a) 7-10%
He also recommends fish oil capsules and 3000 mg of niacin daily with a 325 mg aspirin to limit flushing. Dr. Davis practices in Milwaukee, WI. Contact him at trackyourplaque.com.
- Matthias Rath, MD, in his book, Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks...But People Do!, further
suggests vitamin E, Beta-carotene and selenium, as well as vitamin C. Additionally he suggests "'Teflon' protection of the
artery wall and reversal of fatty deposits in the artery wall" by taking the natural amino acids lysine and proline to form a
'Teflon' layer around the "lipoproteins which prevents further fat deposits in the artery walls. Moreover, fat molecules are
detached from their anchor sites inside the artery walls." He has documented proof that his regime works. (pp. 72-77; 89-92.)
- These polyunsaturated oils (vegetable oils)
decrease thyroid function, which implies weight gain. And if you
decrease thyroid function, either by PUFAs or thyroid
dysfunction, you will have difficulty in converting carotenes in
plant foods into true vitamin A.---Wise Traditions, Winter, 2001, pp. 28-39
- Another problem is that you need fat in the
diet to convert beta-carotene to true vitamin A.
- It works this way: "Under optimal
conditions humans can indeed convert carotenes to vitamin A. This
occurs in the upper intestinal tract by the action of bile salts
and fat-splitting enzymes. Of the entire family of carotenes,
beta-carotene is the most easily converted to vitamin A." If you
have optimal pro-vitamin A conversion to true vitamin A, "you
would have to eat an awful lot of vegetables and fruits to obtain
even the daily minimal requirements of vitamin A." This is
because the ratio is 6 units of beta-carotene is needed to
produce one unit of vitamin A.----Wise Traditions, Winter, 2001, pp. 28-39
- "But the transformation of carotene to
retinol (vitamin A) is rarely optimal. Diabetics and those with
poor thyroid function, a group that could well include at least
half the adult US population, cannot make the conversion.
Children make the conversion very poorly and infants not at all -
- they must obtain their precious stores of vitamin A from
animals fats -- yet the low-fat diet is often recommended for
children. Strenuous physical exercise, excessive consumption of
alcohol, excessive consumption of iron (especially from
'fortified' white flour and breakfast cereal), use of a number of
popular drugs, excessive consumption of polyunsaturated fatty
acids, zinc deficiency and even cold weather can hinder the
conversion of carotenes to vitamin A, as does the low-fat diet."---Wise Traditions, Winter, 2001, pp. 28-39
- Now get this. "Carotenes are converted by
the action of bile salts, and very little bile reaches the
intestine when a meal is low in fat. Butterfat stimulates the
secretion of bile needed to convert carotenes from vegetables
into vitamin A, and at the same time supplies very easily
absorbed true vitamin A. Polyunsaturated oils also stimulate the
secretion of bile salts but can cause rapid destruction of
carotene unless antioxidants are present."---Wise Traditions, Winter, 2001, pp. 28-39
- Vitamin A, as well as vitamin D, act
principally as catalysts for protein and mineral assimilation.
Both nutrients support endocrine function and protect against
inflammation. "Vitamin A is needed for the conversion of
cholesterol into steroid hormones and, in fact, is rapidly
depleted by stress. When you have done everything else and your
cholesterol still resists coming down, try true vitamin A." Note
this: "Cholesterol-lowering drugs increase the body's need for
vitamin A." (Wise Traditions, Spring 2001, p. 18.) Years ago
people ate butter, egg yolks, liver, organ meats and shellfish,
and cream. Heart disease was practically unheard of 60 years ago.
A doctor had to write his medical school to find out the
symptoms, since he saw very few with heart disease. After the
1950s, heart disease erupted on the scene as vegetable oils took
hold after WWII.
- PUFAs weaken the cells' mitochondria --
the powerhouses of the body. This in turn greatly intensifies
loss of energy production. (Ray Peat's Newsletter, November 2003,
p. 5.) Ray Peat, Ph.D. contends that "the promotion of cancer,
heart disease, mitochondrial damage, hypothyroidism and
immunosuppression [is] caused by the polyunsaturated fats as
their most important feature ...." (Ray Peat's Newsletter, March
2004, p. 3.)
- Loma Linda University in California points
out that trans fats produced from partially hydrogenated
vegetable oils (PUFAs), may actually cause muscle loss. The trans
fats interfere with absorption and utilization of amino acids.
(Muscle & Fitness, February, 2004, p. 180.) This means that if
you're a body builder or a strength athlete, needing more muscle
mass and bone mass for your sport, then avoid these oils. Also,
as we age, we want to maintain muscle mass and bone mass, get up
and go and feel good, but aging itself causes a loss in these
qualities. And if you're being told by your dietician, for heart
health, to increase your polyunsaturated fatty acids, you may
well be losing the very muscle mass and bone mass that will keep
you out of a wheelchair.
Many people avoid saturated fat, such as whole
milk, butter, whole eggs, liver, etc. because they are under the
impression that saturated fat will raise their cholesterol.
Guyton & Hall, writing in Textbook of Medical Physiology, Ninth
Edition, p. 873, say that your diet has to be high in saturated
fat in order to raise your cholesterol. They say it this way: "A
Highly Saturated fat diet increases blood cholesterol
concentration 15 to 25 percent. This results from increased fat
deposition in the liver, which then provides increased quantities
of acetyl-CoA in the liver cells for production of cholesterol."
They further say that it is not known why a diet high in
unsaturated fatty acids depresses the blood cholesterol a slight
to moderate amount. We now know the answer. When PUFAs are placed
into the diet, they invade the membranes of cells, this
disruption causes cholesterol to come out of the blood stream and
help stiffen up the membranes again, thus lowering blood stream
cholesterol. (Wise Traditions, Spring 2001; p. 16.)
Another problem is surfacing that most physicians do not
know of. It is my estimation from my studies that about only 3000
physicians world wide have linked estrogen, particularly
estradiol (E2) to heart disease in men especially.
It works like this: Testosterone is changed to estradiol by aromatase,
especially if they are fat--another example of toxic fat. Many
men have high aromatization of Testosterone to estradiol. Excess
E2 causes tissue abnormalities, fibrosis ("the formation of
fibrous tissue as a result of injury or inflammation of a part,
or of interference with its blood supply"), and inflammation.
This is probably a major factor in heart disease as well as all
the endocrine disrupters now present in our environment. A male
approaching 40 should have his E2 checked yearly. If it is 10 to 30
pg/ml, he is considered to be in the safe range; however,
if E2 is greater than 30 pg/ml, he should immediately start on an
aromatase inhibitor, such as the prescription drug Arimidex by
AstraZeneca or the natural herb, Chrysin with bioperine.
It's suggested that 0.5 mg twice per week, say on a Tuesday and then again on a Friday or Saturday the Arimidex can be taken. If your reading is around 33 pg/ml to 38 pg/ml, you may try just the Chrysin with bioperine, several times daily and/or T-Bomb II--both can be found at your natural foods store.
Reviews On systemic Enzymes, Vol. 2, Issue 2, April,
2004, p. 1, says
..."inflammation is now considered the major
factor in heart health and disease, consistent not only with
clinical but also epidemiological data. Increasing numbers of
people who suffer a cardiac event -- especially women and those
in younger age groups -- tend to have normal cholesterol
profiles, have an active lifestyle, and are generally not
overweight." And these women are in their forties!
Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says the lives of
500,000 women are claimed each year by heart disease -- this
includes young women under the age of 45, more so than any other
disease, including cancer of the breast. For heart health tips, a
free booklet on heart health for women can be obtained by calling
1-888-217-3147 or www.naturally.com.