A group of researchers from the University of Connecticut came up with an astonishing discovery – the plaques in arteries don’t come from animal fats!
The medical term for heart disease is a process known as atherosclerosis. This process describes the way fats stick to arterial walls and form plaques. It’s these plaques that are blamed for clogging and hardening the arterial walls leading to a heart attack or stroke (as well as high blood pressure)…..Or so was the prevailing theory.
But as these researchers started to observe heart disease patients, they learned that around half of all heart disease patients have normal levels of LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol. They also observed those who eat a lot of fatty foods don’t seem to have heart problems or signs of atherosclerosis.
As they started digging into previous research, they found several studies supporting their observations. One study observed unhealthy gums were a greater risk factor than high cholesterol levels for heart disease.
Confusion regarding what causes heart disease runs throughout western medicine. Ancel Keys, the one behind the theory of fatty foods causing atherosclerosis, denied any association between the two in 1997. “There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”
Taking matters into their own hands, the Connecticut research team compared samples of lipids taken from heart patients at a nearby hospital. Their results shocked even them – none of these samples had any of the hallmarks of animal fats from which they supposedly came from. Instead, they found one common enemy: Bacteriodetes.
According to lead researcher Frank Nichols, Bacteriodetes “are like greasy bugs because they make too much lipid; they are constantly shedding tiny blebs of lipids that look like bunches of grapes.”
What really causes atherosclerosis? These researchers would say the bugs in your gut. Here’s why: the lipids taken from the heart patients were unique to Bacteriodetes. The chemical signature was unlike anything from animal fats – ruling the saturated fat theory out. The immune system sees this bacterial strain as alien invaders and starts to attack them. It sends enzymes responsible for the breakdown of bacteriodetes, resulting in inflammation. It’s this attack that causes atherosclerosis. Inflammation is always seen in heart disease patients.
Get to the bottom of heart disease. Start with your bugs.