Don't burn your fats!

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GUEST PAGE- "Oxycholesterols and anti-oxidants in arteriosclerosis." By Dr John Mansfield.

Dr John Mansfield

Dr Mansfield was the founder of the Burghwood Clinic and he sadly died in 2016. He gained his medical degree at Guy's Hospital, London, and worked in both the UK and the USA. He had been working as an allergy specialist from 1976 when he was one of the three original British pioneers. In 1978 he was a founder member of the British Society for Allergy and Environmental Medicine and became President of that society from 1992 to 1995.


In animal experiments, a group of cholesterol compounds that contain extra oxygen atoms were found to be highly toxic and highly effective in producing arteriosclerosis. Conversely, highly purified cholesterol, free of all traces of oxycholesterol and protected from the oxygen of air, does not injure the arteries of animals. It is highly unlikely that Anitschkov took elaborate precautions to prevent the exposure of the cholesterol they were using from oxygen. Thus, almost certainly, they were purely demonstrating that oxycholesterol contaminants, rather than cholesterol itself, were producing arteriosclerosis in their experimental animals.

See Nikolai N. Anichkov and His Theory of Atherosclerosis

Avoid processed fats and burnt fats

The highly damaging oxycholesterols are found in foods in which cholesterol is subjected to heating and exposure to the oxygen of the air during either food processing, cooking or preservation. Such foods include dried egg yolk, dried milk powder and foods fried in heated oils. The oxycholesterol in these foods is absorbed into the blood after digestion and then becomes concentrated in the low density lipoprotein faction of the plasma. When lipoproteins are taken up by arterial wall cells, the cholesterol oxides that are released lead to damage to artery wall cells and tissues leading to arteriosclerosis.

Recent epidemiological studies, particularly one from Cambridge, have suggested that vitamin E supplements to the tune of 800 international units per day, significantly reduce (by about 70%) the risk of coronary artery thrombosis in patients with pre-existent angina pectoris.

Editor's update - see

Vitamin E is a powerful fat soluble anti-oxidant vitamin that may act by modifying the reactions of low density lipoprotein with oxygen and so prevent the formation of oxycholesterols. Only in the case of oxycholesterols is there compelling evidence that a trace of a contaminant constituent associated with fat and cholesterol is actually capable of producing arteriosclerosis.

The cholesterol story is a red herring - but a highly profitable one!

There is bound to be mammoth resistance to the demise of the cholesterol theory. This will occur on the one hand from manufacturers of low cholesterol foods and the other from the pharmaceutical companies who have been anticipating mouth-watering products from the sale of patentable cholesterol lowering drugs [Editor's update - now in the form of statins, as predicted!]. In contrast, vitamins are very cheap, totally unpatentable and offer no scope of huge profits to anyone.

What we now know for certain is that reducing cholesterol in the diet will not produce any major benefit, as has been shown already in countless studies. Again vitamin E and possibly by inference, other antioxidants like vitamins A & C and the trace mineral selenium, should counteract the formation of oxycholesterols.

Lipid peroxides often show up in biochemical tests

My comment - John McLaren Howard at Acumen frequently used to find these lipid peroxides stuck onto DNA and mitochondrial membranes. This is a symptom of poor Antioxidants status. They will also get stuck onto the lining of blood vessels resulting in damage - it is the repair process that results in Arteriosclerosis - what causes it and how to prevent it.

Editor's Update - more recent studies

Low Cholesterol is more of a concern than High Cholesterol - see Food, Heart Disease and Cholesterol by Dr Jerry Thompson who quotes the following studies:

  • ...and others.....

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