By Asst Editor Dave T


A large number of studies have reported associations between heart disease and chronic bacterial and viral infections. As far back as the 1970s researchers identified the development of atherosclerosis in the arteries of chickens when they were experimentally infected with a herpes virus.

In the 1980s similar associations were reported in humans infected with a number of bacteria (e.g., Helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia pneumoniae) and certain herpes viruses (particularly cytomegalovirus). In one study, for example, Petra Saikku and colleagues at the University of Helsinki in Finland found that 27 out of 40 heart attack patients and 15 out of 30 men with heart disease carried antibodies related to Chlamydia, which is more commonly known to cause gum disease and lung infections. Compared to subjects who were free of heart disease only seven out of 41 had such antibodies. In another study at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas researchers found that 70 percent of patients undergoing surgery for atherosclerosis carry antibodies to cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common respiratory infection, while only 43 percent of controls do.

More evidence supporting the link between infection and cardiovascular disease showed up in the early 1990s when researchers found fragments of bacteria in arterial plaque. One of the first to discover microorganisms in atherosclerotic plaque was Brent Muhlestein, a cardiologist at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and the University of Utah. Muhlestein and colleagues found evidence of Chlamydia in 79 percent of plaque specimens taken from the coronary arteries of 90 heart disease patients. In comparison, fewer than four percent of normal individuals had evidence of Chlamydia in artery walls. Animal studies provided more direct evidence that bacteria might contribute to chronic inflammation and plaque formation. Muhlestein showed that infecting rabbits with Chlamydia measurably thickens the arterial walls of the animals. When the animals were given an antibiotic to kill the Chlamydia the arteries became more normal in size.

You or anyone else may have a chronic low-grade infection without even realizing it. This apparently is what happens to many people who think they are healthy but suddenly drop dead from a heart attack.

As yet, researchers are not ready to say infection is responsible for every case of heart disease. Other factors (e.g. free radicals, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) can also cause injuries to the arterial wall and initiate plaque formation. Also, not all infections promote atherosclerosis. Only when the immune system is incapable of controlling the infection is there cause for alarm. Anything that may lower immune efficiency such as serious illness, poor diet, exposure to tobacco smoke, stress, and lack of exercise (i.e. many of the typical risk factors associated with heart disease) will also open up the body to chronic low-grade infections that can promote atherosclerosis.

The findings mentioned above suggest that, at least in some cases, heart disease may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are limited because they are only good against bacteria. Infections caused by viruses would remain unaffected. However, there is something that will destroy both the bacteria (Helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia pneumonia) and viruses (CMV) that are most commonly associated with atherosclerosis and that is MCFA or coconut oil. The MCFA in coconut oil are known to kill all three of the major types of atherogenic organisms. MCFA are powerful germ fighters and are known to kill dozens of disease causing organisms. Not only can coconut oil help protect you from the germs that cause ulcers, lung infections, herpes, and such, but also heart disease and stroke. If you want to avoid dying from heart disease you should be eating coconut oil!

Heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis account for nearly half of all the deaths in the United States. Statistically, one out of every two people you know will die from one of these cardiovascular conditions. In countries where people eat a lot of coconut products cardiovascular disease is much less frequent. In Sri Lanka, for example where coconut oil has been the primary dietary fat, the death rate from heart disease has been among the lowest in the world. In recent years, however, coconut oil consumption in Sri Lanka has declined, being replaced my polyunsaturated oils and margarines. Consequently, heart disease rates have risen. In areas of India, where coconut oil has been largely replaced by other vegetable oils, cardiovascular disease is on the rise. People have been encouraged to switch from their traditional cooking oils, such as coconut oil, in favor of vegetable oils that are promoted as “heart-friendly.” Researchers involved with studies on diet and heart disease in India are now recommending the return to coconut oil to reduce the risk of heart disease. This recommendation is based on their findings showing an increase in the occurrence of heart disease as coconut oil is replaced by other vegetable oils.

It appears that by simply using coconut oil in you daily diet in place of other oils you can achieve a remarkable degree of protection from heart disease and stroke.

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