The Nation



Vegetarianism based on faith, not facts

Re: "Claiming cholesterol is harmless is dangerous nonsense", Letters, December 27, and "Bloody highs and lows", Letters, December 29.

Eric Bahrt doesn't accept any challenge to the vegetarian diet, and John Shepherd is confused.

Dr Dean Ornish had good results from a low-cholesterol diet, but Eric omitted to mention that Ornish's study group took vitamin supplements. We know that vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid reduce the main artery-calcifying culprit, homocysteine (see Angiology doctors Mallika V, Goswami B, et al). Several Chinese studies showed that three milligrams daily of just folic acid reversed narrowed carotid arteries (Guo, 2009). Many believe it was the supplements that gave Ornish the good results.

Eric ignores the heart-health properties of high-saturated-fat foods. Cream, full-fat milk products and butter synthesise Vitamin B6 in the gut (Dr SL Malhotra, Lancet, 1974-present). Two raw egg yolks daily have sufficient anti-oxidants (selenium, tyrosene, tryprophan and cysteine) to prevent arterial inflammation, which is what also leads to "clogging" (Drs J Wu, A Scheiber, University of Alberta, 2011). Statins, lacking any anti-oxidants, are ineffective in reducing this inflammation and artificially alter the LDL reading.

Vitamin K2, high in milk, cream, butter cheese and egg yolks, prevents arterial calcification by directing calcium into the bones, not into soft tissues (Drs JM Geleijnse, C Vermeer et al). Vitamin K2 associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (J Nutr 2004).

Dietary cholesterol has little to do with blood cholesterol levels, as shown by Dr Robert Atkins. To each his own diet. I continue to enjoy my fatty steaks, many raw egg yolks and globs of butter. I stay in robust, medication-free health at 76.

My arteries are clean, Eric, as was shown on a high-speed X-ray scan in my mid-60s.

Thomas Turk


Comments conditions

Users are solely responsible for their comments.We reserve the right to remove any comment and revoke posting rights for any reason withou prior notice.