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Re: Autoimmune and the adrenal glands

From: Marla

Date: 11/11/2003

Time: 2:52:59 PM

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Yes, it does! Thanks for bringing it up! I must have missed it on you research section. (You’ve got so much on there!) It’s nice to see that it has worked for someone else!

As you know I’ve been trying different things (as long as they have been natural), and since my blood production has greatly improved, I’ve been starting to focus on improving other parts of me like my childhood dermatitis for which I had taken years of steroids. I started to find that fats are very important to a healthy body. For instance the body "needs" cholesterol, and if you don’t eat it, then your body will make it. If you have a good intake of cholesterol, your body tends to slow down in making cholesterol. When I started to realize how important fats (including saturated fats) were to the body, I started incorporating them into my diet. I have been using a good deal of animal fats now for over a year and continue to improve healthwise. (I’ve actively sought out grass fed or wild caught meats without antibiotics or hormones). At first I was wondering if I was going to gain weight and end up to be one tub of lard, but I haven’t gained one pound. The best thing about it is that my platelets have continued to climb. (Reds and whites have already been hitting normal levels). My latest CBC showed my platelets at 98K–the highest they been since diagnosis!

Then I started to find out more things about the importance of fats (cholesterol) in regard to other health aspects. I found that the brain is made up of a great deal of cholesterol. All our cell membranes are made up of 50% saturated fat. Hal A. Huggins, has a good explanation of some of the importance of cholesterol:

"Cholesterol serves as a major protector in normal metabolism, primarily through its inactivation of toxic substances. This includes mercury and other heavy metals. Cholesterol has many other little-emphasized functions. They include positive effects on the fluidity of cell membranes, membrane permeability, transmembrane exchange, and neuronal signal transmission. Cholesterol provides the major framework on which the five major classes of steroid hormones are manufactured. Fat-soluble vitamins, antioxidants, drugs, and toxins all use cholesterol in a transport capacity. The ability to neutralize a wide variety of toxins is only one of a wide variety of tasks that cholesterol performs.

"A review of the medical literature reveals that cholesterol has been identified as an inactivator of multiple bacterial toxins in animals. Further, high cholesterol levels appear to be indicators of toxic exposures. cholesterol levels rise in people with occupational exposure to pesticides. A high cholesterol level appears to indicate a healthy response of a body trying to cope with a high toxin load that cannot be eliminated. If the body becomes ill, it may be because of the high unneutralized toxin load present, and not because of the high cholesterol level attempting to achieve the neutralization."

Huggins goes on to say that, "Low cholesterol levels would often correlate with poorer health because sicker patients tended to have less protection against toxicity."

Hans Selye, M.D., author of The Stress of Life describes some experiments that he conducted on rats. (For those that don’t know, the adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys and they are normally embedded in fat) Seyle exposed a large number of rats to stressors over a long period of time to test the resistance of sample groups among these animals at repeated intervals. This is what he writes:

". . . in one experiment we placed a hundred rats in a refrigerated room where the temperature was near freezing. (This causes the animals stress). Thanks to their fur during the first 48 hours they developed the typical manifestations of the alarm reaction. This was proved by killling ten animals at the end of the second day; all of them had large, fat-free adrenals, small thymuses, and stomach ulcers."

Seyle goes on to discribe his experiments, and basically what is seen is that the adrenals use lots of fat during stress. Normal adrenals are surrounded by fat because that’s what the adrenals use to make their hormones. But, when that fat gets used up, then the adrenals don’t have the raw materials to make their hormones, and you have what ends up to be "adrenal exhaustion." (This is how I understand it. Anyone is welcome to read the book themselves–The Stress of Life). Selye’s book is much more complicated and deals with the effects of stress on the body. Really fascinating read. (At least to me).

Then I started finding that the adrenals are instrumental in the proper functioning of the thryoid. It has been found that many hypothyroid patients do not get relief from their symptoms by just the addition of T3 and/or T4 until their adrenal glands are functioning properly.

Then, I started learning more about the different types of fats and found that saturated fats are the most stable fats, thus less vulnerable to oxidation, and in turn cause less free radical damage. There’s a good book called Know Your Fats by Mary Enig, PhD which explains which fats are good for the body and why.

Well, this has gotten long enough! But, trust me, it doesn’t end here. If anyone has any feed back or find that there’s something I’ve written that needs correction, please write. I’ve learned a lot from listening and reading from others and find that good feedback/discussion really helps to weed out misinformation. I wish I had known all this before I did my 2 year vegan stint.

Congrats to anyone whose made it down to this line! Heh.

Take care,


P.S. Bruce, what’s OPC?
P.P.S. For those afraid of eating "cholesterol," I suggest reading Uffe Ravnskov’s book Cholesterol Myths.

Last changed: September 24, 2006