Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Rich and Salvation
Volume 6 No. 380 October 20, 2016

IV. General Weekly Features

Health: Manhattan Study Crushes Cholesterol Myth

by Al Sears, MD, CNS

The next time your doctor says you need to lower your LDL cholesterol so you don't have a heart attack or stroke, show him the results of the Northern Manhattan Study.

The researchers that conducted the study found that higher LDL cholesterol was linked to LOWER stroke risk. (1)

And another study published this year reviewed research on nearly 70,000 people. The authors of that study found NO LINK between LDL cholesterol and premature deaths in people over 60 from heart disease. (2)

This backs up what I've been saying for two decades! LDL isn't "bad" cholesterol - and it's not what causes heart disease or strokes.

But despite the mounting evidence that's turning conventional medicine's cholesterol myth upside-down, don't expect your doctor to change his tune anytime soon.

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will still likely try to put you on a statin drug. Especially if you have high LDL cholesterol.

Statins are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. They're a multibillion-dollar industry.

Nearly 30% of Americans over 40 are on one. And there's been a push to up those numbers… even though statins cause dangerous side effects like liver damage and kidney failure. They can even kill you!

The truth is that heart disease and strokes are caused by inflammation and oxidation. And we can measure for that - but not by measuring cholesterol levels.

Instead, I measure levels of the amino acid homocysteine. It's the best predictor for heart disease and stroke risk.

While most conventional doctors don't test for it - because there's no Big Pharma pill to lower it - you can and should request to have your levels tested.

Anything above 10.4 mmol/L is abnormally high. I try to get my patients under 7.

It's a simple blood test… and it just may save your life.

I've seen patients who had multiple strokes with homocysteine levels as high as 26 mmol/L. In fact, I've treated more than 20 patients who had as many as five strokes. I helped them lower their homocysteine levels - and all of them are alive 10 or more years later.

So how do I help my patients lower their homocysteine levels without the help of Big Pharma?

The solution is simple...

The best way to lower your homocysteine levels is with B vitamins. Specifically, B6, B9 (also known as folic acid or folate) and B12.

In one study, participants were treated with B6, B9 and B12 for eight weeks. At the end of the eight weeks, their homocysteine levels were cut in half. (3) Another study looked at 5,522 adults with heart disease risk factors. Researchers found that taking just these three B vitamins reduced the risk of stroke by 25% compared to a placebo. (4)

I recommend one more additional B vitamin - B2 (riboflavin). Here's how to boost these four B vitamins with food and supplements:

Vitamin Food Sources Supplement
B6 Chicken, fish, kidney, liver, eggs,
bananas, lima beans, walnuts
25 mg
B9 (folic acid) Beef, lamb, pork, chicken liver,
eggs, green leafy vegetables, salmon
800 mcg
B12 Lamb, beef, herring, mackerel, liver,
oysters, poultry, clams, eggs
500 mcg
B2 (riboflavin) liver, nuts, dairy, eggs, seafood
and dark leafy greens
25 mg

I also recommend taking choline and trimethylglycine (TMG). TMG is also known as betaine.

Studies show the more choline you have, the lower your homocysteine will be. In one study, people who took in the most choline had almost 10% lower homocysteine. (5) And studies on TMG show that it can reduce homocysteine by 10% in people with normal levels. People with high levels saw a reduction of 20-40%. (6)

The best way to get more choline is to eat a primal diet with plenty of animal meat and eggs. You can also find smaller amounts of choline in cod, cauliflower, avocados and bananas. Good sources of betaine are beets and spinach.

To supplement with choline, look for choline citrate. Women need at least 425 mg a day; men need 550 mg. For betaine, look for a "TMG" supplement. I recommend taking 1,000 mg a day.


1. Willey JZ, Xu Q, Boden-Albala B, Paik MC, et al. "Lipid Profile Components and Risk of Ischemic Stroke: The Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS)." Arch Neurol. 2009;66:1400-1406.

2. Ravnskov, U, et al. "Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review." BMJ Open. Revised 21 April 2016.

3. Undas, A, et al. Treatment of Hyperhomocysteinemia with Folic Acid and Vitamins B12 and B6 Attenuates Thrombin Generation. Thrombosis Research. 1999 Sep 15;95(6):281-288.

4. Saposnik, G, Ray, JG, Sheridan, P., et al. "Homocysteine-Lowering Therapy and Stroke Risk, Severity, and Disability Additional Findings From the HOPE 2 Trial." Stroke. 2009;40:1365-1372.

5. Lee J, Jacques P, Dougherty L, Selhub J, Giovannucci E, Zeisel S, Cho E. "Are dietary choline and betaine intakes determinants of total homocysteine concentration?" Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(5):1303-10.

6. Margreet R. Olthof, Trinette van Vliet, Esther Boelsma, and Petra Verhoef. "Low Dose Betaine Supplementation Leads to Immediate and Long Term Lowering of Plasma Homocysteine in Healthy Men and Women." J. Nutr. 2003; vol. 133 no. 12: 4135-4138.

Important Disclaimer:

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any other product. Do not stop taking any medication without the prior approval of your physician. Consult your physician for any health problems.

Family Special: How Christianity Made Children Human

by Eric Metaxas,

So many of the ideas and values we take for granted today are historical innovations, brought about by the rise of Christianity. Take the common rules of engagement that add a measure of "fairness" to warfare, or the idea that men and women are equally valuable in the sight of God.

These days, of course, Christianity takes the fall for things that cramp peoples' style: monogamous marriage, chastity, the sanctity of life, and the nuclear family, to name but a few. But in their rush to dismantle these irksome rules, modern secularists would do well to heed G. K. Chesterton's warning about knocking down a fence before knowing why the fence was put there in the first place.

You see, the early Christians' insistence on sexual restraint proved enormously beneficial to the ancient world - especially to society's most vulnerable members. My colleague John Stonestreet talked about this recently on "The Point."

Take the case of children. Writing at "The Week," Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry explains, "Today it is simply taken for granted that the innocence and vulnerability of children makes them beings of particular value, and entitled to particular care...[but] this view of children is a historical oddity."

Gobry points to the work of historian O. M. Bakke, whose book "When Children Became People" documents how radically Christianity altered the practices of ancient Greece and Rome, and what the world before Christ looked like.

Children, he says, were considered nonpersons. In the cultures of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Pliny the Elder, society was organized in "concentric circles," with the most valuable (freeborn, adult males) in the center, and the least valuable (women, slaves, and children) on the fringes.

From the moment of birth, a child in ancient Rome was as likely as not to die. If disease or injury didn't end a young life, very frequently the parents themselves did, "exposing" any infants deemed inconvenient. Such children usually fell prey to wild animals or the elements. But as Gobry points out, a few were rescued only to be raised in one of the ancient world's most lucrative industries: sex slavery.

Today, sexually abusing a child is a serious crime. Not so in the pre-Christian world, writes Gobry. During that time it was legal, and even considered good form, for a married Patrician to keep children - particularly young boys - to exploit sexually in his free time. "ost sexual acts were permissible," Gobry explains, "as long as they involved a person of higher status being active against or dominating a person of lower status. This meant that, according to all the evidence we have, the sexual abuse of children...was rife."

Into this world came Christianity, with its condemnation of abortion, infanticide and child abuse, its glorification of faithful marriage, and its teaching that children come first in the Kingdom of Heaven. "Whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble," said Jesus, "it would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and to be thrown into the sea."

This ethic, which the Western world takes for granted today, is a direct heritage of Christianity. It rests on the very same beliefs as traditional marriage, chastity, and the sanctity of all life. And secularists who want nothing more than a world free from these constraints of Christian morality, warns Gobry, had better consider - or rather remember - what that world looks like.

About The Author:

Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Family Special: Parenting - Our Priceless Joy
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of [children].
- Psalm 127:5

From a financial perspective, parenting is definitely an expensive proposition. The estimated cost for a middle-income family to raise a child born in the year 2000 is $165,630 - and that doesn't include paying for college, which today can run into six figures by itself (our apologies for any heart palpitations we've just caused!).

But our children are more than just another expense, aren't they? Though they require an incredible investment of our resources—time, money, energy, patience—they give back even more. Can we put a price on our pleasure in receiving a lovingly crafted gift, on the pride that fills us when our child hits all his lines in the school play, on the contentedness we feel after an extra-long bedtime hug? Can anything make us understand our heavenly Father's love for us quite like our own unconditional love for our children?

There are days when the costs and trials of parenthood add up to what seems an unbearable burden. When that happens, we urge you to turn to the pages of Scripture. The psalms remind us that children are a “heritage” and a “reward” (Psalm 127:3); they are “arrows in the hands of a warrior” (v. 4). As you read the Word of God and praise Him for your kids, you'll feel genuine appreciation returning to your heart. Sure, kids are expensive - but they are worth every penny.

Before you say good night…

Do your children sometimes feel like a burden instead of a blessing?

In addition to prayer and studying the Word, how can you help each other appreciate your kids?

Lord, we really do love our kids. In those moments when our frustrations build up, please move us to respond in a way that brings glory to You. Thank You for entrusting us with these precious lives. Amen.

From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Statistic from "Expenditures on Children by Families: 2000 Annual Report," USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. (accessed 16 July 2002).

10 Ways to Make a Big Impact through Small Things

by Whitney Hopler

Our culture constantly pressures you to do something big for the world to get noticed and feel important. So, as a Christian who longs to serve God, it's tempting to think that if you could just do something really big for him, your life would be significant.

Maybe you've been trying in vain to do that big thing you hope to do, or maybe you've been able to do something big, but it doesn't feel like enough.

Big, extraordinary moments are much rarer in life than small, ordinary ones. Trying to go big all the time will only bring stress and frustration into your life. God offers you a better way: going small. It's in the small moments of life - the ordinary times - where God does his greatest work.

Here's how you can make a big impact in God's kingdom by focusing on small things:

Define what's truly extraordinary.

Rather than wasting time and energy pressuring yourself to pursue big accomplishments that seem extraordinary to the world, let God be the one who defines what's really extraordinary in your life. Keep in mind that Jesus spent most of his time on Earth investing in just a small group of people (his 12 disciples) during life's ordinary moments. Don't worry about trying to complete an arbitrary checklist of what you think you should do to get tangible results as you serve God. Instead, just focus on living honestly and faithfully day to day, showing people who know you that Jesus is constantly redeeming and renewing your life. Simply living with integrity in the small, ordinary moments of life - from faithfully doing household chores to being kind to the people you talk with every day - is hugely significant to God.

Be the person God created you to be.

Stop comparing your own accomplishments to other people's accomplishments and start focusing just on what God has in mind for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discover your unique role in creation, then grow into that role - regardless of how small it may seem to be to other people. Even when you don't get much recognition from others, God always notices and appreciates you. If you step fully into whatever role God has called you to, your efforts - however ordinary - will be tremendously important from an eternal perspective.

Follow God's rules of success.

Trying to come up with your own rules for being successful won't lead you anywhere reliable. So forget about following formulas designed to try to convince God to bless you with big success - from praying certain prayers to performing certain types of service. God alone makes the rules, and his rule of success is simply being willing to say “yes” to whatever he calls you to do, whenever he calls you to do it. Expect the unexpected from God, and be open for whatever assignments he has to give you.

Break free of cultural pressure to have others notice you.

Resist cultural pressure to impress other people in order to validate your own worth. You're valuable simply because you're one of God's children, regardless of how many Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or YouTube views you happen to have. Choose to do whatever you do simply to please God and because you enjoy it; not to impress other people. Keep in mind that Jesus always notices you even when other people don't, and from His perspective, every moment of your life matters.

Shift your main focus from doing to being.

Realize that you can't do anything to earn God's love - he already accepts you completely and loves you unconditionally. Your life has great value just because you're you. While God will sometimes give you big assignments to do, he is most concerned with who you are rather than what you do. Your main service to God is growing to become the kind of person he wants you to become - someone with the character traits that Jesus Christ modeled on Earth - during the small, ordinary moments of life.

Slow down.

Instead of rushing through each day with a preplanned itinerary, build some margins of free time into your schedule so you'll be more likely to notice how God is at work in the small details of your life. Enjoy the wonder of life's ordinary moments - from a walking beneath a towering tree to laughing at a baby's facial expressions - and welcome surprises from God along the way.

Give every part of your day, every day, to God.

Make a daily practice of intentionally dedicating everything you say and do to God. Then, as you go through the many small moments of your day, remind yourself that the Holy Spirit is present with you - available to empower you to live faithfully in every situation.

Become humble.

Jesus was humble - even though he was God incarnate - and he calls each of his followers to be humble, too. Develop humility by living in community with people who know your faults yet love you anyway, serving others however God leads you to do so, and embracing the suffering that comes into your life so you can learn from it. Keep in mind that God doesn't need your service, but he delights in seeing you grow as a person through the process of serving him.

Invite God to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary through prayer.

When you pray, you welcome God to work in whatever situations you're praying about, and he will change them for the better in the process. Pray not only for yourself, but also for other people: family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and even people you don't know personally but have read or heard about on the news. Don't just talk to God; spend time in prayer listening to his messages to you, as well.

Decrease yourself, so God can increase in your life.

Reduce the amount of focus you've been putting on your own plans to make room for discerning and responding to God's plans for you. Rather than basing your faith on your own sense of self-importance, base it on God, trusting him to work through you however he wants to work.

Adapted from Go Small: Because God Doesn't Care About Your Status, Size, or Success, copyright 2014 by Craig Gross. Published by Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.

About The Authors:

Craig Gross is an author, speaker, pastor, and revolutionary. He shot to prominence in 2002 when he founded the website Craig is the author of nine books.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a contributing writer for many years, is author of the Christian novel 'Dream Factory', which is set during Hollywood's golden age. She produced a site about angels and miracles for

Source: Daily Update

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