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 Eskimos and Heart Disease 
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Post Eskimos and Heart Disease
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Dear Dr Fonorow,
They were placed on an all-carnivorous high-fat diet... similar to what they had consumed while living with the Eskimos....for an extended period. And remained in excellent health. Their measured blood ascorbate was down to undetectable levels, yet they displayed no signs of scurvy.


Pauling recognized the importance of the Eskimo high-fat, low carb "blubber " diet to the vitamin C theory, and he commented on it in HOW TO LIVE LONGER AND FEEL BETTER (1986).

Lets assume that the Eskimo - mostly fat (blubber) diet leads to excellent health without heart disease (a point Im not ready to concede, but for sake of argument)
First, the explorers/Eskimos would not have eaten processed, man-made fats, i.e. trans fats. This according to Smith http://www.healingmatters.com would have promoted very healthy cell membranes. The result would be that any vitamin C in the blood would readily enter cells. (Avoiding trans fats is one reason I think the Dean Ornish - very low fat approach - works. Avoiding fats means avoiding trans fats.)

But unless the Eskimos and Explorers were autopsied and found to be free of atherosclerosis, we have an explanation: The Pauling/Rath unified theory predicts that Lp(a) cholesterol will compensate for low vitamin C. (This may be the dual-track metabolism?) Plaques form out of Lp(a) attracted to the Lysine Binding sites. The plaques serve a purpose. They strengthen collagen starved arteries. My guess is that Eskimos have silent atherosclerosis, something like the youngsters autopsied during the Korean war.

Is anyone familiar with autopsies conducted on Eskimos?

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Last edited by ofonorow on Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun May 14, 2006 10:45 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Post Eskimos and Heart Disease
AS far as I know,eskimos ate raw liver,raw sealeyes,raw whaleskin and raw meat(blood) to get their Vitamin C.

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Owen R. Fonorow, Orthomolecular Naturopath


Sun May 14, 2006 10:48 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Post Eskimos and Heart Disease
I also think that arterioscelosis is relatively low in eskimos because they consume omega fatty fish oils. I believe the fatty omegas bind on the platlets forming a smooth surface rather than a ragged one which causes platelets to act as teflon as opposed to velcro.

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Sun May 14, 2006 10:50 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Would it be instructive to compare the Japanese, who may be said to consume a part-Eskimo diet.....they consume the most seafood of all nations, mainly cold water fish, even whale. The other part is of course a typically Asian high-rice diet, which is not particularly high in Vitamin C. They have atherosclerosis equivalent to westerners, but low heart disease and high rate of strokes....the opposite of the pattern in the West. Eskimos, I read somewhere, have little heart disease but are also prone to strokes as well as fractures. How does all that fit?

Back then, people did not eat as much processed sugar, etc. (See the Eskimo discussion)

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Sun May 14, 2006 10:54 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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The food of these eskimos in their native state includes caribou,ground nuts which are gathered by mice and stored in chaces,kelp which is gathered in season and stored for winter use,berries including cranberries which are preserved by freezing,blossom of flowers preserved in seal oil,sorrel grass preserved in seal oil,and quantities of frozen fish.Another importent food factor consists of the organs of large animals of the sea,including certain layers of the skin of one of spices of whale,which has been found to be VERY HIGH IN VITAMIN C\". Weston A Price \"Nutrition and Physical Degeneration\" 6th Edition 1997 Page 71')

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Sun May 14, 2006 10:57 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Thanks again, Owen. Just went back to Pauling\'s old book......haven\'t touched it for ages.....and actually found the reference. So ascorbic acid = L-ascorbic acid. Interesting that of the 4 isomers only one is anti-scurvy, so synthetic Vit C must undergo a 75% purifying process. I was possibly thinking of Vit E, which in its synthetic form is a 50/50 mixture of D- and L- forms. Back to the Arctic Diet. Interesting that there are sources of Vit C even on a predominantly meat diet. The double-digit gram doses some of you guys are on is daunting, and one must wonder how you keep it up...especially using diarrhea as the signpost! And our loss of the ability to produce Vit C must be regarded as a deleterious mutation, as there is no natural way of compensating through our food. If the Eskimos indicate anything, is it that you may drastically reduce your Vit C requirement by altering your diet to say exclude carbohydrates? That your \"optimal\" Vit C dose really indicates a suboptimal/unnatural diet? This can surely be easily verified by say going on one of those low-carb diets like Atkins?')

Furthermore, a high saturated fat diet (of the Eskimos) actually reduces levels of Lp(a). So if the Eskimos had better arteries and less Lp(a), how does this impact the Pauling/Rath theory?^M
Yes, I am familiar with autopsy studies. At least two of them have shown that the native Eskimos had less atherosclerosis than nonnative Alaskans:^M
Furthermore, a high saturated fat diet (of the Eskimos) actually reduces levels of Lp(a). So if the Eskimos had better arteries and less Lp(a), how does this impact the Pauling/Rath theory?^M
Two is better than nothing, and notice \"less\", but not zero atherosclerosis. The further information we are getting in the forum provides evidence that the Eskimo diet contains plenty of vitamin C. The Unified Theory predicts higher serum Lp(a) levels at low vitamin C intakes, but not necessarily atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a healing process where the Lp(a) sticks to pieces of lysine and proline that appear after a \"crack\" or lesion in the artery. Slightly elevated Lp(a) shouldn\'t cause atherosclerosis in healthy arteries.

In the context of the eskimo diet, I had questioned whether a low carb diet could greatly spare Vit C, seeing that sugars compete with its entry into cells. If as our Accountant says excluding sugar RAISED his bowel tolerance, that would be the opposite of sparing Vit C, no? Presumably then a high carb diet would LOWER the Vit C bowel tolerance dose because the Vit C would be unable to access cells and tend to spill out into the gut earlier. This seems to call into question the meaning of the bowel tolerance test. It is commonly viewed as a kind of loading test, with the excreted substance regarded as being surplus to requirement, no?^M
The posts on the Eskimo thread are interesting. You wrote:^M
[quote:c4f673600c=\"ofonorow\"]Plaques form out of Lp(a) attracted to the Lysine Binding sites. The plaques serve a purpose. They strengthen collagen starved arteries. My guess is that Eskimos have silent atherosclerosis, something like the youngsters autopsied during the Korean war. ^M
Is anyone familiar with autopsies conducted on Eskimos?^M
Yes, I am familiar with autopsy studies. At least two of them have shown that the native Eskimos had less atherosclerosis than nonnative Alaskans:^M
Furthermore, a high saturated fat diet (of the Eskimos) actually reduces levels of Lp(a). So if the Eskimos had better arteries and less Lp(a), how does this impact the Pauling/Rath theory?^M
Yes, I am familiar with autopsy studies. At least two of them have shown that the native Eskimos had less atherosclerosis than nonnative Alaskans:^M

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Sun May 14, 2006 10:58 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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This (See Eskimo Discussion) is getting interesting. I am certainly uneasy about the vast amounts of Vit C apparently dictated by the use of bowel tolerance.^M
Aside from autopsies on Eskimos, what about autopsies on guinea pigs, fruit bats, primates....animals who like humans have lost the ability to produce their own Vit C?? I read that gorillas eating vegetation all day in their natural environment manage only about 3 gms. So it should not be surprising if many such animals may easily suffer from the chronic scurvy we humans are said to do. What is the condition of the arteries of say zoo gorillas? What is the rate of CHD in pet guinea pigs?^M

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Sun May 14, 2006 11:02 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Two is better than nothing, and notice \"less\", but not zero atherosclerosis. The further information we are getting in the forum provides evidence that the Eskimo diet contains plenty of vitamin C.
^M
Please note that these recent studies which conclude that <93>differences in coronary heart disease mortality between Alaska Natives and nonnatives are, at least in part, the result of fewer atherosclerotic lesions in Alaska Natives<94> involve present-day natives. Their diet today has become more Westernized. They are consuming somewhat more vitamin C than their predecessors. It is quite possible that traditional Eskimos (Inuit) who died many years ago had zero lesions on even less vitamin C.

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Sun May 14, 2006 11:04 am
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Ascorbate Wizard
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Please note that these recent studies which conclude that <93>differences in coronary heart disease mortality between Alaska Natives and nonnatives are, at least in part, the result of fewer atherosclerotic lesions in Alaska Natives<94> involve present-day natives. Their diet today has become more Westernized. They are consuming somewhat more vitamin C than their predecessors. It is quite possible that traditional Eskimos (Inuit) who died many years ago had zero lesions on even less vitamin C.^M
You state that the Eskimo diet contains <93>plenty<94> of vitamin C. How do you define plenty? My understanding is that the traditional Eskimo diet consisted of between 10 and 50 mg. per day. During the winter months, some tribes would cut out the vitamin C-rich adrenal glands of certain animals. They would make thin slices and distribute them to all of the villagers. They did this to prevent scurvy. How much C can you get from a thin slice of gland? Their vitamin C intake was very low and yet they experienced no heart disease. And their Lp(A) was presumably low because of all the saturated fat they consumed. Seemingly, this would contradict the Pauling Theory. Did Pauling have any comments on the other long-lived and healthy cultures which Price studied? Such good health, free of degenerative diseases, would seem to contradict his theory.^M
This is interesting, but getting away from the Eskimo diet. I\'ll probably split this later.^M

One subject I feel I need to know about is how the vitamins interact in the body. With regard to the antioxidants, Vit C is hardly on its own, with other vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones all getting in on the act. To what degree can they compensate/deputize for each other? This is also relevant to the Eskimo question.....where they have little Vit C but large amounts Vits A and D and possibly other dietary components.'

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Sun May 14, 2006 11:12 am
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