Seeing is Believing!
Have you ever met your friends at your favorite restaurant and when you returned home, you felt too sluggish or sleepy to be productive, so you crashed on the sofa to watch TV? This phenomenon is not a surprise to Dr. John McDougall, who has been studying the effects of high-fat meals for over 40 years. He demonstrates why this occurs in this two-minute video clip from his Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune presentation.
When you click on the link above, the video begins with Dr. McDougall highlighting the groundbreaking research conducted by Dr. Roy Swank (1909-2008) in the 1950's. Or you can watch the video just below starting from the beginning.
The experiment featured in the video was performed using hamster cheek pouches. Because blood cells have the natural ability to repel one another due to their negative charge, the blood cells flow freely and bounce off of each other within the vessel walls before the hamsters were fed a high-fat meal. Notice however, how the flow of blood is severely impaired after the hamsters were fed a meal high in fat. Another video demonstration (better quality footage) of this same experiment can be seen here.
How and why does this occur? Approximately one hour after consuming a high-fat meal, fats from the gut enter the bloodstream and coat the cells, preventing the cells from repelling one another. As they come into contact with one another, they stick together and form clumps. The clumped blood moves very slowly promoting the formation of clots. Six hours following a high-fat meal, as the clumping formation progresses, the sludging can "become so severe that the flow of blood stops entirely, and the overall oxygen content of the blood falls. Tissues deprived of nutrients and oxygen for even short periods of time will die."
In 1964 Dr. Meyer Friedman observed these same results in the blood vessels of the conjunctiva of the human eye. His findings were published in Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association. Subjects were fed a high-fat meal (67%) typical of what most Americans would consume for breakfast. The meal consisted of 2 eggs, 4 strips of bacon, bread with 2 pats of butter, and a glass of milk. The before and after photos in the above video clip reveal how this single high-fat meal (from animal sources or refined vegetable oils) dramatically reduced circulation of these vessels. Dr. Friedman writes, "A meal rich either in animal or vegetable fat can lead to sludging of the blood and blocked capillaries for most of a 24 hour period, and one fatty meal follows another. At this writing (1965), I know of no single phenomenon that has been so consistently neglected, in the study of heart disease, as this one. Later we may rue this inexcusable oversight."
Angina (chest pain), impaired brain function, hypertension, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, hearing loss, macular degeneration, degenerative disk disease, stroke, cataracts, and even multiple sclerosis are just a few of the many illnesses associated with reduced blood flow and oxygenation of our tissues. After the clumps break up, the flow of blood returns to the tissues, although this can take 10-12 hours.
Through the dedicated efforts of Dr. Roy Swank, many patients with multiple sclerosis have stopped the progression of their disease. Dr. Swank's research led him to the discovery that saturated animal fat was directly responsible for sludging of the blood, even by a single meal, which can clog tiny capillaries that feed our nervous system. This sludging contributes to the frequency and severity of multiple sclerosis attacks.
Because it takes many hours for normal circulation to return, fat may not have cleared before the next high-fat meal is consumed. Therefore, those who consume saturated animal fats and cholesterol at every meal keep their blood "thick" and in a constant state of "sludging." According to Dr. McDougall, "Animal (saturated) fats are the strongest promoters of blood clotting that we contact daily. The day you stop eating animal fats is the day your blood 'thins' out. Additionally, animal fats increase the production of prostaglandin hormones that cause the blood vessels to constrict which may slow the flow of blood and increase the chance of the blood clotting."
Optimal health depends on optimal blood flow. Day after day, year after year, consuming animal products and refined vegetable oils keeps our blood in a constant state of being thick and fatty. Nutrients and oxygen levels are then reduced, and our cells starve. Consequently, "every disease known to man may be generated." Removing both animal products and refined vegetable oils from the diet lowers circulating fats and cholesterol levels so that vital nutrients and oxygen can be restored.
For additional information, click on the following links:
John McDougall MD Links