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Thirty years of research reveal: acquittal for cholesterol

Only with cholesterol can the body utilize vitamins
Photo: Benicce, Fotolia

Feel-good world

After many investigations, the physician Professor Walter Hartenbach now states: Cholesterol is not bad at all. And it only minimally damages the veins and the heart.

Do you have a cholesterol value over 200? "Do not worry, " says Professor Walter Hartenbach. For more than 30 years, the Munich Heart and Vascular Surgeon has been researching nutritional and vascular diseases: "In more than 1, 000 patients with vascular diseases, I found no evidence that cholesterol calcified the arteries, thus increasing the risk of myocardial infarction." On average, adults worldwide even have 250 mg / dL (milligrams per tenth of a liter) of cholesterol in their blood. With the recommended maximum value of 200 "almost the entire adult population is declared sick, " said Hartenbach in his book "The cholesterol lie" (Herbig Verlag, 184 p., 14.90 euros).

"But it does not make you sick, the body even needs it."

Renowned medical researchers such as the internist Professor Hans-Jürgen Holtmeier from the University of Freiburg support his acquittal for cholesterol. Holtmeier: "Healthy people should not pay attention to a cholesterol level below 300." And the well-known food chemist Udo Pollmer says like Hartenbach: "There is no bad cholesterol."

What is cholesterol?

The substance that is so much discussed is carbon. Cholesterol is not fat or blood fat, as is often assumed. It is also not a toxic foreign substance. 80 percent of it is the liver itself. Only the rest comes into the body through the food. Cholesterol is a building block for all cells in the body and vital for the metabolism. Professor Hartenbach: "Through nutrition you can change the cholesterol level in the blood by a maximum of five percent." The liver regulates the level by increasing or decreasing cholesterol production as needed.

Why is it supposedly so dangerous?

In the 1950s, American nutrition researcher Ancel Keys caused a stir. His claim: Above all, a diet high in cholesterol leads to arteriosclerosis (arteriosclerosis) and increases the risk of heart attack. In arteriosclerosis deposits form in the veins (plaques). They narrow the vessels. But that cholesterol causes the plaques, is scientifically more and more controversial. Professor Hartenbach: "There is a maximum of one percent of cholesterol in the plaques."

How do I protect my heart?

Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and clotted platelets are considered to be major risks today. All these factors can damage the veins from the inside.

Eat properly : For the prevention of obesity and diabetes and for optimal metabolism, many vitamins and minerals are needed daily. Prof. Hartenbach recommends:

  • lean meat: contains a lot of vitamin A, B, B 3 and the minerals potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
  • Fish: provides plenty of vitamin A, B, E and potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron.
  • Fruits and raw vegetables like peppers: lots of vitamin A, C and the mineral potassium.
  • Milk and dairy products like yoghurt: a lot of vitamin A plus calcium.
  • Eggs: high quality protein, vitamin A and phosphorus.

Professor Hartenbach's basic rules for a balanced diet :

  • Every day some meat or fish
  • fruit or fruit juices at least three times a day - but preferably both
  • twice a day milk and dairy products.

Lots of Movement : International studies clearly show that sufficient exercise dramatically reduces the risk of arteriosclerosis and heart attack, for example, because blood sugar is regulated. Very important:

  • more exercise in everyday life: take the stairs instead of the lift, go for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Endurance sport: The risk of atherosclerosis continues to drop if you do at least three times a week for about 30 minutes of easy endurance training. Good are cycling, hiking, walking, Nordic walking, jogging, stepper training or swimming.