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In a recent report, some young children have been found to have high blood triglycerides, high cholesterol and already hardening of the arteries.  In the Vietnam War era, young men were found to have already atherosclerosis of the arteries (narrowing of the arteries from cholesterol deposits).  Aren’t these problems which should wait at least until people age some?  Where are all these cholesterol and artery problems coming from?  The report on children points to high sugar intake for causing high triglycerides but where are all the cholesterol problems coming from?  There must be something causing these problems.  It is certainly not old age and it cannot be bad genes in so many children.

Is there something in our food?

Yes, there is something in our food which could cause these problems.  But only a very few people know about it.   I explain in my new book,  Rottenseed!  Cottonseed, Alzheimer’s and Your Brain,   in great detail how kids could be showing up with these high cholesterol numbers.  This is the brief explanation:

In our food are several toxic chemicals which block the excretion of cholesterol, leading to high cholesterol levels.  Then atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) develops.    What is the relationship to food?  There are toxic chemicals in food raising cholesterol and causing cholesterol deposits in the arteries.

Our food contains two cottonseed toxins called cyclopropenoid fatty acids, or CPFA’s, which  cause increased cholesterol and other problems.

CPFA’s  block the excretion of cholesterol from the body.  Then cholesterol levels go up and artery disease begins and worsens.  In a study of rabbits fed these toxins, the rabbits developed high cholesterol and major artery disease in only five weeks.[i]

So if kids are eating lots of foods with cottonseed, they may be developing high cholesterol.  Cottonseed is left over from cotton farming.  Kids are eating cottonseed in foods, such as meat, milk, fish, poultry and potato chips.   When do these toxins start to act?  Do they wait until people start to become old?  No, cottonseed is fed to dairy cattle and these toxins are found in milk.  So very young children will be ingesting these toxins as soon as they start on regular milk.  These toxins block clearance of cholesterol causing high blood cholesterol, and could easily account for why children and young adults have high cholesterol.

Cottonseed toxins are also in cottonseed oil.  Every time a child eats a potato chip fried in cottonseed oil, the child is ingesting toxins that may lead to high cholesterol.

What can you, as a parent, do about this?

You can feed your children cottonseed-free foods.  First, get rid of foods containing cottonseed oil.  There are plenty of chips and snack foods on the market that do not contain cottonseed oil.  Second, eat as little meat as possible that is commercially raised.  Eat grass fed beef, eat meat alternatives such as beans and rice.  Third, drink milk that is from cows that are “pasture raised” or “grass fed” so your children are not drinking cottonseed toxins.    If you’re looking for a cookbook that incorporates these ides, we would suggest  Feast Without Yeast: 4 Stages to Better Health and Extraordinary Foods for the Everyday Kitchen.

For more information, look for my new book, Rottenseed!  Cottonseed, Alzheimer’s and Your Brain., now available from, Barnes & and many other sources



[i] Ferguson, T.L., Wales, J.H., Sinnhuber, R. O. and D. J. Lee.  (1976)  Cholesterol Levels, Atherosclerosis and Liver morphology in rabbits fed cyclopropenoid fatty acids.  Food Cosmetology and Toxicology.  14:15-18.

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Dr. Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D.

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— Dr. Bruce Semon