While the public has been advised by their doctors and health officials that cardiovascular disease is directly related to the accumulation of excess cholesterol in their arteries, MIT Senior Research Scientist Dr. Stephanie Seneff attributes heart disease to a deficiency in cholesterol sulfate, a natural compound formed when our skin is exposed to sunlight.

Sulfate is formed from sulfur and oxygen and exists throughout the body. Cholesterol sulfate is a molecule that circulates in the bloodstream and performs several important biological functions, such as serving as a vital component of extracellular matrix proteins, aiding in the detoxification of drugs and heavy metals, and preventing blood from coagulating while it moves through capillaries.

Just like vitamin D, cholesterol sulfate is formed from sun exposure. Cholesterol sulfate is synthesized from red blood cells, platelets, and sulfide in the skin that reacts chemically to sunlight. Dr. Seneff described the skin as:

“a solar powered battery” that captures energy from sunshine to catalyze sulfate synthesis. The enzyme Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) “performs the magic” of turning sun energy into sulfate in the skin.

As part of her hypothesis, Dr. Seneff believes that heart disease risks are lower in sunny climates. Indeed, geographical data reveals that countries such as France and Spain have much lower rates of death from heart attacks than the United Kingdom. Moreover, with more people now working from home and staying indoors, this has become a significant health concern. 

Unlike cholesterol, cholesterol sulfate’s water-soluble nature allows it to travel freely in the blood instead of needing to be packaged up inside low density lipoproteins (LDL — the so-called “bad” cholesterol).

About 60 percent of our blood is water. In glass containers, water flows freely. At the microscopic level, water holds a tiny electrical charge and orientation that causes it to slow its progression and stick to surfaces that it encounters. Friction builds and its movement through blood vessels slows down. Cholesterol sulfate promotes normal blood flow in a number of ways, such as providing red blood cells with a slick and frictionless surface, and by attaching a negative charge to blood vessel walls, blood cells, and platelets.

Two common chemical substances that disrupt the supply and flow of cholesterol sulfate are statin drugs and glyphosate — the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide. A heart attack is an orchestrated set of events designed to restore sulfate supplies by oxidizing taurine that is stored in large quantities in the heart. While inflammation is damaging to surrounding tissues, it helps to promote an oxidative environment necessary to make sulfate.

Dr. Seneff contends that when neither the normal nor back-up mechanisms are able to produce adequate amounts of cholesterol sulfate that allow blood vessels to regain their slippery nature, the outcome is heart failure, which is a much worse prognosis than atherosclerosis.

What is the final takeaway? Heart disease does not appear to be caused by LDLs or cholesterol. Instead, this health problem seems to result from insufficient cholesterol sulfate. The accumulation of cholesterol is a secondary phenomenon.

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