During the last decade science has determined that the age of the vascular tree determines the age of every cell, organ, and system in the body. Why? Because every cell, organ, and system receives its vital nutrients through the cardiovascular system. Whatever we eat that ages our heart and blood-vessel network also ages every cell, organ, and system in the body (See Chapter Two in Original Fast Foods). Studies now demonstrate that if you eat like an average American, it is one hundred percent certain that you have heart disease. What can be done about this sobering reality? The average American eats less than seven percent of his diet from whole plant-based foods, the very foods that the creator of this earth prepared to be "meat for man." (See Genesis 1:29.) Ninety-three percent of calories in the U.S. diet come from animal products and processed and refined foods, sugar, and oil. Each time these foods pass our lips they cause inflammation and a build-up of plaque beneath the epithelial lining of blood vessels, which stiffens blood vessels and accelerates aging. If you want to activate the fountain of youth within you, then enable the following four defense mechanisms that help keep the vascular tree young, flexible, and disease free.

Four Defense Mechanisms that Strengthen and Protect Us From Disease

A diet of vegetables, fruits, and starches activates four defense mechanisms that prevent, arrest and reverse heart disease:

  1. The First Defense Mechanism: Nitric Oxide produced in endothelial cells is the strongest dilator of blood vessels in the body. It enables blood vessels to dilate swiftly to accommodate increased demands for oxygen, glycogen, and other nutrients during increased physical activity. Nitric oxide helps to keep blood pressure low, prevents development of plaque, prevents smooth muscles from growing into the plaque in the walls of arteries, and it destroys the source of oxidation and inflammation in vessels. Heart disease progresses each time food passes your lips that cause blood vessels to become stiff and inflamed. In contrast, foods that support high nitric oxide production keep vessels flexible rather than stiff and inflamed. A diet of vegetables, fruits, and grains supports high nitric oxide production and youthful blood vessels throughout the body.
  2. Second Defense Mechanism: Endothelial Progenitor Cells produced in bone marrow are responsible for replacing worn out endothelial cells in blood vessels. These are the cells that are responsible for nitric oxide production that keep blood vessels youthful. A study in Okinawa, Japan revealed that the number of endothelial progenitor cells measured in the bloodstream was significantly higher in those who were given five servings of leafy greens daily, in addition to the diet given to the other half of the study group. Of all foods, leafy greens lead to the highest counts of endothelial progenitor cells that ultimately become responsible for nitric oxide production.
  3. Third Defense Mechanism – High Functioning HDL Cholesterol: It has long been presumed that high HDL cholesterol levels are best for heart health. However studies where heart disease has been arrested and reversed reveal that HDL levels have dropped in study participants, to levels that are far less than those of average Americans. Why and what is going on? Four different studies have led to greater understanding of HDL cholesterol.

First, in 2006, Pfizer was nearing the end of the final phase of a trial before a new drug, torcetrapib (created to both lower LDL levels and to increase HDL levels), could be released to the public. It was discovered that there was a 60% increase in deaths among patients who received torcetrapib. For reasons unknown at the time, raising HDL cholesterol levels did not defend against CHD, as expected, but caused increased CHD.

Second, similar to the Pfizer study, a study was published three years later in 2009, in Britain. It revealed that 150,000 participants who were given fish oils and other supplements known to raise HDL cholesterol levels, had significantly higher rates of cardiac events than 150,000 participants who received no HDL-raising supplements.

Third, just two years later, in 2011, the University of Pennsylvania published a study about the efflux capacity of HDL cholesterol. Efflux capacity is HDL’s capacity to withdraw cholesterol from the walls of vessels and take it back to the liver and neutralize it. Blood drawn from 2000 study participants was first measured for HDL cholesterol content, and then for the capacity of HDL to efflux. It was discovered that HDL levels have nothing to do with HDL efflux capacity.

Fourth, two months later, still in 2011, UCLA published a study about apolipoprotein (Apo A-1), which is a protein inside the HDL molecule. It was discovered that the health of this protein is key to the efflux capacity of HDL. Apo A-1 is responsible for reverse cholesterol transport to the liver, and when this protein is damaged by oxidation or inflammation it ceases to reduce cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels. Damaged Apo A-1 causes HDL to become pro-inflammatory, and it then joins with LDL cholesterol to diminish cardiovascular health.

This progression of knowledge between 2006 and 2011 helps us to understand why populations that eat whole, plant-based diets, have no heart disease and maintain average HDL cholesterol levels of only 25, compared to the average HDL level for the American male, which is 45 to 50. When we eat like average Americans Apo- A-1 is damaged and our HDL’s efflux capacity (i.e. to remove cholesterol from our vessels and neutralize it), is lost.

  1. Fourth Defense Mechanism – Dimethyl Arginine Dimethyl Amino Hydrolase (DDAH): Arginine (an essential amino acid), enters endothelial cells and connects to nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is an enzyme that catalyzes nitric oxide production from arginine. This is good; however, a byproduct from the continuous protein turnover in all cells, known as Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), interferes with this nitric oxide production by competing with arginine for the active connection site on the NOS enzyme. A whole-food plant-based diet helps arginine win this competition in two ways: First, healthy kidneys filter ADMA out of the bloodstream and pass it out of the body through the urine; second, ADMA is also metabolized out of the body through the DDAH enzyme. Whole, plant-based foods lead to healthy kidneys and other conditions that are favorable to ADMA elimination from the body. In contrast kidney failure is common to our western diet and it prevents the filtering of ADMA from the bloodstream, leaving the full-burden of ADMA elimination upon DDAH, which cannot keep up with all the ADMA produced by protein turnover. Other conditions that diminish DDAH’s capacity to metabolize ADMA include obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, high homocystene levels, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, diabetes, and smoking. Each diminish nitric oxide production and each increase aging. Finally, each of these is entirely controlled by diet.

Remember, the biological age of your vascular tree determines the biological age of your body. Your natural defenses against cardiovascular disease and premature aging are weakened each time food passes your lips that causes inflammation in your cardiovascular system. The whole-foods plant-based (WFPB) diet first given in Genesis 1:29-30, which is the diet the prophet Daniel followed, and is the diet prescribed in the Word of Wisdom in our day, best supports high nitric oxide production and prevents renal failure, liver failure, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, diabetes, each of which lead to the early demise of your body.

Today’s standard cardiology treatments do not effectively treat the cause of heart disease. They do nothing to further the production of nitric oxide in the endothelial cells, nor do they support higher production of endothelial progenitor cells, nor do they support HDL cholesterol efflux capacity, nor do they help overcome poor kidney health,  obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, high homocystene levels, high triglycerides, and insulin resistance. Each of these interfere with the elimination of ADMA, and place undue burden upon Arginine Dimethyl Amino Hydrolase (DDAH) until it can no longer keep pace with ADMA production, leading to body failure.

Each of these common U.S. disease can only be addressed properly by diet. But doctors know little to nothing about sound dietary solutions. Rather, they perform 1.2 million highly profitable stent procedures and 500,000 highly profitable by-pass surgeries annually. Of these, 12,000 deaths occur following the implant of stents; 48,000 heart attack deaths occur during the surgical procedure to receive stents; 15,000 deaths occur during by-pass surgery; and another 15,000 deaths occur that are caused by strokes that are associated with by-pass surgery.

Walter Willet, chairman of public health at Harvard, said of our current standard cardiovascular procedures, "The current path leads to increasing adiposity, diabetes, mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and disability; and an unfit, socially isolated population stuffed with pills and subjected to frequent palliative procedures (Circulation 2009; 120:1171-1173).

Widespread ignorance at the highest levels prevents sound dietary science from making the headlines! Instead of well-informed health leaders we have just the opposite. For example, the president of the American Heart Association, Clyde Yancy MD, was reported by the New York Times to have said about President Clinton’s heart attack, "This kind of disease is progressive. There aren't any cures." Allan Scwhartz MD, President Clinton's personal doctor was reported in the New York Times to have said, "This is not a result of his lifestyle or diet. This is a chronic condition. We don't have a cure for this condition." This kind of ignorance and/or lies continue to be promoted by the very industry that benefits most financially from heart disease, and most resists embracing sound dietary cures that have been forwarded by physicians such as Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish, Joel Furhman, John McDougall, the Physician's Commitee for Responsible Medicine, and many others.

Food and the Brachial Artery Tourniquet Test (BART): Investigative cardiology researchers have demonstrated that anti-inflammatory foods arrest, reverse heart disease and all other diseases that follow a similar progression. How do they know which foods are anti-inflammatory? A test is conducted with various foods. After a given food has digested for 120 minutes, a pressurized tourniquet is placed upon the arm above the elbow, which impedes the flow of blood through the brachial artery. Upon releasing the tourniquet pressure, the brachial artery dilation that follows is measured. Normal dilation is about 30 percent. But if the foods eaten have caused inflammation and stiffness in the artery, dilation of the brachial artery is greatly diminished. Some foods enable more nitric oxide production and increase normal dilation significantly. Let's take a look!

Each of the following foods fail BART and decrease vessel dilation capacity: oil, fish, fowl, flesh of all kinds, dairy, caffeinated coffee, and fructose. Foods that do not fail BART and that increase nitric oxide production that leads to increase dilation capacity, include all greens, fruits and berries, all starches (grains, legumes or beans, lentils, and split peas, and starchy vegetables) and all non-starchy vegetables. Some nuts and seeds also receive exceptional BART scores. For example, walnuts increase normal vessel dilation by 24 percent, but it is recommended that they be eaten only as sparing compliments to meals, such as condiments in salads, or to help emulsify healthful dressings. They are exceedingly high in caloric content and will lead to weight gains if eaten more than sparingly. Also it is best to eat them raw and to soak them in water for about 8 hours (overnight) before using them as condiments. Similarly, chia and flax seed both increase vessel dilation; however, it is best to use these as sparingly compliments to your meals.

Hope of becoming free from future cardiac events is an incredible motivator to all who have already experienced serious cardiac events. They know that the next event hangs over their heads 24/7, like a guillotine ready to drop. How hard is it to make the changes necessary to arrest and reverse heart disease? One hundred and 90 of Caldwell Esselstyn's two hundred study participants, were reported in his 2014 study to have been adhered to his Whole Foods Plant-Based Study, and each were able to arrest and reverse significant heart disease. His earlier study, performed in the 80s achieved identical results with a smaller group of people. This way of eating is adapted to the weakest of all who want to enable their best health and who suffer from any disease that follows the progression of heart disease.

Learn how to create our favorite anti-inflammatory meals that are listed Daniel's Eating Guide that follows in Part 6. It is easy to eliminate inflammatory foods from one's diet, while at the same time to satisfy the soul. Once you master the application of the dietary truths contained in Daniel's Challenge, you will not only feel free from the bondage and destruction of poor dietary habits, but you will wonder why it took you so long to become sensible and prudent in your dietary choices. 

Special Note: Before engaging in Daniel's Challenge, please study carefully each of its seven parts:

  1. Daniel's Challenge - Part 1
  2. Daniel's Challenge - Part 2
  3. Daniel's Challenge - Part 3
  4. Daniel's Challenge - Part 4
  5. Daniel's Challenge - Part 5
  6. Daniel's Challenge - Part 6
  7. Daniel's Challenge - Part 7

Also, it is good to do Daniel's Challenge with a friend or friends who also have great interest in doing so after they read and study these seven different parts. You can use any of the sharing features below to share Daniel's Challenge with them. Also, we are offering Video Conferencing to all who desire further assistance. It important that you make this a permanent lifestyle change, and it is good to have expert assistance from time to time, when it is needed. Best!

Views: 1347

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thank you so much James for all your research and for putting this all together.  You are doing a great work.  

Very good article.Thank you.

Thank you; I hope it is helpful.

Angela Huntington said:

Thank you so much James for all your research and for putting this all together.  You are doing a great work.  

Reply to Discussion



James Simmons created this Ning Network.


Healthful Drinks

Fun and healthful ways to hydrate.

35 discussions

Raw Food Bowls

Quick and Easy All Raw Dishes

16 discussions

Cooked Food Bowls

Share your favorite cooked food bowl dishes.

18 discussions

Cooked and Raw Bowls

13 discussions


  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

James Simmons replied to James Simmons's discussion Back to the Garden
"Belated answer Sharey: Colleen and I moved to a small farm in Idaho where I could not obtain…"
Sep 22
James Simmons posted a page
Sep 16
James Simmons posted a page
Sep 16
James Simmons posted a page
Sep 16


© 2023   Created by James Simmons.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service