Cholesterol could easily be described as the smoking gun of the past two decades. He has been responsible for demonizing entire categories of foods (such as eggs and saturated fats) and being blamed for almost all cases of heart disease in the last 20 years. However, when I opened my medical practice for the first time in the mid-1980s, cholesterol and the fear that yours was too high were rarely talked about.
However, somewhere along the way, cholesterol became a familiar word, something that should be kept as low as possible or suffer the consequences. You probably know that there are many myths that describe fat and cholesterol as one of the worst foods you can consume. Please understand that these myths are actually damaging your health. Not only is cholesterol likely not to destroy your health (as you have been led to believe), but it is not the cause of heart disease.
And for those of you who take medications to reduce cholesterol, the information that follows could not have given you fast enough. But before delving into this life-changing information, let's first look at some basic concepts.
What is cholesterol and why do you need it?
That's right, you need cholesterol. This soft and waxy substance is found not only in the bloodstream, but also in every cell of the body, where it helps produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.
Your liver produces approximately 75 percent of your body's cholesterol and, according to conventional medicine, there are two types:
High density lipoprotein, or HDL: this is the "good" cholesterol that helps keep cholesterol away from the arteries and removes any excess arterial plaque, which can help prevent heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL: This "bad" cholesterol circulates in your blood and, according to conventional thinking, can accumulate in your arteries, forming a plaque that narrows your arteries and is less flexible (a condition called atherosclerosis) . If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries that lead to your heart or brain, a heart attack or stroke can occur.
They also make up your total cholesterol count are:
Triglycerides: High levels of this dangerous fat have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. It is known that triglyceride levels increase when you eat too many grains and sugars, being physically inactive, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol excessively and being overweight or obese.
Lipoprotein (a) or Lp (a): Lp (a) is a substance that is composed of a part of "bad cholesterol" LDL plus a protein (apoprotein a). High levels of Lp (a) are a very strong risk factor for heart disease. This has been well established, but very few doctors verify it in their patients.
Your total cholesterol level is NOT a great indicator of your risk of heart disease
Health officials in the United States urge everyone over the age of 20 to get a cholesterol test once every five years. Part of this test is your total cholesterol, or the sum of the cholesterol content of your blood, including HDL, LDL and VLDL. The American Heart Association recommends that your total cholesterol be less than 200 mg / dL, but what they do not tell you is that the total cholesterol level is almost worthless to determine your risk of heart disease, unless it is above 330. In addition , the AHA updated its guidelines in 2004, reducing the recommended level of LDL cholesterol from 130 to LDL to less than 100, or even to less than 70 for high-risk patients. To achieve these scandalous and dangerously low goals, you usually must take several medications to lower cholesterol. So the guidelines instantly increased the market for these dangerous drugs. Now, when assessing cholesterol levels in children, they are increasing their market even more.
I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels above 250 who actually had a low risk of heart disease because of their HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen even more that they had cholesterol levels below 200 that had a very high risk of heart disease based on the following additional tests:
HDL / Cholesterol ratio triglyceride / HDL ratios
The percentage of HDL is a very powerful risk factor for heart disease. Just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol. That percentage ideally should be above 24 percent. You can also do the same with your triglycerides and the HDL ratio. That percentage should be below 2. However, keep in mind that these are still simple guidelines and that there is much more related to your risk of heart disease than any of these numbers. In fact, it was only after it was known that total cholesterol is a bad predictor of heart disease that HDL and LDL cholesterol were incorporated into the image.
Cholesterol is your friend, not your enemy
Before continuing, I would really like you to understand this concept.
In the United States, the idea that cholesterol is bad is deeply rooted in the minds of most people. But this is a very harmful myth that must be put aside at this time.
"First and foremost," notes Dr. Rosedale, "cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol.
That will automatically tell you that, in itself, it can not be bad. In fact, he is one of our best friends.
We would not be here without him. It is not surprising that reducing too much cholesterol increases the risk of dying. Cholesterol is also a precursor to all steroid hormones. "You can not produce estrogen, testosterone, cortisone and a lot of other vital hormones without cholesterol."
The madness of lowering cholesterol
Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and Mary Enig, Ph.D, expert in lipid biochemistry, have gone so far as to call high cholesterol "an invented disease, a" problem "that arose when professionals in I learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. "
And this explanation is correct. If you have high cholesterol levels, it is at least in part due to the increased inflammation in your body. Cholesterol is there to do a job: help your body heal and repair. Conventional medicine loses sight of the boat altogether when they dangerously recommend that reducing cholesterol with medications is the way to reduce your risk of heart attacks, because what is really needed is to address everything that is causing harm to your body, and take to an increase in inflammation and then to an increase in cholesterol. .
As Dr. Rosedale aptly points out:
"If excessive damage occurs in such a way that it is necessary to distribute the extra cholesterol through the bloodstream, it would not seem very sensible to simply reduce cholesterol and forget why it is there in the first place.
It would seem much smarter to reduce the additional need for cholesterol, the excessive damage that is occurring, the reason for chronic inflammation. "
If your cholesterol is too low …
All kinds of unpleasant things can happen to your body. Remember, each of your cells needs cholesterol to thrive, including those in your brain. Perhaps this is the reason why low cholesterol wreaks havoc on your psyche. A large study conducted by Dutch researchers found that men with chronically low cholesterol levels showed a consistently higher risk of having depressive symptoms. This may be because cholesterol affects the metabolism of serotonin, a substance involved in the regulation of your mood. On a similar note, Canadian researchers found that those in the lowest quarter of the total cholesterol concentration had more than six times the risk of committing suicide, as did those in the highest quarter.
Dozens of studies also support a connection between lower or lower cholesterol levels and violent behavior, through this same pathway: lower cholesterol levels can lead to reduced brain activity of serotonin, which, in turn, It can lead to an increase in violence and aggression. And a meta-analysis of more than 41,000 patient records found that people who take statins to lower their cholesterol as much as possible may have an increased risk of cancer, while other studies have linked low cholesterol with Parkinson's disease.
What level of cholesterol is too low? Prepare.
Probably, any level well below 150, an optimal level would be more like 200. Now I know what you're thinking: "But my doctor tells me that my cholesterol should be below 200 to be healthy." Well, let me clarify how these levels The recommendations came to be. And I warn you, it's not a pretty story. This is a major problem. I have seen a large number of people who have lowered their cholesterol below 150, and there is little doubt in my opinion that it is causing much more harm than any benefit they are receiving by lowering their cholesterol.
The dangers of cholesterol-lowering medications
If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, taking a medication should be your last resort. And when I say last resort, I'm saying that the odds are very high, more than 100 to 1, that you do not need medications to lower your cholesterol. To put it another way, among the more than 20,000 patients who have come to my clinic, only four or five of them really needed these medications, as they had genetic challenges of familial hypercholesterolemia that required it.
Contrast this with what is happening in the general population. According to data from Medco Health Solutions Inc., more than half of insured Americans are taking medications for chronic health conditions. And cholesterol-lowering medications are the second most common variety in this group, with almost 15 percent of users of chronic medications taking them (medications for high blood pressure – another category heavily over-prescribed) were the first.
Disturbingly, as written in BusinessWeek in early 2008, "some researchers even suggested, half jokingly, that the drugs should be included in the water supply." Consider the good fortune that you probably do NOT need to take medications to lower cholesterol, because these are some unpleasant pills. Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme in your liver that is needed to make cholesterol. The most worrying thing about this is that when you play with the delicate functioning of the human body, you run the risk of getting rid of everything.
For starters, statin medications deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is beneficial for heart health and muscle function. Because doctors rarely inform people of this risk and advise them to take a CoQ10 supplement, this depletion leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, pain and eventually heart failure. Muscle pain and weakness, a condition called rhabdomyolysis, is actually the most common side effect of statin drugs, which is thought to occur because statins activate the atrogin-1 gene, which plays a key role in muscle atrophy. .
Statin drugs have also been linked to:
An increased risk of polyneuropathy (damage to the nerves that causes pain in the hands and feet and difficulty walking) Dizziness Cognitive impairment, including memory loss A possible increase in cancer risk. Decreased immune system function. Depression Liver problems, including a possible increase in liver enzymes (therefore, people taking statins should be monitored regularly for normal liver function)
How to reduce inflammation, and therefore your risk of heart disease, naturally
1. Make sure you are getting lots of omega3 high quality animal fats. I prefer those of krill oil. New research suggests that only 500 mg can lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides and probably increase your HDL cholesterol.
2. Reduce, with the plan to eliminate, the processed grains and sugars in your daily diet. It is especially important to eliminate dangerous sugars such as fructose. If your HDL / Cholesterol ratio is abnormal and needs to be improved, it would also be useful to virtually eliminate fruits from your diet, as it is also a source of fructose. Once your cholesterol improves, you can gradually reintroduce it to levels that do not raise it.
3. Eat a good portion of your raw food.
4. Eat healthy fats, preferably raw. This includes:
Olive oil Coconut and coconut oil Organic raw dairy products (including butter, cream, sour cream, cheese, etc.) Avocados Raw nuts Seeds Eggs (lightly cooked with intact or raw yolks) Organic meats, fed with grass
5. Obtain the correct amount of exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and the flow of blood through your body. The components of your immune system are also distributed better, which means that your immune system is more likely to fight off a disease before it spreads.
6. Avoid smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
7. Address your emotional challenges. I particularly love the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for stress management.
So there you have it; The reasons why high cholesterol is a concern that many of you simply do not need to have, along with a simple plan to optimize yours.
For most of you who read this at this time, there is no reason to risk your health with medications to lower cholesterol. With the plan I just described, you will achieve the cholesterol levels you should have, along with the very welcome "side effects" of higher energy, mood and mental clarity.
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