Oh I have high Cholesterol, I must cut out fatty food, and take statins and ……… STOP please and get informed.
It’s the insulin and sugar not the cholesterol we need to worried about.
Cholesterol performs three main functions:
- It helps make the outer coating of cells.
- It makes up the bile acids that work to digest food in the intestine.
- It allows the body to make Vitamin D and hormones, like estrogen in women and testosterone in men.
Without cholesterol, none of these functions would take place, and without these functions, human beings wouldn’t exist.
Cholesterol and Inflammation – What’s the Connection?
Inflammation has become a bit of a buzzword in the medical field because it has been linked to so many different diseases. And one of those diseases is heart disease … the same heart disease that cholesterol is often blamed for.
What am I getting at?
Well, first consider the role of inflammation in your body. In many respects, it’s a good thing as it’s your body’s natural response to invaders it perceives as threats. If you get a cut for instance, the process of inflammation is what allows you to heal.
Specifically during inflammation:
- Your blood vessels constrict to keep you from bleeding to death
- Your blood becomes thicker so it can clot
- Your immune system sends cells and chemicals to fight viruses, bacteria and other “bad guys” that could infect the area
- Cells multiply to repair the damage
- Ultimately, the cut is healed and a protective scar may form over the area.
If your arteries are damaged, a very similar process occurs inside of your body, except that a “scar” in your artery is known as plaque.
This plaque, along with the thickening of your blood and constricting of your blood vessels that normally occur during the inflammatory process, can indeed increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks.
Notice that cholesterol has yet to even enter the picture.
Cholesterol comes in because, in order to replace your damaged cells, it is necessary.
Remember that no cell can form without cholesterol.
So if you have damaged cells that need to be replaced, your liver will be notified to make more cholesterol and release it into your bloodstream. This is a deliberate process that takes place in order for your body to produce new, healthy cells.
It’s also possible, and quite common, for damage to occur in your body on a regular basis. In this case, you will be in a dangerous state of chronic inflammation.
The Insanity of Lowering Cholesterol
Sally Fallon, the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and Mary Enig, Ph.D, an expert in lipid biochemistry, have gone so far as to call high cholesterol “an invented disease, a ‘problem’ that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood.”
And this explanation is spot on.
If you have increased levels of cholesterol, it is at least in part because of increased inflammation in your body. The cholesterol is there to do a job: help your body to heal and repair.
Conventional medicine misses the boat entirely when they dangerously recommend that lowering cholesterol with drugs is the way to reduce your risk of heart attacks, because what is actually needed is to address whatever is causing your body damage — and leading to increased inflammation and then increased cholesterol.
Cholesterol increase is the alarm.
As Dr. Rosedale points out:
“If excessive damage is occurring such that it is necessary to distribute extra cholesterol through the bloodstream, it would not seem very wise to merely lower the cholesterol and forget about why it is there in the first place.
It would seem much smarter to reduce the extra need for the cholesterol — the excessive damage that is occurring, the reason for the chronic inflammation.”
If Your Cholesterol is Too Low …
All kinds of nasty things can happen to your body. Remember, every single one of your cells needs cholesterol to thrive – including those in your brain. Perhaps this is why low cholesterol wreaks havoc on your psyche.
One large study conducted by Dutch researchers found that men with chronically low cholesterol levels showed a consistently higher risk of having depressive symptoms. And look around our country and the depression many people are faced with.
This may be because cholesterol affects the metabolism of serotonin, a substance involved in the regulation of your mood.
Dozens of studies also support a connection between low or lowered cholesterol levels and violent behaviour, through this same pathway: lowered cholesterol levels may lead to lowered brain serotonin activity, which may, in turn, lead to increased violence and aggression.
And one meta-analysis of over 41,000 patient records found that people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol as much as possible may have a higher risk of cancer, while other studies have linked low cholesterol to Parkinson’s disease.
The Dangers of Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, taking a drug should be your absolute last resort.
Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme in your liver that’s needed to manufacture cholesterol. What is so concerning about this is that when you go tinkering around with the delicate workings of the human body, you risk throwing everything off kilter.
For starters, statin drugs deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is beneficial to heart health and muscle function. This depletion leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness, 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.
By the way, muscle pain and weakness may be an indication that your body tissues are actually breaking down — a condition that can cause kidney damage.
Debunking Cholesterol Myths
Because all the buzz we hear only talks about lowering cholesterol, we’re conditioned to think that lower is better. In fact, that’s completely wrong: “lower” can be very bad for you.
What’s truly important – much more than “lowering” total cholesterol – is maintaining a healthy balance between the HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is the troublemaker because too much of it can lead to atherosclerosis, angina, heart attacks and strokes. You want your LDL cholesterol level to be as low as possible.
HDL cholesterol is a good guy; it’s your system’s “garbage collector.” It collects the body’s waste materials (including excess LDL cholesterol) and carries them back to the liver for processing. You want your HDL cholesterol level to be at a higher level.
The statin drugs doctors prescribe to lower cholesterol don’t do anything at all to balance the HDL:LDL ratio.
Statin drugs act by blocking the enzyme your liver needs to produce cholesterol, and this limits the total amount your liver can create.
As a result, these dangerous drugs can artificially cause your cholesterol level to fall too low, and that also creates problems. Studies show that when total cholesterol levels drop below a certain point (which currently is 190 (4.9) for men, 178 (4.6) for women), there is a greater risk of bleeding (hemorrhagic) strokes and death from cerebral hemorrhage.
In addition to this major danger, the cholesterol-lowering statins have other harmful side effects, too. None of these drugs are completely safe.
Statin drugs have also been linked to:
- An increased risk of polyneuropathy (nerve damage that causes pain in the hands and feet and trouble walking)
- Cognitive impairment, including memory loss
- A potential increased risk of cancer
- Decreased function of the immune system
- Liver problems, including a potential increase in liver enzymes (so people taking statins must be regularly monitored for normal liver function)
- And recently a possible association was found between statins and an increased risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- Other cholesterol-lowering drugs besides statins also have side effects, most notably muscle pain and weakness.
- According to a 2009 Michigan State University study, statin drugs also decrease heart muscle (myocardial) function.
- Statins also put users at a higher risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) because cholesterol is necessary to keep arteries supple and flexible.
- Statins are associated with an increased incidence of diabetes
- Statins won’t prevent first heart attacks
- Statins can cause temporary memory loss and disorientation [Some people taking statins have had loss of memory lasting several hours. Even the FDA has required the makers of statins to add “memory impairment” or “memory loss” to the list of drug reactions.]
- Statins are linked to liver problems, kidney failure, cataracts, and moderate to serious muscle weakness
- Statins can cause deep musculoskeletal pain
- Statins lower cholesterol, and low cholesterol in women is linked to an overall higher death rate. A study has questioned the validity of linking cholesterol levels and heart disease even for men, and no association was found for women. [One study found that women whose cholesterol was over 270 (6.98) had 28% less overall risk of dying compared to women whose cholesterol was under 193 (4.99). So, even if taking statins lowers your risk of heart attack, you increase your risk of dying by 28% if the statins lower your cholesterol too much! Would you want to do that? Not me!]
- Statin use is associated with a 25% increase in cancer rate among people over 70 (the risk reduction of non-fatal and fatal heart attacks together was only 19%). [I guess if you’d rather die of cancer than a heart attack, we’ve found at least one good reason to take statins.]
Are Cholesterol Drugs Even Effective?
More and more evidence indicates that statins do little — if anything at all — to lower the risk of heart attack.
Most cholesterol lowering drugs can effectively lower your cholesterol numbers, but are they actually making you any healthier, and do they help prevent heart disease?
Have you ever heard of the statistic known as NNT, or number needed to treat?
I didn’t think so. In fact, most doctors haven’t either. And herein lies the problem.
NNT answers the question: How many people have to take a particular drug to avoid one incidence of a medical issue (such as a heart attack)?
For example, if a drug had an NNT of 50 for heart attacks, then 50 people have to take the drug in order to prevent one heart attack.
Easy enough, right?
Well, drug companies would rather that you not focus on NNT, because when you do, you get an entirely different picture of their “miracle” drugs. Take, for instance, Pfizer’s Lipitor, which is the most prescribed cholesterol medication in the world and has been prescribed to more than 26 million Americans.
According to Lipitor’s own Web site, Lipitor is clinically proven to lower bad cholesterol 39-60 percent, depending on the dose. Sounds fairly effective, right?
Well, BusinessWeek actually did an excellent story on this very topic earlier this year, and they found the REAL numbers right on Pfizer’s own newspaper ad for Lipitor.
Upon first glance, the ad boasts that Lipitor reduces heart attacks by 36 percent. But there is an asterisk. And when you follow the asterisk, you find the following in much smaller type:
“That means in a large clinical study, 3% of patients taking a sugar pill or placebo had a heart attack compared to 2% of patients taking Lipitor.”
What this means is that for every 100 people who took the drug over 3.3 years, three people on placebos, and two people on Lipitor, had heart attacks. That means that taking Lipitor resulted in just one fewer heart attack per 100 people.
The NNT, in this case, is 100. One hundred people have to take Lipitor for more than three years to prevent one heart attack. And the other 99 people, well, they’ve just dished out hundreds of dollars and increased their risk of a multitude of side effects for nothing.
So you can see how the true effectiveness of cholesterol drugs like Lipitor is hidden behind a smokescreen.
How to Lower Inflammation, and Thereby Your Risk of Heart Disease, Naturally
There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs and saturated fat to protect your heart. While it’s true that fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, I’ve explained earlier in this article why this should not scare you – but I’ll explain even further here.
This misguided principle is based on the “lipid hypothesis” – developed in the 1950s by nutrition pioneer Ancel Keys – that linked dietary fat to coronary heart disease.
The nutrition community of that time completely accepted the hypothesis, and encouraged the public to cut out butter, red meat, animal fats, eggs, dairy and other “artery clogging” fats from their diets – a radical change at that time.
What you may not know is that when Keys published his analysis that claimed to prove the link between dietary fats and coronary heart disease, he selectively analyzed information from only six countries to prove his correlation, rather than comparing all the data available at the time – from 22 countries.
As a result of this “cherry-picked” data, government health organizations began bombarding the public with advice that has contributed to the diabetes and obesity epidemics going on today: eat a low-fat diet.
Not surprisingly, numerous studies have actually shown that Keys’ theory was wrong and saturated fats are healthy, including these studies from Fallon and Enig’s classic article The Skinny on Fats.
A survey of South Carolina adults found no correlation of blood cholesterol levels with “bad” dietary habits, such as use of red meat, animal fats, fried foods, butter, eggs, whole milk, bacon, sausage and cheese.
A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine.
Of course, as people cut out nutritious animal fats from their diets, they were left hungry. So they began eating more processed grains, more vegetable oils, and more high-fructose corn syrup, all of which are nutritional disasters.
It is this latter type of diet that will eventually lead to increased inflammation, and therefore cholesterol, in your body.
Chronic inflammation is actually caused by a laundry list of items such as:
- Oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs)
- Eating lots of sugar and grains
- Eating foods cooked at high temperatures
- Eating trans fats
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Emotional stress
- So to sum it all up, in order to lower your inflammation and cholesterol levels naturally, you must address the items on this list.
How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally …
- Make sure you’re getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega3-fats.
- New research suggests that as little as 500 mg may lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides and will likely increase your HDL cholesterol.
- Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, 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 serve you well to virtually eliminate fruits from your diet, as that it also a source of fructose. Once your cholesterol improves you can gradually reintroduce it to levels that don’t raise your cholesterol.
- Eat a good portion of your food raw.
- Eat healthy, preferably raw, fats that correspond to your nutritional type. This includes:
- Organic raw dairy products (including butter, cream, sour cream, cheese, etc.)
- Eggs (lightly cooked with yolks intact or raw)
- Get the right amount of exercise. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has the opportunity to spread.
- Avoid smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Address your emotional challenges. Transform the emotion into a positive.
So there you have it; the reasons why high cholesterol is a worry that many of you simply do not need to have, along with a simple plan to optimise yours.
If someone you love is currently taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, I urge you to share this information with them, this information needs to be shared and used. There is no proof that statins or cholesterol-lowering drugs do any good, but there is a long list of the serious side effects.
For the majority of you reading this right now, there’s no reason to risk your health with cholesterol-lowering drugs. With the plan just outlined, you’ll achieve the cholesterol levels you were meant to have, along with the very welcome “side effects” of increased energy, mood and mental clarity.
For the vast majority of people, making a few lifestyle changes causes healthy cholesterol levels to naturally occur.
As always, your health really is in your hands. Now it’s up to you to take control.
Why Do Doctors Love Drugs? Why do we end up taking harmful drugs that the doctor says will help us?
The simple answer is, “They’re human.”
Doctors have only so many working hours in a day and try to spend most of them seeing patients. They rely on the medical establishment to keep them informed about effective treatments. Their information comes from:
Sadly, all of the first four sources are heavily influenced by number five, the drug companies. In fact, eight out of nine members of the special panel that established the current cholesterol guidelines have financial ties to the drug companies.
What’s the problem with having too much insulin in your circulation?
Elevated insulin levels are bad news and have a lot more to do with heart disease risk than LDL levels. Aside from promoting unfavourable LDL particle types, elevated insulin promotes high blood pressure and inflammation—all drivers of heart disease risk.
Excess insulin is known to cause:
- Weight gain, since insulin promotes the storage of fat
- Lower cellular levels of magnesium, a mineral that is essential for keeping your blood vessels relaxed and your blood circulation efficient
- An increase in sodium retention, which leads to holding excess water in your system, which causes high blood pressure
- Increased amounts of inflammatory compounds in your blood, which can cause direct physical damage to your blood vessel walls and encourage the development of blood clots which can lead to heart attacks and respiratory failure
- A reduction in HDL, an increase in undesirable small molecules of LDL, and an increase in triglycerides, all of which increase your risk for heart disease
- Possibly a higher risk for cancer due to insulin’s ability to contribute to cell proliferation
What can you do with your food and lifestyle choices to support healthy blood sugar and insulin levels?
- Make non-starchy vegetables the foundation of your diet. Dark green leafy lettuce, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and all unmentioned green vegetables are excellent choices.
- Reduce or eliminate your intake of sugar and all foods that contain sugar. Some of the most concentrated sources of sugar are soda, cookies, chocolate bars, donuts, pastries, ice cream, and ketchup.
- Reduce or eliminate your use of sweeteners like molasses, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, pasteurized/heated honey, and maple syrup.
- Limit intake of fruit juices. Even freshly squeezed fruit juice taken over the long term can lead to high blood sugar and insulin levels. If you want to taste fruit, eat whole fruit, not the juice. The fiber, vitamins, and minerals that come with whole fruit help to slow down the pace at which the natural sugars from fruit enter your bloodstream.
- Do activities and exercises that build or maintain your muscles. Muscle tissue acts as a storage site for extra sugar. The more muscle tissue you have, the better you can regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels.
It is excess blood sugar and insulin that does the damage
Excessive insulin raises the level of bad cholesterol in the blood – the LDL version. At the same time it decreases the level of “good” cholesterol – the HDL variety.
Then it goes on to increase the level of triglycerides in the blood – yet another risk factor for heart disease. Excessive insulin also causes your blood to clot more quickly which increases your risk of stroke.
Though your kidneys are not insulin sensitive, when the insulin level is elevated it indirectly causes the kidneys to retain salt and fluid which further increases your blood pressure.
Excessive insulin increases cellular proliferation which damages the lining of blood vessels. This increases the blood vessels vulnerability and sets the stage for even more blood vessel damage.
Excessive insulin promotes the conversion of specialised cells called microphages in the blood into foam cells which further promotes the formation of dangerous plaques.
Before the plaque becomes dangerous it must be oxidized by free radicals. Once again insulin plays a role by increasing the level of dangerous tissue-damaging free radicals in the blood. The smaller dense LDL particles that excessive insulin promotes are more subject to free radical oxidation.
This damage to the blood vessel lining triggers an inflammatory response which contributes to the vicious cycle. Excessive insulin boosts inflammation throughout the body including within the lining of blood vessels.
Many medical researchers feel that inflammation plays a major role in heart disease and excessive insulin plays a major role in generating it. In addition, studies have shown that this increased level of inflammation can directly damage brain neurons.
Excessive insulin also directly stimulates the central nervous system raising blood pressure which further increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Excessive insulin causes the body to increase it’s excretion of magnesium which causes a magnesium deficiency which can then trigger arterial spasms that can directly cause a heart attack. If a heart attack doesn’t get you, remember that excessive insulin has already increased the blood’s tendency to clot. A blood clot can easily form at the site of the spasm and travel to other areas of the body such as the lungs where it can cause a fatal embolism.
After reading the above it should come as no shock that studies have found that fatal heart attacks are three times more likely after a high carbohydrate meal than after a high fat/protein meal!
Cutting back on sugary foods and drinks prevents high levels of LDL cholesterol from building up in the blood, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers at Emory University, Atlanta, USA, have shown that foods and beverages with high levels of added sugars – already implicated in contributing to obesity and type 2 diabetes – not only lower blood levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”) but increase levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” one) and triglycerides, known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
This is the first study to link increased sugar consumption with blood levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
Statins are associated with an increased incidence of diabetes
Many of these people are diabetics who are being pushed on to statins due to the deadly link between diabetes and heart disease.
Standard diabetes treatment automatically puts diabetics on a statin as a preventative measure — despite findings from 14 studies showing that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for patients with diabetes.
In fact, it’s considered “professional misconduct” to not prescribe statins to diabetics, whether their cholesterol is high or low.
According to researchers, statins elevate blood sugar and make it harder to control. (And remember, spikes in blood sugar increase the risk of heart attack even in healthy people.)
Where is the logic of treating diabetic patients with a drug that worsens the function of their insulin-producing cells.
Statins actually cause Type 2 diabetes.
Three large studies have demonstrated an increase of up to 27% in new-onset diabetes among statin users.
This means that if you’ve developed new-onset diabetes since starting a statin prescription, there’s a good chance you could have avoided diabetes if you hadn’t taken the drug.
Cholesterol levels have long been believed to be the primary factor indicating the risk of heart disease. Though this is not the only factor since arteriosclerosis can still form when cholesterol levels are low, and may not form even if cholesterol levels are excessively high. The key to arterial plaque formation is actually inflammation of the arterial walls. When the arterial walls become inflamed cholesterol deposits over the damaged area to as “patchwork” to help heal the injured area. If the source of inflammation is not eliminated the cholesterol continues to deposit leading to narrowing and possible blockage of the arteries. Some factors that lead to arterial inflammation include bacterial infection, high blood pressure, high homocysteine levels, free radical damage, and elevated insulin levels from poor diet, Type II Diabetes, and insulin therapy.
In addition, stress increases the risk of heart disease by increasing epinephrine (adrenaline) release, which in turn constricts blood vessels while increasing heart rate and force. This increased pressure on the arteries damages arterial leading to inflammation of the arteries and finally plaque build up on the walls.
Sugar, Insulin, Free Radicals, Inflammation and Stress seem to be the killers here, Cholesterol is the alarm that something is not right in the body, or that the issues I just mentioned are causing damage. So if the Cholesterol is not causing the damage leading to heart problems why are we trying to fix an issue that is not an issue, we need to go to the source of the issue and fix that. This is where we all fall down as we have not been given the correct information, controlling our sugar and carbohydrate intake will have a greater effect on our health (and cholesterol) a we remove the cause of the damage in the cardiovascular system.
Q. So why are you killing yourself taking Statin drugs?
A. Because you and your doctors have been mislead by pharmaceutical companies, and their need for a profit.
Please note I am not telling you to go off any meds, but if you are told you need statins, know that they do not help your health, say no, take control and do it yourself. Step one is cut out sugar, reduce intake or carbohydrates. Make the changes and if you want after 3 months of doing so get your cholesterol checked again and all going well you will see a drop, as you are dealing with the cause of the damage not just a symptom.
This information is taken from many reports, below are some links to the information.