Don’t panic. Get educated on the subject. Cholesterol is one of the most important substances inside of your body. Also realize that what is considered ‘high’ by conventional standards, isn’t necessarily high at all. Cholesterol is made by your body to protect you, not to kill you. The human body has not evolved to kill itself. Your body is constantly trying to do the best that it can given the circumstances. This is called homeostasis or homeostatic control; the body in a constant attempt to achieve a state of equilibrium, on every level.
If your healthcare provider were competent, whoever you choose to use, they should hunt down ALL of the underlying causes of what is happening in your body. To just tell you to go on a statin drug reflects a total unwillingness to go to bat for you. It is your health and it is your money. You deserve the highest quality of care and they should work for you diligently. It is my belief that healthcare providers should educate their patients. If they aren’t willing to comply to your high standards of care for your body, you are free to fire this provider as you see fit.
Cholesterol is not your foe, it is your friend. Here’s what it does:
- Comprises and supports the structure of every cell of your body. People with low cholesterol levels are very often in a catabolic state, where their cells are weaker and more susceptible to harmful free radicals
- Cholesterol also is the building block of EVERY steroid hormone, including your adrenal and sex hormones. The cholesterol that is made in your liver is converted into the master hormone pregnenelone by a powerful enzyme system in your cells known as Cytochrome P450. Pregnenelone gets converted into many other hormones, including DHEA, progesterone, estradiol, testosterone and cortisol.
- LDL, the so called ‘bad cholesterol’ is not bad at all. In fact there is no such thing as good or bad cholesterol. Consider that every steroid hormone is made because of the LDL particles circulating in your blood. Your body is INCAPABLE of making steroid hormones without LDL (the so called ‘bad’ cholesterol). Your body’s ability to repair damaged cells and make new ones is due to LDL. Calling LDL ‘bad’ not only makes no sense at all, but it is extremely misleading and simply erroneous.
- Cholesterol is needed in order to assimilate fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. Cholesterol is used to make bile and bile acids, which are needed for the assimilation of these powerful fat soluble nutrients.
- Cholesterol is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It protects your cells from oxidative damage.
- Cholesterol is a metabolic nutrient, it repairs damaged cells. Your immune system needs cholesterol to repair damaged cells. And this is why LDL levels will tend to go up after tooth procedures, surgery as well as when you damage or destroy cells of your body. Cholesterol is transported from the liver to do the repair work. And the same thing happens when your cells are damaged after consuming trans fats, refined sugars, processed foods and neurotoxic substances like mercury and fluoride. Your body increases its production of cholesterol in order to repair damaged cells. This is one scenario that will contribute to the elevation of cholesterol. in essence, the body is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing. Cholesterol is a response to inflammation, not a cause of it!
- Cholesterol is needed for the development and maintainance of the myelin sheath, the covering of nerve tissue.
THE IMPORTANT THING TO REALIZE is that what constitutes a “normal ” cholesterol level is very individual. Unfortunately medical doctors are told by the medical institutions that ALL total cholesterol levels higher than 200 is high. This is the LYNCHPIN for the sale and promotion of statin drugs. Not only is a total cholesterol level of 250 or 280 not necessarily high, total cholesterol by itself tells you nothing about your risk of heart disease. Other more important factors such as insulin, homocysteine, cardio crp and leptin are of much greater value for assessing CVD risk. But then again these factors are controlled through nutritional intervention. So that’ll tell you what the agenda is right there.
Something that many doctors don’t discuss with their patients is the fact that blood chemistry is NOT STATIC. All of your blood chemistry is changing, shifting and is constantly being influenced by numerous factors. This is absolutely true for cholesterol.
If you get injured, get a tooth extracted or have a loss of blood because of cell damage, LDL will tend to go up. There are hundreds, if not thousands of factors that are influencing your cholesterol levels. Doctors often resort to the “your cholesterol is genetically high” schtick. What they don’t tell you as that your genetics are continuously being influenced by numerous factors every day by things like: nutrition, toxicity, antioxidants and fitness level.
High LDL: A Sign of Oxidative Free Radical Stress
It should be understood that cholesterol is listening to orders in the body. It is doing what it is told to do. When it goes up, there are reasons for it, when it goes down there are reasons for it. When I see a total LDL greater than 130, it is telling me a person is likely under an high amount of free radical stress. This can be confirmed with a urine assessment of lipid peroxides or urine specific gravity.
Excess free radicals are a huge cause of cellular death and cellular aging. This is why antioxidants like Glutathione, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Catalyse and SOD are so important. They scavenge the blood of free radicals, improving upon function. in the body. The more toxic we are, the poorer our nutrition is, the less of these endogenous antioxidants get produced. Exogenous sources of antioxidants are also critical, such as Vitamins C, A, E, D, selenium and many others.
High levels of LDL are also associated with consuming a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, as well as partially hydrogenated (trans fats) oils. All of which are very destructive to the body. Cut the junk, and eat high quality food right for your type of metabolism.
Other reasons that cause LDL to go up include:
- Liver toxicity
- Heavy metal body burden
Again it should be emphasized that LDL isn’t bad. it is responding to orders in the body. The body is trying to improve your health given your circumstances.
High HDL: Indicative of Autoimmune Process & Endocrine Dysfunction
What they fail to address when reviewing the lipid panel on a blood test, is that high HDL, the so called ‘good’ cholesterol can also be a sign of stresses in the body. When HDL gets higher than 70 and triglycerides are decreased (usually 50 or less) this may indicate an autoimmune process. It also could indicate endocrine dysfunction and hypothyroidism.
Varying levels of adrenal fatigue has become so common in today’s toxic and high stress world. The body’s burden to deal with this stress is reflected in lab tests such as HDL. Salivary hormone tests are the preferred methods used to correlate hormone and endocrine stress in the body.
There have been numerous books and articles written about how the presence of toxic metals like mercury can harm the hormone pathways, especially for the thyroid and adrenals.
Once again, calling HDL ‘good’ and LDL ‘bad’ is erroneous. You’ve got to address the reason why HDL and LDL are behaving the way they are.
When HDL levels are low, (less than 55) it is also a sign of free radical stress in the body, as well as possibly:
- Heavy metal/chemical body burden
- Sednetary lifestyle: lack of exercise
- Liver toxicity or stress
- Diet too high in carbohydrates, trans fats and sugars
- Thyroid & endocrine dysfunction
Exercise is one of the BEST ways to elevate HDL when it is low.
Diet & Cholesterol
Consider that dietary sources of fat and cholesterol have little to do with your blood cholesterol levels. I have literally seen how eating a high protein, high fat, high cholesterol diet actually LOWERS blood cholesterol levels in many people! Depending on the biochemical individuality of each person, dietary sources of fat and cholesterol may have some to little effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Ironically, it is the consumption of sugar and excess carbohydrates that will tend to cause cholesterol values to go up. It makes perfect sense when you begin studying and understanding how food will behave in the body.
The REAL Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Are you aware that there are far better ways to assess your risk factor for cardiovascular disease rather than cholesterol levels? Its true and these factors are a major influence on the risk factor and development of cardiovascular disease, as well as other health conditions.
- Cardio CRP
Cardio CRP also called Cardiovascular C-Reactive Protein is a major indicator of CVD risk factor when elevated. A good range to use to assess the likelihood of a future cardiovascular event is 0-3. The higher the number, the greater the risk.
Elevated Homocysteine is another indicator of cardiovascular disease risk factor, especially if correlated with insulin and Cardio CRP. Homocyteine formation is the result of the biosynthesis of the amino acid L-methionine. Homocysteine levels greater than 8 are correlative of CVD risk factor as well as cancer and other health conditions. Homocysteine levels may elevate with certain B-Vitamin deficiencies, especially Folate, B-6 and B-12.
Elevated Insulin can be a major indicator of inflammation and cardiovascular risk factor. Diabetics with elevated insulin levels are at a high risk of developing CVD. According to Ron Rosedale, MD: “The way to treat cardiovascular disease and the way I treated my stepfather, the way I treated the high risk cancer patient, and the osteoporosis and high blood pressure. The way to treat virtually all of the so-called chronic diseases of aging is to treat insulin itself.”
One of the primary ways that elevated insulin can increase a person’s CVD risk is through insulin resistance. When the cells become over-exposed to this crucial hormone, insulin resistance takes place. Insulin resistance will also cause a high excretion of magnesium as well as a retention of sodium. Both of these processes significantly increase one’s risk for CVD.
Sodium retention in the cell will alter the sodium/potassium pump and will cause fluid retention in the tissues. Fluid retention in the tissues can result in congestive heart failure.
Magnesium is a critical electrolyte for vasodilation and for increasing nitric oxide in the arteries, both of which antagonize cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Diets that are high in sugars and foods that break down into sugars, will cause a lot of insulin to be released by the pancreas. This is especially true for Protein Types, who are very sensitive to sugars and carbohydrates.
Contrary to most “normal”, laboratory reference ranges, fasting insulin levels should be as low to zero as possible. The reference range that I use for fasting insulin is between 0-5. Fasting insulin levels in double digits is often a causative problem with many degenerative illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
If you are at a high risk for CVD, request that these factors be run in your next blood test.
DISCLAIMER: DO NOT STOP TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS PERSCRIBED BY YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR. THIS IS LETTER IS AN EDUCATIONAL PIECE AND NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.