Cholesterol Itself Isn’t the Problem
While doctors have assumed for decades that high cholesterol causes heart disease and other health problems – and that lowering cholesterol is the way to fight disease – they have apparently missed the boat.
For example, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in 1987 finding no no correlation between cholesterol levels and mortality in people over 50. The study also found that falling cholesterol levels can sometimes lead to increased mortality. A large government study found that raising levels of HDL “good” cholesterol using a drug did not reduce the risk of heart disease. The Journal of Cardiac Failure reported that low serum total cholesterol is associated with marked increase in mortality in advanced heart failure. Similarly, the Journal Lancet reported that reductions in the cholesterol level of the elderly increased mortality. Other studies have reached the same conclusion.
It is also important to have a reality check: cholesterol is actually a vital precursor to vitamin D, and to basic hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and adrenaline. If we don’t have enough cholesterol in our body, we will be sickly, impotent and depressed.
Despite the foregoing, mainstream doctors are pushing cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statins” like they were candy … and some are even pushing to add it to the public water supply. As Paul Joseph Watson notes:
Drug companies claim that statins have been proven to lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease and strokes, leading many health experts to insist that they be artificially added to public water supplies, but dangerous side-effects buried by drug companies conducting statin trials have now come to light, in addition to the fact that “for three quarters of those taking them, they offer little or no value.”
A new study published in the Cochrane Library, which reviews drug trials, examined data from 14 drugs trials involving 34,000 patients and found evidence of “short-term memory loss, depression and mood swings,” that had been deliberately underplayed by the drug companies funding the research.
The researchers warn that, “Statins should only be prescribed to those with heart disease, or who have suffered the condition in the past. Researchers warn that unless a patient is at high risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, statins may cause more harm than good.”
However, despite the fact that statins have also been linked to a greater risk of liver dysfunction, acute kidney failure, cataracts and muscle damage, health authorities have been pushing for the drug to be added to public water supplies as part of a mass medication program that is not only illegal without consent, but also threatens a plethora of unknown consequences.
Only last week, George Lundberg, MD, the editor of MedPageToday…, wrote an op-ed entitled, Should We Put Statins in the Water Supply?
In May 2008, renowned cardiologist Professor Mahendra Varma called for statins to be artificially added to drinking water.
Putting statins in the water supply was also considered during a November 2008 discussion which featured Robert Bonow, M.D., of Northwestern University in Chicago, Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and Anthony De Maria, M.D., of the University of California at San Diego.
Also in November 2008, CNBC aired a segment lauding the effectiveness of statins, after which one of the hosts remarked, “Why don’t they just put statins in the water supply,” to which CNBC’s medical expert replied, “A lot of people have said that and they are in the water in fact.”
Small Molecules Are the Problem
If cholesterol itself isn’t the problem, what is?
Ron Rosedale, M.D., says that the problem isn’t cholesterol, (LDL or HDL), but small-sized cholesterol particles and oxidation of cholesterol:
As CBS News reports today:
A recent study supports the idea that excess consumption of high fructose corn syrup is linked to an increase in risk factors for heart disease by increasing a type of cholesterol that can clog arteries. The University of California, Davis, study also indicated that calories from added sugars are different than those from other foods. Subjects had 25 percent of their caloric intake replaced with sweetened drinks. Nutritional biologist Kimber Stanhope was surprised to see that after only two weeks, “We found that the subjects who consumed high fructose corn syrup had increased levels of LDL cholesterol and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” she tells Gupta. “I started eating and drinking a whole lot less sugar.”
What happens says Stanhope, is the liver gets overloaded with fructose and converts come of it into fat, which gets into the bloodstream to create “small dense LDL,” the kind of LDL that forms plaque in arteries. The irony here is that for precisely that reason – avoiding heart disease – a government commission in the 1970s mandated that we lower our fat consumption. “When you take the fat out of food, it tastes like cardboard,” says Dr. Lustig. “And the food industry knew that, so they replaced it with sugar…and guess what? Heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and death are skyrocketing,” he tells Gupta.
Similarly, the Harvard School of Public Health notes:
One problem with a generic lower fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it. Another problem is that when people cut back on fat, they often switch to foods full of easily digested carbohydrates—white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugary drinks, and the like—or to fat-free products that replace healthful fats with sugar and refined carbohydrates. The body digests these carbohydrates very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat. That’s why it’s important to replace foods high in bad fats with foods high in good fats—not with refined carbohydrates.
Eating less sugar and refined carbs helps to reduce formation of small-molecule types of cholesterol.
In addition, cinnamon may help stabilize blood sugar levels. For people with certain types of diabetes, it may reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. See this and this. The resveratrol in red wine also helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
As the Harvard School of Public Health notes – contrary to medical dogma – fats are not bad … they are essential for maintaining a health cholesterol level and good health. We just have to eat more good fats. See this and this.
The Mayo clinic notes that a handful of raw nuts a day helps lower cholesterol. Harvard found that walnuts are especially helpful in reducing cholesterol.
High-fiber foods also help reduce cholesterol.
The other main problem is the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of the cholesterol in our bodies creates damaging compounds, in the same way that oxidized fats become rancid and unhealthy. See this, this and this (more here).
Increasing the amount of antioxidants in our diet helps to protect against damage from oxidized cholesterol. Antioxidants are – by definition – compounds which prevent oxidation.
Dr. Andrew Weil notes:
The antioxidants in green tea help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to be beneficial for heart health by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation and by re-energizing the mitochondria in the heart cells, which is where energy metabolism occurs.
You may be surprised by the cheapest and most abundant sources of antioxidants. Find them here.
Note: I am not a health care professional, and this should not be taken as medical advice.