Are you interested in knowing the truth behind cholesterol?
CHOLESTEROL IS NOT A PRIMARY RISK FACTOR FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE.
- Elevated serum cholesterol is not a cause of heart attacks and strokes.
- Eating foods high in cholesterol is not a cause of elevated serum cholesterol.
- Eating high cholesterol foods is not a cause of heart attacks and strokes, and in fact …
It is the foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat (such as eggs, meat, fish, and poultry) that will actually keep serum cholesterol down to normal levels.
What!?" you ask. "Half the people in the world have been marching with the cholesterol crusade for decades.
Virtually all us have been victimized by the anti-cholesterol propaganda campaign. The idea that …
CHOLESTEROL IS AN ESSENTIAL SUBSTANCE … and not at all the deadly demon of popular mythology, will come as a shock to you, but it is my obligation to help you know the truth.
Do understand, however, that I am not saying high serum cholesterol is good, or even that it is clinically unimportant. Quite the contrary, high serum cholesterol definitely indicates the presence of a metabolic imbalance. It is just that the high cholesterol has no specific relation to the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
If the presence of cholesterol in the serum has absolutely nothing to do with the risk for heart attacks and strokes, just what is the pathological process involved in cardiovascular disease? This will be presented in Part 2.
Cholesterol and Greed
Unfortunately for many, money makes the world go around. Truth, safety and efficacy certainly take second fiddle to the almighty dollar.
My goal is to present the black and white facts on the topic of cholesterol.
If truth is high on your list, then plan to be well informed.
The Estrogen Cow
Understanding the essence of the medical-pharmaceutical establishment, I was taken by surprise at how swiftly and how easily the establishment turned on one of its own sacred cows --- estrogen.
You know the story of estrogen: for years it was touted as a protector of women against cancer, against aging, against cardiovascular disease, and against osteoporosis. The drug companies have been fighting tooth and nail for decades to refute and suppress all the research that proves that estrogen actually causes the very conditions it is supposed to prevent.
Now, so very suddenly, the establishment freely admits the harmful effects of estrogen. Just last July, no less than the Journal of the American Association announced the discontinuation of a long term research study on estrogen when it became undeniable that the women in this study developed an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer.
It's not surprising that they discontinued the study when the results were opposite the researcher's intended findings, but what is noteworthy is that instead of hushing it up, they actually published it for all the world to see. Now, as an extension of that admission of estrogen danger, the Food and Drug Administration is actually requiring labels on all hormone replacement therapy products warning of the risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer.
What is going on here?
What is going on here? I had always assumed that the pharmaceutical industry would fight to the death to protect its estrogen-related profits. What I think is happening is that the drug companies have decided to burn this candle from both ends. The estrogen bandwagon has so much momentum, (with so many doctors conditioned to prescribe estrogen to every woman who experiences her first hot flash or who has any concerns about osteoporosis) that nothing will push this gravy train off course for years and years to come.
Another good example to illustrate how people fall for propaganda, and how drug companies change their tune for profit, is the cholesterol farce.
The History of Cholesterol Demon
Back in the 1960's when only a few mavericks in the medical profession and some people in the fledgling natural health foods movement were claiming that cholesterol was a problem.
The average medical doctor totally ignored cholesterolemia unless it exceeded 300. Before long, the anti-cholesterol uproar became impossible to ignore, and so the establishment condescended to acknowledge the problem of high cholesterol. Now, anything above 250 was considered a problem, and it was generally recommended that people should avoid eating too many eggs or too much meat because of the risk of heart disease from cholesterol intake.
Interestingly, it wasn't the medical profession that was spearheading this anti-cholesterol movement; it was the processed food industry, lead in particular by the seed oil industry.
Archer Daniels Midland wanted to sell an ocean of soybean oil, and thus lead the charge against cholesterol in particular and saturated fat in general. Coconut and palm oils were banned from importation, and everyone "knew" that margerine was going to save our nation from what was sure to have been an epidemic of cardiovascular disease from eating dreaded saturated fat.
The billions of dollars worth of propaganda from the processed food industry was enough to sway the minds and change the lifestyles of millions of Americans, but the medical-pharmaceutical establishment continued to largely ignore theperceived cholesterol threat.
Then what happened? The Statin drugs were invented, (predictably) accompanied by a paradigm shift in the establishment. Now, cholesterol was the demon of the century, and our doctors and pharmacists were going to exorcise the evil that lurked within us all from our ill-advised intake of meat and eggs.
The all-out war against cholesterol has been waged for over 25 years. The intensity of that war has not waned in the least despite the fact that for at least 5 years now it has been known that cholesterol is not (never has been, and never will be) a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
That brings me to a critical point of information.
The Dangers of Statins
There are two critical reasons why these drugs are unacceptably dangerous.
- The first danger is liver damage. Statin drugs work by blocking the enzyme HMG CoA reductase so that the liver can no longer synthesize its own cholesterol. Sounds quite simple and perfectly harmless until you realize that the drug does not act locally on one single enzyme in one particular metabolic pathway. Rather, the drug puts a tremendous load on overall liver function. That is why it is generally recommended that once beginning Statin drugs, the patient should have his liver enzymes checked every six months.
This idea of the liver producing a "deadly demon" like cholesterol may come as a shock to you. The truth is, your liver produces 2000 milligrams of cholesterol every day.
Is your liver trying to destroy you with cardiovascular disease? Of course not, cholesterol (contrary to the case fabricated against it, first by Archer Daniels Midland, then by the pharmaceutical industry) is an absolutely essential substance, with many critical functions in the body.
So --- the Statin drugs interfere with normal liver metabolism, inhibit the liver's production of many substances essential for health, and damage the liver in the process.
Liver damage is quite a high price to pay for the illusion of exorcising a mythological demon. And though the cholesterolemia to cardiovascular disease connection is a myth, high serum cholesterol does indicate a metabolic problem --- yet the cause of that problem is never addressed by the Statin drug.
- The second danger from taking Statin drugs is musculoskeletal pain that can be severe, and is very frequently misdiagnosed. Since most doctors are not aware that myalgia is a common side effect of the Statins, people that suffer this side effect are often given diagnoses of tendinitis, tendinosis, tenosynovitis, tendinopothy, bursitis, rotator cuff syndrome, and so forth. There are many cases reported in the literature of patients undergoing surgery for musculoskeletal pathologies that did not really exist.
The myopathy caused by Statin drugs involves elevated serum creatinine-phosphokinase (CPK), indicative of muscle breakdown. In severe cases, muscular necrosis will occur, which can overload the kidney with CPK, and with myoglobin (with its associated toxic iron) and other products of necrosis, leading to kidney failure and even death. A number of these patients have experienced kidney failure and even death; others have had such severe muscular pain and weakness that they are eventually unable to stand or breath on their own.
In my chiropractic practice I have seen many patients whose musculoskeletal pain was completely unresponsive to chiropractic correction, yet cleared when the patient was taken off Statin drugs. Unfortunately, for those that have been on these drugs for a long time the myalgia can persist for two months following discontinuation of the drug.
Are You Still Convinced that Cholesterol is Bad?
If you are convinced that high serum cholesterol is bad and low serum cholesterol is somehow healthy, I want to enlighten you with the fact that …
PEOPLE WITH LOW SERUM CHOLESTEROL (LESS THAN 180) HAVE THREE TIMES THE INCIDENCE OF STROKES AS THE GENEREAL POPULATION.
Even William Castelli, M.D., a former director of the Framingham Heart Study (the one that originally supposedly implicated cholesterol as a problem in cardiovascular disease (CVD)) notes that …
PEOPLE WITH LOW CHOLESTEROL (LOWER THAN 200) SUFFER NEARLY 40% OF ALL HEART ATTACKS.
Think of those two facts --- low serum cholesterol means that you have three times the chance of having a stroke, and, high cholesterol has been shown not to be significantly correlated with heart attacks since 40% of the people who have heart attacks have cholesterol that is lower than average.
The evidence against any relation of cholesterol to CVD has been pouring out from everywhere over the last 7 or 8 years. A study done by Gilman, et al and published in the December 24, 1997 Journal of the American Medical Association found that …
THE MORE SATURATED FAT YOU EAT, THE LESS LIKELY YOU ARE TO SUFFER A STROKE.
This study found that polyunsaturated fats (the ones that the propagandists will have us believe are good for us) have no protective effect. Best of all, this study actually was able to quantify the protective effect of saturated fats:
YOUR RISK OF STROKE DECREASES BY 15% FOR EVERY 3% INCREASE IN YOUR SATURATED FAT INTAKE.
Here is another interesting study done by Leddy, et al and published in 1997 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Volume 29. The subjects of this study were elite male and female endurance athletes, who were placed alternately on a high fat diet and then a low fat diet. On a high saturated fat diet the patients maintained low body fat, normal weight, normal blood pressure, normal resting heart rate, normal triglycerides and normal serum cholesterol levels. All their fitness and training parameters were maintained at the elite level. When put on the low fat (high complex carbohydrate) diet, however, it was found that the low fat diet negated many of the beneficial effects that exercise is expected to produce. The athletes experienced a measurable decline in athletic performance. Most interesting, however, was the fact that the subjects on the low fat diet actually suffered a significant drop in HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol), along with higher triglycerides (both of which are significant CVD risk factors. ---
In fact, the ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol is probably the number one risk factor for CVD.
In other words, you want high cholesterol of the HDL type, and low triglycerides.)
I realize this information may hard to accept.
Remember, you have been exposed to millions of dollars worth of anti-fat, anti-cholesterol propaganda over a period of decades. So --- you see how difficult sharing the truth.
Here is another study: Research published in no less than the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1999; 281(15):1387-94) showed that there was absolutely no connection between eating eggs and the risk of heart disease or stroke in either men or women.
The Lies of the Seed Oil Industry
Margarine, mayonnaise, cooking oil, salad dressings, and anything made with corn oil, soy oil, safflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil, or any of the rest of the vegetable oils (except olive, coconut oil, or palm oil) will accelerate the aging process in general, create catabolic damage throughout the body, and will specifically cause the oxidative damage in the blood vessel walls and in the heart that precipitates a cardiovascular crisis.
A study in The Journal of Lipid Research, 2000;41(5):834-39), showed that eating vegetable oils in the form of either soy bean oil or margarine raised LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowered HDL (good cholesterol). Meanwhile, eating butter (one of those "forbidden foods" saturated with cholesterol) actually lowered LDL cholesterol and raised HDL cholesterol.
You've been victimized by the same propaganda campaign that has mislead thousands of other people. You have been convinced that cholesterol is a vicious killer that must be conquered at all costs. It may surprise you to learn that cholesterol is not a terrible demon at all. In fact, cholesterol is an absolutely vital substance; you would become very weak and die without cholesterol, it is that important.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...
- Your brain is made of cholesterol; 5% of the dry weight of your brain is made of cholesterol.
- Your nerves are made of cholesterol.
- Your body uses cholesterol to make all your important sex hormones and adrenal hormones.
- Without cholesterol to help your digestion, you couldn't absorb any of your fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E?
- Every single cell in your body is surrounded by a membrane containing cholesterol, and that without that cholesterol membrane no cell in your body could function?
- Cholesterol is so important that your liver produces 2000 milligrams of cholesterol every day.
- When following a low cholesterol diet, your liver makes up the difference by producing more cholesterol just to be sure you have enough.
- High cholesterol in the blood doesn't come from eating foods high in cholesterol; it comes from a metabolism that is not efficient at handling the cholesterol you need.
What is one of the primary causes of heart attacks and strokes?
It is triglycerides (the other blood fat), that is the primary risk factor increasing your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
Many people are surprised to learn that even though triglycerides are a fat, the unhealthy diet that raises triglycerides has nothing to do with fat intake; triglycerides (and cholesterol as well) are elevated by eating sugar. The other dietary factor that in some cases will raise cholesterol is polyunsaturated oils (the ones that the propaganda says will help prevent cardiovascular disease). Neither triglycerides nor cholesterol are elevated by eating saturated fat in general or high cholesterol foods in particular.
Remember, while cholesterol is not a primary risk factor for CVD, triglycerides are, and are probably the most significant. A study published in Circulation (October 21, 1997, shows the result of Harvard research indicating that …
THE 25% OF THE POPULATION WITH THE HIGHEST TRIGLYCERIDE TO HDL RATIO HAS 16 TIMES MORE HEART RELATED EVENTS THAN THE 25% WHOSE RATIOS WERE THE LOWEST.
And, as I have seen from countless other studies, high triglycerides come from excess starch and sugars in the diet.
So --- if it is triglycerides, not cholesterol, that is the true boogey man, what weapons do you have to defeat this villainous foe?
- Start with Fundamental Diet, and you will be half way there. Part 2 will review in detail the Fundamental Diet, however, here is a little preview to get you started on the right track.
- Eliminate sweetened beverages, (including juice), along with minimizing bread, cereal, and pasta, not to mention, of course, cakes, cookies, pie, and ice cream and you will see a significant improvement with high triglycerides.
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Researched and Written on March 28, 2004