The Cholesterol Myth – By Dr. Holly

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Dr. Holly
Dr. Holly
Dr. Holly

Everyone, I am sure, has heard about the Cholesterol Myth – and many wonder about who they should believe.

What happens when the MD tells you, your cholesterol levels are high and you should be on statin drugs? When they pressure you into taking those statin drugs? What do you do or what do you say?

Well, I will start off by explaining the latest research and then go from there. First of all, an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that you can access with: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010401.full explained the following:

A group of 68,096 people (good numbers) aged over 60 were analyzed for their LDL (now note there are a number of LDLs and we will get into that later) and what they found was: 80% of those living the longest had the HIGHEST LDL levels!!

In fact, what they found was that people with the highest levels of LDL were LESS likely to develop cancer, respiratory disorders, cardiac disorders, etc – WOW – wasn’t the claim that high LDL levels caused cardiac problems? In fact, according to the Western Medical Philosophy, we are supposed to treat people with Total Cholesterol or TC is the primary cause of atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular disease or CVD.  Further, those with the lowest levels of LDL were far more likely to die prematurely!!

Another Japanese study found that Total Cholesterol is NOT a risk factor for stroke.

So why were we taught that high cholesterol was in fact the cause – such that today just Lipitor makes over a billion dollars a day?

Well, for one, the original studies didn’t know the difference between omega 3s (anti-inflammatories) and omega 6s (pro-inflammatories) and they only used omega 6 diets to prove their point.

Secondly, they assumed that plaque in the arteries was cholesterol based – when in fact, the body will surround all kinds of toxins in the arteries with cholesterols to prevent the toxins from harming the body.

Thirdly, they didn’t understand that there are many different types of HDL (supposed the good cholesterol) and LDL (supposedly the bad cholesterol).

Fourthly, they didn’t realize that when arteries or veins “leak” at an older age; the liver produces cholesterol to “patch” up the leak so we don’t bleed to death.

Fifthly, it was not recognized that the liver produces about 80% of the body’s required cholesterol IN ACCORDANCE with what is in your diet. For instance, if you have a high plant sterol intake, then your liver produces less OR if you have a low plant sterol intake, then your liver produces more.

Now of course, there is always the question as to whether they really did know; but researchers provided studies that supported whoever was paying the bill – and we all know that “figures don’t like until statisticians start to figure”.

  • So let’s look at what the body cholesterol for:
    1. outer rim of the cell – required to regulate what goes in and out of the cell
    2. bile – breaks down the fats that you digest; and allows you to absorb the good fats
    3. hormones – all the steroid hormones:  testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, aldosterone
    4. Vitamin D – required to make Vitamin D
    5. insulation – the neurons in the brain require proper insulation to work and they need fat
    6. absorption of fat based vitamins:  A, D, E, K
    7. acts as an anti-oxidant
    8. contributes to bone formation – they would be hollow & brittle without it
    9. cholesterol plaque is there to protect damaged arteries: a clogged artery is better than a ruptured one
    10. oxidation of cholesterol is the 1st step by which cholesterol transforms into vitamin D3
    11. cholesterol sulfate deficiency leads to glucose intolerance
  • And now let’s look at some of the different types of cholesterol:
  1. HDL 2a & 2b – want to be high – extracts fats from arterial walls & prevents fats from adhering to the walls
  2. HDL 3 – want to be lower than HDL 2
  3. LDL A – large & buoyant LDL – this is what you want
  4. LDL B – predominantly small & dense LDL – you don’t want this-> diabetes, hi bld pressure, artheriosclerosis
  5. LDL mixed
  6. LDL R – associated with a bad diet
  7. LDL a – a good inflammatory marker
  8. IDL – similar to an LDL but without the TG, transports TG fats & cholesterols; & can promote growth of atheroma
  9. Lp(a) Lipoprotein consists of an LDL-like particle & controlled genetically; kidney function impt for clearing it
  10. VLDL 1,2 – very large & transports TGs to adipose and muscle

 Is all HDL good?  

While you have probably heard that your levels should be above 40, what you probably didn’t hear was that you want to make sure it is the HDL 2 that is predominant and not the HDL 3.

 Is all LDL bad?   

Likewise not all LDL is the same. LDL can clump up with other particles and cause plaque & block blood but LDL A is a good non oxidized cholesterol whereas LDL B is not good, it is an oxidized cholesterol – thus a good oxidative stress indicator.  LDL mixed or C is usually the score physicians give and does not tell us what we really need to know.

LDL R – or real LDL is associated with a bad diet and becomes a risk factor when it is above 100.

IDL – inherited independent factor that is strongly associated with coronary disease

LDLa – along with IDL is a good inflammatory markerVLDL 1,2 – main carrier for another type of fat:  Triglyecerids (a blood fat) and if too high can be a risk factor

TESTS: NMR LipoProfile measure LDL-P (particle count) (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance)

  • And what do statin drugs do for you?

There is no evidence that they prolong your life – but they do prevent the body from making CoQ10 which is needed in every cell of your body for fuel.

  • Finally, we have a number of foods that regulate cholesterols in the way that our body was designed to regulate them
  • Decrease saturated fats and increase soluble fibers (oats, oatbran, barley, Chinese mushrooms
  • Xocai chocolate
  • Beans & other legumes (fiber)
  • Green Tea
  • Good oils: almond, coconut, sesame, sunflower (Olive is a scam & Soy/Corn are GMO)
  • Nuts: 23 almonds; 14 English walnut halves; 49 pistachios; add to salads, shakes, pasta & yogurt
  • Psyllium or Metamucil: mix in water or a drink
  • Organic grape juice or organic red wine (drink with peppers)
  • Tomatoes: lycopene
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Brussels sprouts; pear & grapefruits; dried plums; nectarines; plums; apples

So next time your MD looks at your cholesterol levels and claims that you need to go on a statin drugs – you know what to respond with.