Many of us have heard about the importance of maintaining “good” levels of cholesterol, or have heard from our physicians that our cholesterol is too high. What does that mean? How worried should you be? What can be done?
Cholesterol is a waxy material that is produced by the liver to carry out variety of functions, from producing the hormones, vitamin D to serving as the building blocks for cell tissues, to protecting the nerve cells. Our natural healthy functioning depends on having cholesterol. As with many things – too much of it becomes a bad thing, and maintaining the healthy balance becomes an important task.
Straightforward blood test will give you answers about how much total cholesterol you have in your bloodstream, as well as how much of it is the high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density (LDL), and what amount of triglycerides is present. For years, the common understanding was that HDL, being a healthy cholesterol keeps the LDL , the bad kind, too much of which could lead to plaque build up in the blood vessels, in check. The high numbers of LDL were attributed to consuming diets rich in saturated fat, such as red meat, fatty pork, fried foods, high-fat dairy, cheese etc. Thus, many patients with higher levels of LDL in addition to being advised to change their diets are prescribed statins, drugs that block cholesterol production, and affect the reabsorption of cholesterol already circulating in the body.
Let’s touch on certain aspects of both ways of addressing LDL. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans stated that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption”, based on the number of researches carried out in the past few decades that suggest that consumption of the saturated fat raises the levels of large, fluffy LDL particles, as well as levels of HDL. Saturated fats are largely replaced with vegetable oils, and while dietary fat is indeed associated with heart desiase , it is the processed vegetable oils, that are loaded with trans fats, and oxidized omega-6 fats that are the problem. These highly processed omega-6 vegetable oils distort the ratio of omega-6 to healthy omega-3 fats, and the problems is further exacerbated by replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats when taken in late amounts cannot be burned for fuel, and instead become a part of cellular membranes, and they are very susceptible to oxidative damage, and oxidized cholesterol definitely can lead to the heart disease by triggering imflammation, which promotes the clogging of the arteries and further cardiovascular problems.
The cholesterol myth has certainly been a gift to the pharmaceutical industry. In 2012 roughy 28 percent of Americans over the age of 40 were reported using statin drugs. However , statin use guidelines largely ignore the density of the lipoproteins. Large fluffy LDL particles are not harmful. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially cause problems as they are able to squeeze through the arterial lining, and cause damage and inflammation when they are oxidized. This means that you could potentially have a high level of LDL but still be at low risk if your LDL particles are large and fluffy, and you HDL-to-total cholesterol ratio is above 24 percent. There are multiple studied out that suggest that statins do not provide reduction in mortality when used preventatively, as well as carry with them a significant list of over potential 200 side effects. As a general rule, cholesterol-lowering drugs are not required for majority of people. Important things to evaluate when considering your cardiovascular health are your HDL/Cholesterol ratio (should be above 24% ideally), your Triglyceride/HDL ratio (this percentage should be below 2) and NMR Lipid profile, from which you can learn about the size number of the lipid particles. Another important finding from your blood work include fasting insulin level, fasting blood sugar, and iron levels. Having high cholesterol may be something that is fairly easy to address without potentially risking your health.
Dr Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD (Denmark, Sweden) is an independent researcher and a member of various international scientific organisations.http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol/ .
His book “The Cholesterol Myths” is available to the public online http://www.ravnskov.nu/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/CM.pdf
Dr. Peter Glidden (USA),Naturopathic doctor with 30 years of practicing experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9De2QRTDWchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9De2QRTDWc
Dr. Peter Glidden (USA) (Naturopathic doctor with 30 years of practicing experience) explaines cholesterol and a problem of artheriosclerosis in his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9De2QRTDWc
There are much more information about cholesterol and its role in the bodys physiology. Make a right desigion for yourself!sh