More Cholesterol Madness

“I can’t say this strongly enough… FORGET ABOUT YOUR CHOLESTEROL.” ~ Dr. Al Sears, MD

There is a major split in medicine about cholesterol.

Some doctors and researchers insist that you must lower cholesterol to prevent heart disease. Some of them even want to give statins to people with no risk factors. There’s even been talk about putting them in food. As if your six-year-old needs statins…

Others believe that cholesterol does not correlate to heart disease. They point out that over half of heart attacks happen in people with normal or low LDL. And that many people with high cholesterol never have heart problems.

Who’s right?

If you have read past issues, you know that I stand firmly on the side of the second group. And I’m not alone in this. Many MDs agree. For example, Dr. Sears’ quote above.

Another great example is Dr. Dwight Lundell, MD. Dr. Lundell was a cardiac surgeon for 25 years. One day he realized that cholesterol was not the issue for his patients. It was inflammation and oxidation. You can read his comments in two articles he was kind enough to share on balance point. You’ll find them here: Part 1, Part 2.

There is also an interview with Dr. Lundell here.

Now big pharma is trying to get more cholesterol lowering drugs approved. Why? Because they’ve convinced doctors to prescribe them. And sales are enormous. The last number I heard was over $30 billion per year.

But do they work? Study after study says they don’t. In fact the opposite. For example, a 2003 study* showed that low cholesterol in older people doubled risk of early death. This was true if total cholesterol was below 189. The study included 4520 men and women between the ages of 65-84.

In addition, the largest heart study ever done showed that the higher your cholesterol. the lower your heart risk. And the difference is dramatic. Here’s a chart:

Cholesterol and Mortality in the Elderly

This chart shows that the higher your HDL, the lower your heart risk. In this chart, if your LDL is 220, your lowest risk is with an HDL of 85. That’s a total reading of 305. But many people are given statins if their total is above 200. It’s absurd!

On top of that, there are many side effects. And some are very serious. Muscle wasting is one. In the elderly, this is potentially deadly.

Another side effect is diabetes. Yeah, that will help you live longer!

The truth is you need cholesterol to be healthy.

  • It is the basis of all your hormones.
  • Your cells can’t function without it.
  • Without it, your brain can’t function correctly.
  • Vitamin D low? Your body can’t make it without cholesterol.
  • It is essential for immune health.

What you can see from this is that your overall cholesterol is far less important than your HDL number. Here’s how to raise it naturally:

  • Take fish oil. Especially important is getting enough DHA. Look for fish oil supplements that have high levels. Krill oil also has high levels.
  • Take full spectrum vitamin E. Most supplements don’t contain all 8 nutrients associated with vitamin E. In particular, make sure it has all 4 tocotrienols.

The people who’ve done the research know – cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. Please heed this warning for your own well being.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

* Brescianini S, Maggi S, Farchi G, Mariotti S, Di Carlo A, Baldereschi M, Inzitari D; ILSA Group. Low total cholesterol and increased risk of dying: are low levels clinical warning signs in the elderly? Results from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Jul;51(7):991-6.

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