October 15, 2012
By David Blyweiss, M.D.
In This Issue:
- Everything they told you about cholesterol is wrong
- The tests you really need instead
- Ending the hoax is as simple as no longer believing it
The Great Cholesterol Hoax… Exposed
Sadly, by the time many of my patients get to me, they've been around and around the block with their regular physician. Often, they're on statins, diabetes meds, blood pressure meds – and they still don't feel healthy.
It's frustrating, for both them and for me.
For them, because they've tried everything. In most cases, they've followed their doctors advice, trusted they would get better – only to get progressively worse and more dependent on pharmaceuticals.
For me, because I know that if they had tried to resolve their issues naturally first – with food and supplements – we wouldn't have to undo the mess.
This is perhaps most true of the people who tell me they have high cholesterol, and are on statins. And they've been told they'll probably be on them for life.
That's when I have to break it to them: The truth, as we now know it.
We're all living under what I call The Great Cholesterol Hoax.
And we're all paying the price. You see cholesterol is not the problem. And statins won't help. In fact, they'll do more harm than good.
Sometimes, my patients doubt me. They ask: "How could the medical community have been so wrong for so long about cholesterol?"
They aren't sure whether to trust me – or their last doctor – or anyone.
But when I tell them it's possible to ditch all the meds… to stop suffering from all of those side effects… and to get out from under the financial burden of their monthly drug bill… they're ready to listen.
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Let's start with a much-overlooked fact of life.
Your body needs cholesterol. It even makes it! That's right, your own liver manufactures a full 75% of the cholesterol in your body.
Cholesterol is important for digestion, making hormones, synthesizing vitamin D, maintaining cell membranes, learning, memory and sleep. If your levels are too low, you can't maintain some of the most critical functions. Plus, studies have shown your risk of cancer and chronic disease dramatically increases.
Your body also needs cholesterol for proper serotonin signaling. As well as for stabilizing serotonin transporters. In fact, a too-low cholesterol level puts you at an extremely high risk of depression and even suicide.
You see the statin drugs being used to lower cholesterol come with their own vat of problems, such as depletion of the essential cell nutrient, CoQ10, severe muscle cramping and weakness, increased risk of developing diabetes, and impaired thinking and forgetfulness.
And the Mother of all problems with the cholesterol theory: Lowering cholesterol is not lowering the rate or risk of heart disease.
So, if cholesterol levels are the wrong problem and statins are the wrong answer, what can you to do protect your heart?
Plenty. Here are the top three things I suggest:
1.) Get the right tests: Now that we know it's not about HDL/LDL anymore, we also know that ordering a simple lipid profile is obsolete. Your doctor should be testing Lp(a), Apo B and Apo A instead. These tests will reveal the size and number of the particles that transport cholesterol back to the vessels.
Also, you should have your C-reactive protein (CRP) tested since inflammation is a significant marker of heart disease. With a fuller picture of what is going on, your doctor (if they are a functional medicine physician) will be able to give you a protocol of diet and supplements to make the necessary adjustments,, Be sure the protocol includes following a Mediterranean diet high in fruits and vegetables, and plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, plant sterols, niacin and proven antioxidants.
2.) Take the right vitamins and minerals: Vitamin K2 can keep cholesterol moving smoothly through your arteries, and vitamin D has shown in studies to provide significant heart protection. Magnesium promotes a steady heartbeat, calms the heart muscle, and also delivers oxygen to blood cells – all critical factors of a well-working heart. I recommend taking 200-300 mgm of magnesium, once or twice a day.
3.) Make these lifestyle changes: Eat using my Modified Mediterranean Diet, get enough exercise, and reduce and manage your stress. These are the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease.
There's no easy way to get out of eating right or moving your body, and no magic pill can fix the negative effects of eating poorly and sitting idly. Plus, stress can be debilitating. Handle these factors, and you're much farther along than any pill currently on the market will get you. From this strong foundation, your doctor can help you to make modifications suited to your test results. But it all starts here.
It's not going to be easy to turn your back on what has become conventional wisdom, so be prepared to be challenged on your decision. Many alternative physicians are in the know about the cholesterol hoax – but there are still 30 million people taking statins.
That's a lot of docs still writing a lot of prescriptions…
I'm not saying anyone set out to intentionally perpetrate a harmful hoax. And I don't think there is some vast conspiracy theory behind our misguided cholesterol beliefs.
In fact, I believe it started out in a rather normal, mundane fashion…with faulty science.
From there it became a false belief, backed up by profitable drugs. Then, once it became culturally entrenched, it turned into a myth. Until finally, even science proving the theory wrong can't shake it.
And that's when it became the hoax it is today. Held in place so the establishment can perpetuate the myth, sell the drugs, and keep up the charade.
What matters is that as many of us stop believing the hoax as possible. Right now.
We have much more effective ways to prevent heart disease right at our fingertips. No prescriptions required. No side effects. It just requires a willingness to call out the cholesterol theory for what it is: wrong.
At some point, those who knew the earth was round had to come forward and say what they knew. In the face of ridicule – and worse. But just imagine if they hadn't?
Additional Articles of Interest
Getting Eggs Off the Cholesterol Hook and Back On Your Grocery List
Eat Away High Cholesterol
Good Cholesterol Cuts Cancer Risk
Rasouli M, Kiasari AM, Mokhberi V., The ratio of apoB/apoAI, apoB and lipoprotein(a) are the best predictors of stable coronary artery disease. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2006;44(8):1015-21.