Cholesterol May Not Be What You Think It Is
We’ve been taught that high cholesterol can be blamed on a diet of high cholesterol foods like red meat and egg yolks. Before you race out to get your statin prescription, read this article and this book. It will give you a whole new perspective on cholesterol.
According to Harvard Health Publishing “it appears the bacteria in our gut can affect risk factors for heart disease. For example, the gut microbiome probably influences whether we become obese or develop type 2 diabetes. It also can affect the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in our blood, and our blood pressure. People who suffer from obesity, diabetes, high levels of LDL cholesterol, or high blood pressure are at greater risk for developing heart disease.”
Bestselling health authors Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., and Stephen Sinatra, M.D. give proven, evidence-based strategies for heart health in their book, The Great Cholesterol Myth. The following are myths and facts from their book.
MYTHS VS. FACTS
Myth–High cholesterol is the cause of heart disease.
Fact–Cholesterol is only a minor player in the cascade of inflammation which is a cause of heart disease.
Fact–There is no correlation between cholesterol and heart attack.
Fact–There is no data to show that statins have a significant impact on longevity.
Fact–Statin drugs can be extremely toxic including causing death.
Fact–Statin drugs do the best job in middle-aged men with coronary disease.
Fact–Statin drugs reduce inflammation and improve blood viscosity (thinning blood). Statins are extremely helpful in men with low HDL and coronary artery disease.
Fact–Saturated fats are not dangerous. The killer fats are the transfats from partially hydrogenated oils.
Fact–Higher cholesterol protects you from gastrointestinal disease, pulmonary disease and hemorrhagic stroke.
Fact–Simple processed carbs and sugars predispose you to heart disease.
Fact–Monounsaturated and saturated fats protect you from metabolic syndrome. Sugar is the foe in cardiovascular disease.
Fact–This is over-simplistic. You must fractionate LDL and HDL to assess the components.
Fact–Cholesterol is only a theory in heart disease and only the small component of LP(a) or “bb shot” LDL predisposes one to oxidation and inflammation.
There’s enough misinformation about cholesterol to fill a book– which is exactly what cardiologist Steven Sinatra, MD and I did in our recent, updated and expanded edition of “The Great Cholesterol Myth”. One of the book’s most important take-home points — and there are many you should know about– is the difference between “cholesterol” and “lipoprotein.”
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