Low Cholesterol Is Not Necessarily Good
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Low Cholesterol is Not Necessarily Good

Here is something completely different then what you have heard regarding cholesterol. If you are close-minded, you may want to skip this article. However, if you want to take a look at some real interesting cholesterol facts, read on.

Let’s start off with facts that everyone agrees on. Why do we have cholesterol in our bodies? Cholesterol is best known for the formation of cholic acid, which is used to make bile salts. This is good because bile salts are used to emulsify and digest fat. The second most important function of cholesterol is the production of adrenal and reproductive hormones. These include DHEA, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol to name a few. These are all fairly well known facts, but there is another important function of cholesterol that may not be as well known.

Cholesterol not only helps make your skin impervious to outside toxins, but cholesterol also helps bind toxins and boost the immune system. It has been drilled into our psyche’s that the lower the cholesterol level, the better. This may not be completely true. In fact, your risk of heart disease can increase if your cholesterol dips below 150.

So what is a healthy cholesterol level? Well, 180-225 seems to have some good legs behind it, though many doctors whip out the pad if you are over 200. Frankly, I don’t want to argue about the perfect cholesterol level. What is more important is to understand the other factors behind the cholesterol dilemma, which you do not necessarily here at the doctor’s office or on the Lipitor commercials.

While cholesterol is part of the plaque blamed for contributing to heart disease, it does not mean it is the cause of heart disease. Dr. Hugo Ridier, a medical doctor states that dousing yourself in gasoline does not make you burn, not without a flame. The point is there has to be a match or another contributing factor or “triggering agent”. In the case of the link between cholesterol and heart disease this “other factor” is free radical activity damaging the cholesterol cells.

Free radical damage to cholesterol cells can quickly lead to plaque that can clog an artery and impede blood flow, resulting in infarction and even cardiac arrest. Remember, free radicals are unstable cells that cause damage to healthy cells which leads to cell degeneration. Specifically, when an artery wall becomes inflamed and suffers from free radical damage, cholesterol comes along and forms a makeshift patch. The patch then calcifies and causes clogged arteries but only if it is exposed to free radical damage.

You may be saying to yourself, “Ok Mr. Rider, show me some proof?” Well, how is a whole culture for proof? The Mediterranean culture has a diet loaded with fat, have higher cholesterol levels on average than Western cultures and yet their rate of heart disease is significantly lower. The science community refers to this as the Mediterranean Paradox.

So how can this be? One answer and probably the most significant is that Mediterranean cultures in addition to consuming high-fat foods also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that kill the free radicals, which in turn keeps the cholesterol from being damaged. Remember, cholesterol that is not damaged does not clog the arteries and does not lead to heart disease.

Now we are not saying to ignore high cholesterol. Instead, we are saying it is only one piece of the heart puzzle. What is rarely checked in the blood until after there are problems is blood-insulin level. And even when blood insulin levels are checked, the standards are way too high. Ideally a blood insulin level of approximately 6 is great. Hyperinsulimia is a huge culprit and a precursor to heat disease. Sugars, refined grains and lack of exercise are the biggest culprits for hyperinsulimia.

We have all heard of HDL and LDL cholesterol –the “good” cholesterol and the “bad” cholesterol. HDL cells have a higher density of protein and the fats in these cells have a high portion of Triglycerides, or neutral fats. LDL cells have less protein and more lipids in the cells and therefore are less dense and are more susceptible to free radical damage. Next blood test, it may be a good idea to ask your doctor for your HDL/LDL ratio as well as your TG/HDL (Triglyceride to HDL ratio), a better indicator of hyperinsulimia. A good ratio of TG/HDL is 1.5:1 or 2:1. The higher the ratio, the greater the chance for hyperinsulima.

So to summarize, we want to see the whole picture of heart health. This includes cholesterol levels, insulin levels, TG/HDL ratios, pulse rate, blood pressure, BMI, and circulation. This will give us a comprehensive view of our heart health. I think this begs the question, when everything is hunky-dory except for cholesterol levels, should we take a statin drug like Lipitor?

Well, if you do not have the other risk factors and your cholesterol is not sky high, my suggestion would be to ask your doctor for a grace period for some practical lifestyle adjustments. Statin drugs certainly have their issues, to put it mildly. Besides an upset stomach, fatigue, erectile dysfunction and many other side effects, statin drugs are brutal on the liver. Statin drugs also deplete Co-Q10 levels in your body, a crucial antioxidant. Perhaps this is why there have been some very unfortunate events linked with statin drugs. If you are on a statin drug like Lipitor, take Co-Q10 everyday.

In conclusion, one of the safest strategies to preserving heart health is to eat dark-green, leafy vegetables. Juicing them is the ultimate but it is a major chore and can get very expensive, especially if you are using organic. An alternative would be to use a high-quality super-food greens formula. Look for a formula that contains only juice powder extracts from organic vegetables which would give you the same net benefits of juicing, while also providing a powerhouse of antioxidants, important for the reasons stated earlier in this article. A good, well-rounded superfood drink powder can be an important tool in your health toolbox. So as always, be balanced in your journey of independent health. Ask your doctor plenty of questions to get the whole picture before making the decision to use drugs.


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