In this issue you will learn just how important cholesterol is for your health, and why butter is one of your best friends;
Even now there is still plenty of confusion on the issue of cholesterol. It has long been believed that if your cholesterol is high, then you are a prime candidate for heart disease - guess what, this is just not the case!
Due to the blatant misinformation in the media, not to mention multinational corporations pushing their cholesterol lowering drugs onto MD's, the majority of us out there are conditioned to believe that high cholesterol levels are bad - but at the same time absolutely clueless to the very real dangers of having low cholesterol.
Did you know;
That 75% of people who have experienced heart attacks have cholesterol levels that are within the normal range...
That arterial plaqueing is composed of less than 1% of actual cholesterol, but more than 95% calcium...
That when cholesterol is lowered within the elderly, the mortality rate actually goes up - whilst also increasing the rate of cancer, Parkinson's, depression and hormone deficiency.
The Protective Effects of High Cholesterol
What you need to know above everything else is that cholesterol is good for you. It is found within every cell of the body where it helps to protect cell membranes, manufacture hormones, bile acids and vitamin D.
Cholesterol also helps protect our memories, and is vital for neurological function. Is it at all surprising that loss of memory is one of the side effects from being prescribed one of the cholesterol lowering statin drugs!
Now here's another fact to make you wonder what the "experts" were thinking: High cholesterol seems to have a protective effect in the elderly. According to research done at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, nearly twice as many people with low cholesterol had a heart attack - compared to those with high cholesterol levels.1
Big Pharma Reap Enormous Profits by Continuing the Cholesterol Lie
Pharmaceutical companies continue to make billions of dollars each year as long as they support the myth that cholesterol causes heart disease. As mounting evidence shows, elevated cholesterol levels do not cause heart disease - therefore it is not necessary to take expensive drugs to lower cholesterol.
Results from numerous independent drug trials also don't support the connection between cholesterol and heart disease. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute conducted the Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial to test the effectiveness of cholestryramine, a drug known to lower cholesterol.
Seven years later, researchers analyzed the data and found that the cholesterol levels decreased by 8 percent, but there were no important (statistically significant) differences in heart-attack rates.2
Generating Over $20 Billion a Year, Statins Are The Most Profitable Drug in History
Researchers have summarized all drug trials published before 1994 (the year drug companies introduced statin drugs). These studies found that the number of deaths from heart attack was equal in the treatment and control groups. And the total number of deaths was actually greater in the treatment groups. None of the trials showed any important (statistically significant) decrease in the death rate from coronary disease.6
What it all boils down to is that these cholesterol-lowering drugs lowered cholesterol - but they didn't decrease deaths from heart attack.
Good Cholesterol is the Secret to Fighting Heart Disease
Most of us have heard that there are two types of cholesterol - but do you really know the difference? OK, bad cholesterol is called low-density lipoprotein (LDL's), whilst the good type is called high-density lipoprotein. LDLs help lay down the plaque deposits in the arteries (that's why they call these "bad"), and HDLs help remove plaque from the arteries (that's why they call these "good").
HDL is the single most important cholesterol factor in determining your risk of developing heart disease. Don't worry about lowering your total cholesterol level or your LDL level. Just raise your HDL cholesterol.
Increasing our HDL levels is one of the single biggest things we can do in order to keep our overall cholesterol under control. Why is this basic yet powerful advice not getting through? For one reason, there is no drug to boost HDL. So, what is the best way to increase our HDL levels?
Simple Yet Effective Ways in Which to Raise HDL Levels
One of the easiest ways is to take a niacin (vitamin B3) as a supplement. For years now I have been suggesting niacin to my own patients - and so far I am yet to be dissappointed with its ability to positively influence one's HDL levels!
And in study after study, niacin has proven itself to be a heart-health warrior.3,4 In one study from the prestigious journal Atherosclerosis, researchers showed how niacin raised HDL by a remarkable 24 percent.
In a group with low HDL, niacin improved heart-health markers across the board, including:5 A 24% increase in HDL--the heart-healthy "good" cholesterol;
A 35% increase in adiponectin, the hormone that melts fat away;
A 38% decrease in LDL;
A 12% decrease in triglycerides, the real culprit behind clogged arteries.
First, start with a diet that boosts your intake of vitamin B3. Foods rich in niacin include liver, chicken, beef, avocados, tomatoes and nuts. As always, stick with grass-fed meat, free-range chicken and organic produce and nuts
Note: If taking B3 in a supplement form, be sure to take it slowly - niacin can cause flushing! A 500mg slow release quality niacin supplement to begin with is a good start, whilst gradually increasing this up to 2 grams.
Asisde from this, here are some effective ways to boost your HDL;
1. Restore omega-3s to your diet: Wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, free-farmed, organic poultry, nuts, olive, eggs and avocados are all rich in "good" fats. And cod liver oil - the best omega-3 supplement - will boost your HDL levels naturally.
2. Get more of this cholesterol: Be sure to focus on your HDL level. If it's below 35, you should take steps to increase it. Steps like increasing your exercise, taking niacin and eating garlic.
3. Eat a low-carb diet: This will help to balance your HDL and reduce your LDL.
5. Consume alcohol in moderation: A glass of wine can help raise your HDL. Moderation is the key.
6. Stop smoking: It sounds obvious, but if you smoke, you should stop. Not only does smoking lower your HDL, it constricts your blood vessels and raises your risk of heart attack in many other ways as well.
7. Drop the excess weight: Carrying excess pounds increases your risk of heart disease. Even a little weight reduction will raise your HDL levels.
1 Krumholz, H.M., Seeman, T.E., Merrill, S.S., et al, "Lack of association between cholesterol and coronary heart disease mortality and morbidity and all-cause mortality in persons older than 70 years," Journal of the American Medical Association Nov. 1994; 272(17):1335-1340
2 "The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial results. I. Reduction in incidence of coronary heart disease," Journal of the American Medical Association Jan. 20, 1984; 251(3):351-64
3 Carlson, L.A., "Nicotinic acid: the broad-spectrum lipid drug. A 50th anniversary review," Journal of Internal Medicine 2005; 258(2):94-114
4 McKenney, J., "New perspectives on the use of niacin in the treatment of lipid disorders," Archives of Internal Medicine 2004;164(7):697-705
5 Linke, et al, "Effects of extended-release niacin on lipid profile and adipocyte biology in patients with impaired glucose tolerance," Atherosclerosis 2008