A Holistic Approach…

The Cholesterol Myth

Could you be doing more harm than good by actively trying to reduce your cholesterol?

Could it be that “high” cholesterol is not the issue at all and that the real issue is that each individual requires his or her own particular level of cholesterol to be healthy? As with all of the processes within our bodies, cholesterol is but one component contributing to a variety of functions. Our bodies are not compartmentalized where each organ or process acts on its own. Cardiovascular health is related to kidney health, colon health is related to liver health, oral hygiene is related to overall health, and all of these components work together to make or break someone’s health.

There have been many articles on alternative and natural web sites that have come out recently and not-so-recently discussing the misconceptions regarding cholesterol. The mainstream party line is that cholesterol must be kept below a certain level otherwise it might signal a propensity for a heart attack. As a result, the main stream, i.e. conventional medicine, has been pushing certain pharmaceuticals whose function is to lower cholesterol. But is this really a good idea?

Apparently the reason that doctors actively try to have their patients reduce their cholesterol, namely with drugs or limiting foods with high cholesterol, is because high cholesterol could lead to a build-up in the arteries, restricting the flow of blood thus creating a greater possibility of heart attack. This is a valid concern of course, but it does not take into consideration the reason build-up would occur – scarred arteries. Cholesterol, in and of itself, does not scar the arteries. Other, damaging things like acidic blood, chlorine in chlorinated water, and even the small molecules that result from the homogenization of milk, are known to cause scarring. Thus the problem is not high cholesterol but scarred arteries.

I do not believe in reinventing the wheel so I will not repeat, verbatim, what some recent articles have said on the subject. If you would like to learn more, check the reference section of this post for sources so you can read about cholesterol to your heart’s content, no pun intended. In a nutshell, it turns out that cholesterol is actually a protective mechanism created by our bodies to prevent scarring of the arteries. Allopathic medicine has indicated that this means that the higher your cholesterol, the more likely you are to have a heart attack. This actually sounds quite logical but will lowering the indicator and protector – cholesterol level – actually prevent the heart attack or just mask the symptom and even cause worse damage?

Our bodies are wondrous creations, they alert us to many things so that we can ensure survival. Elevated cholesterol is no different. Whereas in the past we might not have known that our cholesterol levels were elevated and thus we had to rely on our bodies’ natural protection mechanisms to keep us safe, now we can take a blood test and it will show that there are elevated levels and thus an underlying issue that needs to be addressed exists. The point is that the body creates elevated levels of cholesterol specifically to protect us. This being the case then why would we want to simply lower the cholesterol and go on our merry way? Wouldn’t it be better if we found out what is going on that caused the elevation in the first place, such as too-acidic blood, ingestion of harmful chemicals, etc., so that we could get rid of the cause and not just the symptom? More importantly, if the cholesterol were elevated as a protection mechanism, then why would we want to deprive our bodies’ of that mechanism?

I think a test showing an elevated cholesterol level could do one of two things: either it could show us that a problem exists that should be corrected and/or that the body’s functions are not normalized. I believe conventional medicine attempts to do that by defining ranges of levels for various markers. Based on research, apparently, doctors know that your body is “healthy” as long as the various markers are within certain levels. While I appreciate the concept of raising or lowering those levels if they are outside the “recommended” range, I think it is more important to ensure that we are each, individually, “normalized.” For example, what is normal for me in terms of cholesterol, parathyroid hormone, potassium, sodium, etc. might not be normal for a 200-pound male. Thus it would appear that it is better to provide our body the nutrients it needs to function properly and regulate itself.

This is why many holistic or naturopathic doctors recommend detoxification while incorporating whole foods and exercise. This helps the immune system, kidneys, liver, heart, etc. to do what it has to do to optimize all of our processes. So much research has been done in these areas that it is nearly guaranteed that, as long as one incorporates certain things into his life (and remove certain things) he would see a reduction of high blood pressure, for example, and even complete eradication of certain diseases, such as diabetes.

This is obviously wonderful but there are other processes in the body that are only recently better understood and even more recently has any natural substance been shown to promote better functioning of those processes. The one process that is so important is the body’s natural ability to fight off free radicals, which affects not only the underlying causes of heart disease with the ability to normalize cholesterol levels but also has the ability to help the body eradicate most, if not all, autoimmune disorders and other diseases. To discuss this would require a book in and of itself and beyond the scope of this post but for more information to find out the amazing strides that have been made in the area of oxidative stress and free radicals click here to request more info sign up for our newsletter. You will also receive my free report, Age Reversal: What Everyone Should Know About Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Supplementation. You will be amazed!

Footnotes:

Resources and Additional Reading:

Cholesterol-Overloaded HDL Particles Are Independently Associated With Progression of Carotid Atherosclerosis in a Cardiovascular Disease-Free Population: A Community-Based Cohort Study.

Report of the Conference on Low Blood Cholesterol: Mortality Associations.

Cholesterol and Arteries

“Bladder Cancer and Exposure to Water Disinfection By-Products through Ingestion, Bathing, Showering, and Swimming in Pools” American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 165, No. 2, 1/15/07, aje.oxfordjournals.org

“Chlorinated Water Exposure may Boost Cancer Risk” Reuters Health, 1/18/07, reutershealth.com

Milk Homogenization and Heart Disease

7 Factors to Consider if You’re Told Your Cholesterol Is Too High

Systematic Review Finds No Grounds for Current Warnings Against Saturated Fat

The great cholesterol debate and heart disease

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