3 Things you want to know about Cholesterol
by: Lee Cummings
You wouldn't judge a book by its cover, would you?
You would want to open the book and read part of it to get a better idea about what is going on, right?
Well, judging a book by its cover is what happens when you look at LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and decide that this is the only - or even the best indicator of heart disease.
Worse yet, you are told you MUST lower your LDL cholesterol level.
#1 Naturally produced by the body, cholesterol is needed for a variety of functions.-1
Your body uses cholesterol to make testosterone and other essential hormones and is one of the best health and youth enhancing strategies for aging men and women. -2
As you age your body naturally starts to lose its ability to produce as much testosterone and you start to lose energy, strength, sexual desire and sexual capacity.-2
#2 Because the fact is cholesterol alone is not THE indicator of heart disease. Cholesterol which has been oxidized is the problem. Oxidation of cholesterol is the more specific problem which would enable the cholesterol to become "sticky" and start to form plaque in the walls of the arteries.-3
We have all seen an apple cut open and watch as it turns brown - this is oxidation. Your body will oxidize on the inside unless steps are taken to help prevent this.
One can keep oxidation of cholesterol in check by incorporating plenty of anti-oxidants in your consumption of food and supplements.-1, 3
A few of the most powerful anti-oxidants are:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Low cost, safe and proven food sources high in omega 3's and the right fats to help keep your cholesterol levels in balance-1, 3
- Olive oil
- Fresh fruit
These are better, safe, proven and natural ways to prevent cholesterol from becoming a problem.
A diet heavy in grains and processed foods will actually raise your blood cholesterol levels more than foods which contain cholesterol.
A diet low in cholesterol will do you little if anything health wise -4
Focusing on raising your HDL cholesterol levels because as you raise your good cholesterol it decreases the concern about your LDL levels of cholesterol and gives you a better total cholesterol profile. -5
Some of the best ways to improve your ?Good? or HDL cholesterol is through:
- Vitamin D
- Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with raising HDL cholesterol levels - 6
There is a big difference between the cholesterol your Body produces and dietary cholesterol from the food you eat.
#3 Two factors which are of greater concern and are better indicators of heart disease are -3
1. A measure of inflammation in the blood stream called C-reactive protein
2. An amino acid produced by the body called homocysteine.
High levels of C-reactive protein and high levels of homocysteine are better leading indicators and also contribute to the formation of plaque in the blood vessels leading to heart disease -3
As reported in the July, 2003 issue of JAMA, a study was conducted which showed that a diet high in plant sterols, fiber and almonds was clearly the better way to reduce cholesterol and heart disease over statin drugs.-8
And finally ?
Policosanol ? An organic plant alcohol from sugar cane is one of the best natural ways to reduce bad cholesterol levels-7
Naturally, as you realize the power of these proven ways to prevent cholesterol from becoming a problem, you will find yourself taking action.
1- Dr. Al Sears Health Confidential for Men ? ?The biggest drug and the biggest lie? august 4th, 2003.
2- Dr. Al Sears Health Confidential for Men ? ?Ignore the hype focus on cholesterol that matters? April 4, 2004
3- Hyman, Mark M.D., Liponis, Mark M.D., Ultra-Prevention, The 6-Week Plan that will Make you healthy for life, New York, Scribner, 2003
4- Dr. Al Sears Health Confidential for Men ? ?Teaching Nutrition?? March 15, 2004
5- Framingham Heart Study conducted on healthy people in the 1950s. cholesterol misleading as only one of 240 factors in heart disease. http://www.researchprotection.org/infomail/03/07/11.html
6- Castiglioni A and Neuman WR. "HDL Cholesterol: What Is Its True Clinical Significance?" Emergency Medicine, January 2003:pp 30-42.
7- Policosanol safe alternative just one of many. http://www.life-enhancement.com/article_template.asp?ID=663 New study finds that this sugar-cane extract safely lowers cholesterol levels. By Aaron W. Jensen, Ph.D. References PR Newswire, March 5, 2002. White Plains, NY. Omar MA, Wilson JP. FDA adverse event reports on statin -associated rhabdomyolysis. Ann Pharmacother 2002 Feb;36(2):288-95. Gouni-Berthold I, Berthold HK. Policosanol: clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent. Am Heart J 2002;143:356-65. Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Executive summary of the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). J Am Med Assoc 2001;285:2486-97.
8- Jenkins D. et al., Effects of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol- lowering foods vs Lovastatin on serum lipids and c-reactive protein. JAMA 2003; 290: 502-510
9- ? Health Sciences Institute - Jenny Thompson ? Article ?Broken Ground? 3/11/2004
How Cholesterol Works
by Dr. Jerry Gordon
We don't know that there is any one level that is too low for everyone. Just as low cholesterol protects against heart disease; and lowering cholesterol -- even though it is still high -- reduces the risk of heart disease, it is possible that low cholesterol is associated with certain negative outcomes, and that lowering cholesterol - even though it is still high -- may increase the risk of these.
Other factors, like blood pressure and smoking, help to determine how risky a given high level of cholesterol is for the heart. We suspect that other factors also determine the likelihood of getting "low" cholesterol associated problems at a given cholesterol level. We are working to identify what those factors might be -- for instance, is older age associated with greater risk of adverse outcomes, as it is for many drugs? (Older age is also associated with higher risk of heart disease, so the balance of these factors needs to be better sorted out.) Also, of course, the same cholesterol value may not influence risk the same way for all possible side effects of cholesterol reduction.
- - -
The more you read and aquire information about the good, bad and the uggly of Cholesterol, the more you become to realise that there is a lot of many changing hands and you're not the one that is getting a 'hand-out'.
Once again, it all comes down to common sense. The less we move around, the less we stimmulate our blood to circulate around our bodies and it stands to reason that if you live a sedentary life style and eat the high fat foods, something will go wrong.
Speaking of food - this too is a great income generator for some, diet after diet is being herralded as the wonder diet of all times, even research organisations such as CSIRO in Australia are getting on the bandwagon. Again it's very, very simple:
- Eat food that is not processed, or foods which have very, very little processing involved. The less processed your food is, the healthier and fresher it is. Therefore, the more nutrients it will contain and the better it will be for you.
- Eat a wide variety of fresh, unprocessed foods. Simple, make sure you eat about 15 different fruits, vegetables, nuts, grain and cereals each and every day. The wider the variety and the more diverse the fresh foods, the more nutrients you will be including in your diet and thus receiving all the major vitamins, minerals and trace elements that your body requires.
Other factors to consider:
- Drink at least 3 liters of water a day. Medical science tells us that our bodies use 3 liters of water per day in order to function proparly. - Well, it's a no-brainer than, that we need to supply our bodies with at least that much, possibly a bit more so that we do not run the risk of dehydration.
- Getting enough sleep. Again, medical research from the UK informs us that if we get less than 8 hours of sleep on average per night, our IQ actually drops. In addition, our bodies actually use this time to repair themselves and filter the blood via the liver. So, what's keeping you up. Go to sleep.