Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cholesterol is Important for Good Health

By Dr. Sally McBride

Advocates for statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels are getting out of hand. Suggestions about adding them to drinking water are popping up. Unfortunately, the facts that get lost in all this anti-cholesterol babbling are the benefits of cholesterol. The fact is that cholesterol is a crucial component of good health. Indeed, people with high cholesterol live the longest. This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one's brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance. Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers. On the other hand, low cholesterol levels lead to several health problems. At best, cholesterol levels might be a secondary indicator for cardiovascular risk, which means that other causes link cholesterol and disease.

Just to offer a balanced view of the importance of cholesterol, here is a short list of what it does for you: 1) Cell membranes contain cholesterol to help control everything that goes into and out of your cells; 2) When cells and tissues are damaged, cholesterol helps repair them; 3) Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant that limits damage caused by free radicals; 4) Without cholesterol, your memory would be faulty and your brain would not function properly; 5) Bile, the substance that helps you digest dietary fat, has got cholesterol in it; 6) Many of your hormones need cholesterol to be formed properly, including sex hormones such as testosterone and progesterone, and hormones that control stress; 7) Cholesterol is involved in controlling inflammation all around your body, thereby preventing diseases from taking hold; 8) Cholesterol is involved in very important vitamin D production in your skin with the help of sunlight; 9) Your liver makes up to 1,000 mg of cholesterol a day for you, so you can survive and thrive.

Artificially lowering your natural cholesterol levels jeopardizes all of these benefits. It is little wonder that the statin drugs have so many intolerable side effects.

What about that comment regarding cholesterol and longevity? Consider the remarkable findings of Dr. Harlan Krumholz at Yale University, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. In 1994 he reported that elderly adults with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did elderly people with high cholesterol. Advocates of the anti-cholesterol campaign consistently ignore this research, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a huge number of studies finding the opposite. This observation is not a rare exception, though. Many newer studies likewise contradict the generally accepted medical view that cholesterol is bad for your health and must be kept low by drug treatment. Specifically, most studies of the elderly now show that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for heart disease at all and that high cholesterol does not influence mortality. These latest data are very clear.

What about cardiovascular disease now? The 1994 feature article in Time Magazine that pointed the way for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease was all about inflammation. This is the key to most modern chronic diseases. The simple logic is that, if inflammation is the cause of cardiovascular disease, then preventing or reversing disease requires stopping excessive inflammation.

The best news about cardiovascular health is that, no matter whether inflammation has already led to some damage, just about any such damage can be stopped in its tracks, and even reversed, without drugs. The first step is an easy change in diet. Start with eliminating all inflammatory foods, the worst of which are sugars and processed carbohydrates. Be sure to add lots of green leafy vegetables in place of all those bad carbs. And equally important, be sure to take supplements that include the best combination of inflammation fighting substances that are known to science: i.e., systemic enzymes and antioxidants. Make sure that you include the most important systemic enzymes, which are nattokinase and serrapeptase. Regarding supplementing with antioxidants, be sure that, for starters, they include coenzyme Q-10, natural vitamin E, quercetin, alpha lipoic acid, and MSM. Based on solid scientific reaarch, systemic enzymes and antioxidants comprise a phenomenal combination of heart-healthy natural supplements that will keep your cardiovascular system fine-tuned for the rest of your life.

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