So much false information is given out about the dangers of high cholesterol. It’s important for anyone worried about cholesterol to take a serious look at what cholesterol is and what else is going on with your body. Please do this before considering taking a statin or any other kind of medication with dangerous side effects. Remember, a symptom like high cholesterol is your body’s way of protecting you. The body’s main goal is always to restore a sense of balance, health, and homeostasis. Cholesterol is very important to your health. However, having high cholesterol may be a symptom of chronic systemic inflammation or metabolic syndrome and those are the real dangers to your health that you need to pay attention to.
How important is cholesterol? It is virtually impossible to explain how vital cholesterol is to the human body. If you had no cholesterol in your body, you would be dead. No cells, no bone structure, no muscles, no hormones, no sex, no reproductive system, no digestion, no brain function, no memory, no nerve endings, no movement, no human life – nothing without cholesterol. It is utterly vital and we die instantly without it.
Dr. Mercola does a wonderful job explaining some of the functions of cholesterol.
“This soft, waxy substance is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function. Your liver makes about 75 percent of your body’s cholesterol,1 and according to conventional medicine, there are two types:1) High-density lipoprotein or HDL- This is the “good” cholesterol that helps keep cholesterol away from your arteries and remove any excess from arterial plaque, which may help to prevent heart disease 2) Low-density lipoprotein or LDL- This “bad” cholesterol circulates in your blood and, according to conventional thinking, may build up in your arteries, forming plaque that makes your arteries narrow and less flexible (a condition called atherosclerosis).”
Focusing on lowering cholesterol without treating the causes of its elevation is a dangerous practice. The first step to lowering your cholesterol naturally is to avoid things that promote inflammation in the body. These include
- Oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs)
- Eating lots of sugar and grains
- Eating foods cooked at high temperatures
- Eating trans fats
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Emotional stress
Usually this program is great for prevention and does a world of good for those already suffering with high cholesterol as well as inflammation. However, if you have a more severe case and have metabolic syndrome, you may need a more comprehensive approach. If this is the case, I highly recommend Dr. Mark Hyman’s
Seven Tips to Fix Your Cholesterol and Reverse Metabolic Syndrome Without Medication
- Get the right cholesterol tests. Check NMR particle sizes for cholesterol by asking your doctor for this test atLabcorp or LipoScience. You want to know if you have safe, light, and fluffy cholesterol particles, or small, dense, artery damaging cholesterol particles. A regular cholesterol test won’t tell you this.
- Check for metabolic syndrome.
- Do you have a fat belly? Measure you waist at the belly button and your hips at the widest point—if your waist/hip is greater than 0.8 if you are a woman or 0.9 if you are man, then you have a problem
- If you have small LDL and HDL particles, you have metabolic syndrome.
- If your triglycerides are greater than 100 and your HDL is less than 50, or the ratio of triglycerides to HDL is greater than 4, then you have metabolic syndrome.
- Do a glucose insulin challenge test. This is very important and most physicians do not test for insulin and glucose.
- Check your hemoglobin A1c, which measures blood sugar over the last 6 weeks. If it is greater than 5.5, you may have metabolic syndrome
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat a diet with a low glycemic load, high in fiber, and phytonutrient and omega-3 rich. It should be plant based, and you should consume plenty of good quality protein such as beans, nuts, seeds, and lean animal protein (ideally organic or grass fed). I have described specific diets that abide by these parameters in my book UltraMetabolism.
- Exercise. Enough said.
- Get good quality sleep. Sleep is essential for healing your body, maintaining balanced blood sugar, and your overall health.
- Use supplements to support healthy cholesterolparticle size. These include:
- A multivitamin including at least 500 mcg of chromium, 2 mg of biotin, and 400 mg of lipoic acid. For most you will take 3 capsules twice a day.
- 1000 mg of omega-3 fats (EPA/DHA) twice a day.
- 2000 IU of vitamin D3 twice a day.
- 1200 mg of red rice yeast twice a day.
- 2-4 capsules of glucomannan15 minutes before meals with a glass of water.
- Broad-range, balanced concentration of plant sterols. You will usually take 1 capsule with each meal.
- Consider using high dose niacin or vitamin B3. This can only be done with a doctor’s prescription. It is useful to help raise HDL cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and increase particle size.
- Use low-dose statins ONLY if you have had heart disease or are a male with multiple risk factors, while carefully monitoring for muscle and liver damage.
For the vast majority of people this approach is better than simply taking a cholesterol medication. To reduce your risk of heart disease you need to address metabolic syndrome, and that can ONLY be done effectively with a comprehensive diet and lifestyle approach like the one outlined above.
If you have cholesterol issues, are considering taking statins or are currently taking statins, I highly recommend you read all the sources for this article as they will truly give you a better understanding of what you are considering putting into your body.