The Big Secret That Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know
If YOU or a loved one are currently taking cholesterol lowering medications, you NEED to read this.
I am not a doctor, nor am I telling you what to do, other than to take your health into your own hands.
“It is very difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” —Upton Sinclair
Two ago, I was conversing with a fairly new client. While he was going over which prescription drugs he was currently taking, I noticed that he had a ‘statin’ drug on there. I asked him about this and he said "My cholesterol levels are fine, my doctor just wants me on it as a precaution."
And here I am, sitting on knowledge that I have been meaning to get out to the masses because I know it can improve the quality of the lives of so many. Shame on me.
Without further ado, let’s dive into this insidious world of the ‘cholesterol drug’ medications.
Sixty years ago, a PHd named Ancel Keys came up with the ‘lipid hypothesis’ which infers: Saturated fat runs up cholesterol levels, and elevated cholesterol leads to heart disease.
Nice and simple, but it ain’t true. It has never been proven and thus is still call the lipid hypothesis.
I am a serious student of human physiology and thus, I have been become quite good at reading blood work and pinpointing the real issues. I have had people come to me wanting to crash testosterone levels so that they could get a prescription that their insurance would cover. I have had people come to me needing to get into a certain range of cholesterol for life insurance reasons, and the list goes on.
Yes, I was able to guide them to manipulating their cholesterol levels exactly as they had hoped. The reason I am telling you this is because I understand one simple fact that most people don’t know; cholesterol is the main building block of the ‘sex’ hormones in the body and it is critical for brain function and nearly every metabolic function in the body.
For 95% of the population, cholesterol in the diet has virtually no effect on cholesterol in the blood.
Read that again…
We need to go back to where this whole myth started. Russian scientists had shown that when you fed rabbits large amounts of cholesterol and then dissected them later on, their arteries were filled with cholesterol-containing plaque and looked a lot like the arteries of people who died of heart disease. Never mind the inconvenient fact that rabbits are herbivores. The amount of cholesterol they normally get in their diet is pretty close to zero.
Dr. Keys himself even stated in 1997:
"There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit."
Back to our little rabbit friend; the initial researchers also left the top off of the cholesterol tube, which looked a lot like a tube of toothpaste, which oxidized the cholesterol. Again, you never hear about that, but it does give us a clue that it is oxidized cholesterol that can be an issue.
Chronic inflammation, which flies under the radar when it comes to pain levels, is the real cause of heart disease. We become chronically inflamed through a process known as, yup, you guessed it, oxidation. Oxidized LDL cholesterol sticks to the lining of the arteries and beings the process of inflammation.
LDL is never a problem in the body until it becomes oxidized. A smoker with low LDL, most of which has been damaged by oxidation, most of which has been damaged by oxidation, is at far greater risk for heart disease than a non-smoker with a much higher level of LDL, of which only a tiny percentage has been damaged.
Without inflammation, it’s pretty irrelevant what your cholesterol levels are.
I’ll give you a few ideas at the end to begin to lower your inflammation levels… A quick hint: sugar is a far greater danger to your heart than fat ever was.
Insulin resistance is what will increase your blood pressure. No, salt isn’t the bad guy either, in fact, salt (colored sea salt) is also essential for a normal and healthy functioning human body. Insulin speaks to your kidneys, saying, ‘Hold onto salt’. Even though they don’t want to; insulin is a storage hormone. And the body needs to maintain a tight range of sodium. Water follows sodium.
More water in the system means more blood volume, more blood volume means higher blood pressure. So, when the doc tells you to cut sodium, what they are really saying is that they don’t realize the true root cause, which is high levels of insulin, which can be regulated to a great degree by your intake of processed carbs.
Another side note.
Insulin makes it damn near impossible to lose fat, essentially locking or trapping the triglycerides in the fat cell. This is all tied together: being overweight, heart disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes... It is elevated insulin, which comes from your diet, that increases triglycerides, raises blood pressure and lowers HDL-cholesterol, not fat in your diet!
Fat will raise the LDL-A cholesterol, the big fluffy particles, that are absolutely harmless.
High triglycerides will lead to LDL-B particles, which are the tiny ‘bee-bee’ pellet particles that can penetrate the arterial walls and start to gum up. While I am on this side rant, fatty liver, which used to be seen mainly is alcoholics, is becoming more and more common and yes, it can be directly traced back to insulin spikes from the diet.
When you begin to store fat in the liver, you have become insulin resistant and are not far off from diabetes. And yes, I hope that does scare the pants off of you if you have fatty liver. It’s time to be a big boy and take your health back!
Okay, now there is a certain type of carb that will lead to fat accumulation in the liver, and that is, fructose. More specifically, high fructose corn syrup, which is found in damn near all processed carb sources.
Omega 6 fats, those that are found in vegetable oils, cause inflammation. Thus, low fat diets work not because they reduce saturated fat but because they reduce omega-6 fats.
The ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fat in the diet to keep inflammation in check is between 1:1 and 4:1. All well and good until you consider that the typical Western diet ranges from 15:1 to 20:1!
Here is what you NEED to know about statin drugs:
The benefits are widely exaggerated. Any benefit has nothing to do with their ability to lower cholesterol
Statin drugs completely deplete coenzyme Q10, one of the most important nutrients for the heart. Depletion of Q10 can cause muscle pain, weakness and fatigue.
The brain depends on cholesterol to function optimally. Cholesterol helps stimulate thinking and memory. The brain contains up to 25% of the body’s cholesterol despite only making up 2% of our total body weight!
Statin drugs lead to a reduction in sex hormones. Sexual dysfunction is a common but underreported side effect of statin drugs.
Low testosterone is associated with decreased life expectancy, as well as increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. And for those who have testosterone levels below a certain threshold, the risk is doubled!
Statins interfere with serotonin receptors in the brain.
I don’t want to make this too dry, so let me grease this slide with a few interesting tidbits:
You need cholesterol for your memory. Ask anyone that has been on cholesterol lowering drugs how their memory faired. I will guarantee you that if they are honest, they will tell you that it has tanked. We need cholesterol to maintain cell integrity and to facilitate cellular communication.
You need cholesterol to fight infections. When you have an infection, the total blood level of cholesterol goes up, but HDL falls because it’s being used up in the fight (I bet your doctor never told you that).
You need to learn to relax. I know, you don’t have time for that stuff. When you are constantly stressed, your adrenal glands dump a bunch of adrenaline and cortisol into your blood stream, which will cause big time issues with metabolism (fat gain!) and lead to inflammation. When this persists, the abundant cortisol will lead to a hardening of your arteries.
A better way to predict heart disease:
Take out your blood work report. Calculate the ratio of triglycerides to your HDL. If for example, triglycerides are 150 mg/dL and your HDL is 50 mg/dL, you have a ratio of 3. In one Harvard study, those who had the highest triglyceride-to-HDL ratios had a 16 times higher risk of developing heart disease as those with the lowest ratios!! If you have a ratio around 2, you should be happy. However, a ratio of 5 is problematic.
I know I threw a lot at you here and to be honest, I don’t like to write information pieces too much anymore. But this one I enjoyed because I know it can get your thoughts heading in the right direction and it can potentially improve the lives of those that take the time to read it.
There is a lot I still have to cover on this topic as far as what to do to improve your health in these regards. I guess I will have to do part 2 next monthJ.