Cholesterol – Good or Bad?

Let’s make no mistake.  Cholesterol is your friend and there is no such thing as ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ Cholesterol! In fact there is no such thing as LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.

LDL is Low Density Lipoprotein. It is a lipoprotein and NOT a form of cholesterol.  It shuttles cholesterol from the blood into the cells.

HDL is High Density Lipoprotein, and again is NOT a form of cholesterol.  It’s job is to shuttle cholesterol out of the cells and back into the bloodstream.

Neither LDL, nor HDL, or even cholesterol is responsible for arterial plaques which cause heart disease and strokes. These molecules are all safe, necessary and should not be meddled with at all unless you suffer from a rare genetic glitch called “Familial Hypercholesterolaemia”.

The whole cholesterol hysteria is a myth propagated by junk science beginning in 1953.

Click on the image below to be taken to the most comprehensive audio I have found on cholesterol.  It will certainly change your life and could even save it. (Apologies for the first 2 minutes of very American intro).

Having listened to this you will know more about cholesterol than many doctors, so please don’t expect them to accept or even follow your new understanding.

Here is an overview of the most important points

In 1953, research scientist Ancel Keys cherry-picked 7 countries of a possible 22, to demonstrate his hypothesis that dietary fat contributed to heart disease and death.  This was skewed science, because had he used all 22 countries the study would not have supported his hypothesis.

In 1959 the American Heart Association concluded that there was insufficient evidence to draw any conclusion.

In 1961 Ancel Keys became a member of the board of the American Heart Association and without any additional studies they reversed their decision and warned that saturated fats caused heart disease.  (There was no proof – only a hypothesis.)

Another hypothesis that fats in the blood contribute to coronary heart disease was born from a RABBIT study.  All this demonstrated was that if you force feed a rabbit a totally alien food its arteries suffer.  This was never supposed to imply a human response.

From 1982 – 1984 an attempt was made to demonstrate the dietary link through human trials.  This could not be demonstrated.

In 1984 humans were given Cholesteramine, a drug that mops up bile.  Bile is largely cholesterol, so in order to replenish it, cholesterol had to be diverted from the blood.  Total cholesterol was not lowered.  Statistically, cardiovascular damaged reduced while other serious health issues rose.  Overall mortality worsened slightly, but this was heralded a success.

Time magazine published an article suggesting that eating eggs and bacon was deadly!  Yet the above study had NOTHING to do with diet.

Also in 1984 a peer reviewed study published in Pnas demonstrated that it was not LDL or Cholesterol, but actually immune cells called Macrophages which became ‘foam cells’ that were responsible for the oxidative stress and ultimately scarring of the arteries, leading to cardiovascular disease.

The study showed that regardless of the concentration of Low Density Lipoporotein or cholesterol in solution, there was NO increase in the conversion of macrophages to the more dangerous ‘foam cells’.  It demonstrated that only damaged LDL molecules would be attacked by the Macrophages, leading to these abhorrent foam cells.

In 2011 we are still ignoring the evidence! Heart disease and stroke are due NOT to elevated cholesterol, LDL or HDL but instead to increased free radical damage which occurs so much more rapidly with consumption of polyunsaturated fats like sunflower, safflower, canola and corn oils, which are totally alien to our metabolisms.  These easily damaged oils, combined with our staggering use of sugars in every processed food and drink you can think of are the real villains.

So what should we be doing about high cholesterol?

If all we know is that our total cholesterol level is high, we should ignore it.  There simply isn’t enough information to go on, and there really is more evidence that people with higher cholesterol live longer.

If LDL is high in relation to HDL, this might indicate that our bodies are requiring more of the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative cholesterol to reach the cells than normal.  But again there is insufficient information to act on.

The last thing we should do is take any measures to lower cholesterol! Instead, a sensible adjustment would be to reduce or eliminate the intake of easily damaged liquid oils like corn oil, sunflower, safflower and so on.  These are only available to us through industrial processing.  They are not balanced foods, and while they are on the supermarket shelves, they are already going rancid.

We should instead increase consumption of saturated fats like raw coconut oil, raw butter, avocado, nuts and seeds.  We should also learn how to balance our blood sugar, and limit the intake of all refined sugars, because insulin levels are intimately linked to cardiovascular health and aging.

Far more useful than Cholesterol readings, are readings of C-Reactive Protein (or CRP) which is a genuine inflammatory marker, and Homocystiene, which is also a more reliable marker than cholesterol.  Ask for these tests and then take the advice above.

It really never makes sense to reduce cholesterol either with drugs or in the diet.  When needed, your body will make as much of it as necessary to come to the rescue.  It is most unwise to hamper your body’s own rescue mission.

Insufficient cholesterol may result in increased inflammation and oxidation or free radical damage, an inability for the skin to make vitamin D from sunlight, poor brain function or development, and inadequate serotonin production, leading to depression and even suicide.

If you are on statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) or know anyone who is, then please consider the information above.  If for any reason it is deemed not possible for you to manage without the statins, then be sure to supplement with Co-enzyme Q10Statins are indiscriminate and don’t just block cholesterol.  The most important other molecule they block is Co-enzyme Q10 without which you are certainly at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.  It makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Please also see:  Cholesterol Resources