According to Dr. Meir J. Stampfer of the Harvard School of Public Health:
“High serum cholesterol levels are an important risk factor for coronary disease, but most patients with [heart disease] have normal cholesterol levels.”
I guess what we really want to know is, is there really a link between cholesterol and heart disease? Or should that read ‘do saturated fats raise cholesterol levels thus resulting in heart disease?’ Should the findings above not be enough to answer our question? If that is fact, then there is NO correlation. So what does high cholesterol do to us then, probably nothing?
In 2010, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a heart specialist in the UK, described how the “seven countries” landmark study of the 1970s showed links between rates of coronary heart disease and cholesterol levels, and linked this to energy levels from saturated fats. However, they failed to demonstrate whether or not these factors were actually causing heart disease. Kind of like when Dr. Robert Gallo introduced the HIV test (AIDS test back then) when the actual virus had not yet been isolated…but that is a whole other issue or big black whole as I found out… As a result, governments went ahead and pushed out guidelines advising us to cut our fat intake to 30% of total calories and saturated fat to 10%. And now America is sinking. Yes, I just said that.
According to the Irish Heart Foundation cholesterol is a “soft, wax-like substance which is found in every cell in our body. It has an important role as it is part of the walls or membranes of each cell. It is also a key component in the manufacture of hormones (chemical messengers in our body) and bile acids which work in our intestines to help promote the absorption of fat from our diets.” Cholesterol is also necessary for neurological functioning and also helps in the formation of memories. However, cholesterol has been responsible for exiling foods (like eggs and saturated fats) and blamed for just about every case of heart disease over the last two decades. Remember we were told to limit our egg intake to two a week and to not even think about eating the yolk!! Now we are told we can eat as many eggs as we want. Sadly many people still do not know that.
Well the first comment that I would like to make here is that I will NEVER get a cholesterol test. Why not? Because it is a bullsh*t test. Cholesterol is not going to ruin your health and from what I have read your total cholesterol level is NOT a reliable indicator of your risk of heart disease. And the main reason being that you can have ‘perfect’ cholesterol levels and STILL have heart disease. FML. In spite of that, it is still the single most sought after diagnostic test.
The test measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the serum of the blood.
According to Wikipedia:
Role in disease
In the human body, high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream have been linked to atherosclerosis and, by extension, the risk of heart disease and stroke.However, the relative negative impact of raised levels of triglycerides compared to that of LDL:HDL ratios is as yet unknown. The risk can be partly accounted for by a strong inverse relationship between triglyceride level and HDL-cholesterol level.
‘citation needed, unknown’
WTF? Even still, I hate wikipedia…
Statins ‘supposedly’ work by slowing your body’s production of cholesterol. Your body produces all the cholesterol it needs by digesting food and producing new cells on its own. When this natural production is slowed, your body begins to draw the cholesterol it needs from the food you eat, lowering your total cholesterol, that is if you go by what the Mayo Clinic says. So then why not just eat more fibre as cholesterol bounds to it and then exits the body….? That is the idea behind those cholesterol lowering drinks and yoghurts.
So they don’t really know, but they are quick to prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs to millions of people? And put them at risk of the following…
According to the Mayo Clinic – the side effects of statins can range from:
- Muscle pain and damage
- Get this, for all you ‘CrossFitters’ out there, it can cause RHABDO without doing any (stupid) jumping pull ups!! Not good, excuse the exclamation marks.
- Digestive problems
- Rash or flushing
- Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes
- Neurological side effects
- Liver damage
- They don’t list the most obvious side effect. Cancer.
Sure why not just swap high cholesterol for diabetes or cancer…? F*ck’s sakes.
- Oh, they forgot to mention erectile dysfunction
- Or sleep and memory disturbance – surely there is something wrong there if statins affect one of the actual functions of cholesterol? Alarm bells anyone?
Factors that can affect the outcome of the test:
- Liver disease
- Underactive/overactive thyroid
- Kidney problems
- Malabsorption of food (maybe due to leaky gut/ intestinal permeability
- Pernicious anaemia
- Diabetes [that is not under control]
- Infection – inflammation
- Removal of ovaries
Because I have never had a test I do not know, but has your doctor told you that any of the above will affect your result? The cynical side of me is doubtful. Just like you are more at risk of testing positive for HIV, if you are gay, African, have candida….hmmm. If you are interested in what I just wrote, watch House of Numbers.
The word on the street is that statins do not work. Tonnes of research about the safety of use of statins and about their inefficacy are now being published. Well I guess they work for Big Pharma to make money – but not to make people healthier. A few years ago the highest number for your cholesterol to read at was 6-to-1, then the pharmaceutical companies decided to bring the number down to 5-to-1. Purely to sell more statins!! Are we stupid? We must be to fall for it, or to trust them. But if you doctor says you need a statin, you must 😦
Apparently you can calculate your cholesterol ratio (but I won’t work it out because (A) I am blonde and (B) I will never get a cholesterol test so I do not care much for figuring it out and (C) I am allergic to maths ‘stuff’) by dividing your HDL cholesterol into your total cholesterol. For example, if your total cholesterol is 200 milligrams per decilitre (I am Irish so I am not going to write ‘er’) (mg/dL) (5.2 millimoles per litre, or mmol/L) and your HDL cholesterol is 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L), your cholesterol ratio is 4-to-1. According to the American Heart Association, the goal is to keep your cholesterol ratio 5-to-1 or lower. An optimum ratio is 3.5-to-1. A higher ratio indicates a higher risk of heart disease; a lower ratio indicates a lower risk.. Medicine rates as acceptable a total cholesterol count of less than 200mg/dl. For pictures courtesy of Flora click here.
In the US, two-thirds of people who end up in hospital following a heart attack have metabolic syndrome/ syndrome X, but 75% of them have normal cholesterol levels?????!!!!!
Ron Rosedale, MD stated that:
“Notice please that LDL and HDL are lipoproteins — fats combined with proteins. There is only one cholesterol. There is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol.
Cholesterol is just cholesterol.
It combines with other fats and proteins to be carried through the bloodstream, since fat and our watery blood do not mix very well.
Fatty substances therefore must be shuttled to and from our tissues and cells using proteins. LDL and HDL are forms of proteins and are far from being just cholesterol.
In fact we now know there are many types of these fat and protein particles. LDL particles come in many sizes and large LDL particles are not a problem. Only the so-called small dense LDL particles can potentially be a problem, because they can squeeze through the lining of the arteries and if they oxidize, otherwise known as turning rancid, they can cause damage and inflammation.
Thus, you might say that there is “good LDL” and “bad LDL.”
Also, some HDL particles are better than others. Knowing just your total cholesterol tells you very little. Even knowing your LDL and HDL levels will not tell you very much.”
Sure statins may ‘lower’ your overall cholesterol number – by attempting to reduce your ‘bad’ or ‘LDL’ cholesterol levels you are probably at the same time reducing your ‘good’ or ‘HDL’ levels. High-density Lipoproteins are considered by many researchers to be responsible for transporting cholesterol back from cells to the liver for removal from the body. Low density lipoprotein particles are the main ones involved in carrying cholesterol in the blood. LDL delivers its cholesterol to all body cells by binding to a receptor on the surface of cells called amazingly the “LDL receptor”. SO IF WE LOWER LDL LEVELS ARE WE STOPPING OUR CELLS FROM GETTING CHOLESTEROL? This whole issue is soooooo confusing and there are so many differing opinions out there. And I think that is PRECISELY WHY statins sell so well. Baffle us with science….make us fear what we do not know, or simply cannot figure out!
How to prevent heart disease and stroke?
Don’t follow a diet recommended by the government guidelines, don’t follow the RDA, don’t follow the food pyramid and don’t eat what they tell you to eat on the telly. Try the Paleo diet or the Mediterranean diet as it is apparently more effective at reducing cardiovascular deaths than statins.
OH AND GET UP OFF YOUR FAT ASS AND DO SOME EXERCISE.
Lynne McTaggart. 2005. What Doctors Don’t Tell You.