Cholesterol - Inflammation is the problem

Cholesterol is a much debated topic in the medical community. Cardiologists and big pharmaceutical companies will tell you that lowering your cholesterol keeps your heart healthy. This is why cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are the leading drug category in terms of sales.


Although prescription cholesterol medications are very effective at lowering cholesterol (particularly the bad kind) they can come with undesirable side effects. Your body needs cholesterol in the same way that it needs air and water. Cholesterol is found in every cell of your body and is involved in important processes, including the production of bile acids, cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D.


Statins sell because of the fear that cholesterol increases your risk of suffering a heart attack. But not only is this treatment ineffective, it is also dangerous. In the process of inhibiting the formation of cholesterol, statin medications also inhibit the formation of an important nutrient called CoQ10 which is beneficial to heart health and muscle function. Because doctors rarely inform people of this risk and don’t advise them to take a CoQ10 supplement, this depletion leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness, and eventually heart failure. Due to their importance in energy production many people who take statin medications can experience symptoms of muscle cramping and weakness due to this deficiency.


Muscle pain and weakness, a condition called rhabdomyolysis, is actually the most common side effect of statin drugs, which is thought to occur because statins activate the atrogin-1 gene, which plays a key role in muscle atrophy. By the way, muscle pain and weakness may be an indication that your body tissues are actually breaking down; a condition that can cause kidney damage. Statin drugs have also been linked to:

  • An increased risk of polyneuropathy (nerve damage that causes pain in the hands and feet and trouble walking)

  • Dizziness

  • Cognitive impairment, including memory loss

  • A potential increased risk of cancer

  • Decreased function of the immune system

  • Depression

  • Liver problems, including a potential increase in liver enzymes (so people taking statins must be regularly monitored for normal liver function)

Taking supplemental CoQ10 is an important consideration for anyone taking statin medications.


Using statin drugs to lower cholesterol will not help you reduce your risk of heart disease. Lowering cholesterol does not address chronic inflammation – one of the root causes of heart disease and many other diseases. If excessive damage is occurring such that it is necessary to distribute extra cholesterol through the bloodstream, it would not seem very wise to merely lower the cholesterol and forget about why it is there in the first place. It would seem much smarter to reduce the extra need for the cholesterol; the excessive damage that is occurring, the reason for the chronic inflammation.


Inflammation is your body’s response to foreign threats. For example, if you suffer damage to your arteries, inflammation causes your blood vessels to constrict and your blood to thicken. The damage you sustain is patched by a protective scar known as plaque.


Your liver makes more cholesterol to replace the damaged cells during inflammation because your cells cannot form without cholesterol. The plaque, the thickening of your blood, and constricting of your blood vessels, is what increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks, NOT cholesterol.


How to Lower Inflammation, and Thereby Your Risk of Heart Disease, Naturally


There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs and saturated fat to protect your heart. This misguided principle is based on the "lipid hypothesis" - developed in the 1950s by nutrition pioneer Ancel Keys - that linked dietary fat to coronary heart disease. The nutrition community of that time completely accepted the hypothesis, and encouraged the public to cut out butter, red meat, animal fats, eggs, dairy and other "artery-clogging" fats from their diets; a radical change at that time.


Of course, as Americans then cut out nutritious animal fats from their diets, they were left hungry. So they began eating more processed grains, more vegetable oils, and more high-fructose corn syrup, all of which are nutritional disasters. It is this latter type of diet that will eventually lead to increased inflammation, and therefore cholesterol, in your body.


So don't let anyone scare you away from saturated fat anymore. Chronic inflammation is actually caused by a laundry list of items such as:

  • 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

  • Smoking

  • Emotional stress

So to sum it all up, in order to lower your inflammation and cholesterol levels naturally, you must address the items on this list.


How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally


  • Make sure you're getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega3-fats. New research suggests that as little as 500 mg may lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides and will likely increase your HDL cholesterol.

  • Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars in your daily diet. It is especially important to eliminate dangerous sugars such as fructose. If your HDL/Cholesterol ratio is abnormal and needs to be improved it would also serve you well to virtually eliminate fruits from your diet, as that it also a source of fructose. Once your cholesterol improves you can gradually reintroduce it to levels that don't raise your cholesterol.

  • Eat the right foods for your nutritional type.

  • Eat a good portion of your food raw.

  • Eat healthy, preferably raw, fats that correspond to your nutritional type. This includes:

    • Olive and olive oil

    • Coconut and coconut oil

    • Organic raw dairy products (including butter, cream, sour cream, cheese, etc.)

    • Avocados

    • Raw nuts

    • Seeds

    • Eggs (lightly cooked with yolks intact or raw)

    • Organic, grass-fed meats

  • Get the right amount of exercise. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has the opportunity to spread.

  • Avoid smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

  • Address your emotional challenges.


So there you have it; the reasons why high cholesterol is a worry that many of you simply do not need to have, along with a simple plan to optimize yours.


Your side-effects of improved diet and lifestyle will be increased energy, mood and mental clarity. Who doesn’t want that.



© 2013 Typiphy.