Cholesterol: Fact or Farce?
For decades we have been told that cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular disease. But is that really the case? Back in the 1960´s cholesterol was ignored by doctors until it exceeded 300, now anything above 250 is considered a problem. Standard nutritional advice has been to avoid meat, eggs and butter to keep a healthy heart.
But where did this information all come from? We all just assumed the medical profession was behind all this information, but it wasn’t! It was actually from a soybean company called Archer Daniels Midland. They were set on selling soybean oil to the US as margarine and cooking oils. They spent billions of dollars changing public opinion and the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Now our bodies produce 2,000 mg of cholesterol daily – And I will tell you that your liver is not out to kill you! Cholesterol-lowering drugs like Statins, have been shown to not only damage the liver’s overall function, but block the enzyme HMG CoA Reductase needed to make cholesterol.
Statin Drugs are Poisons
MIT scientist Raymond Francis discusses the ineffectiveness of Statin drugs. He sheds light on why they are used, what damage they cause, and why NOT to use them.
Cholesterol is essential to your body:
Did you know that…
- Your brain is 5% cholesterol by weight!
- Your nerves are made up of cholesterol.
- It makes all of your sex hormones and adrenal hormones.
- Without cholesterol you couldn’t absorb fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin E.
- Every single cell in your body is surrounded by a membrane made of cholesterol.
- When you eat a low cholesterol diet your diet will make up the difference to make sure you get 2,000 mg a day.
- High blood cholesterol levels doesn’t come from eating foods high in cholesterol, but is due to metabolism problems in your body.
- Eating butter actually raises HDL and lowers LDL levels.
People with low cholesterol (lower than 200) suffer nearly 40% of all fatal heart attacks!
Yep, you read that correctly! People with lower cholesterol are more likely to die from a heart attack. This is from The Framingham Heart Study director William Castelli, MD. Think about these two facts: Low serum cholesterol means that you are three times more likely to have a stroke, and high cholesterol has been shown not to be significantly correlated to heart attacks, since 40% of people who have heart attacks have lower than normal cholesterol.
A study in the December 24, 1997 Journal of the American Medical Association found that the more saturated fat you eat, the less likely you are to suffer a stroke. Polyunsaturated fats have no protective effects – these are the fats the propaganda says are good for us. The fact is that for 3% increase in saturated fat intake equals a 15% drop in your risk of stroke.
So where does cardiovascular disease come from?
A study published in 1997 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Volume 29, took elite athletes and placed them on a high fat diet and then a low-fat diet. The outcome shattered contemporary thoughts of the day!
While on a high fat diet, the subjects maintained low body fat, with normal/unchanged weight, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Their performance in training was unchanged.
What was shocking, was when they were placed on a low-fat diet their athletic performance dropped. All subjects also experienced a drop in HDL cholesterol (aka good cholesterol), along with an increase in triglycerides.
Triglycerides and Cardiovascular Disease
Lower HDL cholesterol and higher triglycerides are both significant risks to cardiovascular disease. What are triglycerides? Well they are the other blood fat, and the primary risk factor for heart attack or stroke. And even though triglycerides are a fat, they have nothing to do with fat intake from your diet. Triglycerides are elevated from eating sugar and starch in your diet.
According to a study published in 1997, in Circulation, “The 25% of the population with the highest triglyceride to HDL ratio has 16 times more heart related events than the 25% whose ratios were lowest.”
What Are the Real Causes of Heart Attack and Stroke?
- High triglycerides
- Low HDL cholesterol levels
- Not eating enough saturated fats and cholesterol!
Yes, eating more cholesterol and saturated fats, like butter, can decrease your risk of CVD. According to Mary G. Enig, PhD and president of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, the facts about saturated fats are:
- Saturated fats are normal fatty acids made by the body and they do not interfere with enzyme functions.
- Saturated fats raise HDL, or the good cholesterol. While trans fats lower HDL cholesterol.
- Saturated fats lower the level of Atherogenic Lipoprotein (a), which increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Trans fats raise the level of this lipoprotein.
- Saturated fats conserve the good omega-3 fatty acids, and trans fats case the tissues in your body to lose omega-3 fatty acids.
- Saturated fats do not alter insulin binding, where trans fats inhibit insulin binding.
- Some saturated fats are used by the immune system to fight bacteria, viruses and protozoa; trans fats interfere with immune functions.
- Stearic acid, a natural saturated fat, is the preferred food for the heart. Trans fats replace these in the cells’ membranes and deprive the heart of this nutrient.
- Saturated fats are needed for proper bone modelling, trans fat also interrupt this process and often lead to bone softening.
- Saturated fats from animal sources carry fat-soluble vitamins in the body. Processed trans fats are devoid of these important nutrients.
So If Cholesterol Isn’t the Cause, How Can We Protect Our Hearts?
Like everything in our bodies, changes happen globally. Many issues in health aren’t caused by just one thing. There are other factors that play into heart health, and hormones are also key players.
- A decrease in thyroid function.
- Excess estrogen.
- Insufficient testosterone.
- Increase in hormones like, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
- Excess insulin – which aids the increase of arterial diseases, like atherosclerosis.
- Oxidative stress on the heart and arteries (this is where krill oil can help – Read about it here).