I’m a big fan of searching for answers when I have a question, and a while back I was looking for information on how to help a client get better sleep, when I came across an article from mercola.com. Check it out here.
Anyways, my readers, aka you, must have enjoyed the article because mercola.com asked if they could write an article for my blog. When they told me that it was about Cholesterol I was very interested because I have an interest in cholesterol’s relationship to testosterone production, it’s affects on heart disease (I have a family history of heart disease) and I like butter, steak, coconut oil and other high saturated fat foods.
Enter, Adrienne Nicole, a writer for mercola.com.
The Hidden Truths About Cholesterol and Statins
For years, the medical community has feared cholesterol. It has been regarded as the primary cause of common American disorders, such as heart diseases and obesity. Due to its reputation, certain types of foods have been demonized and labeled as hazards to health. Among these are eggs and other foods rich in saturated fats.
Every time high cholesterol is diagnosed – often around levels of 200 to 250 –cholesterol drugs called statins are prescribed to patients. According to research, statins are the second most prescribed medicine in the United States, and tens of millions of Americans are taking it. The more pressing matter is not only are adults taking this but kids as well.
First of all, false facts have been spread about cholesterol and statins for the past two decades. Instead of working hard to suppress the formation of cholesterol, people should understand that the body requires it to function well. Second, statins may be successful in inhibiting cholesterol production, but their adverse effects outweigh their benefits.
Before acting on your cholesterol levels, you must first understand what cholesterol does and why statins are not the answer to regulating it.
Why Cholesterol is Your Friend, Not Foe
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance, 75 percent of which is produced by your liver. It is utilized by your body for the production of cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that contribute to fat metabolism. At the same time, cholesterol plays an important role in the formation of your memories, and is key for your optimal neurological function.
Cholesterol levels that fall within 200 and 250 should not be the basis of high cholesterol. In fact, there are people who have levels within this range but are not at all at risk for heart disease. On the other hand, there are some who have “healthy” levels, which fall below 200, but possess an increased chance of having a heart attack. Health experts believe that unless your levels are 330 and above, you should not worry about high cholesterol.
While there are consequences with extremely elevated levels, studies show that low levels of cholesterol can bring about the following side effects:
- Higher risk of depression
- Increased suicidal tendencies
- Increased violence and aggression
- Higher chance of contracting cancer and Parkinson’s disease
The key is to keep your cholesterol levels at healthy range. In order to do so, you must avoid statins at all costs. There are now more than 900 studies proving the adverse effects of statins.
How Statins’ Side Effects Overshadow Their Benefits
As mentioned before, statins are a HMG-CoA reductase or cholesterol inhibitor. Specifically, they block the enzyme in liver that formulates cholesterol in your body. While these cholesterol drugs are successful in doing so, they disrupt several mechanisms in your body, as well as induce several unwanted effects on your body.
One of the major complaints reported due to statins is muscle problems. Cholesterol-lowering drugs affect your muscles by activating the atrogin-1 gene, which contributes to muscle atrophy. Common indications of muscle damage are muscle pain and weakness. If not dealt with, an advanced case of muscle degeneration called rhabdomyolysis can destroy your tissues.
Several other problems that are linked to statins are:
- Polyneuropathy or nerve damage in the hands and feet
- Immune system impairment
- Memory loss and cognitive decline
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pancreatic and hepatic (liver) dysfunction
Statins can also prevent the production of an important nutrient in the body called Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. This coenzyme is actually important for your cellular energy production. It is produced in the same pathway that cholesterol is created. When you take statins, the creation of CoQ10 is also inhibited.
Statins also contribute to the rising of your blood sugar. Your liver also functions to convert excess sugar and grains into cholesterol and triglycerides. With the intake of statins, these sugars are then sent back to your bloodstream. Because of this, you become more at risk of diabetes or hypoglycemia.
How to Keep Your Cholesterol Levels at a Normal Range
The best method to maintain your normal cholesterol levels is to go natural. Integrating a healthy diet and proper exercise in your lifestyle is the most effective way to keep your cholesterol levels from becoming abnormal. This may require discipline and great effort, but it can also influence your entire physical, emotional, and mental health.
It is best to avoid processed foods rich in sugars and grains, as these contributed to a myriad of disorders. Add more heart healthy choices to your diet, such as grass-fed meats, raw eggs and dairy, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, as well as coconut oil and olive oil. Avoid frying your foods; instead, consume them raw.
Eliminate alcohol and smoking from your lifestyle. Exercise to keep your blood circulation regulated. This will transport elements of your immune system to various parts of your body, keeping your resistance high. Do not just include aerobics in your routine. Perform other activities, such as high-intensity exercises, strength training, core exercises, and stretching. Of course, it is important to have adequate rest periods when you exercise to allow your muscles to recover.
About the Author
Adrienne Nicole works as a writer for Mercola.com, the world’s most visited natural health site. Many of her relatives have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and other related problems, and she has recently learned that she too is at risk for these. Thanks to Dr. Mercola, she has learned effective strategies on how to keep both her physical and emotional health in optimal condition.
Adrienne’s article kind of follows the nutrition philosophy I have and teach my clients about, while also being blunt about how to reduce your risk for high cholesterol (discipline, natural foods, exercise, eliminate alcohol & smoking, avoid processed foods, refined sugars and V, cover your ears, grains), why cholesterol is good, why too much or too little cholesterol is bad and what the side of effects of taking statins are.
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Yours changing lives,
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