Cholesterol levels

I read recently that in America Heart Specialists are saying that anyone with a 7.5 per cent increased risk of a heart attack or a stroke over the following 10 years will be invited to start statin therapy, and they’ve lowered the requirements for being put onto this type of therapy. The forecast is that everyone eventually over 55 will be on preventative statin therapy, an astonishing number of people will be on medications, and this will be for life because I rarely hear of doctors taking their patients off them.

Now cholesterol has been studied since the 1850s, and has quite a research history behind it, with Rudolf Virchow finding the presence of cholesterol in atherosclerotic plaques, and suggestingthat excess cholesterol in the bloodstream may be the cause. Then more recently Brown and Goldstein won a nobel prize for researching into cholesterol and heart disease, but this whole arena of research is really being questioned, and in many respects there has been questions around the belief that cholesterol in high amounts can cause heart disease for quite a long time.

2 key pieces of research over the years often referred to are Ancel Key’s Seven Countries Study which showed a link between saturated fat intake and heart disease, and The Framingham Study which is still going on today which confirmed the link between raised cholesterol levels and heart disease both from the 50’s and 60’s. But even Professor Ancel Keys said at the time of his study, that cholesterol in the diet has no effect on cholesterol levels in the bloodstream: “There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”

The research into supporting this theory about cholesterol and heart disease has continued to present day, whilst ignoring the information studies have continually found which is that the cholesterol theory link to heart disease that has been built up is one that is similar to a house of cards.

But there are still scientists who are lowering the cholesterol levels saying that this is the main cause of all the heart disease we are experiencing in our culture now. The cholesterol levels are being continually lowered and heart disease even with the interventions of statins, and the diet pyramid supported by the government is growing to ever higher numbers. So something isn’t working in my mind, the government diet pyramid includes sugars and refined carbohydrates with high amounts of grains, and no one is looking at that factor alone. Never mind the increasing drinking issues that we are finding. Now scientists are saying our cholesterol has to come even lower to 2.5mmol/l. At this level not just everyone over 55 will be on statins but everyone would be at all ages, are we really all ill? Is our body so unable to manage it’s own health now that we have to all be on medications?

More and more we are told that high cholesterol levels are bad for us, can I just say that there are lots of studies that show a perfectly normal, or healthy, cholesterol level lies between about four and six, and lowering it to 2.5 cannot protect against heart disease. Let me just point out that studies have shown after the age of 50, the lower your cholesterol level is, the shorter your life expectancy, and that a falling cholesterol level sharply increases the risk of dying of anything, including heart disease. Ironically, that the danger of a falling cholesterol level was first discovered in the Framingham study: which states “There is a direct association between falling cholesterol levels over the first 14 years [of the study] and mortality over the following 18 years.” So for me I’m continually astonished that the medical establishment constantly put out warnings about the dangers of a high cholesterol levels when the reality is that a low cholesterol level is much more dangerous than a high level. Given this, why would anyone want to lower the cholesterol level?

Statin side effects include memory loss and dementia-like symptoms, cataracts, diabetes, muscle pains and sexual dysfunction. It is a much lower risk to changeyour lifestyle, and eating a healthier diet and exercise regularly!

You need cholesterol to function properly, it’s a vital part of the cellular membrane, you need it to create your sex hormones, and it’s vital for the production of other hormones, having a hormonal issue look at your cholesterol levels! It helps you to break down your fatty vitamins by producing bile, and it insulates your nerve fibres. So can you now see why cholesterol might be very valuable being between 4-6 and not as low as is now being suggested. I’m seeing increasing issues around nerves, and hormones, and I will put in fats and foods that will help to raise and balance the cholesterol to one that is giving the body the optimal health. My questions is how many times do clients tend to come to me to attain balanced health and how long will you be on Statins for, the business model for statins is one of keeping you ill, when simple dietary changes may be all you need to be taking.

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