When your doctor tells you that you have high cholesterol, your first instinct is to bring it down. Aiming for lower cholesterol numbers is no brainer and everyone does it. 40% of adult Americans lower their cholesterol with meds. The rest tries to do so with diets and supplements.
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Three myths on lower cholesterol
There are a few harmful cardiovascular myths circulating today among health conscious folks. These myths are so deeply ingrained in our society that neither patient, not doctors are free from them.
One is that lower cholesterol gives an individual full amnesty from heart disease and that he will stay well no matter what. The second myth is that lower lipid numbers equals healthy heart. The third one is that fat and cholesterol harm our health.
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I used to believe in them as well. I was told these were facts, not theories or fantasies. My medical training was mainstream, so not something I would consider fake news. I was made to believe that if I help patients to lower cholesterol I will save many lives. I wanted to be a good doctor, so I was ogling the lab numbers making sure that lipids were staying put.
Few years passed and something rattled my peace. I did not want to believe it at first, but I noticed a disturbing trend. Patients that opted to lower their cholesterol did not seem to get a better health deal. They were in no way spared from heart attacks, strokes, or blocked arteries.
I became very interested in the subject trying to explain my “unusual” findings. After all, these were completely against what I was taught in school and contradicted what I should have been seeing. But I could not deny my own observations.
Exactly those patients who were careful about their diets and took the drugs scored the lowest in health. One would think that they should be the healthiest of all the patients, but the opposite was actually true. They were the most ailment-riddled, achy, stiff, and overweight. They were in stark contrast to flourishing and robust patients that did not care to please their doctors with desirable behavior.
When did you start lowering cholesterol?
I got into a habit of asking my patients about the timing of their fat-lowering routine and I noticed a correlation. The longer they have been suppressing their lipid numbers the more physically stiff and mentally confused they were. They were simply the least functional individuals I knew.
After I had looked back at the old files I started to question cardiovascular protocols. I saw that some low cholesterol patients, instead of perfect health ended up with kidney problems, memory loss, nerve damage, and even accelerated arterial blockage. They were more prone to degenerative illnesses than patients that ate a normal diet and stayed away from the heart drugs.
Surrounded by conflicting data I got an urge to do an in-depth research on the subject. Much information was well buried in the internet black hole, but with a little bit of persistence I managed to uncover many surprises. For example,
According to several studies, deaths from strokes are inversely related to serum cholesterol. In plain langue it means that people with lower cholesterol have more strokes. This may sound strange and counter-intuitive, but people with higher numbers actually suffer FEWER serious strokes and have fewer deaths because of them.
I found enough mind-boggling research to write a whole book on the topic. I titled the book “The Cholesterol Trap”. It gives a sobering 80-page explanation why statins and low fat diets may be one of the worse propositions for your heart and health in general. After reading it you will also know:
- Why you should eat butter and eggs
- Who benefits from low-fat diet
- Why you should not rush to lower cholesterol
- Who should never be on statins
- At what point low cholesterol causes more harm than good
- Why is your doctor sticking to the outdated guidelines, and
- Why are the guidelines wrong
Enjoy this thought-provoking three-hour read. Afterwards you may want to have a serious conversation with your doctor on the benefits, or rather fallacies, of lower cholesterol.