Cholesterol has been a controversial topic for nearly two decades now and the debate shows no signs of winding down any time soon.
Even among medical practitioners, widely divergent opinions exist as to “good” and “bad” cholesterol, appropriate levels, effective measurement and whether cholesterol-lowering medications may, in fact, do more harm than good.
Millions of people take daily statin drugs like Lipitor to reduce cholesterol; only blood pressure medication is prescribed more frequently.
Interestingly, the plot of John Grisham’s recent best-seller “The Litigators” revolves around a lawsuit against the manufacturers of a cholesterol-reducing drug with supposedly lethal side effects.
While this particular story is fiction, the premise is completely plausible; there have been entirely too many real-life instances of drugs with sinister side effects and long-term consequences.
We’ve been indoctrinated with the belief that high cholesterol levels are dangerous to our health, and a significant risk factor for heart disease.
For decades now, the nutrition community has promoted a “low fat” diet and demonized eggs, dairy, red meat and other “artery clogging” fats.
Unfortunately, this has resulted in an increasing dependence on vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup and processed grains; all of which are now proving to be unhealthy alternatives.
Ongoing studies are producing results which may refute previous assumptions of a link between saturated fats and heart disease.
Cholesterol is naturally produced in the body. It is vital to cell formation and growth, and therefore important to combating inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is increasingly being investigated as the main causative factor for a variety of serious health problems.
It can definitely cause arterial damage, and the inevitable corollary is increased cholesterol production to address the problem.
Reducing these higher levels of cholesterol may prove to be a case of treating the symptom rather than the problem, and crippling the body’s own defense mechanisms.
What many people don’t understand is that LDL and HDL (low/high-density lipoprotein) are not types of cholesterol but, as the names suggest, lipoproteins. They are simply the carriers and have been designated “good” and “bad” according to whether they move cholesterol too (HDL) or from (LDL) your liver. It’s the same cholesterol, regardless.
Lowering cholesterol naturally
Besides diet and exercise, there are natural supplements that can, in fact, help reduce cholesterol without side effects, supplements containing red yeast rice have been scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol without any sort of side effects.
In some cases for many it might be a better alternative than taking a statin drug but as always it’s best to consult with your doctor first before implementing other types of cholesterol-lowering methods.
There are many resources online that discuss cholesterol.
Some of them appear to make a compelling case for reevaluating its role, the existing guidelines for measurement and the prescribing of meds to control its levels in the blood.
Questions are being asked about the politics and profit motives behind the issue and whether the established guidelines are predicated on flawed, biased science.
For further information and some thought-provoking reading, check out: