Posts for: August, 2013
Cholesterol is NOT your enemy! In fact, cholesterol is responsible for a slew of important functions in the body, functions so important that JAMA published a study proving that higher levels of cholesterol equals longer lives. In the past few decades, cholesterol has been labeled as the primary culprit in heart disease. This is simply not true. Inflammation and high sugar intake (which can cause inflammation) are the primary causes of heart disease. Arterial damage begins with systemic inflammation as a result of an inflammatory diet, environmental pollutants in bloodstream, high cortisol (stress) levels, etc. When your blood sugar is high or poorly regulated the sugar can glycosylate fat particles, which makes fats "sticky" and allows them to stick to the damaged artery walls. The body, with all of its infinite wisdom and innate healing capabilities, correctly sends cholesterol to the damaged areas to help to repair damaged arterial tissue. Your body doing EXACTLY what it is supposed to do, unfortunately when it gets glycosylated it plaques up more then it should and can cause build up and in severe cases restrict blood flow.
In addition to repairing the body's broken tissues, cholesterol is also necessary to make all of our sex hormones in both men and women. Women on low fat/cholesterol diets often cannot carry a child to term due to the inability to produce enough hormones. Cholesterol is a big part in the membrane structure of every one of the cells in our body. Your nervous system needs a lot of fat and cholesterol to function properly. The brain is made of around 80% fat, a lot of which is cholesterol. This is why a side effect of statin drug use is memory loss. We can no longer support cell membrane integrity when cholesterol gets too low so the cells die. Cholesterol makes up the myelin sheath surrounding every nerve in our body, which is why one of the number one side effects of statin drugs is muscle and nerve pain. This is due to an inability to support the protective nerve sheath because there is not enough cholesterol to make it. Cholesterol is also a precursor to the ever important Vitamin D, which without cholesterol cannot be converted to its active form.
So why does mainstream medicine place such emphasis on lowering cholesterol levels? Cholesterol levels rise when heart disease is present. It does not CAUSE heart disease, rather it rises in RESPONSE to a problem in the body, so that it can help to repair damaged arteries. It is important to understand that only 20% of our cholesterol comes from our diet, the other 80% is MADE internally. Our cholesterol levels rise when we NEED them to. This means that to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, we must eat an anti-inflammatory diet (no wheat, dairy, corn, soy, sugar), exercise appropriately, reduce stresses on the body, and eat fish, fish oil, and omega-3's and healthy omega-6's. Healthy cholesterol levels are around 200mg/dl with a 4:1 or 3:1 LDL:HDL ratio. LDL particle size is also very important and can mean all the difference in a persons true risk of heart disease. We offer a complete lipid panel with all of this information. Mainstream medicine's current recommendations for total cholesterol are too low. The old cholesterol recommendation was 240mg/dl but has been continuously lowered in order to SELL statin drugs and because they know no better than what they have been taught. If cholesterol can be lowered on a lab test it doesn't mean the body is healthy. Shouldn't we treat the patient not the numbers on the paper?
Check out this documentary for more info, watch the preview here: Statin Nation Documentary
One issue that we face in the alternative health care field is attacks on nutritional supplements and their value in patients treatment programs. With over 90% of Americans taking at least one prescription drug, over 50% taking more than one drug, and the US accounting for 6% of the worlds population yet consuming over 90% of the worlds pain medications, pharmaceutical companies have a foothold in the consumer market that they do NOT want to let slip away. This means eliminating their competition, a main one being nutritional supplements with high therapeutic value. Oftentimes, when research studies come out claiming that nutritional supplements are of no benefit, are dangerous, can cause prostate cancer, etc., they are using poor quality supplements in their studies. This brings us to the very important point that NOT ALL SUPPLEMENTS ARE CREATED EQUAL! At a typical store such as GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, Walgreens, CVS, and more, the quality of vitamins being sold is most likely just plain bad. Many store-bought vitamins contain manmade, synthetic versions of vitamins not found in our natural food sources. They often only contain components of a vitamin rather than the entire complex, which includes other vitamins, cofactors, and enzymes to be truly bioavailable to the body. They also contain unnecessary and oftentimes harmful fillers such as artificial colors, coatings, lubricants, and heavy metals. For example, most over the counter B vitamins are produced from coal tar, a liquid byproduct of coal, whereas supplements sourced from food, such as Cataplex B by Standard Process, gathers concentrated B complex from bovine liver, wheat germ, beets, and more. The supplement lines we carry, including Standard Process, Biotics Research, Thorne Research, and more, are health care professional only, meaning they cannot be bought over the counter at a drugstore. Their supplements are made of whole organic food ingredients obtained from the manufacturers certified organic farm. See below a comparison between the ingredient lists of popular multivitamin Centrum, shown first, and Standard Process' multivitamin Catalyn, shown second.