Good Cholesterol, Bad Cholesterol

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Good CholesterolDid you know that HDL and LDL are NOT cholesterol? Did you know that there are no biochemical entities called good cholesterol or bad cholesterol? And, did you know that cholesterol is an incredibly important biological chemical, maybe the most important in the body and to this day, there has been no definitive link established between cholesterol in the blood and heart disease?

Given that there were 174 million prescriptions written for statin drugs in 2010 and tens of millions of Americans are currently on or have been on these cholesterol-lowering medications, it may be important to delve into some of these ideas a bit further. HDL and LDL are abbreviations for High Density Lipoprotein and Low Density Lipoprotein. They are transport molecules that carry cholesterol (among other substances) throughout the body. Although the cholesterol contained in both of these substances is exactly the same, HDL is said to be “good” because it delivers cholesterol to the liver and LDL is said to be “bad” because it carries cholesterol from the liver to the arteries where it is used as a precursor to dozens of critical biochemical substances including cortisol, Vitamin D, DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and many other reproductive hormones.

It also serves as a parent compound to numerous skin moisture factors. And it is a critical component of the membrane that surrounds each of the estimated 100 trillion cells in the body.

Given the utter lack of evidence that cholesterol in its non-oxidized form has any causal link to heart disease and that the guidelines for supposedly healthy blood cholesterol levels are determined to a large degree by the drug companies that make billions of dollars by selling cholesterol-lowering medications, it may make sense to think long and hard before filling or refilling your next statin drug prescription.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

More on Cholesterol and Hardening of the Arteries

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Are you on a statin drug? Is your doctor obsessed with your HDL or LDL statistics? Are you concerned about heart disease.

If you answered yes to any of the above you’re gonna want to read this post about cholesterol and the silliness around cholesterol-mania; this crazy idea that lowering cholesterol levels by poisoning the liver is somehow an appropriate strategy for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Lowering cholesterol production in the liver pharmacologically is a biochemically ignorant health strategy. There are however, some very effective strategies, nutritional strategies that can very effectively reduce the risks of atherosclerosis that is hardening of the arteries. And by the way atherosclerosis doesn’t just cause heart problems.

Oyster Mushroom with lovastatinAll the arteries in the body can become sclerotic, which simply means hardened. So sclerosis is clearly a health issue and the fact that cholesterol is present in the hardened patched inside the arteries is not evidence that cholesterol is the cause or that lowering cholesterol manufacturing in the liver is appropriate strategy. However there are some very effective nutritional strategies for reducing atherosclerosis and unlike the biochemical lunacy that is behind the use of the stating drugs, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, chromium, lowering blood sugar levels, lowering insulin.

There are literally dozens of different ways you can keep your heart healthy without touching a drug, going to a doctor, needing health insurance help or any other mainstream medical technique we’re told we have to do. In the world of nutrition when we talk about some of these nutrients, one of the most important facets is this feature that supplements have that makes them useful in a whole variety of ways. You know Vitamin C helps with skin and insulin and the liver and the brain and the adrenal glands etc. Calcium for bones and blood pressure and the heart and the brain and perhaps no more nutrient is as significant as magnesium which in addition to being calcium’s partner and involved in over 300 different chemical reactions in the body is also one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.

The bottom line is: If your doctor has “ordered” you to be on a statin on some other cholesterol lowering drug, you do have options, nutritional non-toxic alternative that you may want to consider.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health