Cholesterol Is Our Friend: Why Did the Medical System Vilify It As An Enemy?
“When it comes to caring for your health, it is becoming quite challenging.”
Time and time again doctors have said to me that I needed to lower my cholesterol but I explained to them that the medical system set the numbers low. Cholesterol was used as means for developing fear setting the preverbal level and then medicating everything outside the range; this flimflam approach to health was for patient control and revenue—a smoking gun for over two decades. With their cholesterol levels, they were able to demonize multiple food categories such as eggs and saturated fats in just about every other case of heart disease in the last 20 years.
Cholesterol, the soft, waxy substance, is not only in our bloodstream, but also in every cell in our body where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that helps us to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of our memories and is vital for neurological function. Our liver makes about 75% of the body’s cholesterol.
Cholesterol seems to be one of those contentious issues: it changes according to our age, weight and gender. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in blood and produced in our liver, and it is necessary for maintaining life. We also get cholesterol from our foods, especially animal products like meat, eggs, butter, cheese and milk. The brain weighs 2% of the body weight and comprised of 20% cholesterol, so if you have ever been called a fathead, scientifically it was 20% accurate.
HDL and LDL – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Cholesterol is defined as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)—often referred to as “good” and “bad” cholesterol. LDL is the most prominent within the body. HDL is considered good for you because it absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver to flush it safely from the body. Plus, high levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke and equalize your LDL for your overall cholesterol levels. On the other hand, high LDL levels can build up on the walls of your blood vessels, though this is not always the fault of fat but could be from the buildup of plaque caused by inorganic calcium deposits. In conjunction, your blood vessels build up plaque over time and begin to narrow your blood vessels slowing the flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it results in angina (chest pain) or heart attack.
It is important to emphasize that there is only one type of cholesterol; the notions of “good” and “bad” are oversimplifications. Cholesterol is a fundamental substance that associates with other fats and proteins to travel through our bloodstream, as fat and our blood do not mix well.
In reality, fatty substances need to be transported to and from our tissues and cells using various proteins. LDL and HDL are, in fact, specific protein forms and are more than just cholesterol carriers. Today, we understand that there are multiple variations of these fat and protein particles. Among LDL particles, various sizes exist, with only small, dense LDL particles potentially posing a risk, as they can infiltrate arterial linings and, if oxidized, become detrimental by causing damage and inflammation. Hence, one could argue there is such a concept as “good LDL” and “bad LDL.”
Furthermore, not all HDL particles are created equal, as some are more beneficial than others. It is crucial to acknowledge that solely knowing your total cholesterol does not provide significant insights. Even having knowledge of your LDL and HDL levels offers limited information in understanding your overall cardiovascular health.
Health officials in the United States urge everyone over the age of 20 to have their cholesterol tested once every five years. Part of this test is your total cholesterol, or the sum of your blood’s cholesterol content, including HDL, LDLs and VLDLs.
The American Heart Association recommends that your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL, but what they do not tell you is that total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is above 300.
In addition, the AHA updated their guidelines in 2004, lowering the recommended level of LDL cholesterol from 130 to LDL to less than 100, or even less than 70 for patients at very high risk.
Doctors test cholesterol levels in a subclinical manner, when there are no direct clinical findings or symptoms. Although they may be below the surface and undetectable, they monitor early based on these guidelines using an acceptable range. This mass testing approach works in general for certain age groups but it has limitations and the prescribed treatment is not for everyone. Without first knowing a total overview of the entire cardiovascular system, a patient’s diet, lifestyle and any genetic predisposition, medical assessment may not be accurate. If doctors feel that they are out of range LDL of 4 or higher, they immediately recommend medication, namely statin drugs, which once prescribed, are normally taken for life. Before any medication is considered, a complete assessment must be taken that aligns with your vital organs, your cardiovascular system, including your liver for non-alcoholic fatty disease (NAFLD).
The Problem with Cholesterol Medications
The suggested treatment for lowering cholesterol actually cause liver problems: Lipitor and statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme in your liver that manufactures cholesterol. People on statin medications should test regularly to see they have a normal functioning liver. Again, the prescribed medical treatment never seeks the cause of illness and without understanding all the possible complications medication can do, they focus on the symptomatic treatment, leaving a trail of potential diseases from their short-sighted approach. Pfizer is at it again with Lipitor. For decades, Pfizer’s Lipitor—the drug of choice for treating high cholesterol—was one of the company’s top blockbusters, with record-high revenues of approximately 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2006. One must be suspicious when national screening is performed and a golden child treatment is recommended across the board as money has a way of corrupting the most innocent discoveries.
Meanwhile, clinical studies revealed Lipitor can damage liver function and the FDA received rare post-marketing reports of both fatal and nonfatal liver failure. Other reported liver problems include jaundice, hepatitis, chronic liver damage and fatty changes to the liver. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved safety label changes to statin drugs to warn consumers of an increased risk for diabetes in patients who take the drugs. “A Finnish study published in 2015 in the journal Diabetologia showed men prescribed statins had a nearly 50% greater chance of developing diabetes after six years on the cholesterol-lowering drug compared to those who weren’t taking the medication.”
Lipitor—and statins in general—commonly cause rhabdomyolysis (the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue) which releases myoglobin into the blood stream which in turn clogs up the kidneys and can cause irreversible kidney damage/failure; it is no wonder why they develop diabetes. Who gets clogged up arteries and heart attacks? You guessed it: it is most common with those with diabetes and people with high blood sugar levels from diet also resulting in high blood pressure. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to arteries; they create “tears”, places where fat and cholesterol can attach and buildup. “That means that the damage high blood pressure creates inside arteries and blood vessels can actually lead to even more plaque buildup and artery narrowing because of high blood cholesterol. (…) The two conditions are like a team of villains working together to make things worse for your heart, arteries, and overall health.”
Hypertension (commonly caused by being overweight) causes atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), a similar procedure to small tears within lining of small arteries. The culprit is the average diet: processed foods and meat products that are loaded with high trans fats. In a nutshell, reduce your sugar intake which will help manage your diabetes. If overweight or obese, you need to loose weight, exercise daily, eat healthy and drink at least two liters of pure water per day.
The cholesterol hypothesis which states that people with high cholesterol are more at risk of dying and would need statin drugs to lower their cholesterol seems to be shaking. By collecting the findings from past studies involving more than 68,000 participants over 60 years of age it looks like that “bad cholesterol” has nothing to do with elderly deaths. In fact, older people with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), live sometimes even longer than their peers with low levels of this same cholesterol. “We found that several studies reported not only a lack of association between low LDL-C, but most people in these studies exhibited an inverse relationship, which means that higher LDL-C among the elderly is often associated with longer life,” said Diamond, one of the members of the research team. What is more, it appears that having low cholesterol is linked to a higher risk of death from cancer, respiratory disease, and accidents in adults aged 80 and older.
Recently, a possible association was found between statins and an increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—Lou Gehrig’s disease—which a fatal type of motor neuron disease that is characterized by progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.
Because cholesterol is regulated through our diet and gut bacteria and how food is broken down and absorbed, we recommend a natural alternative, Full Spectrum Digestive Enzyme. Cholesterol can accumulate in gallbladder causing gallstones affecting “20% of women and 10% of men by the age of 60. Women between the ages of 20 and 60 are three times more likely to develop gallstones than men and women who have had multiple pregnancies are also more likely to develop gallstones. The prevalence of gallstones increases with age and with obesity. The incidence of gallstones is higher in certain racial groups. For example, in Canada 70-80% of the First Nations population is affected with this disease.”
- Canadian Liver Foundation. 2023. Gallstones. https://www.liver.ca/patients-caregivers/liver-diseases/gallstones/
- FDA, 2012. FDA Drug Safety Communication: Important safety label changes to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-drug-safety-communication-important-safety-label-changes-cholesterol-lowering-statin-drugs
- Mariosa, D. et al. 2020. Antidiabetics, statins and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. European Journal of Neurology. vol. 27, 6, Jun., https://doi.org/10.1111/ene.14190
- Mikulic, Matej. 2022. Pfizer’s Lipitor revenue worldwide 2003-2019. https://www.statista.com/statistics/254341/pfizers-worldwide-viagra-revenues-since-2003/
- Ravnskov, Uffe et al. 2016. Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review. BMJ open vol. 6, 6 e010401. 12 Jun., doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010401 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27292972/
- Turner, Terry. 2023. Lipitor Side Effects. https://www.drugwatch.com/lipitor/side-effects/
- University of South Florida (USF Innovation). 2016. No association between ‘bad cholesterol’ and elderly deaths.” ScienceDaily, 27 June. sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160627095006.htm
- Weatherspoon, Deborah. 2020. What’s the Connection Between High Blood Cholesterol and Hypertension? https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/treating-with-statins/hypertension#1
 HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein, and LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are fats combined with proteins.
 Mikulic, Matej. 2022.
 FDA, 2012.
 Turner, Terry. 2023.
 Weatherspoon, Deborah. 2020.
 Ravnskov, Uffe et al. 2016.
 University of South Florida (USF Innovation). 2016.
 Mariosa, D. et al. 2020.
 Canadian Liver Foundation. 2023.