“Before any treatment for any health condition, one must first consider the body as a whole.”
Discussions concerning our diet are constantly changing. Maintaining one’s health and following a holistic diet is hard enough but what if we do everything right and things still appear out of range?
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, it is used in cells’ outer membranes, insulates nerve fibers, and is a basic ingredient for building certain hormones—it is necessary for maintaining life. Food also serves as a source of cholesterol, 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’ve ever been called a fat head, scientifically it was 20% accurate. Cholesterol is defined as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often referred to as bad cholesterol.
LDL is the most prominent within the body. HDL is considered good for us 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 the risk for heart disease and stroke and equalize LDL for our overall cholesterol levels. On the other hand, high LDL levels can build up on the walls of our 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, the blood vessels build up plaque over time and slowing the flow to and from the heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it results in angina (chest pain) or heart attack.
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 they are out of range LDL of 4 or higher, they immediately recommend medication, namely statin drugs which once prescribed they are normally taken for life. Before any medication is considered, a complete assessment must be taken that aligns with our vital organs, our cardiovascular system, including our liver for non-alcoholic fatty disease (NAFLD).
What about our diet? Many people are still concerned about eating foods that are high in cholesterol, and a lot of research has been conducted, especially on eggs. Eggs are one of those foods that taste so good, are a significant source of dietary cholesterol that was thought to be bad for us. According to several trusted studies, the opposite might be the case.
Many researchers and physicians believe that eating cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs may not affect the cholesterol that is in your blood, in fact, they may even help improve your lipoprotein profiles, which could lower the risk. One study compared the effects of whole eggs and a yolk-free egg substitute on cholesterol levels. People who ate three whole eggs per day experienced a greater increase in HDL particles and a greater decrease in LDL particles than those who consumed an equivalent amount of egg substitute. The problem is that there still is a lot of confusing evidence. If you have diabetes, some research suggests that eating seven eggs a week increases heart disease risk. However, other research failed to find the same connection. Still other research suggests that eating eggs may increase the risk of developing diabetes in the first place which means that more research is needed to figure out the exact link between eggs, diabetes and heart disease.
I see no issues eating up to 4 eggs per week but I do recommend only selecting organically feed chicken or duck eggs because the feed given for commercial chickens if full of contaminants, hormones and antibiotics.
The “cholesterol hypothesis”—stating that people with high cholesterol are more at risk of dying and would need statin drugs to lower their cholesterol—seems to be shaking. 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.
There are, of course, natural treatment options, for example Opti Cal/Mag with K2. Data from the Rotterdam Study for K2, which followed more than 4,800 subjects aged 55 and older for up to 10 years, showed associations between vitamin K2 intake and aortic calcification. Subjects diagnosed with severe aortic calcification had a lower intake of vitamin K2 compared with subjects with mild to moderate aortic calcification. The key is to take a superior form of calcium with added minerals and vitamins. For calcium to actually strengthen bone, it must be consumed along with several other nutrients. Phosphorus is particularly important, while magnesium, boron, and vitamins D and K are also necessary.
This advanced complex was designed to promote bone growth by increasing the production of osteocalcin in osteoblasts, which allows calcium to anchor to bone and thus build bone. It also inhibits the production of osteoclasts, which break down bone, thereby acting as an inorganic calcium scavenger for the re-absorption of inorganic calcium.
L-Glycine is another natural option that could be beneficial since glycine‐dependent reactions have been linked to lipid metabolism and cholesterol transport. Because there is only little evidence on the association between glycine and coronary heart disease, a study with more than 4000 participants was conducted to show the link between plasma glycine and acute myocardial infarction.
“Plasma glycine was associated with decreased risk of AMI in patients with suspected stable angina pectoris. This association was particularly strong in those with apoB, LDL cholesterol, or apoA‐1 levels above the median. Our findings motivate further studies to elucidate the role of glycine in regulating lipid metabolism and cholesterol transport in patients with atherosclerosis.”
Before any treatment for any health condition, one must first consider the body as a whole, and instead of medicating the symptoms, treat the complete system beginning with the core of health issues. Remember to always get a second opinion: my recommendation would be to see a naturopathic doctor to consider your options.
David M Diamond, Uffe Ravnskov. 2015. How statistical deception created the appearance that statins are safe and effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. 8 (2): 201.
Ding, Yunpeng et al. 2015. Plasma Glycine and Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Suspected Stable Angina Pectoris. Journal of the American Heart Association, 5(1), e002621. https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.115.002621
Eldon Dahl, Doctorate of Natural Medicine, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Life Choice Ltd.
Eldon graduated as a naturopathic doctor in 1988; his pathway towards natural medicine was a result of witnessing family members struggle with cancer and recognizing that environmental toxins and nutrition correlated with the disease process. Eldon has more than three decades of experience in the naturopathic and natural healing industries. He spearheads all health-related research into medical conditions—specifically anti-aging and chronic disease treatments. Eldon’s philosophy is simple: educate and provide therapeutic medicines that work equally to allopathic drugs…without the side effects.
His mission statement of “Healing the Nation, One Person at a Time” really says it all.