Do you have high cholesterol? Good! Because high cholesterol by itself does not cause arteriosclerosis. In fact, people with high cholesterol live the longest, so please read ‘The Benefits of High Cholesterol‘ by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD before you try to lower your cholesterol.
Most doctors, whether homeopathic or allopathic tend to ignore a lot of the research. It’s not politically correct to say that high cholesterol protects people from heart problems, but it does. The main problems are the ratio of LDL to HDL and inflammation. C-reactive protein and homocysteine levels are much more predictive of arteriosclerosis than total cholesterol. Study after study shows that people die from stroke and cardiac events independent of their cholesterol levels; and autopsies and ultrasounds have shown no direct connection between blood lipids and plaque.
Unfortunately, most doctors keep quoting each other over and over again and no one goes back to the original research, which overwhelmingly does not show a link between cholesterol levels and heart disease or any other cause of death. If the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol is at least 35%, the HDL is more than sufficient to carry away any LDL, regardless of the total cholesterol.
In the absence of inflammation, it’s a moot point, anyway, because plaque only accumulates when the arterial walls are not smooth. This happens when inflammation causes damage to the arterial wall. And one of the best thing for keeping inflammation low is folic acid, which in the US was limited by the FDA up until a few years ago when it was finally realized that low levels caused birth defects; and one of the worse things for inflammation is trans-fatty acids (the margarine that everyone was trying to get you to eat in order to be healthier), along with stress, smoking, microorganisms and a number of other things.
As for saturated fats, it’s really a problem of grain fed animal products. Eating the saturated fat of grass fed meats doesn’t cause problems. Grass fed meat has many times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and Omega 3s than grain fed meat. Same with eggs from free range fed chickens vs. eggs from factory farm chickens. As for dairy products, it’s the homogenization and pasteurization that is the problem. Please see this month’s bonus article on raw milk for more information.
If someone has a HDL to total cholesterol ratio below 1:3, I would recommend a very healthy diet. Homogenized, pasteurized dairy products must be stopped. In some areas you can find a local farmer willing to sell you real milk, cream and butter. Eat no sugar and no refined grains, a lot of Omega 3s and short and medium chain fatty acids to raise the HDLs, and plenty of B6, B12 and folic acid. These dietary changes will also lower triglycerides. Remember, it takes both a low ratio of HDL and inflammation to cause arterial problems. The only time I would worry about cholesterol levels is if the ratio is too low. By eating the right types of fats, the HDL can be raised sufficiently that it is no longer a problem.
Many years ago my homeopath, who is a licensed physician, recommended Sally Fallon’s cookbook, ‘Nourishing Traditions’. After using it for several years, I noticed my family’s health had improved, so I took the next step and joined a local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. You can find an enormous amount of excellent information on nutrition at their web site.
I know it’s an uphill battle convincing the powers that be that they are wrong about cholesterol and that there are benefits of cholesterol, but uphill battles are what homeopaths have been fighting for years, so this is really not all that different. Just think of how you feel trying to tell people about homeopathy and how incredulous they are until they actually experience it. Well, it’s the same thing telling people about cholesterol! All the pseudo science in the world (often financed by drug companies wanting to sell their newest anti-cholesterol drug) doesn’t change the truth.