Cholesterol is a naturally occurring type of fat present in the blood and essential to cells.
It can become problematic when we eat too much processed, refined food and simple sugars and insufficient quantities of fresh vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Although our body naturally makes cholesterol, foods derived from plants contain no cholesterol at all and are richer in beneficial anti-oxidants and fiber, while animal-derived foods such as beef, eggs, chicken, fish, turkey and dairy contain dietary cholesterol and are devoid of any healthy fiber.
Is all cholesterol harmful?
No, far from it. The body needs cholesterol to function properly, and it is particularly important to the brain. During the past few decades health officials have been waging a war on cholesterol, and it has resulted in some of the worst advice and food products imaginable. Margarine, low-fat and high-sugar processed foods, fake eggs and non-dairy coffee creamers are byproducts of this misguided health advice. The problem is that simply measuring total HDL and LDL provides insufficient information, since it tells us nothing about the size or concentration of cholesterol in each LDL particle, how sticky it may be or if it has become oxidized. We perform extensive and detailed lab studies to determine if you have unhealthy cholesterol or not.
What role does cholesterol play in overall health?
One of the biggest medical misconceptions is the idea that cholesterol is a bad guy, when, in fact, it is extremely important to our survival. It plays a vital role in forming the membrane of every cell in our body, helps metabolize vitamin D and is required for the production of reproductive hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, as well as adrenal hormones.
How they treat it
Mainstream medicine’s approach to high cholesterol is very standard; patients are prescribed a statin drug. New on the drug front is another type of cholesterol-lowering medication called a PCSK9 inhibitor. Given by injection, this medication can lower cholesterol to levels that are previously unheard of. In other words, this is uncharted territory and these drugs were approved under a cloud of neurocognitive adverse events.
For statins, there is mounting evidence that they are not nearly as safe or effective as once believed; being linked to a higher risk of diabetes, cancer, myopathy, muscle aches and pain, depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. There is no solid evidence that they substantially improve heart health. Furthermore, statins are known to deplete levels of CoQ10, an enzyme that is essential in protecting the heart. Incidentally, some authorities think that the rise in congestive heart failure in the U.S. may be associated with the increase in statin use and its depletion of CoQ10.
How we treat it
At the Magaziner Center, we believe in balancing cholesterol levels naturally, and that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for high cholesterol and cardiovascular health. We take the time to look at each patient’s unique biochemistry and specific contributing factors. With our unique and extremely thorough blood and urine testing, we are able to create a plan and course of treatment specific to each individual. Our goal is not to simply lower cholesterol, but to get our patients to optimal cardiovascular health, which results in properly balanced cholesterol levels without relying on dangerous and potentially harmful drugs.Learn more about Nutritional Therapies