What is your take on cholesterol?
January 26

Cholesterol Checklist

Four Key Points:

  • Diet has hardly any effect on your cholesterol level.
  • There is no evidence at all that lowering your cholesterol level will lengthen your life.
  • The drugs that can lower it often have serious side effects.
  • Cholesterol is probably just a marker for an underlying imbalance that is not being addressed by just lowering cholesterol.

Most of us have been brainwashed into thinking that cholesterol is a harmful foreign substance that should be avoided at all costs. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is, your body needs cholesterol.

Cholesterol is an essential component of all cell walls and it is the major building block for your hormones (including sex and adrenal hormones) and it’s absolutely vital for the proper functioning of your liver and nervous system. It even helps (in conjunction with sunlight on the skin), in the production of vitamin D. The body uses large amounts of cholesterol on a daily basis and it’s so important that with the exception of brain cells, every cell in your body has the ability to make it.

I know you’ve been told over and over that high cholesterol is the main culprit causing heart disease. But a high cholesterol is not necessarily dangerous by itself, although it probably reflects an unhealthy condition or some underlying imbalance.  Decreasing the cholesterol will do nothing to improve the underlying problem, which is causing the increased cholesterol. And when you lower the levels too much by taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, the results can actually be detrimental to your health.

Many studies have shown that there is no correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease, as people with low blood cholesterol develop heart disease just as often as people with high cholesterol.

More and more studies are coming out showing just how unhealthy lowering cholesterol might be. In fact, the cardiovascular protection the new cholesterol-lowering drugs, the statins, may give are probably due to other mechanisms other than cholesterol lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer in rodents, disturb the functions of the muscles, the heart and the brain, and pregnant women taking statins may give birth to children with malformations more severe than those seen after thalidomide.

The fixation on cholesterol as a major cause of heart disease disregards the science and discounts the real causes such as chronic inflammation, often caused by the damage that sugars wreak on tissues via glycation, including the lining of arteries. The studies that have linked insulin resistance to heart disease are much more significant than the cholesterol studies.

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  • http://twitter.com/branain Shawn aka Branáin

    It would be nice to have a list of the journal articles related to the studies that you refer to.

  • http://www.franklipman.com franklipman

    I think this article by Mercola lists some of the studies
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/the-ch…

  • http://www.getsolace.com lower cholesterol naturally

    Yes,

    our body needs cholesterol but we should take it in minimum amount.

  • Susan T.

    Dr. Lipman: 

    Do you give the same advice to patients with FAMILIAL hypercholesterolemia (for instance those with levels in the 300′s before food is introduced at birth)?    

  • John

    So what are the underlying causes of high cholesterol?