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The Truth About Cholesterol
In a world where good is bad and bad is good, it is important to be a little skeptical and ask the question – WHY? The question of “WHY is my Cholesterol High?” is ignored with the assumption that it simply must be lowered. “Here take this drug”. Many can quote their cholesterol lab numbers and calculate ratios of HDL vs LDL, but what does it all mean? I’ve written this article in two different formats. This is the short version. You can find the long version which has much more detail on our website in the newsletter archives under The Truth About Cholesterol – Long Version.
In this Article you will learn:
• Why Cholesterol is important, even essential?
• How Cholesterol lowering drugs are harmful and really address the wrong issue?
• What Cholesterol really does?
• How Herbs can help with Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of fat that makes up our cell walls, hormones, nerves and much more. Saturated fats and cholesterol make the cell wall firm, without them all of our cells would be flabby and fluid, kind of like a big slug or earthworm. In many cells, half of the cell membrane is made of cholesterol. About 25% of our bodies cholesterol is accounted for by the brain. Cholesterol is vital for the development of a fetus. Cholesterol is so important that mother’s milk provides a specific enzyme to allow the baby’s digestive tract to absorb almost 100 percent of that cholesterol, because the developing brain and eyes of an infant require large amounts of it. Children deprived of cholesterol in infancy may end up with poor eyesight and brain function.
Cholesterol is also a vital component for our nerves to function properly. The myelin sheath around each nerve is composed of 20% cholesterol. Losing or damaging some of this myelin results in the illness multiple sclerosis. Not enough cholesterol and your memory and mental abilities are affected. It is not surprising then to discover that people who take cholesterol-lowering drugs, soon begin to suffer from memory loss.
Cholesterol is so important to the normal functioning of our bodies that in an average person, about 85 percent of their blood cholesterol is manufactured by the body (mostly in the liver), while only 15 percent comes from food. Regardless of how much or how little cholesterol you eat in your diet, the body will generally produce what it needs, unless of course, you take a drug that prevents the body from producing proper amounts of cholesterol. Low cholesterol levels are shown to result in aggressive social behavior and low self-esteem.
Cholesterol is also vital in the production of the body’s hormones, primarily the adrenal and sex hormones. Some researchers suggest that adrenal exhaustion can be greatly helped by increasing the fat and cholesterol in the diet and the much of the infertility seen today can be resolved by getting off the low-fat diet. Women who consume a high-fat diet (of the healthy fats) are much more fertile than those who chose low-fat foods. Recent research has "discovered" that eating full-cream dairy products and a diet higher in natural fats reduces infertility in women. (Chavarro JI and others. A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility. Human Reproduction, Issue 28, Feb 2007.)
Cholesterol is essential for our immune system to function properly. LDL-cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), the so-called "bad" cholesterol, directly binds and inactivates dangerous bacterial toxins (including the deadly MRSA [Methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus], a common hospital infection). People with higher cholesterol are less prone to infections or recover faster from them.
So what does cholesterol do? The answer is plain and simple: cholesterol is a healing agent in the body. When the body has some healing jobs to do, it produces cholesterol and sends it to the site of the damage. Much of the damage to the body is on a microscopic or cellular level is a result from stress, injury or chemical exposure from our food and environment. When the inside lining of our blood vessels are exposed to toxic chemicals, free-radicals, infectious organisms, or injury then the resulting micro-damage triggers the liver to secrete LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) to go to the area and begin the repair processes. The body cannot clear the infection, remove toxic elements or heal the wound without cholesterol and fats. In short, when we have a high blood cholesterol level, it means that the body is dealing with some kind of damage. The last thing we should do is interfere with this process! When the damage has been dealt with, the blood cholesterol will naturally go down. If we have an ongoing disease in the body that constantly inflicts damage, then the blood cholesterol will be permanently high. Which may be the case, but masking the symptom is not the answer.
Many herbs and natural remedies have an ability to reduce our blood cholesterol. How do they do it? By helping the body remove the damaging agents, be they free radicals, bacteria, viruses or toxins. As a result, the liver does not have to produce so much cholesterol to deal with the damage. At the same time herbs and other natural remedies help to repair these microscopic wounds. When the wound heals there is no need for high levels of cholesterol anymore, so the body cleans up and removes the debris in the form of HDL-cholesterol or so-called "good" cholesterol. This is why herbs and other natural remedies increase the level of HDL-cholesterol in the blood.
So in short, cholesterol is one of the most important substances in the body. We cannot live without it, let alone function well. The profit driven diet and pharmaceutical industries have unjustly vilified this essential substance. However, science is finally showing irrefutable evidence that cholesterol has been mistakenly blamed for the crime just because it was found at the scene.
The solution to high cholesterol is not to go after the cholesterol directly to simply lower it, but to heal the body so that the symptom of high cholesterol is no longer necessary. By nourishing, building and supporting the natural healing processes of the body, we not only become healthier, but cholesterol levels normalizes, the blood pressure returns to healthy balance and we restore energy and vitality that may have alluded us. When the body is healthy, the need to cover up symptoms is not necessary.
Here are some recommendations:
• Eat healthy whole natural foods
• Avoid processed foods as they are loaded with chemicals that stress the liver and increase free-radical damage (which causes your cholesterol to rise to heal the damage).
• Get off the sugar – too much sugar and too high of insulin results in inflammation and causes cholesterol to rise. Strictly avoid all foods and drinks with high-fructose corn syrup.
• Eat healthy fats and food high in cholesterol such as eggs, fish, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, whole milk and other animal fats. Remember quality is everything. Eat organic and avoid foods grown with chemicals, hormones and drugs like antibiotics. This means you may have to pay a little more for grass-fed beef, hormone-free chicken, organic farm-fresh eggs and raw whole milk.
• Avoid low-fat processed foods, especially those containing canola, soy or other processed oils. You will probably need to start making your own salad dressings. (Yum!)
• Get enough Vitamin D3 – either from sunshine or supplement
• Eliminate soft drinks from your diet, including diet sodas, which contain health-damaging aspartame. Drink filtered water instead.
• Stay away from the excitotoxin monosodium glutamate (MSG) used in some restaurants and to enhance the flavor of processed foods. MSG is very damaging in many ways.
• Scrupulously avoid trans fats, which cause cancer, trigger type-2 diabetes, interfere with immune function, and cause heart disease.
Exercise has also shown to have a direct positive effect on our cholesterol. Primarily because the body that exercises regularly, is healthier, stronger and more resistant to injury, trauma and disease.
Herbal Remedies can be powerful tools in building and supporting the body so that symptoms such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure are not necessary. At Western Botanicals our products are made with great care and attention to detail. We make everything in small batches to ensure that our high standards and demands for purity and effectiveness are maintained. Only the very best ingredients are used because we use these supplements for ourselves, our families and friends.
Herbal Supplements to consider:
This potent formula is designed to provide the nutrients and support to build a healthy circulatory system. It increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the red-blood cells and supports better artery and venous flow. High cholesterol and triglycerides are normalized because the body is restored to health.
Hawthorn Berry Syrup
Medical research has shown that hawthorn will build and strengthen weak or damaged heart tissue by allowing oxygen to be better utilized by the heart muscle. This tasty syrup is very popular with people who may experience arrhythmia's, congestive heart problems, angina, and exertion related fatigue.
Earth’s Nutrition: Nourish and support the rebuilding of healthy cells with these nutritious super foods.
Anti-Inflammation Formula: fights free radical damage by improving the natural anti-inflammatory function of the body. Heart health, healthy blood pressure and cholesterol are all benefits of this product.
Cayenne: the great circulation herb strengthens, tones as well as acts as a catalyst for other nutrients and building blocks for tissue repair. Capsaicin, one of the active ingredients in cayenne, is known for its beneficial effects on cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, weight loss, lung congestion, and even cancer.
Garlic: reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and keep blood thin - reducing the risk of blood clots and stroke.
Turmeric: promotes wound healing. Turmeric promotes cardiovascular health. A clinical studies show that turmeric lowers cholesterol and triglycerides levels in nearly all cases. Patients reported reduced angina.
The good news is that we now understand why heart disease is our nations number one killer. And with this knowledge we can enjoy foods that we may have been avoiding (such as eggs, bacon, beef, coconut oil and whole milk) that are actually healthy for you. It really looks like the old time farmers diet was really healthy after all.
Blessings in Health,
Dr. Kyle Christensen