Is Cholesterol Really the Bad Guy?
In , Dr. Dwight Lundell said:
As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries,today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.In a nutshell, here are his statements:
|What Was Wrong?||Heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol. The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol (hint: statins) and a diet that severely restricted fat intake.|
|What Is the Answer?||Inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease.[1,16] Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes.|
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol[3,6] is a lipidic (or fatty), waxy steroid found in the cell membranes and transported in the blood plasma. Here are the facts of cholesterol:
- Body needs cholesterol
- For its structural role in the cell membrane—to maintain membrane permeability and fluidity
- As a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, vitamin D, and the adrenal gland hormones cortisol and aldosterone
- No cholesterol, no sex
- As a precursor for synthesizing the sex hormones progesterone, estrogens, and testosterone and their derivatives.
- For muscle mass buildup
- The research at TAMU revealed that following relatively vigorous workouts, individuals who had the most muscle mass gain also had the highest LDL cholesterol levels.
- For skin protection
- In the skin, cholesterol is secreted by glands just below the surface to protect against dehydration and the wear and tear of sun, wind, and water.
- For healing wounds and protecting against infections.
- Almost every cell in the body manufactures cholesterol
- In vertebrates, the liver typically produces greater amounts than other cells.
- Even you eat foods with little cholesterol ingredients, you body will still manufacture at least 1,000 mg of pure cholesterol each day.
- Cholesterol may act as an antioxidant
- It can stand in to perform an antioxidant function when certain vitamins and minerals are in low supply.
- However, cholesterol is damaged in the process, and oxidized cholesterol is bad for the body.
- That's why getting antioxidants in a steady supply throughout the day is important. Let your vitamins and minerals protect you from free radicals so they can allow your cholesterol to play all of its other life-saving roles.
What is Inflammation?
By itself, cholesterol does not cause heart disease and stroke. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. It's what inflammation does to cholesterol that causes arterial plaques.
Inflammation is simply our body’s natural defence to a foreign intruder (i.e., bacteria, toxin or virus). The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects our body from these bacterial and viral intruders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or western diets the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation.
On the other hand, atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. Inflammation in general are almost never the presence of too much cholesterol—rather they are too little of many other compounds: antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.
Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped. As noted in previous section, chronic inflammation is harmful while acute inflammation is beneficial. To become healthy is to avoid chronic inflammation. As Dr. Dwight Lundell pointed out, the culprits of chronic inflammation is our western diets:[1,8]
What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.Without much ado, I would refer you to read  for the causation of heart diseases:
Western diets -> High blood sugar -> Glycation -> Chronic inflammation -> Heart diseases
Remember this—Avoiding heart disease begins and ends with following a healthy lifestyle, not with pharmaceuticals. Poisoning your cells' ability to make cholesterol isn't the best way to avoid heart disease. Finally, as Dr. Mercola has warned :
- Trans fat, not saturated fat, raises your heart disease risk
- World renowned heart surgeon speaks out on what really causes heart disease (Dr. Dwight Lundell)
- The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz
- Every patient is different, and every case of heart disease involves a multitude of factors, from diet to activity level to lifestyle, as well as the genetic diversity of the human race.
- Statin drugs can increase women's risk of diabetes by 48%
- Vitamin K2 deficiency can cause calcium-buildup, which can increase the risk of calcification of the arteries and hence the heart disease.
- But expert doesn't recommend taking statins to prevent recurrence