Category Archives: Cholesterol

Researchers botch HDL ‘good’ cholesterol study

Researchers botch HDL ‘good’ cholesterol study

June 13, 2012

Bad research on good cholesterol

One little flawed study comes along and finds that maybe HDL doesn’t prevent heart problems, and suddenly everyone is down on the so-called “good” cholesterol.

But once you see the details on this one, you’ll wonder why anyone is even giving it the time of day — because the study was botched from start to finish.

The researchers didn’t choose two groups of people with similar heart risk and then raise levels of HDL cholesterol in one of them.

Nope. That’s a little too much like work, since it can’t be done with drugs and has to be done with diet.

So instead, they just looked at a group of people with genetic factors that cause them to have higher-than-normal-HDL levels naturally. And it turned out these people had the same heart risks as everyone else.

Big whoop — this proves exactly nothing, because the notion that genetically high HDL levels automatically come with health benefits is flawed from the get-go.

That same argument implies that someone with naturally high HDL levels can eat all the KFC they want — and drink a quart of soda a day (Why not? You’re genetically protected, right?) — and have the same lower risk of heart problems as someone who earns their high HDL levels through a healthy diet.

Cholesterol is good — but it ain’t THAT good!

And when I say “cholesterol,” I mean both HDL and LDL — because despite what you’ve heard, there’s no such thing as “good” and “bad.”

Forget trying to remember which is which and just focus on your TOTAL cholesterol. Keep it between 200 and 300, naturally, and you’ll have nothing to worry about since those “high” levels can actually PROTECT your heart.

If that’s not enough, cholesterol can also prevent cancer, ward off dementia, boost your sex life and even slash your risk of dying.

– See more at: http://douglassreport.com/2012/06/13/bad-research-on-good-cholesterol/#sthash.Z2YSkjkR.dpuf

Why cholesterol doesn’t matter

Why cholesterol doesn’t matter

November 4, 2012

Lower cholesterol hasn’t led to better health

Congratulations, America — you’re healthier than ever!

In just over two decades, U.S. cholesterol levels have plunged by an average of 10 points, according to the latest figures being touted by the mainstream.

Total cholesterol? DOWN!

LDL cholesterol? DOWN!

Heart disease? Well… they’d rather not talk about that, so allow me — because it’s definitely NOT down.

Heart disease was our leading killer when the study began back in 1988. Our average total cholesterol was 206 mg/dL — and LDL levels were at 126 — so the feds made bringing total cholesterol down to below 200 a national priority.

And for once, they set a priority and actually realized it. (Too bad it wasn’t something that actually matters, like the budget or our ballooning deficit!)

So here we are today, total cholesterol at a dream-come-true 196 mg/dL and average LDL levels down to a picture-perfect 116 mg/dL — and yet, heart disease is STILL our leading killer.

And it’s number one with a bullet.

Some 80 million Americans already have it — and that number’s going to swell by nearly 50 percent inside of single generation, with 116 million expected to have it by 2030.

So if the new cholesterol numbers being celebrated in the Journal of the American Medical Association are proof of anything, it’s that I’ve been right on this all along: When it comes to predicting heart risk, your cholesterol levels are about as relevant as your hat size.

In fact, despite what you’ve heard over the years, cholesterol is essential to your brain, muscles and, yes, even your heart — and low levels can cause cancer, dementia, and death.

That’s why falling below 200 is actually dangerous.

Don’t worry, there’s an easy cure for that: steak, eggs, pork chops, and chicken. The more fresh animal fats, the better. Just be sure to pass on the carbs, and watch your health improve by every measure.

Believe it or not, your total cholesterol levels won’t change too much despite all that extra fat in your diet — but they will and should remain above 200 (and below 300).

Not what you’ve heard? Of course it isn’t. If you want to learn more about the shocking truth behind cholesterol and the rest of the sacred mainstream medical myths, read this.

And for more on a risk factor for heart disease you really should worry about, keep reading!

– See more at: http://douglassreport.com/2012/11/04/lower-cholesterol-hasnt-led-to-better-health/#sthash.4YLc1mkR.dpuf

Why You Need LDL Cholesterol

Why you need LDL cholesterol

June 1, 2011

For years, you’ve been told your body has an enemy — and its name is LDL cholesterol.

They’ve even taken to calling it “bad” cholesterol, as if something your body NEEDS could ever actually be bad.

Now, a new study confirms what I’ve told you all along: LDL cholesterol isn’t the bad guy after all.

Researchers from Texas A&M University put 52 non-exercising people between the ages of 60 and 69 through a rigorous workout, and found that those who gained the most muscle mass afterwards had the highest levels of LDL cholesterol.

Nevermind that you don’t need a rigorous workout to stay fit (or any workout at all, for that matter)… the study is a perfect illustration of the relationship between LDL cholesterol and muscle function.

The researchers didn’t make the obvious connection, so I will: This is precisely why people who take cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins suffer from muscle pain and even muscle disintegration as their LDL levels plummet to supposedly healthy levels.

The researchers also wrote in the Journal of Gerontology that LDL serves another crucial function: as a warning of problems elsewhere in the body.

And once again, this is a page right out of my Douglass Report newsletter — because I’ve been telling you for years that high cholesterol levels are a symptom… not a disease on their own.

But while your doc will hit the panic button when LDL hits 160, all I care about is your total cholesterol: Keep it between 200 and 300, and you’re golden.

Higher than that, and you’ve got a problem — but a cholesterol med won’t solve it anymore than an ice bath will cure the infection behind a high fever.

You need a doc who can figure out — and correct — the cause of that rise.

– See more at: http://douglassreport.com/2011/06/01/ldl-cholesterol/#sthash.cAbJgIKG.dpuf

Is Cholesterol Bad?

?Bad? Cholesterol Not As Bad As People Think, Shows Texas A&M Study

COLLEGE STATION, May 4, 2011 – The so-called “bad cholesterol” – low-density lipoprotein commonly called LDL – may not be so bad after all, shows a Texas A&M University study that casts new light on the cholesterol debate, particularly among adults who exercise.

Steve Riechman, a researcher in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, says the study reveals that LDL is not the evil Darth Vader of health it has been made out to be in recent years and that new attitudes need to be adopted in regards to the substance. His work, with help from colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, Kent State University, the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, is published in the Journal of Gerontology.

Riechman and colleagues examined 52 adults from ages to 60 to 69 who were in generally good health but not physically active, and none of them were participating in atraining program. The study showed that after fairly vigorous workouts, participants who had gained the most muscle mass also had the highest levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, “a very unexpected result and one that surprised us.

“It shows that you do need a certain amount of LDL to gain more muscle mass. There’s no doubt you need both – the LDL and the HDL — and the truth is, it (cholesterol) is all good. You simply can’t remove all the ‘bad’ cholesterol from your body without serious problems occurring.

cholesterol plaque in an artery

Cholesterol is found in all humans and is a type of fat around the body. A person’s total cholesterol level is comprised of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

LDL is almost always referred to as the “bad” cholesterol because it tends to build up in the walls of arteries, causing a slowing of the blood flow which often leads to heart disease and heart attacks.

HDL, usually called the “good cholesterol,” often helps remove cholesterol from arteries.

“But here is where people tend to get things wrong,” Riechman says.

“LDL serves a very useful purpose. It acts as a warning sign that something is wrong and it signals the body to these warning signs. It does its job the way it is supposed to.

“People often say, ‘I want to get rid of all my bad (LDL) cholesterol,’ but the fact is, if you did so, you would die,” the Texas A&M professor adds. “Everyone needs a certain amount of both LDL and HDL in their bodies. We need to change this idea of LDL always being the evil thing – we all need it, and we need it to do its job.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 36 million American adults have high cholesterol levels.

“Our tissues need cholesterol, and LDL delivers it,” he notes. “HDL, the good cholesterol, cleans up after the repair is done. And the more LDL you have in your blood, the better you are able to build muscle during resistance training.”

Riechman says the study could be helpful in looking at a condition called sarcopenia, which is muscle loss due to aging. Previous studies show muscle is usually lost at a rate of 5 percent per decade after the age of 40, a huge concern since muscle mass is the major determinant of physical strength. After the age of 60, the prevalence of moderate to severe sarcopenia is found in about 65 percent of all men and about 30 percent of all women, and it accounts for more than $18 billion of health care costs in the United States.

“The bottom line is that LDL – the bad cholesterol – serves as a reminder that something is wrong and we need to find out what it is,” Riechman says.

“It gives us warning signs. Is smoking the problem, is it diet, is it lack of exercise that a person’s cholesterol is too high? It plays a very useful role, does the job it was intended to do, and we need to back off by always calling it ‘bad’ cholesterol because it is not totally bad.”

Contact: Steve Riechman at (979) 862-3213 or sriechman@hlkn.tamu.edu or Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or keith-randall@tamu.edu

Posted: May 2011