Heart disease and cholesterol science evidence says that heart disease is both more complex and more simple than eating (or not eating) bacon and eggs.
Cholesterol does NOT cause heart disease. Many, many independent studies confirm this. This article explains how even the USDA agreed with this in 2015.
Heart Disease and Cholesterol Science?
What We Hear #1). Cholesterol causes fatty deposits that clog arteries and impair blood flow, leading to a possible heart attack.
The Science: Cholesterol is part of the repair team sent to fix oxidative damage to the arteries. It is oxidation and inflammation from food, smoking, toxins and drugs that damages the arteries. Cholesterol helps heal those irritated patches.
What We Hear #2). All cholesterol is bad and Total Cholesterol must be under 200 or 150 on labwork.
The Science: The Liver makes huge amounts of cholesterol every day, in addition to the small amounts we get from food. Since we make Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Cortisol and Vitamin D out of Cholesterol, the Liver makes sure we don’t run low. Post-menopausal women may have “elevated” cholesterol if they are not eating enough saturated fat to make hormones.
LDL Cholesterol comes in several types. HDL Cholesterol gets the credit for being the “good kind”. See more on this below.
What We Hear #3). Saturated fats are dangerous.
The Science: We get saturated fats from eating animals – organ meats, animal fat, fish, eggs, dairy AND from Coconut Oil. Humans have eaten these fats for a very long time. Many body systems depend on saturated fats, including the cell membrane that surrounds and protects every cell in the body. Cholesterol is anti-inflammatory against oxidized LDL particles – the worst kind of LDL.
What We Hear #4). Vegetable oils are good for you.
The Science: Humans never ate factory processed seed oils until the 1950’s. Seed oils (definitely not “vegetable” oils) include canola, sunflower, soy and corn. They are extremely high in inflammatory Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats.
Better choices include nut and fruit oils such as olive, avocado, macadamia and tea seed oil (see my article on this). I eat a variety of fats with ghee, pasture-raised lard, butter, fatty meats, pastured eggs and coconut oil with my organic olive and avocado oils.
What are LDL’s, HDL’S and Plaque?
In my article and Primal Diet – Modern Health podcast with Chris Masterjohn, we address this topic at length. Read and listen here for more info.
HDL and LDL are Lipoproteins, not fats. They transport fats and fat soluble nutrients around the body. HDL (high density lipoproteins) remove cholesterol from tissues and deliver it to the liver for further use, and to LDL (low density lipoproteins).
There are several sizes of LDL particles and you can test these in your blood work if your doctor knows how to ask for them (and why). LDL particle membranes contain polyunsaturated fats and are vulnerable to oxidative damage. Our immune system traps oxidised LDL’s and stores them as small plaques behind the innermost layer of the blood vessel.
The immune system covers these with fibrous caps to keep them isolated. If this is repeated because we continue to eat polyunsaturated fats, we build large plaques that can break away, cause clots and heart attacks.
Is High Blood Pressure Due to Cholesterol and Salt?
What We Hear #5). Heart disease and high blood pressure are caused by cholesterol.
The Science: I have many podcasts and articles on the universal deficiency of Vitamin K2 – the ancestral nutrient that keeps calcium in bones, teeth and muscles and out of arteries and joints. Without Vitamin K2 (different from Vitamin K in vegetables), calcium and D can cause major problems.
This article and podcast on High Blood Pressure will tell you more. Without K2 (found only in pastured animal meats, high quality cheese and ghee, or supplements) calcium drops out of the blood and lines the arteries. The heart MUST pump harder to get blood through these narrowed arteries.
You need K2 and in my opinion, you need it daily as we do not store it like the other fat soluble vitamins. Here’s a higher potency K2/MK-7 in my online store, or get it in its natural form (with many other amazing whole food nutrients) with Walkabout Emu Oil.
Protect your arteries, joints, kidneys and gall bladder from stones, spurs and atherosclerosis: never take Vitamin D without Vitamin K2. I take Systemic Formulas DV3 for my D with K2 and immune supportive nutrients.
What We Hear #6). If you have cholesterol over 200 or LDL over 100, you may be prescribed drugs to lower your numbers. But they won’t fix the cause of the “problem” as you’ll see when you stop them. If your LDL is 200 – 800 you should be checked for genetic Familial Hypercholesterolemia.
The Science: These drugs may have severe side effects, including chronic muscle pain, as statins deplete vital Co Q 10 (your doctor may “forget” to tell you this). Or you may be given Red Yeast Rice which acts about the same as statins. Cholesterol of 240 or less is OK with me but it’s good to check your LDL small particles. This article from Chris Kresser will explain.
What We Hear #7): Salt causes high blood pressure.
The Science: Humans have fought, died and worked to find and collect totally natural unprocessed sea salts all over the Earth. Our Adrenals and stomach acid both use salt every day. Highly processed commercial salt in a shaker is different. This article and Podcast tell you more.
Help for Healthier Arteries
- Reducing inflammation is the first goal: stop sugars, especially fructose, reduce or eliminate grains, completely stop hydrogenated poly-unsaturated seed oils (found in all commercial baked goods, take-out, most restaurant foods). Stop smoking.
- Take Vitamin K2 daily to help remove calcium from your arteries. Our OrthoMolecular MenaQ7PRO caps are 180 mcg., higher than most products but totally safe.
- Take Omega 3’s such as Rosita Cod Oil (in caps or liquid) or this unusual proprietary Omega 3 DHA Pro Select from OrthoMolecular daily with food. Stop Omega 6 oil “foods” such as French Fries, fast food, most commercial salad dressings, etc. Eat fatty fish such as wild salmon weekly. Our Systemic Formulas CVO Oil is thoughtfully designed for cardiovascular health, with Krill Oil, Omega 3’s, Phospholipids and Magnesium.
- If your cholesterol is over 250, have your Gall Bladder and Thyroid function checked. If you no longer have a Gall Bladder you need Bile support with food forever.
- Be cautious with drugs that may have side effects. Find a wellness doctor who knows the heart disease and cholesterol science.
- Take a variety of good probiotics like this unique one. They help you utilize cholesterol.
What about Cholesterol in Food?
Cholesterol in food averages about 20% of the daily cholesterol our body needs and makes. The cholesterol we get in egg yolks, for example, tells the liver to not produce as much cholesterol. Egg yolks HAVE cholesterol but don’t RAISE cholesterol. It’s used up and made into hormones, Vitamin D and more useful nutrients.