1 in 4 people over the age of 45 in the US are on cholesterol lowering drugs to prevent heart disease, thought to be caused by high cholesterol in our blood. The National Institutes for Health want to increase that number by decreasing the threshold by which physicians would prescribe cholesterol lowering medications. At the same time, the FDA recognizes some serious side effects associated with taking these drugs, more commonly known as ‘statins’. They recognize neurological and muscular complications associated with the use of statin drugs, as well as an increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Cholesterol has become a bad word in modern times, and by the current NIH guidelines, I SHOULD be medicated for ‘high cholesterol’ despite the fact that since I adopted an ancestral diet, I’ve weaned myself off of a number of prescription medications as I’ve gained health.
Would it surprise you to learn that according to the World Health Organization, the lowest all-cause mortality is associated with a total cholesterol number of 210-240?
Well, turns out total cholesterol may actually be a pretty meaningless metric – completely divorced from the system that is your body. My guest today is Jimmy Moore – host of the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb show… and author of the book Cholesterol Clarity.
Jimmy and I discuss what our cholesterol numbers really mean, how they are reported, how they are calculated, we chat about what cholesterol is, and how it’s guilty by association, what Jimmy thinks is the real cause of heart disease, and what you can do naturally to shift your cholesterol numbers toward a healthier profile of high HDL, low triglycerides, and the appropriate amount of ‘good – large fluffy’ LDL. Jimmy recommends a specific type of cholesterol test called the NMR lipoprofile test to get some real information about your health (see what your LDL particles actually look like). We talk about what statin drugs do, who they help (hint: maybe 1-2 out of every 100 people taking them), and the side effects of taking them.
As of late 2015, cholesterol is no longer considered a ‘nutrient of concern’ by the USDA. That’s right, it’s a nutrient, and your body makes it on its own to create a healthy body.
If you’ve been told that you have high cholesterol, find out the details about what that means. The total number is meaningless, if you have low triglycerides, your calculated LDL numbers will be incorrect, if you have high LDL, you need to know the particle number and type, and remember, that you want your HDL to be high. Odds are, statin drugs will not benefit you. For more information, check out Jimmy’s book, Cholesterol Clarity.