Back when I was earning my Nutrition Master’s, one of my reading requirements was the book Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan.
In Deep Nutrition, Dr. Shanahan tells the story of how she was taught in medical school that cholesterol causes heart disease, that a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats was “heart healthy,” and statins were the gold standard for lowering cholesterol.
But something was troubling her.
If saturated fats and cholesterol were the devil, then why was it that many of the farmers that she treated in her practice (who ate bacon and eggs for breakfast and beef for dinner every day) were among her healthiest patients?
That started her on a journey of looking deeper into the official narrative and discovering the truth…and thanks to her research (and others), I learned the truth as well.
Let’s take a look at the origin of the cholesterol lie and ways you can truly help prevent heart disease.
It started with a slanted study
We’ve all heard repeatedly over the last several decades that cholesterol causes heart disease.
But what most people don’t realize is that cholesterol’s role in the development of heart disease has been greatly exaggerated.
The demonization of saturated fats and the low-fat, low-cholesterol theory stems back to when I was a wee little baby in 1963, when physiologist Ancel Keys in his "Seven Countries Study" claimed to have found a correlation between saturated fat and heart disease.
But in reality, this was primarily the result of his cherry-picking data and omitting several countries from his study.
When the 16 countries that he “conveniently” left out were added back into his data, the results showed no relationship between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease.
Here’s an interesting tidbit for you—Keys suffered several strokes in the last few years before he died in 2004.
The creation of a statin market
Pfizer’s cash cow Lipitor is the most profitable drug of all time, with sales approaching $1 trillion, and that success is largely due to the “cholesterol narrative” and stoking people’s fears of heart disease.
Plus remember drug companies strongly influence medical school curriculums, the physician community, medical associations, the FDA and the CDC, and the prescribing parameters they create. These parameters have changed over the last several years to expand the number of medicated individuals.
For instance, take a look at what is considered high total cholesterol. A few decades ago, high cholesterol was diagnosed in patients with total cholesterol over 240 mg/dL, usually in conjunction with other risk factors of heart disease like smoking.
Now? That number has been lowered to 200. And you know what that means—more people for whom statin therapy is indicated. Chi-ching!
But the inconvenient truth here is that we’re not seeing any measurable decreases in heart disease with all this statin use! Funny you don’t hear that on any of the drug commercials that bombard every form of media in the US.
Plus one study found that the median postponement of death in people taking statins was just 3.2 days—in exchange for a plethora of potential serious side effects (more on that below)!
The real truth about cholesterol and heart disease
Nothing in your body is there by accident, and cholesterol is no exception.
Cholesterol is a substance your body NEEDS.
It functions as an antioxidant, protects you against cancer, it repairs wounds and tears in your arteries, it’s vital for your brain and nervous system, it’s needed for your body to make hormones and vitamin D, and it helps your body use serotonin, which protects against depression.
The true instigator behind heart disease is inflammation in your arteries, and that is commonly the result of these 4 things:
- Excess glucose coursing through your blood (because of a diet high in processed foods, sugar, soda and refined carbs, as well as stress)
- A buildup of homocysteine in your bloodstream (due to lacking B vitamins)
- Lacking the natural anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs to control inflammation
- High blood pressure (which is commonly the result of diet and not exercising)
Once inflammation occurs in your arteries then yes, cholesterol is summoned to the scene to do its healing and repair work—but it’s certainly NOT the instigator here!
It’s a lie—statins are not safe
Although statins are incredibly touted as “safe” nothing could be farther from the truth.
Statins can and do cause many serious side effects including: Death, muscle pain and weakness, incapacitation, kidney failure, liver damage, type 2 diabetes, memory loss, dementia, depression, anxiety, pancreatic inflammation, sexual dysfunction, gallstones, poor digestion, low energy and abnormal heart rhythm.
They also increase acts of aggression and violence and raise your risk of suicide.
Plus they have been linked to the neuromuscular degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
In addition, statins deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which in turn can actually INCREASE your risk of heart disease!
Moreover, they inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2 in your body. Vitamin K2 protects your arteries from calcification and without it, plaque levels can worsen—again raising your heart disease risk.
What is “safe” about any of this?
And the thing is, many times these side effects don’t pop up right away, while at the same time your cholesterol might quickly drop by as much as 50 points. So the medication gets applauded, and you get deceived into thinking you’re healthier…when in reality you may be a ticking time bomb.
How to safely support healthy cholesterol levels
A smarter, safer approach here is to naturally support your body in its efforts to control inflammation and maintain a healthy cholesterol level!
Here are 4 measures that can help:
1- Have the right diet
Eat wholesome REAL foods (including lots of fresh vegetables) and ditch the processed junk, fast food, sugars, refined carbs and soda.
And don’t buy into that “all saturated fat is bad” BS either—that is parroted by food companies who make a lot of money selling you their rancid vegetable oils and margarines.
Your body needs saturated fats, so go ahead and have a 3-4 oz. serving of meat (preferably organic), a couple of eggs or real butter on your vegetables.
Other good sources of saturated fats include coconut oil and avocado.
2- Get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, they reduce the risk of clots, they improve blood flow and help prevent atherosclerosis.
In fact, studies have reported decreases in cholesterol of up to 20 percent in just 10 DAYS by boosting Omega-3 EFA's through diet and supplementation!
Unfortunately, our food supply is lacking in these crucial fats. One of the best sources is wild-caught fatty fish, but that’s not something the average person eats 7 days a week…plus much of the fish commercially available today is farmed (and toxic).
A sure-fire way to make sure you have health-supporting levels of Omega-3 fatty acids is by supplementing with a pure fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.
VitalMega-3 provides an inflammation-soothing 1,200 mg of Omega-3 fats in every daily 2-capsule dose, including the superstars EPA (600 mg) and DHA (400 mg) in the suggested 3:2 ratio.
3- Engage in regular exercise
Nothing is more effective to help control your blood pressure (and your weight) than working up a sweat at least 3-4 times a week.
Plus exercise is the best stress reducer there is, and stress is yet another factor behind high levels of inflammation in your blood vessels.
Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK first. I bet he or she will be thrilled!
4- Get enough vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is crucial to help your body convert homocysteine to a benign amino acid. If too much homocysteine is allowed to build in your blood, that raises your heart disease risk.
Unfortunately, B12 is a very common deficiency, especially in the elderly and people who use acid reducers.
To ensure your body has health-supporting levels of this vital nutrient, Hydroxaden 2.5 is the perfect solution.
Hydroxaden 2.5 is an oral B12 spray that you spritz under your tongue, so the B12 can be absorbed right through the mucus membranes in your mouth.
In addition to helping lower your risk of heart disease, B12 also helps support strong energy levels and sharp mental functioning too!
Now you know the real truth about cholesterol and heart disease and can make smart choices to help minimize your risk.
To your health,