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The Cholesterol Confusion

Posted Aug 10 2010 10:19am

Stop and think about your own "levels" and what is considered "normal" - everything from blood pressure to cholesterol to enzymes and so on.  Why would the range of certain things be so narrow?  Would it be so that there can be more prescribed drugs?  That may be the short answer and oversimplified, but think about it.  Have we become so focused on the specifics that we're missing the forest for the trees?  In other words, are we getting so consumed with exact numbers but not paying attention to what's really important for good health: diet and exercise. As a society, we have overlooked the basic needs for good health - plenty of vitamins , nutrients from ripe, raw fruits and vegetables.  Read how cholesterol is one example of how a narrow acceptable 'normal' can generate lots of additional revenue:

What is Cholesterol, and Why Do You Need It?
That's right, you do need cholesterol.

This soft, waxy substance is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.

Your liver makes about 75 percent of your body's cholesterol, and according to conventional medicine, there are two types:

High-density lipoprotein, or HDL: This is the "good" cholesterol that helps to keep cholesterol away from your arteries and remove any excess from arterial plaque, which may help to prevent heart disease.

Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL: This "bad" cholesterol circulates in your blood and, according to conventional thinking, may build up in your arteries, forming plaque that makes your arteries narrow and less flexible (a condition called atherosclerosis). If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries leading to your heart or brain, a heart attack or stroke may result.
Also making up your total cholesterol count are:

Triglycerides: Elevated levels of this dangerous fat have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Triglyceride levels are known to rise from eating too many grains and sugars, being physically inactive, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol excessively and being overweight or obese.
 
Lipoprotein (a), or Lp(a): Lp(a) is a substance that is made up of an LDL "bad cholesterol" part plus a protein (apoprotein a). Elevated Lp(a) levels are a very strong risk factor for heart disease. This has been well established, yet very few physicians check for it in their patients.

Understand this:

Your Total Cholesterol Level is NOT a Great Indicator of Your Heart Disease Risk
Health officials in the United States urge everyone over the age of 20 to have their cholesterol tested once every five years. Part of this test is your total cholesterol, or the sum of your blood's cholesterol content, including HDL, LDLs, and VLDLs..

The American Heart Association recommends that your total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, but what they do not tell you is that total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is above 330.

In addition, the AHA updated their guidelines in 2004, lowering the recommended level of LDL cholesterol from 130 to LDL to less than 100, or even less than 70 for patients at very high risk.

In order to achieve these outrageous and dangerously low targets, you typically need to take multiple cholesterol-lowering drugs. So the guidelines instantly increased the market for these dangerous drugs. Now, with testing children's cholesterol levels, they're increasing their market even more.

I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels over 250 who actually were at low heart disease risk due to their HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen even more who had cholesterol levels under 200 that were at a very high risk of heart disease based on the following additional tests:

HDL/Cholesterol ratio
Triglyceride/HDL ratios
HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol. That percentage should ideally be above 24 percent.

You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should be below 2.

Keep in mind, however, that these are still simply guidelines, and there's a lot more that goes into your risk of heart disease than any one of these numbers. In fact, it was only after word got out that total cholesterol is a poor predictor of heart disease that HDL and LDL cholesterol were brought into the picture.

They give you a closer idea of what's going on, but they still do not show you everything.

COMMENTS: You can see that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to cholesterol. And one of the biggest preventative measures you can take is eating a healthy diet, while avoiding the two biggest negative influences on your health: excessive alcohol, tobacco use.  I can't stress enough the importance of fruits and vegetables to your health, especially if you don't have an overall healthy lifestyle. Then, you need them more, and even more than the minimum recommended. A large majority of people fit into that category, which is why we recommend Juice Plus+ , for added nutrients from those foods.

The Health & Wellness Institute, PC
Official Juice Plus+ Independent Distributor

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