Kew Beach Naturopathic Clinic

Putting the "care" back in healthcare

Cholesterol Myths and Truths

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By Helena Ovens, ND

Originally published in our Summer 2013 newsletter

Cholesterol is a part of every single cell membrane in your body and allows nutrition to enter and waste products to leave. Cholesterol is vitally important for repairing wounds, including tears and irritations in the arteries. It is essential for the manufacture of hormones (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone), plus blood sugar and mineral regulation as well as the production of serotonin. It is vital for brain and nervous system function. It produces Vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant which is cancer protective. The “bad” cholesterol (LDL) actually helps fight infections.

High levels of cholesterol do not cause heart attacks. Only those with excessively high LDL (over 350) are at a slightly higher risk. Levels below 350 are at no greater risk than those with very low LDL. The liver produces 85% of all cholesterol used in the body. Dietary choices make up the remaining 15%. If your levels of dietary cholesterol are higher than 15%, your liver decreases the amount of cholesterol it manufactures accordingly.

Artificially lowering cholesterol levels with statin drugs (Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravacol, Zocot, etc.) likely are causing side-effects of which you may be unaware such as weakness, muscle wasting and slurred speech (due to a reduction in CoQ10) needed for normal muscle function.

Another side-effect is heart failure. Rates of heart failure have doubled since the drug was introduced onto the market.

Memory loss and “brain fog” have been reported by patients which reverses once the drug is discontinued. There may be a connection between statin drugs and an increased incidence of cancer. Numerous studies have linked low cholesterol with states of depression.

What causes heart disease? Deficiencies of vitamins A, D, B6, B12, folic acid, and minerals magnesium, copper, and vanadium. High homocysteine levels can cause heart attacks (and osteoporosis) in the younger population. An excess of trans fatty acids is another cause. And, an inability to deal with excessive amounts of STRESS which depletes the body of important nutrients.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD states that proteins are embedded in all cell membranes. These proteins help all the cells in our body communicate with each other. Cholesterol is abundantly found in the brain and nervous system as a fatty substance called myelin which coats every nerve cell and fibre in the body. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the myelin sheath is diminished.

Low cholesterol levels are implicated in memory loss due to the decrease in the production of synapses. Low cholesterol may interfere with the production of sex hormones, associated with infertility. FYI: bile is made out of cholesterol. Bile allows the body to emulsify and absorb fatty foods and vitamins (D, E, A & K are fat-soluble Vitamins). Cholesterol also is essential for our immune system to function.

Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, MD., PhC ( ( states “There is no need to worry about your cholesterol levels. This is a phony issue.”


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