Five Key Things To Lower LDL Cholesterol Healthfully
Written by Byron J. Richards Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Published: 28 February 2011
PART 1 of 3
It is high time that any person trying to improve their LDL cholesterol levels raises their understanding of the subject far beyond the kindergarten-level training of good and bad cholesterol, avoiding foods with cholesterol, and taking toxic high doses of statin drugs to knock down numbers.
By the time your body is making higher-than-normal levels of LDL cholesterol you do indeed have health problems. However, it is far better to get to the source of those problems and actually correct them than to put a toxic Band-Aid on them and pretend they don’t exist anymore.
In this article I will discuss the five most important solutions you can implement to actually change the source of the problems that are causing you to have high LDL cholesterol. I will explain to you the common reasons these problems come about and the best non-drug solutions for them. I will explain why the statin drugs don’t really solve the source of problems and are often toxic, especially in higher doses. I will also explain why some commonly used medications, like blood pressure medication and antibiotics, may actually cause or contribute to cholesterol problems.
The Big Pharma propaganda machine has created a style of medicine that requires its participants to blindly follow instructions. It is not much different than being brainwashed by a cult. It is truly unfortunate that so many doctors are die-hard members, living in fear of their Big Pharma-sponsored licensing boards taking away their paycheck if they fail to follow the Big Pharma way. The best antidote for any cult’s propaganda is common sense – so I’ll give the following explanation in an attempt to empower any person who wants to know.
Here are my five solutions:
Solution #1 – Stop Forcing Your Liver to Manufacture Excessive LDL Cholesterol
Solution #2 – Decongest Your Stagnant/Fatty Liver
Solution #3 – Stabilize Cell Membranes, Reduce Inflammation
Solution #4 – Restore Cellular Oxygen Utilization, Fix Thyroid Problems
Solution #5 – Reduce Your Toxic Burden, Especially from Your Own Digestive Tract
If your problem isn’t too serious then maybe all you’ll need to do is implement Solution #1. However, most people are struggling with two or three of these categories and any person with a stubborn problem will likely need to work on all five. There are no quick fixes to improve your health. Be thankful that health can be restored.
What Is LDL Cholesterol?
Let’s begin at the beginning. The production of cholesterol occurs in every single cell of your body and is absolutely vital for cellular survival. Cholesterol is a small rigid substance – think of it as a brick. You need bricks in a foundation. Your cell membranes use cholesterol bricks so that your cells have three-dimensional structure. You have about 8 ounces of cholesterol bricks distributed in cells everywhere. If you didn’t have them you wouldn’t exist as you would be as flat as a pancake on the floor. These bricks are also essential structural components of cell parts, including receptors than enable a cell to communicate properly. Your sex hormones and your adrenal hormones require high numbers of cholesterol bricks in order to work properly.
Your liver is a manufacturing plant, a warehouse, and a primary distribution center. One of its many commodities is cholesterol bricks. If your cells need extra cholesterol beyond what they can make themselves, then your liver is the primary place where cholesterol is made and then transported to them. Getting a fat-soluble brick to move through your watery circulation requires a transport vehicle, which is also known as LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol.). Compared to a cholesterol brick, LDL cholesterol is the size of a UPS truck. It picks up fat-soluble nutrition at your liver distribution center and takes it around your body, just as a UPS truck delivers its packages.
Your LDL-UPS truck specializes in fat-soluble packages. In addition to cholesterol bricks this includes packages of dietary fat, essential fatty acids, and your fat-soluble antioxidants (vitamin A, carotenes, vitamin K, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin E). This transport functionality of LDL cholesterol is absolutely vital to the health and survival of every cell in your body.
If you are beginning to wonder why a vital survival transport system, your LDL-UPS truck, has been called “bad” by the pill-pushing Big Pharma propaganda marketing machine, then common sense may be making an entry into your thought process. Yes, it is a rather sad state of affairs when your LDL-UPS trucks wind up in the ditch clogging your arteries. But shouldn’t this be your question, “How did the LDL-UPS trucks get in the ditch?” Or how about, “If the LDL-UPS trucks are in the ditch then how are the cells going to get the packages they need?” Big Pharma wants you to think that LDL-UPS trucks are evil and shouldn’t be on the road – a marketing ploy that is really good for selling drugs to a dumbed-down public.
Your cells and your liver use the exact same pathway to manufacture cholesterol bricks. It is a production line. Because making cholesterol is core to survival in your body, once this process is instructed to start then it must finish – there is no way to interrupt it. The gatekeeper of this process is an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase. Think of HMG CoA reductase as a traffic cop controlling the production of cholesterol bricks. This traffic cop is trying to decide whether to give a go signal or a stop signal. It is receiving phone calls from all over your body as well as from the production line itself, integrating multiple requests so as to determine the right amount of cholesterol for your body to make so as to be able to survive.
My five solutions are targeted at the five most common reasons this system goes haywire and produces excessive cholesterol bricks.
Statins work by clogging the traffic cop’s phone system, thereby jamming the phone calls coming in so that he has no way of hearing what is actually going on in the body. All he hears is a stop message. A legitimate argument can be made that in situations of excess cholesterol production this generalized stop message could help slow down excess production of cholesterol bricks. As the dose of statins increases, which is now standard Western medicine, that argument loses value and the analogy is more like taking a sledgehammer to the head of the traffic cop.
However, the statin argument is weak in the first place as it makes no attempt to solve any reason for phone calls coming to the traffic cop to make extra cholesterol bricks. Maybe some of those reasons are good. Maybe some of those reasons are reflective of other problems that should be solved. Doctors typically make little if any attempt to figure out what these phone calls are all about (the source of the problem). Doctors prescribe what is a temporary solution at best and turn it into a way of life.
Keep in mind that this cholesterol-production pathway that statin drugs target is not directly the production of LDL-UPS trucks, rather it is the cholesterol bricks. As it turns out your LDL-UPS trucks are themselves made up of a lot of cholesterol bricks. Thus, the process of short-circuiting the production of cholesterol bricks indirectly starves the production of LDL-UPS trucks. You may wonder what else it is starving.
The cholesterol synthesis pathway in your liver has many branching pathways, a system of economy for your body to do many things related to survival at the same time. As your liver synthesizes cholesterol bricks it simultaneously produces coenzyme Q10 that is needed for cell energy production and heart health. One side street produces the selenoproteins that are the backbone antioxidant system of defense for every cell in your body, required for healthy immune function, and primary activators of thyroid hormone. This cholesterol pathway is also linked to the production of vitamin D, adrenal hormones, and sex hormones. It also makes many gene-signaling molecules in the isoprenoid family that are required for healthy cell function and the prevention of cellular mutation (cancer). All of these processes are indiscriminately interfered with by statins with potentially devastating impacts to human health – a risk that rises with the dose.
Additionally, statins can indiscriminately block cholesterol synthesis in any cell anywhere in your body. Cells make cholesterol to repair themselves. This is especially important to nerve cells, which do not split and divide like other cells in your body and therefore must repair themselves in order to survive. The receptors on nerve cells enable them to receive neurotransmitters, thereby enabling you to have cognitive function and memory. These nerve cell receptors require cholesterol bricks as part of their proper three-dimensional structure. Statins interfere with this process as an undesirable side effect, inducing slow and progressive memory loss the longer they are used – a form of slow poisoning of your brain. If you ask your doctor about your memory loss after being on statins for a few years he/she will just blow it off as aging. Most doctors do not understand what they are doing to people. In fact, gullible people who follow the Big Pharma/American Heart Association propaganda to lower their LDL cholesterol to <90 have placed themselves into an abnormally low level of LDL cholesterol that directly correlates to an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease. It is vital for your brain to use cholesterol bricks to maintain its health. Statins get in the way.
What I have tried to do thus far is give you a different perspective on the issue of cholesterol than you typically hear. Cholesterol is part of the foundation that assists survival for your body. LDL cholesterol is far from bad. And with that brief introduction let’s now get onto the actual problems and how to solve them.
Solution #1 – Stop Forcing Your Liver to Manufacture Excessive LDL Cholesterol
The most common reason for your LDL cholesterol level to be elevated is that you have been poisoning yourself with excess food. This is typically high-sugar, high-fat, low-fiber junk food – but you can also poison yourself with too much of even the finest quality food.
It is interesting that statin drugs, essentially acting as a poison to HMG CoA reductase, can enable a person to pig out on food and still have lower numbers of LDL cholesterol. This is definitely not the case for dietary supplements that assist cholesterol metabolism – eating too much food will not allow them to help lower LDL cholesterol.
When you eat excess food then fat starts to pile up in your liver, which is extremely detrimental to healthy liver function. As a self defense mechanism your liver synthesizes VLDL and packs it with fat blobs (triglycerides) as a compensating strategy to get the excess fat out of your liver. If you take statins and block this self defense mechanism, while continuing to eat too much, your liver will really take a beating and your health will deteriorate regardless of your LDL number.
The only solution is to quit eating so much. I recommend following the Five Rules of the Leptin Diet, which automatically helps your liver function much better.
Not only are Americans big on eating too much, they are typically deficient in magnesium at the same time. Magnesium is the key mineral that the HMG CoA reductase traffic cop needs in order to function normally. If your traffic cops are lacking magnesium then they can’t stop the production of cholesterol bricks. If you leave a gate to the fence open, then all the cows can inappropriately run out. A lack of magnesium is like leaving the gate open for excessive cholesterol production.
In terms of your diet, that means increase fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables to boost magnesium intake, along with eating less food. These two simple steps would do more to reduce cardiovascular disease than statin drugs in any dose or any other combination of cardiovascular drugs.
I am a big proponent of using dietary supplements to help manage cholesterol metabolism. These do not replace a good diet or exercise and no single supplement is some magic cure for lowering cholesterol. However, supplements can be quite helpful for those who desire to use them, and extra magnesium is a great place to start.
Another top choice for traffic cop assistance is the gamma tocotrienol form of vitamin E. This form of vitamin E, and no other, directly communicates to your HMG CoA traffic cops and tells them to slow down the production line. Unlike statins which clog and congest the phone system, this is a very clear phone call as if coming from the end of the production line and saying “We now have enough cholesterol bricks at this end of the line, so we don’t need you to start the production of so many new ones.” This is a consulting action with the traffic cop, not a sledgehammer to the traffic cop’s head. There is a huge difference. For part two click below.
Byron J. Richards, Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist, nationally-renowned nutrition expert, and founder of Wellness Resources is a leader in advocating the value of dietary supplements as a vital tool to maintain health. He is an outspoken critic of government and Big Pharma efforts to deny access to natural health products and has written extensively on the life-shortening and health-damaging failures of the sickness industry.
His 25 years of clinical experience from the front lines of nutrition have made him a popular radio guest who callers find impossible to stump. He has personally developed 75 unique nutraceutical-grade nutritional supplement formulas with a focus on thyroid nutrition, healthy weight loss supplements, cardiovascular nutrition, and stress management.