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Cholesterol and Heart Disease

21st October 2006 by Carol Posted in Uncategorized

It is not a secret that cholesterol and heart disease go together.  It is also well known that there are two kinds of cholesterol, both of which have effects on your coronary system.  With this in mind, you should also know that when you reduce your cholesterol, you are actually reducing your risk of heart disease as well.

There have been a lot of studies done that have shown that cholesterol and heart disease are directly connected.  These studies also show that most of the problems are caused by an elevated inclusion of low-density lipoproteins in the blood.  This is called LDL, or bad cholesterol.  It cannot be dissolved into the blood stream and must be carried by other proteins from cell-to-cell.

The human body naturally produces both types of cholesterol: LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol).  It is used in various functions of the body.  One of these functions is carrying proteins to cells and other internal organs.  While HDL may seem good, it is also linked to cholesterol and heart disease too.

Low-density lipoproteins (lipids) also accumulate in the blood vessels.  These are blamed for blood clots because they narrow the passageway of the blood vessels thus causing the heart to have to pump harder in order to get the blood through it.  This results in high blood pressure.  Cholesterol and heart disease also occur whenever these lipid accumulations get to a point where they completely block an artery.  The result of this is a heart attack.

Of course, there are other causes of heart disease that are currently being studied.  Researchers have advised doctors that they should continue to operate on the premise that cholesterol and heart disease go together.  However, at times when a natural means of reducing bad cholesterol levels does not appear to be helping, doctors are able to turn to medications to help them reduce a patient’s cholesterol.

Having a level under 200 is what is considered to be a good cholesterol level.  Then 201 to 239 is considered to be borderline.  This can usually be lowered through changing a person’s diet.  However, once a person’s cholesterol goes over 240 they should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.  While there are other ways in which to reduce the risk of heart problems, cholesterol and heart disease are the main factors that doctors are focusing on.

In order to improve your diet and avoid problems with cholesterol you should avoid eating a lot of red meat, whole milk, eggs and butter.  You also should avoid eating fried foods.  Some processed foods also contain trans fatty acids.  These make the body produce cholesterol and so they should be avoided as well.  Instead, if you are trying to eat a heart-healthy diet then you should eat a lot of grains and vegetables.

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3 Responses to “Cholesterol and Heart Disease”

  1. Arrow Durfee Says:

    As to whether eating red meat, whole milk eggs and butter truely is caustive or effective in controlling cholesterol or creating elevated cholesterols is controversal.

    Those who particpate in Adkins or Adkins like diets report contrary. These people often report lowered cholesterols with elevated “good” cholesterols.

    Some evidence points to high carbohydrate diets with carbs derived from sugars, breads, potatoes, pastas, and refined wheat products as the true culprets of the issue. Carbohydrates should primarily come from fresh fruits and vegetables. Fats from whole food natural sources.

    Read “Protient Power” by Drs. Eades (husband and wife) who have done clinical research on the issue.

  2. Mad Scientest Says:

    Is Cholesterol Really The Evil Villain That It Is Made Out To Be?

    Is high cholesterol really a problem? We keep hearing how we must keep our cholesterol low, but how low is low enough? A few years back anything below 300 was OK, this was then reduced to anything below 250, now it suppose to be below 200. How were these numbers determined? Is this really as serious a health problem as we are lead to believe? I do not think so. This is my story and how I arrived at this conclusion.

    About two years ago I went to my family witch doctor for a general physical exam. He preformed the usual tests and determined that my blood pressure was too high and my cholesterol was 220, gave me some pills for the BP and told me to come back in 6 months. I go back after the 6 months get more tests, BP is down, and a couple days latter his nurse calls and tells me my cholesterol is now 190, and I’m thinking gee that’s good, but she then says the doctor wants me to take some pills to get it lower. At this point the only thing I know about cholesterol is what little I have heard and read, basically high bad, low good.

    OK so I go get my new pills ($100 for one month, ouch!) anyway come back home tear open the bag and read the label. It instructs me to take two pills at night before bed. However a half-hour before I take them I am suppose to take an aspirin! What is this? Why do I need to take an aspirin? This does not make sense. So I then read the little info sheet that came with the pills, I guess you’re not really suppose to do that, but I did anyway. Well it seems that the aspirin is used to counteract the undesirable “side effects” of the cholesterol pills. Question. If these pills are such a good medicine why should I need an aspirin to counter act their “bad side effects”? This just seemed wrong!

    I needed more information. So I go to the internet visit a bunch of sites and read all I can about these pills and the more I learned the more I questioned them and the less I liked them. But realizing that this is a cholesterol-lowering drug and that I knew virtually nothing about cholesterol again I went on-line, and looked at numerous sites to see what I could learn about high cholesterol levels. Gee wiz guess what? There are two schools of though out there, but one would never know that by listening to the usual outlets that keep repeating high cholesterol bad, low cholesterol good. Yet there is data that contradicts this conventional view.

    There were tests done that showed when a group of individuals with high cholesterol were given cholesterol lower drugs they did in fact lower their cholesterol and there were fewer fatalities from heart problems. On the surface this of course was news good and it “was” the information that was quoted on the drug companies web sites to show how great their pills worked. But when citing this information a point that the drug companies failed to mention (I’m sure it was just an oversight) was that while these drugs did save a few individuals from dieing of heart problems that was simply because the side effects of taking their pills was killing them before they could die of heart problems. This from a pill that was to make them healthier and livelonger.

    Also there are statistics that show that those individuals who have managed to live into their 80’s & 90’s typically have high cholesterol numbers, while for the most part all their friends with low numbers had already past on.

    A team of U.S. and Swedish researchers also found that “elevated” levels of total cholesterol recorded while subjects were in their early 70s were linked with reduced dementia risk in their later 70s. Furthermore, elevated total cholesterol throughout their 70s was associated with reduced dementia risk throughout their 80s.

    According to a 2004 study conducted at the State University of New York and reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, healthy, non-exercising adults who followed an ultra low-fat diet saw their levels of the “good” cholesterol, “drop significantly”. When these “same” subjects were then placed on 3 weeks worth of a “high-fat diet”, their healthy HDL zoomed upward but WITHOUT raising LDL beyond levels they maintained on their normal diets.

    However the statistic I found most interesting was for those individuals with “normal” cholesterol numbers, surely this group of “healthy” individuals must be living longer, it’s just a logical assumption. But unfortunately no, they are for all practical purposes having just as many heart problems as those with high numbers.

    So what about those individuals with extremely low numbers, now here surely there must be a relation to heart problems, and there is. It would seem that these individuals are the more likely to have heart problems then all others.

    So form this and similar reports, and contrary to what is universally accepted, I have concluded that high cholesterol numbers by themselves do not constitute a health threat and are actually probably beneficial.

    Consequently what we need to know is where did these numbers for cholesterol come from and how were they determined? Will it seems they were determined by a group of distinguished doctors who sat down and carefully reviewed all of the data and then decided that this is what was needed to protect the heath of society.
    The fact that the majority of these doctors just happened to either be directly or indirectly receiving money from the drug companies that were making these pills was just a coincidence. These distinguished doctors probably realized that order to protect their income and grant money that meant these new lowers standards were a requirement.

    While the drug companies claim no pressure was ever applied to the doctors for their opinions, still every time the standards where lower this meant that a whole group of people who were previously considered health were now suddenly considered to be sick. But that’s Ok because the drug companies just happened to have the pills to make them better (provided they didn’t kill them first) and of course it was just an unintended consequence that the lower numbers also meant that the drug companies were now able to make million of dollars in new sales.

    It was at this point that I took my $100 bottle of pills and threw them in the garbage.

  3. Arrow Durfee Says:

    Bravo! This is the crux of the issue! Profits for companies who’s only concern is their profit margin not your health. That cholesterol pill, Mad Scientist, wasn’t made by Bayer was it? As in Bayer Aspirin?

    Tossing that bottle in the garbage probably saved you much more that $100 in the long run!

    BTW, in Europe, cholesterol medications have CoEnzyme Q10 in the same pill. Apparently cholesterol lowering medications annihilate this important enzyme leading to further cardiac disease and well as a whole host of other maladies. In the US some of the cholesterol lowering product package inserts mention the need for supplementation of this enzyme, not that the doctor would ever bring it to your attention.