For 30 years we have been bombarded with cholesterol and heart disease solutions that don't work.
"Lower your cholesterol," say the drug companies ads and everything will be just fine. It's not quite so simple.
Cholesterol is essential for a healthy body and our liver manufactures far more of it than we eat.
It's amazing and somewhat frustrating to me that the other important heart attack and stroke risks are largely ignored by the medical community. Robert Superko, MD, director of research at Berkeley Heart Lab explains a little known secret.
"Cholesterol is not the problem we thought it was. Relying on total cholesterol levels as a risk factor for coronary artery disease may not be wise since 80% of coronary patients have the same cholesterol as individuals who do not develop the disease."
Certain members of the pharmaceutical industry do not look upon this finding as good news. Cholesterol lowering drugs now have total annual sales of more than $14 billion!
A piece of the cholesterol and heart disease puzzle that the above illustration fails to describe is what causes the "bad" LDL cholesterol to stick to the artery walls.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of The Perricone Connection explains how cholesterol and heart disease works.
"To visualize how LDL cholesterol operates, think about rust. Rust occurs when metal oxidizes. Rust corrodes and eats away the metal, ultimately destroying it.
Similarly, when LDLs are oxidized in our bodies by free radicals or sugar, the LDL molecules create an inflammatory cascade resulting in cell and artery damage, irritation of the artery walls, and fatty streaks.
More oxidized LDLs start to build up at this spot, producing an artery-blocking plaque. Left untreated, this plaque eventually closes the artery entirely, leading to a possible heart attack or stroke."
Dr. Lundell, author of The Cholesterol Lie, adds his thoughts to what rally causes heart disease, and it is not just high cholesterol.
"I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact."
Dr. Lundell says that the true cause of artery clogging is the inflammation in our bodies caused by the foods we eat,
"Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vesseel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol woul move freely thoughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped."
The ambitious goal of prescribing statins to as many as 70 million people is to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes in the United States, not merely to get patient's LDL cholesterol - the so called "bad" kind that's been pictured as the villain of heart disease.
Cholesterol is essential for digestion, hormonal balance and cell function, but at high concentrations can gum up arteries when inflammation and oxidation are present.
So what are your options? A few years ago I came across a natural product called policosanol (pronounced poly-cos-a-nol) that is backed up by a ton of research.
Dr. Michael Murray, author of Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, one of the most renowned doctors of natural medicine provides us with a second opinion about this natural supplement derived from sugar cane..
"In a 1997 head-to-head study policosanol was compared with statin drugs lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol) Policosanol and ZOCOR were found to be equally effective in lowering cholesterol during an eight week study...but policosano extracted from sugar cane also significantly increased HDL-cholesterol levels and Zocor did not."
"This alternative for Lipitor has benefits superior to statins in reducing triglycerides, raising HDL (good) cholesterol, and altering the size of LDL molecules from small and dense to large and fluffy thus reducing their plaque-forming effect.
You may still be skeptical about trying this all safe, all natural product for cholesterol and heart disease. I know I was when I first learned about policosanol and before I began to use it to change my life. Following are my personal policosanol benefits:
"After 60 days on policosanol I had my cholesterol checked and my policosanol benefits included:
Total cholesterol dropped from 255 to 226 but the best news is that the HDLs went up 43% and LDLs dropped 14% for an improvement in the important Cholesterol to HDL ratio of a whopping 38%.
"How fortunate for me that I found the Millen's Vital Heart Health for Life site. I ordered policosanol and within six months my HDL began improving.
My last test, three months ago showed my HDL at 36, not ideal I realize, but for me the best it has ever been. Triglycerides and LDL were also within normal range, and my total cholesterol was 180.
"I am so very thankful that Gene and Bernie Millen continue to offer what I consider life-saving advice, and products such as policosanol, for those of us who are desperately searching for alternatives to the "traditional" drugs prescribed by most physicians today.
Janelle Carey, Savoy, Illinois
An Excellent cholesterol and heart disease solution is Vital Life Nutrionals Policosanol Extra Strength capsules (made with the same formula used in the clinical studies) On sale...Save 40%!
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