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Sue's Blog

Friday, 08/22/14 - Is Lowering Cholesterol to prevent disease really a myth?

Why have we been led to believe that having high cholesterol is BAD and lowering our cholesterol is good? High cholesterol is actually a protective factor in ALS?  What about this myth that fat is BAD for us?  What are good fats for our brain?  Some of the good fats he's listed are grass fed beef, clean poultry and pork without all the antibiotics and nitrates, fish, olive oil, avocado to name a few....===>   Click Here to listen to Dr. David Perlmutter's interview on The Gluten Summit


From David Perlmutter, MD – excerpt taken from ‘Brain Grain’ – page 78-79

“Nothing could be further from the truth than the myth that if we lower our cholesterol levels we might have a greater chance of living longer and healthier lives.  In a recent report appearing in the prestigious medical journal the Lancet, researchers from the Netherlands studied 724 elderly individuals whose average age was eighty-nine years and followed them for ten years.  *A.W. Weverling-Rijnsburger, et al., “Total Cholesterol and Risk of Mortality in the Oldest Old,” Lancet 350, no. 9085 (October 18, 1997): 1119-23. 

What they found was truly extraordinary. During the study, 642 participants died. Each thirty-nine-point increase in total cholesterol corresponded to a 15 percent decrease in morality risk.  In the study, there was absolutely no difference in the resk of drying from coronary artery disease between the high-versus low-cholesterol groups, which is incredible when you consider the number of elderly folks who are taking powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs. Other common causes of death in the elderly were found to be dramatically associated with LOWER cholesterol.”

Perhaps one of the most extraordinary studies performed on the positive impact of cholesterol on the entire neurological system is a 2008 report published in the journal Neurology which describes high cholesterol as a protective factor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). *L. Dupuis, et al., “Dyslipidemia Is a Protective Factor in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis,” Neurology 70, no. 13 (March 25, 2008): 1004-09.   There is no meaningful treatment for ALS, a devastating disease that I deal with in my medical practice on a daily basis. 

ALS is a chronic degenerative disorder of the body’s motor neurons that leads to death within two to five years of onset.  The FDA has approved one medication, Rilutek, that may extend life by approximately three months, at best.  But it’s very expensive and toxic to the liver; most patients refuse to take it.  In this study from French investigators, however, it was shown that those individuals with considerably higher cholesterol ratios lived, on average, one year longer than patients with lower levels, when compared with normal controls.  As the authors stated: “Hyperlipidemia (HIGH levels of cholesterol) is a significant prognostic factor for SURVIVAL of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.   This finding highlights the importance of nutritional intervention strategies on disease progression and claims our attention when treating these patients with lipid lowering drugs.”

'Grain Brain' Excerpt from Page 80- the MYTH about FAT being bad for us -

"We can’t limit our talk about fat to just brain health.  Volumes have been written in the scientific literature about fat and heart health as well, but not in the context I know you’re thinking about.  In 2010, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an astonishing study that revealed the truth behind urben legends about fat, especially the saturated kind, and heart disease. *P.W. Siri-Tarino, et al., “Meta-analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies Evaluating the Association of Saturated Fat with Cardiovascular Disease,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 91, no. 3 (March 2010): 535-46

The study was a retrospective evaluation of twenty-one previous medical reports involving more than three hundred forty thousand subjects followed from periods of five to twenty-five years.  It concluded that “intake of saturated fat was NOT associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.”   Dr. David Perlmutter - 'Grain Brain'


What I’ve been learning from Dr. Perlmutter is that it’s really NOT high cholesterol or fat that’s causing all the disease and death it’s the CARBS which people are addicted to.   I know that’s harsh to say but it’s the truth.   So why all the rave about low fat diets?  And why are they pushing all the carbs, sugar, gluten/wheat that are bad for us?  Especially in our schools!  Calling ketchup a vegetable?  Really?  Bottom line?  


It’s all about MONEY!  It's been drilled into people with billions of dollars of marketing that fats are bad and carbs are good.    Don’t just take my word for it, look at the research, it’s there, perhaps people just aren’t looking for it. 


Personally I’ve had what most medical doctors consider high cholesterol ever since I can remember. It runs in my family and my body produces it naturally.  Perhaps there’s a very good reason for that?   The doctors tried to put me on Lipitor back in 2003 and I refused to take it because I read all the negative side effects including bad for my liver.  I didn't need more chronic health issues.  Glad I made the decision to listen to my Functional Medicine doctor back in 2005 and have since been educating myself from Dr. Perlmutter and other Functional Medicine doctors I've connected with like Dr. Tom O'Bryan and Dr. Mark Hyman and the research they are all siting.  It's all there for anyone who really wants to see it. 


It's a good thing too since my brain was affected by the gluten/wheat sensitivities in 2008 and I was actually losing my memory and in the early stages of Dementia.   It could have been made much worse too if I had taken a cholesterol lowering drug.  It's up to each person who wants to educate themselves to read more about all of this in his book. 


Please pass this on, it just might save someone's life!

Sue Seward
Gluten Free Lady

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