Someone recently wrote in and asked if I could recommend something other than statin drugs to lower cholesterol.
The quick and dirty response is “NO”, but that’s certainly too blunt.
The primary question is actually about the necessity for statin drugs in the first place. After years of reading research papers – ad nauseum – I have concluded that there is little legitimate need to lower cholesterol at all. Of course, there are people who have a genetic condition that causes dramatically elevated serum cholesterol – hypercholesterolemia. That is not the case for the vast majority of people who seem to be on a frantic quest to lower their cholesterol levels down to a range their doctor thinks is good for them – even though there’s scant scientific and clinical evidence that cholesterol is harmful. In addition, does anyone really know what lab tests are necessary, what time of day to collect samples, and what values are best?
Cholesterol is an important substance in our bodies. It’s actually a pre-hormone, the precursor to all hormones. Intentionally lowering cholesterol levels with drugs diminishes the ability of the body to make and use the hormones it needs. One chemical pathway demonstrates how cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone, then to progesterone, then to estrogen and testosterone.
Many research projects have shown that lowering cholesterol accomplishes little to nothing to reduce coronary disease or stroke – the predominant reason doctors so often prescribe cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
It is illogical that so many people have a “disease” that can only be treated with a lifetime dosing of a drug, especially when the drug carries so many side effects, including muscle pain, weakened muscles (the heart is a muscle), depletion of Coenzyme Q10, joint pain, and death.
The primary benefit of statin drugs is to the drug manufacturers.
Humans make their own cholesterol from carbohydrates, not fats. The most harmful sources of carbohydrates are grains (wheat, corn, etc), sugar, and processed foods. Contrary to popular belief, fats are good for the body and a great source of calories (think energy), especially coconut oil, olive oil, and many animal fats – including butter.
Every few years the medical talking heads decide on new normal levels of cholesterol and they add in several sub-categories and ratios that further complicate things. It almost seems that generating confusion is intentional.
From all the above, and more, I concluded many years ago that fixating on lowering cholesterol – except in extreme situations – is unnecessary and potentially harmful. That being the case, I don’t have a suggestion for lowering cholesterol by any means, especially with statins.
The human body is wonderfully made and it does not need chemicals to survive, particularly ones that are used for life and can cause serious illness and death. Cholesterol levels rise and fall throughout the day in response to the needs of living. Appropriate cholesterol levels will naturally be achieved by consuming clean food and water, modest exercise, and taking a few supplements (primarily because our food supply is often deficient in the substances we need to stay healthy and live longer).
I am not a physician and I am not advising anyone to stop following their doctor’s orders. I’m reporting my conclusions about lowering cholesterol and I strongly suggest discussing all of this with the doctor.