It's the topic no one is talking about (except your doctor) because you want to avoid it altogether, don't you?! What about those numbers the doctor keeps talking about? What do they REALLY mean? And wait, I have OPTIONS?!?! Sometimes you wonder if what you're doing to address it on your own, or not doing, is even working. There are ways to know exactly what is working AND to stay at healthy levels WITHOUT prescription meds. Do you know your numbers and what they mean?
I just heard a story about two men at church the other day talking about the meds they were on. One of the men started talking about prescriptions for his blood pressure and his cholesterol. The other man told him the different prescriptions he was taking for the same thing. One of the men I know was in his 60s, but I was shocked at how young the other man looked! But according to a 2014 CDC report, the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs increased with age -- 17 percent of those aged 40 to 59 took such medications, while use increased to 48 percent among those 75 and older. Leading up to the time of the report those numbers were on the rise, so they may be even higher now. This means that if you are between the age of 40 and 59 you have a 1 in 5 chance of using a prescription to help control your cholesterol. Unfortunately, these powerful drugs come with a laundry list of side-effects including increased mortality of up to 990% (yes, nine-hundred ninety with a nine, nine and a zero) if you do have a heart attack, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, muscle pain, and memory problems.
I’m not a doctor, but I’ve got a masters of science, and I’ve been researching alternative and natural health for well over a decade. When it comes to dealing with health issues I realized a long time ago that nobody was going to fight for me the way I was going to fight for me. So I became my own advocate, and it has CHANGED. MY. LIFE. Today I’m not going to give you medical advice, but I am going to try to provide you with some facts that will help you make more INFORMED decisions.
FACT #1: Fat and cholesterol is your friend, not the enemy.
We've heard by now about coconut oil & its heart-healthy benefits, but what about MCT oil? This is saturated fat in coconut oil or medium-chain triglycerides, and it boosts metabolism, reverses insulin resistance, and improves cognitive function. Coconut oil is also antifungal and antimicrobial. MCTs are odd—they travel from the gut straight to the liver, meaning they’re not stored in our fat cells. Instead, they convert easily into energy. Experiments have shown that when overweight subjects consume MCT oil (Link), it speeds up their metabolisms and leads to weight loss and a better ratio of good to bad cholesterol.
Coconut also contains lauric acid, which is great for immune function. The only other good source is breast milk. By the way, breast milk is 24 percent saturated fat—far higher than the 6 percent the AHA recommends. Who would you trust, nature/God or the American Heart Association?
Increase the right fats into your diet! Avocado, nuts, seeds, grass-fed butter, MCT oil in your coffee, tea, smoothies, EO veggie capsules. But I also advise you to dramatically decrease the amount of sugar and flour they eat. Foods actually do a better job of lowering your cholesterol, in a healthy way, than any prescriptions.
FACT #2: Exercise and reduce stress
Exercise is a necessity, not a luxury, in preventing almost all chronic diseases, from heart disease to cancer, from dementia to diabetes, from osteoporosis to osteoarthritis. You cannot age successfully without it. It is how we are designed. Stress alone can cause a heart attack. It is often the trigger that leads to the cascade of events that causes that final, fatal heart attack. But all along the way, it contributes to heart disease by creating inflammation, raising your cholesterol and blood sugar, causing high blood pressure and even making your blood more likely to clot. Therefore, finding ways to manage stress, to relax, and to find the pause button is essential for dealing with nearly all chronic health conditions, including high cholesterol.
Find at least THREE tools you use to manage stress. Mine are prayer, walking, and essential oils.
FACT #3: Get the right tests.
Total cholesterol, HDL, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Your total cholesterol should be under 200. Your triglycerides should be under 100. Your HDL should be over 60. Your LDL should be ideally under 80. Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be less than 3.0. Your ratio of triglycerides to HDL should be no greater than 4, which can indicate insulin resistance if elevated. NMR Lipid Profile, particle size test. Other cholesterol tests are outdated. A regular cholesterol test won’t reveal particle size. The tests to get are either an NMR Lipid Panel from LabCorp or the Cardio IQ Test from Quest Diagnostics. Insist on one of these tests. They are the only way to know what’s really going on with your cholesterol. You want to see results that show lots of safe, light, fluffy, big cholesterol particles. You do not want to see small, dense, artery-damaging cholesterol particles. There are a few other tests you can request, but these are a great start.
FACT #4: Supplements are key.
Everyone must take a good multivitamin and mineral, as well as a purified fish oil supplement that contains 1000 to 2000 grams a day of EPA/DHA. More may be necessary for those with low HDL and high triglycerides.
Red rice yeast (two 600-mg capsules twice a day), which is another powerful cholesterol-lowering herbal formula. See below how you can get a 20% discount to a high-quality source for this supplement!
When you fill out this quick 2-minute survey and use code AMYMILLER to receive your 20% discount and a free functional health strategy session with my good friend and physician assistant, Kelly Couch. In fact, we'll be interviewing Kelly in an upcoming Free Friday live so let me know below what topics you want to hear about.
Dr. Mark Hyman, functional medicine doctor and best selling author says "in the rare occasions when I needs to use medications and I need to use a statin - it's only if the patient has had a heart attack, heart disease or if had multiple other risk factors while carefully monitoring for muscle and liver damage. Many people experience significant side effects with them - from memory loss to muscle pains & aches, depletion of your body's vital nutrients, increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and more."
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