Is LDL Cholesterol Bad?
Uncovering the Truth Behind the Good and Bad of Cholesterol
Throughout my many years in Practice, one of the number one questions that prevail is, “Is cholesterol bad?” The short answer is that cholesterol is necessary for life, through the production of hormones and for the protection of our body as it’s used in cells’ outer membranes while insulating nerve fibers. Cholesterol is made in the liver and delivered through the bloodstream as a key part of our immune systems. Any time there is a wound or injury that needs to be healed, cholesterol production is increased. In fact, if you don’t have enough, there’s evidence suggesting that two of the risks you may be running into are depression and dementia.
Heart disease is the body’s way of communicating injury to the heart muscle. Very high LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels are a marker of widespread vascular injury. The Allopathic Medical community likes to silence the body’s signals of excess LDL production through medication. However, the ideal solution would be to understand why the body is producing so much LDL to begin.
Causes of Bad Cholesterol
High LDL cholesterol can be attributed to the following which we will discuss more so in depth:
- Poor nutrition
Humans are not meant to eat large amounts of protein or fat. Our liver and kidneys are responsible for processing proteins to remove harmful byproducts like ammonia, but can only handle so many toxins in general. The human body is involved in fending off xenoestrogens, air pollutants, chronic infections, and mycotoxins. This leaves very little room for dealing with the metabolites of protein. Our modern world is so polluted, that humans don’t always have the necessary means to fight off natural byproducts of a healthy metabolism. If you’re consuming a high protein diet (greater than 25 percent), you should consider supplementing with glutathione intravenously to help the livers metabolism of proteins and fat. Considering a plant based diet is highly beneficial for lowering LDL cholesterol, but also in keeping the liver healthy and producing healthier cholesterol overall.
Because of the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the toxic environment we live in these days, a lot of people’s systems are constantly inflamed. The majority of this inflammation is tied directly to the health of our gut. The gut’s balance gets inflamed (for a number of reasons, all lifestyle-related), and the body’s immune system starts attacking all the wrong things. The vicious cycle starts, and just keeps on perpetuating itself leading to a multitude of GI issues such as Leaky Gut.
When your body becomes inflamed, the liver gets the message and starts pumping cholesterol out into the bloodstream. Once the threat is neutralized, they are sent back to the liver and then flushed out of the system through the normal channels such as urination. However, in a chronic state of inflammation, the liver continually pumps out cholesterol which becomes oxidized. And once that happens, it’s a lot harder for your system to get rid of them via the proper channels. Because of that, the oxidized cholesterol begins forming plaques inside the arteries. These plaques are especially damaging when they start clogging the circulatory system’s main channels—the aorta, heart, and arteries in the legs. That’s when heart disease, strokes, and atherosclerosis become real possibilities.
As mentioned previously, medications are not the answer. The solution is actually much simpler than you’d think. Eat less meat and more plants. There is no downside to eating more plants and less meat.
One of the things that works to flush plaque from our arteries is fiber. Outside of what we make ourselves, our only other source of cholesterol is from saturated and trans fats in the meat we eat. As you begin to eat more plants, your system starts cleaning itself.
Changes in lifestyle and diet work on the problem at the root. Which, if you’ll remember, is the gut. Studies have repeatedly shown that the key to a healthy gut is removing the burden on the gut which can easily be determined through an at-home test kit I offer all of my patients. Once the gut gets healthy, the body is no longer constantly inflamed, and the liver doesn’t have to pump out more and more cholesterol.
If you suffer from high cholesterol or heart disease, consider scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Nirvana here.