Elevated cholesterol levels have been indicted as a major cause of coronary heart disease, the most common cause of heart attack. Cholesterol’s role in this condition, and the proper management of it, is one that engenders considerable controversy in health care. This is reasonable when one considers that people react differently to the same diet, i.e., every person has “biochemical individuality.” (Systems D.C., 1992)
However, at the Sahara Clinic, each patient will receive a copy of food allergens that can cause abnormal elevated cholesterol problems. Dr. Sahara recognizes every patient is an individual, however, there are certain chemical as well as food allergens that cause cholesterol imbalances. (Dr. Sahara, 2005)
There is no universal proper approach, yet many food advertisements lead one to believe that management of cholesterol levels consists of simply using the food product being advertised. A sound approach considers many factors, as well as the individuality of each person. (Systems D.C., 1992)
For some people the American Heart Association’s diet is a proper approach. It is low in cholesterol and saturated fat. To reduce saturated fat, unsaturated fat is substituted, not to exceed 10% of the total calories. This major dietary change for the general population is not accepted by the National Research Council, which comments on the dietary recommendations of the American Heart Association and the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, “Unfortunately the benefit of altering the diet to this extent has not been established.”
They go on to state, “…the studies employing diets containing 35-40% of calories from fat and higher P:S ratios (polyunsaturated to saturated) have shown equivocal effects on coronary disease and have been accompanied by a somewhat greater incidence of gastrointestinal disease.”
“No significant correlation between cholesterol intake and serum cholesterol concentration has been shown in free-living persons in this country. For these reasons, the board makes no specific recommendations about dietary cholesterol for the healthy person.” Dr. Sahara will enlighten the patient on what can structurally, chemically, and emotionally cause the cholesterol imbalance. Therefore, correcting the cause with safe non-evasive treatments usually resolves the issues quickly. See patient testimonial page.
Mass modification of the general population’s diet appears to be ill-advised. The Canadian Committee on Diet and Cardiovascular Disease states in their recommendation, “Evidence is mounting that dietary cholesterol may not be important to the great majority of people and that severe restrictions of cholesterol need only be applied to those genetically disposed toward hypercholesterolemia. Thus a diet restricted in cholesterol would not be necessary for the general population.”
It is important to understand some of the many factors important in cholesterol regulation. A diet good for one person may not be proper for another because of hereditary factors, again a person’s biochemical individuality. Some need to restrict their cholesterol intake severely, whereas in others restriction makes little difference.
The important factor is to evaluate one’s cholesterol level and diet and make the appropriate changes, if necessary. Major changes in the diet that are not appropriate may have harmful results. Some people have been influenced by advertising to greatly increase their polyunsaturated fat intake to reduce their cholesterol level. This is in direct conflict with the recommendation of the National Academy of Science, which advises decrease of polyunsaturated fat to prevent certain kinds of cancer. And even that statement has been under investigation.
Processed foods are a major contributing factor to the cholesterol problem. Some of the adulterations are removal of natural fiber, hydrogenation of fats, and artificial foods.
Sometimes a person may have good intentions about reducing his/her cholesterol levels, but s/he fails in the effort because of adulterated or processed foods. In an effort to reduce cholesterol intake, many have increased the use of vegetable oils, which are one type of polyunsaturated fat. Unfortunately, many of these oils are processed to change them from their natural chemical “cis” configuration to the artificial “trans” configuration. This is done by adding hydrogen to the fat molecule, which causes oil to solidify; this is desirable for spreading, as in margarine.
Hydrogenation also helps prevent the oil from becoming rancid. Economically this is good for the producer. It allows the oils to be used as a spread like butter, increasing sales, and the product is more stable in the food distribution system. These fats may contain more saturated fats than butter, whole milk, or meat, and have few or no vitamins and minerals. Many people include margarine in their diet to increase vegetable oil. Unfortunately, hydrogenation of vegetable oils defeats the purpose of increasing them in the diet.
A very high percentage of processed foods contain detrimental hydrogenation oils, identified on food labels by various terms such as “hardened vegetable oil,” or “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.”
All natural vegetable oils are not of the desirable polyunsaturated variety. Palm kernel and coconut oil are often used in artificial creamers, non-diary toppings, and other artificial and processed foods. They are highly saturated vegetable oils that should be avoided. The low cost of these oils makes them attractive to the food processor.
A general consideration of cholesterol, its use in the body, and the controlling mechanisms will help put the subject into perspective. Cholesterol is not a substance that can or should be completely avoided. Many people are aware that in addition to the cholesterol included in our diet, our bodies also manufacture it. Nearly all body tissues have been shown capable of producing cholesterol. A typical cholesterol problem is usually linked with Adrenal Stress Illness (see Adrenal Stress Illness).
Many times high or abnormal levels of cholesterol can be linked to an adrenal stress problem. When the doctor fixes the adrenals, the patient?s cholesterol levels normalize (Dr. Sahara). The body/ adrenal cortex needs cholesterol to synthesize three major hormones: 1) cortisol 2) aldosterone 3) sex hormones: a) estrogen b) progesterone c) testosterone. If one avoids cholesterol, the patient can have some serious problems (Dr. Sahara). The body?s cholesterol levels tend to remain quite stable, regardless of the amount of cholesterol ingested. When you eat less cholesterol, your body tends to manufacture more, maintaining the stable levels (System D.C. 1992). Usually, when you fix the adrenals: 1) structurally 2) chemically 3) mentally, the cholesterol problem resolves.
The two main types of cholesterol are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is the bad cholesterol that adheres to the blood vessel wall, building plaque. It can close off the blood vessels, reducing or preventing the passage of blood. HDL is good cholesterol that helps remove the plaque. Usually the blood is tested for the level of total cholesterol and HDL, expressed as the total cholesterol/ HDL cholesterol ratio. It is a good measure of a person’s coronary heart disease risk. One wants the LDL to be low and the HDL to be high.
Cholesterol is necessary in proper amounts. It is the raw material from which some hormones are produced. Rarely are cholesterol levels too low. The total elevation and balance between the types of cholesterol are the important considerations. Cholesterol levels vary with age, tending to rise with advancing years. In 1979, cholesterol researchers concluded that the ideal level for adults is in the range of 130-190 mg/ dl. With increasing elevation, the risk of coronary heart disease increases.
It is important to have your blood cholesterol tested periodically. This should be done in all age ranges, and it becomes more important with increase risk, such as high blood pressure, thyroid deficiency, heart, or stroke hereditary, advancing age, liver congestion, smoking, obesity, and poor circulation. Because everyone in a family tends to follow the same diet pattern, all members should be tested if elevated cholesterol is found in one member.
When the blood cholesterol is high or the total / HDL cholesterol ration is elevated, your doctor should determine the proper diet &/ or nutritional supplementation to correct the condition. The proper approach will vary because of biochemical individuality, your general diet history, and balance of vitamins and minerals.
Although the American Heart Association’s recommendation is to limit cholesterol to 300 mg per day, this not necessary for a large percentage of the population. Three hundred mg to cholesterol is about the amount in one egg. Studies have shown no difference in blood cholesterol levels when people have eaten eggs every day for three months as compared with eating no eggs for three months. This does not mean one can increase cholesterol intake with impurity. Remember biochemical individuality! Everyone is different. What is good for me; might be lethal to you. What is harmless to you, might be deadly to me. Follow your doctor’s advice, based on your examination.
There are several vitamins and minerals that influence cholesterol levels. For example, copper deficiency has been shown to cause elevated blood cholesterol. Zinc and copper are antagonists. When large amounts of zinc is ingested, it lowers the body’s copper levels. Sometimes people create problems by improperly using nutritional supplements. If one takes zinc to combat the cold or otherwise enhance the immune system, s/he may be creating a much worse problem by decreasing copper levels. Again the balance of these minerals should be evaluated by your doctor.
Niacin, one of the B vitamins, lowers cholesterol when taken in high dosages. This should be done only with your doctor?s recommendation. Taking high dosages of niacin is using it as a medication rather than as a nutrient. It can throw your nutritional balance off, causing serious side effects.
Dietary fiber is important in the proper control of cholesterol. When fiber is inadequate, the bowel transit time is slowed, causing increased cholesterol absorption. Many diets lack adequate fiber because of the refining and processed foods. The best fiber to lower cholesterol is oat bran. T can be used in cooking, such as making oat bran muffins, or eaten cereal. However, many times if one eats oat muffins, the cholesterol could possibly in control, but now the patient’s adrenals and blood sugar become a problem. Other good sources of fiber that lower cholesterol are apples and beans.
Certain types of fats help lower cholesterol. Often the recommendation is given to increase polyunsaturated fats, which are generally vegetable oils. This too, should be put into proper perspective, depending on your body needs. Research has shown that excessive polyunsaturated fats may have an adverse effect on the body’s immune system. They may also enhance the development of certain types of cancers.
Exercise helps increase HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels. The activity does not have to be vigorous. One of the research studies was done for a year on mailmen walking their routes.
Certain medications elevated cholesterol levels; on the other hand there are medications to lower cholesterol. Since side effects can develop from the medication, it is generally agreed that the best method of controlling cholesterol is by diet, with nutritional supplementation when needed.
This has been just a brief discussion on cholesterol. The important factor is to have your cholesterol level tested. If it is elevated or the total cholesterol / HDL ratio is bad, consult your Applied Kinesiologist for a thorough examination, diet, and nutritional supplementation & / or other recommendations.
The examination is necessary because there are other factors not discussed here that might be causing the elevated cholesterol, such as a sluggish liver, thyroid deficiency, or poor lymphatic drainage. Find the cause to your cholesterol problem at the Sahara Clinic.
Let Dr. Sahara help you resolve your cholesterol problem – naturally and safely.
(Systems DC, 1992)