I was reading one of my many books on cholesterol and it really hit me how wrong - dead wrong the concept of good and bad cholesterol is.
I am in now way the first person to say this by any stretch of the imagination. However I feel that for the sake of my clients and others who read this blog who have fallen prey to this myth and are ingesting liver damaging and muscle wasting drugs called statins I must shout this out loudly:
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOOD AND BAD CHOLESTEROL.
The concept is a marketing ploy used successfully by drug companies to get you dependent on their expensive products.
And yes - doctors are just as easily persuaded by the marketing and are surprisingly unaware of the science on the issue. Shockingly unaware I should say.
Cholesterol is just cholesterol. Again this ain't my idea - it's fact.
LDL or the 'bad cholesterol' isn't even cholesterol - its a protein. Yes a protein. And the job of this protein it to transport cholesterol to tissues to regenerate more healthy cells and repair damaged ones. Indeed LDL is a taxi cab that gives cholesterol a ride in order to make more healthy cells so that you (and all other living things for that matter) can continue living healthfully.
HDL or the 'good cholesterol' isn't cholesterol either - its a protein too. And its job it to take cholesterol back to your liver to essentially recycle it for reuse as cholesterol is an expensive molecule for your liver to produce. HDL's job is NOT to remove cholesterol from your body or gobble it up and destroy it.
So let's think about this for a sec - if you decrease your LDL what exactly are you doing? You are in essence decreasing your bodies ability to create new, healthy cells.
Same goes for decreasing HDL. Not good. Bad, in fact.
Now, LDL proteins have essentially 2 sizes - small and large. The small particles are the ones that can get stuck inside the nooks and crannies or gaps (called the gap junction) of the vessel walls. When they get stuck they oxidize and become rancid as all non moving fats will do. Diet regulate the size of these particles. Small LDL particles, it appears, are created by a poor diet specifically ingesting foods high in sugar.
So if you think that slice of Wonder whole wheat bread or that bowl of Quaker oatmeal (sugar) is doing you and your heart some good, think again. Its just more propaganda that we've all fallen for. Glucose is an extremely inflammatory substance and is far more likely to cause heart disease than our friend cholesterol.
The large LDL particles are the ones that won't get stuck and the ones we want plenty of. Eating healthfully assures this.
Statins tend to decrease both HDL and the number of large LDL particles and increase the number of small particles. This is shown is research.
What this all means is, cholesterol lowering drugs are then the real demons - they are the destroyers of our health not cholesterol.
Cholesterol is our friend.