What is LDL? People often think that it is cholesterol but is there a “C” in there???? The letters actually stand for Low Density Lipoprotein. It is simply the delivery system that the body uses to deliver essential forms of fats and cholesterol to the cell. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol, triglycerides (fats) and a substance called phospholipids. Without it, your cells would not have a cell membrane or have the energy that needs to sustain itself. You would not exist.
Your overall health depends on a healthy cell membrane and it depends on these nutrients to sustain itself. Why is cell membrane health so important??? Well, a healthy cell membrane makes sure that right stuff is going in and the right stuff is going out of the cell.
So far LDL sounds like the friendly guy to have around so why is there so much hype about “getting your cholesterol down” and “get your LDL as low as possible”?? It is often called the “bad cholesterol” with HDL being the good cholesterol.
LDL is also the target for drugs referred to as statins which lower your LDL at a great price to your health as we are now discovering after years of statin use. Some doctors have actually suggested it should be in the water unlike fluoride as they are so convinced that by lowering LDL it will reduce the rate of heart disease. But has it lowered the rate of heart disease?? According to the CDC, rates of heart disease have remained the same from 1999-2009, with some increase for men older than 75 despite lower serum total cholesterol. Heart disease still remains the number one leading cause of death in the US.
So what is the price to our health by taking statins long term? Studies are now showing statins cause a deficiency in the powerful anti-oxidant and energy producing compound known as CoQ10. In addition, a recent study showed that statin drugs increased the risk for diabetes by 46%. BUT wait – isn’t diabetes a risk factor for heart disease??? Diabetes and obesity has continued to increase over the last 20 years; maybe we are targeting the wrong thing here. Other studies are now showing that statin drugs disrupt the microbiome and lead to weight gain!
To make matters worse, there is now conclusive evidence that too low of LDL is also harmful. After all if the cell is not getting essential nutrients to sustain itself then this cannot be good for our health. Too low of LDL has its greatest impact on the brain resulting:
- Increased risk of depression
- May lead to violent behavior and aggression
- Increased risk of cancer and Parkinson’s disease
So how do you maintain healthy LDL levels?
- Exercise has big impact on your LDL levels. Shoot for 3-4 times per week of exercise that you enjoy.
- Eat a whole food diet rich is organic, whole foods avoiding processed and fast foods.
- Eat healthy fats and avoid trans fats.
- Avoiding foods high in cholesterol has little impact on your cholesterol levels.
- Reduce grains to 1-2 servings and reduce sugar in your daily diet.
- Make sure you’re getting plenty of high-quality, omega 3-fats.
- Avoid excessive smoking and alcohol.
- Manage stress levels.
If you are concerned about your LDL levels and/or are on a statin drug, contact me today to find how you can lower your LDL naturally without drugs. In addition, genetics testing is now being used to determine if you really should be lowering your LDL with drugs. Contact me today to find out the real tests that you should be doing to test for your risk for heart disease.