What is Cholesterol?  Is it damaging your heart?

Cholesterol is a very important molecule.  
Cholesterol is your body's own anti-inflammatory agent. If you have inflammation, your body will produce
cholesterol to help control the inflammation.

Cholesterol is one of the only
anti-oxidants that the body can create by itself.  Anti-oxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin
E, cholesterol, etc.) protect your body by neutralizing damaging free radicals.  When you have insufficient intake
of anti-oxidants in your diet,
your body will produce cholesterol to protect your body.  

Cholesterol is the building block of many hormones and nutrients in the body including testosterone,
estrogen, DHEA, progesterone, cortisol and vitamin D.   
Without cholesterol, these important molecules
can not be produced
in the body.

Cholesterol is also a
repair molecule that patches up damage in all of the cells in your body. If your
cardiovascular system is damaged by inflammation or free radicals, cholesterol is released into your blood in
order to repair the damage.

If your body produces a large amount of cholesterol, you can deduce that you are either in a state of
inflammation, you require more of a certain type of hormone or nutrient, you are not meeting your anti-oxidant
demand or some other form of distress is causing damage to your body.  It is the inflammation and/or free
radicals that cause the damage to your body which leads to an increased risk for stroke or heart disease.  
High
cholesterol is your body's way of trying to fight off inflammation or free radical damage.
 Medications
that lower cholesterol, such as Lipitor or Crestor, may actually leave you more susceptible to the underlying
problems.

Studies have shown that extreme levels (over 350 total cholesterol) can cause arteriole plaque buildup which
does seem to contradict what  I just said, but remember everything (even water) is toxic at a high enough level.  
It is interesting that in people over 60 (which is the group of people most likely to be susceptible),
those with
"high" cholesterol levels were less likely to die from a stroke or heart disease
than those with "low"
levels of cholesterol!  We should really think hard before we decide to take medicine to lower our cholesterol.

Most natural health care practitioners do not consider cholesterol a problem when assessing cardiovascular
risk, but rather as an indicator that there could be an underlying risk factor which may need to be addressed.  
Other indicators have been shown to be much better markers of risk.  When these other markers are addressed
(most of them are either genetic markers showing increase susceptibility, signs of oxidative damage from free
radicals, stress or signs of inflammation), cholesterol levels tend to normalize on there own.  The levels
normalize because the body is no longer in a state of crisis, therefore it no longer requires high levels of its own
protective chemicals (cholesterol).

What can I do to Protect my Heart?

1) Don't get hung up on high cholesterol being the bad guy.  Cholesterol might be high because other bad
things are going on.  Cholesterol is only the messenger.  Address the underlying problem (inflammation,
oxidation damage, stress).  
Don't kill the messenger.

2) Avoid inflammatory foods.  These include foods you are allergic to, anything that contains excess omega-6
fats, sugar, flour or anything that is processed.  Dr. Webster can make a complete dietary guide to fit your
needs.

3) There are a lot of
supplements that can be used in combination very effectively.  Dr. Webster will be able to
determine your ideal combination of supplements.

4) Avoid situations that are constantly stressful.  Instead, do things that
relieve stress.

5) Work with Dr. Webster to
measure important markers of inflammation and oxidative stress so he can gain
a better understanding of how to properly treat you by addressing the underlying problem.

6) Some doctors advise people to avoid foods that are high in cholesterol.  I do not agree with this advise.  
Foods that are high in cholesterol are often very healthy foods.  Besides, the amount of cholesterol in the diet
has very little correlation to cholesterol levels because your body creates most of your cholesterol in your liver
based on your body's demands.


Make an appointment with Dr. Webster today to discuss options for those with high cholesterol.  
972-735-0707

Complete Health and Weight Loss
5000 Legacy Dr. #240
Plano, TX 75024
972-735-0707