Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.
Tags: Cholesterol

The Truth About Cholesterol

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Thursday, 24 Mar 2011 08:55 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Most physicians and many cardiologists tell their patients that a higher HDL cholesterol level is “heart healthy.” But, is this really true? Is a high HDL level always protective? In the past, I have warned readers that sometimes a high HDL level might be harmful, as harmful as a high level of LDL cholesterol.

What most doctors do not understand is that HDL is not only a carrier of cholesterol, but is also part of the immune system. When we are infected with bacteria or a virus, our HDL level goes up and switches from a protective, anti-inflammatory molecule to a highly inflammatory, free-radical producing molecule. In this way it helps the immune system rid the body of the infection. For a detailed discussion on inflammation and its role in many diseases, see my newsletter "Inflammation: The Real Cause of Most Diseases."

Once the infection is over, HDL switches back to a protective molecule. But does it always?

Recent evidence suggests that it can become stuck in a harmful mode. This explains studies that show a number of people with high HDL cholesterol levels who have a high risk of heart attack and a high incidence of severe atherosclerosis. It maybe that these people have undiagnosed, smoldering infections or a loss of the protective antioxidant enzymes (called paraoxonase or PON) normally found within HDL.

Diet, antioxidant supplements (especially flavonoids), and exercise have been shown to correct this HDL problem.

While we’re on the subject of cholesterol, I want to say that there also is more to the story about LDL or so-called “bad” cholesterol and the statin drugs prescribed to lower it.

Evidence suggests that elevated LDL cholesterol by itself does not cause atherosclerosis (which leads to heart attacks and strokes). The real cause of atherosclerosis is chronic inflammation in the wall of the blood vessels. Statins do not work by reducing cholesterol — they reduce inflammation and suppress immunity.

When statin drugs were first developed and released, the makers knew that they decreased production of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a vital energy molecule used in every cell in the body, especially muscle and brain cells. Manufacturers also knew that statin drugs could cause levels of CoQ10 in muscles to drop so low that a highly fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis could result.

Initially, they added CoQ10 to the statin drugs to prevent this, but then they reasoned that this might terrify patients and doctors alike, so they quietly removed it. Still, a great many doctors are not aware of this development and do not suggest CoQ10 supplements to their patients.

There is evidence that the widespread use of statins is causing an epidemic of heart failure in this country, because CoQ10 is absolutely essential to the heart. It is known that low levels of CoQ10 can cause heart failure and that supplementing with CoQ10 can improve the condition of some patients who suffer from heart failure.
For the latest information on how to protect your heart, see my report "New Heart Revelations."



For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive.



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Most physicians and many cardiologists tell their patients that a higher HDL cholesterol level is heart healthy. But, is this really true? Is a high HDL level always protective? In the past, I have warned readers that sometimes a high HDL level might be harmful, as...
Cholesterol
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2011-55-24
Thursday, 24 Mar 2011 08:55 AM
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