Question: Is there a benefit to having high cholesterol?
Dr. Brownstein’s Answer:
In the August 2013 issue of the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease, researchers looked at patients’ long-term survival after a stroke. They studied 190 stroke patients admitted to a hospital in Sweden and classified the patients as having high or low cholesterol, depending on their levels upon admission. “High cholesterol” was established as greater than 178 mg/dL, while less than that was “low cholesterol.”
Compared with those in the high cholesterol group, patients with low cholesterol were found to have an 8 percent lower survival rate at three months, 11 percent lower survival at one year, and 27 percent lower survival at five years. Overall, there was a 97 percent increased mortality risk in low-cholesterol subjects.
The authors concluded, “High admission cholesterol may be associated with increased long-
term survival after stroke.” Frankly, this study is not shocking. Cholesterol is an important substance for the body. It is an antioxidant and is also the main constituent of the myelin sheath that protects the nerves of the brain. It is needed to maintain the normal cell structure and is a precursor to adrenal and sex hormones.
Conventional medicine would have you believe that the lower your cholesterol number is, the better. That way of thinking is wrong. I don’t know how anyone could believe that poisoning the enzyme that makes cholesterol — as statin drugs do — could be beneficial to health.
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