You are on page 1of 2

Heart Health

Natural Cholesterol Balance and Control

But while cholesterol isnt the enemy, you still
want to maintain a balanced cholesterol profile,
i.e. low in LDL, high in HDL and HDL to LDL
ratio. Having a high HDL level is a scientifically
validated way to stay healthy and reduce the
risk of cardiovascular disease.

Key Words
cholesterol, HDL, LDL, balance,
flaxseed oil, flax, sterols, plant sterols,
phytosterols, lipoprotein, ratio,
statins, statin drugs, Mevacor, Zocor,
Crestor, Lipitor, good cholesterol,
bad cholesterol, omega-3, EPA,
eicosapentaenoic acid

For years weve been told that cholesterol is

a big problem. I dont believe thats really the
case. After all, cholesterol is not the enemy
its a vitally important building block for
everything from vitamin D to our sex hormones.
Having said that, I do believe in keeping a
balance of cholesterol. Keeping our HDL to
LDL ratio healthy is one of the most important
aspects of cardio-vascular health. But having
a balance of cholesterol can be difficult.
After all, our bodies produce cholesterol as
much as 1000 mg per day, so for anyone
predisposed to having an imbalance, it can
feel like an uphill battle.
Thats why I appreciate natural ingredients that
dont dramatically drop the cholesterol we truly
need or damage the liver the way that statin
drugs do. If youre thinking about using statin
drugs, please think again. Id like to present
you with a much healthier alternative.

Good Cholesterol vs.

Bad Cholesterol
While this is simplifying things a bit, you can
break cholesterol into High-Density Lipoprotein
cholesterol (HDL or good cholesterol) and
Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL or
bad cholesterol).
Admittedly, my opinion about cholesterol is
going to differ quite a bit from a lot of established
practice, but lets think of it this way: boosting
HDL levels is a good idea, and you cant do that
with the Standard American Diet (SAD) with
its emphasis on refined foods and sugars and
poor balance of fatty acids.

The trouble is that most conventional medical

practices think that the best way to deal with
this is by prescribing cholesterol-destroying
drugs called statin drugs. They are wrong.
Statins are one of the most deadly drugs on
the planet.
For starters, statins may cause cancer. In fact,
studies show that this could be a real long term
danger for men and women currently taking
statins, but very little is heard about this risk.
Secondly, statins can actually contribute to the
cause of heart failure.
Statins lower levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10),
a crucial element for cellular energy production
in the mitochondria the cellular engine.
Since CoQ10 is needed by virtually every cell
in the body especially those cells that use the
most energy like the heart and cardiovascular
system, you can understand how much more
risk statins create right off the bat.
None of this is unknown to conventional
practice. In fact, many doctors would argue
that the very fact of declining CoQ10 levels is
evidence that the statins are working! After
all, they reason, thats how you know the
drug is being metabolized in the liver! And yet,
if you were to suggest supplementing with
CoQ10, I would guarantee that nine out of
ten conventional medical practitioners would
try to talk you out of it. Yet lack of CoQ10
dramatically weakens the heart and reduces
its ability to beat energetically.
Heres something else to think about: 5 million
Americans have Congestive Heart Failure
(CHF), and there are 500,000 new cases each
year of this largely preventable, lifestyle-based
disease. Sadly, half of those patients with CHF
will be dead within 5 years. And yet, statin

To your good health,

Terry... Naturally

drug sales have increased to almost $20 billion.

How can we say that were truly interested in
preventing disease with numbers like this?

What Really Causes Heart Attacks

It Isnt Cholesterol
Do you know what really causes heart
attacks? It isnt cholesterol. It is oxidation and
inflammation. Consider whats happening in
the arteries. Cholesterol particles travel just
fine through the bloodstream. Inflammatory
changes cause damage to the lining of the
blood vessel, which attracts white blood cells.
Inflammation causes oxidative damage. This
damage requires a bandaid. What does your
body use for the bandaid? LDL cholesterol!
Only when LDL becomes oxidized does it begin
to form plaques in the wall of the artery. Blaming
cholesterol for heart disease is like blaming
your bandaid for the scrape on your knee.
HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is part of
the bodys repair system. As it moves through
blood vessels and arteries, it scoops up LDL
cholesterol and returns it to the liver so it
can be broken down. Thats why balancing
your levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol and
not putting your liver and health at risk with
statins is so important. One way to do that is
to keep blood vessels and arteries flexible and
healthy so they are less affected by oxidative
When in doubt, always consult your physician or
health care practitioner. This column is to provide
you with information to maintain your health.

Subscribe to a free weekly health newsletter at

Natural Cholesterol Balance and Control

stress and inflammation, and to reduce levels
of chronic inflammation in your body. The other
is to gently and naturally reduce the amount of
cholesterol your body absorbs and more importantly, reabsorbs, through the digestive system.
There are two ingredients that do just that:
alpha-linolenic acid and plant sterols.

Alpha-linolenic Acid A Plantsourced Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty
acid found in leafy green vegetables, almonds,
walnuts, and especially flaxseeds.
One of the best sources of alpha-linolenic
acid is flaxseed (Linium usitatissimum) oil. This
omega-3 fatty acid acts as an anti-inflammatory
and helps keep the cellular structure of blood
vessels and arteries healthy and flexible.
A small amount of the alpha-linolenic acid from
flaxseed oil is converted to eicosapentaenoic
acid (EPA) in the body. Some research has
shown that it can convert to smaller amounts of
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) as well, although
not as consistently. Omega-3s are immensely
important to cardiovascular health. They not
only keep blood vessels supple and flexible
(which reduces blood pressure) they reduce the
accumulation or aggregation of blood platelets
that lead to clogged arteries by reducing the
output of prostaglandin thromboxane A(2), an
inflammatory signaling molecule in the body.
However, ALA also has healthy properties
without being converted to EPA and DHA.
One of the clinical studies establishing a
link between alpha-linolenic acid and heart
health showed that it reduced inflammation,
lowered levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of
inflammation) and decreased levels of vascular
cell adhesion molecules the very molecules
that, when inflamed from oxidative stress, can
end up creating the blocked blood vessels that
cause atherosclerosis.
Alpha-linolenic acid also lowers the risk of
ischemic heart disease (IHD) in women. Although

heart disease has long been associated with

men, it is actually the second leading cause
of mortality for women. In the Nurses Health
Study, a massive 10-year follow-up study, the
diets and instances of coronary risk factors of
women ages 35 to 55 were examined. The
researchers found that a higher intake of ALA
could reduce the risk of IHD. Additionally, one
of the major benefits of ALA intake was noted
in the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Family Heart Study. In a cross-section test of
over 4500 participants, ALA was shown to
lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CAD).
One of the very important ways it does this
is by supporting a strong, healthy heartbeat
and rhythm. And, another study found further
evidence of the benefit of ALA showing that it
lowers fasting serum triglyceride levels.

Plant Sterols A Simple, But

Clever Ingredient
If you follow developments in the health
food industry, or have heard of more recent
developments in what are called functional
foods, youve probably heard about plant
sterols (also called phytosterols).
Plant sterols actually work on a very simple
principal. They take over the sites in the
intestines, where cholesterol would be either
absorbed or reabsorbed. Plant sterols are
shaped so much like cholesterol that they fit
perfectly into spots the parking places, or
perhaps driveways through which cholesterol
would normally absorb.
Plant sterols also help prevent the re-absorption
of old, used-up cholesterol that our body is
trying to excrete. Once our liver dumps this
waste cholesterol into our intestines, it really
needs to latch onto a fiber source to carry it out
of the body. If youre not getting a lot of fiber in
your diet that day, it gets reabsorbed, which
can be an unhealthy circumstance. Remember,
the body creates about 80% of your cholesterol,
so this isnt always just coming from food
sources. In fact, someone following a vegan/
vegetarian diet can have better cholesterol
balance by using phytosterols!

You Dont Need Statins!

There are a number of things you can do that
affect your cholesterol balance. One is exercise.
Choose an activity that you really enjoy and
stick with it. When your weight is healthy,
your body has a better chance of keeping
your LDL where it should be. Not sure where
to begin? Check out my article, Short Burst
Exercise vs. Conventional Exercising.
Only eat whole, unrefined foods. Avoid all
sweeteners and refined grains. Not only do
refined carbohydrates keep you fat (which fats
dont do, despite the conventional fat phobia
out there), they also raise your triglyceride
levels and get you on the road to type 2
diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Either way,
processed foods cause a lot of inflammation in
the body, and throws a healthy LDL/HDL ratio
completely out of balance.
Another big lifestyle change is to stop smoking.
Aside from its damage to your cells and
respiratory system, cigarette smoking causes
inflammation and oxidative stress throughout
the cardiovascular system that can lead to
hardened and clogged arteries.
If you are struggling with an HDL/LDL
imbalance, I recommend at least 1200 mg of
alpha-linolenic acid from pure Nordic flaxseed
oil combined with 900 mg of plant sterols each
day. I think these natural ingredients make
good sense. Add them to your regimen, and
see if they work to get your HDL and LDL
ratio to a much better place. Reducing and
eliminating risks for heart disease is one of the
best ways you can avoid disability as you age,
and can lengthen your life span significantly!
It pays to pay attention to your heart.

Pg. 2

Terry recommends a product with these

Plant Sterols
900 mg
In a base of Pure Nordic Flax Seed Oil
containing Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)