Jamieson Health Center
March 29, 2012
Volume 4, Number 2
In conventional medicine, cholesterol is the defining marker for heart disease. While your local MD’s approach to treating high cholesterol has been seriously questioned and successfully challenged by reputable science (see references below), the standard of treatment — low-fat diets and Lipitor, for example — hasn’t budged. And when this model fails to prevent heart disease, as it often does, doctors simply blame the patient for not toiling long enough in the prison of low-fat diets.
In holistic medicine, on the other hand, cardiovascular health is often dismissed when symptoms are lacking, and high cholesterol is brushed away. Although the nutritional model is safer (statin drugs such as Lipitor can have devastating side effects), it too falls short when it doesn’t address the risk of high cholesterol levels.
Your body needs cholesterol to function properly.
So what do you do when you have high cholesterol? In order to answer this question, we first need to understand some of the basics about cholesterol and what role cholesterol plays.
Your body needs cholesterol to function properly and here is why. Read more on our website.
Reduce inflammation to get rid of high cholesterol.
When cholesterol levels are high, this is an indication that you are suffering from inflammation. Rather than artificially lowering your cholesterol levels, we need to address the inflammation in your body.
There can be several reasons why your cholesterol levels are high and all can be addressed by a combination of diet, healthy digestion, supplements and integrative chiropractic treatments to boost your immune system. In addition and only if the underlying inflammation is addressed, there exist natural compounds to lower extremely high levels of cholesterol and put the brakes on artery-clogging atherosclerosis.
To learn more about how I can help you reduce high cholesterol levels and your risk of cardiovascular disease, follow the links to read the rest of the newsletter or call me at 408.517.0706.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Samuel R. Jamieson
P.S. Read more of my newsletters at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com/archive.htm
Your body needs cholesterol to function properly.
Here is why:
1. Your liver produces cholesterol
It is important to understand that cholesterol is produced in your body by your liver, dependant on the needs of your body. As a matter of fact, 70 – 80% of your body’s cholesterol is produced in the liver or the cells of your body. The other 20 – 30% will come from your nutrition. Only about 50% of your nutritional cholesterol is absorbed by the body while most of the remainder will be released in your bile. If you consume higher amounts of nutritional cholesterol, the body will adjust its own production accordingly. Recognize that consuming cholesterol in your food is not this issue.
2. Cholesterol plays a vital role in your body – without cholesterol you would die.
Cholesterol is essential to the healthy functioning of your body. Without cholesterol or with minimum levels of cholesterol, you will die. Here is why:
· Makes cell membranes waterproof to maintain a different biochemistry on the inside and the outside of the cell
· Is a repair substance; for example scar tissue contains high levels of cholesterol (including arteries)
· Is a precursor to vitamin D
· Is required for bile salt production
· Provides protection against cancer
· Is vital to proper neurological function and the formation of memory.
· Is a key constituent of the myelin sheath that insulates neurons and axons in the brain
· Assists with Serotonin (5-HT) receptor function in the brain
· Assists in preventing depression
· Is an antioxidant, protecting us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer
· Is a precursor to steroid hormones produced in the adrenal cortex
· Prevents some types of cerebrovascular diseases
· Protects the skin against infection by detrimental bacteria and fungi
This short list shows the importance of proper cholesterol production for a healthy body. If your cholesterol levels are being lowered artificially e.g. with the use of statins, the question to ask yourself is: “Which of these many processes in my body is being compromised and how is this affecting my health?”
3. Cholesterol repairs the damage caused by inflammation in your body.
It is possible that your body requires a higher production of cholesterol when inflammation is present. In cases of inflammation, cholesterol helps to put out the fire and repairs the damage. Therefore your body may require a higher production of cholesterol to assist in balancing and healing your body. Patients with the following conditions are normally expected to have higher levels of cholesterol:
• Highly stressed life
• Hormonal imbalances
• Physical, mental or emotional health challenges
• Brain and nervous system challenges
• Chronically ill people
• Extreme athletes
Again, if your cholesterol levels are high, the emphasis should not be on artificially lowering your cholesterol, but on understanding what causes the inflammation and then putting out the inflammation.
What do I need to do when my cholesterol level is high?
First of all, don’t put your main focus on the total cholesterol. The most significant factor is looking at the ratio of HDL and LDL. Notice I do not call them “good” or “bad” cholesterol because they are both necessary. It is preferred to find your HDL above 55 and your LDL not more than double your HDL. So if your total cholesterol is very high, your HDL is low or your ratio is out of balance, it is time to look at what’s challenged in your body.
In the previous section, we learned that our bodies can’t live without cholesterol. They actually produce more cholesterol when we are ill, stressed and/or suffer from inflammation. In order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems due to high cholesterol, our focus needs to be on figuring out the causes of inflammation and to reduce it. Inflammation is always caused by an immune response and we need to therefore look at what triggers this response.
Here are some possible causes of high cholesterol :
• H. Pylori and other viral infections
• Insulin resistance leading to hormonal imbalances –see more below
• Autoimmune diseases
• Impaired liver function due to fatty liver, multiple medications, etc.
• Dysbiosis — when there is more bad bacteria than good bacteria in the gut — prevents the bile secreted by the gallbladder to escort cholesterol out of the body
• B vitamin deficiencies and Hypochlorhydria (too little stomach acid) raising homocysteine levels
• Birth control pills and estrogen creams raising homocysteine levels
Therefore, I treat patients with high cholesterol with one or more of the following strategies:
• Correcting diet and digestion
• Regulating dysglycemia (blood sugar)
• Boosting immune system to increase natural killer cells
• Optimizing glutathione recycling system
• Eliminating the triggers of high C-Reactive Protein and homocysteine levels
• Boosting cardio health with vitamin, mineral and bioflavonoid supplementation
• Supporting and clearing the liver’s methylation pathways
• Supporting the thyroid
• A detox program when the bile doesn’t clear out cholesterol
• A good pro- and/or prebiotic
• Raising hydrochloric acid levels instead of using antacids.
What if I’m currently taking statins?
If you are not taking care of the underlying inflammation, statin drugs will not help. On the contrary, you are in a downward spiral. In addition, some of the potential side effects of statin drugs are muscle weakness, bad memory, bad temper, impotency and painful legs, just to name a few. To learn more, find out the truth about cholesterol and statins from several MDs.
As long as we are addressing the source of inflammation and you are following the protocol I’m prescribing, it still can be prudent to lower overly high cholesterol in order to put the brakes on artery-clogging atherosclerosis. Studies show that certain natural compounds are more effective than statin drugs, while absent of the dangerous side effects.
Insulin resistance and the heart.
What most provokes the hardening of your arteries is an exceptionally touchy hormone that we tend to abuse: Insulin. After years of a high-carb, sugar-laden diet that calls on the pancreas repeatedly to flood the system with insulin, the body’s cells become insulin resistant. This leaves excess amounts of insulin circulating throughout the bloodstream, leading to high blood pressure, thicker blood (which can gum up the cardiovascular system), and an increase in the enzyme activity that elevates cholesterol. Ultimately, insulin resistance can result in diabetes.
For more information, read the article “Heart Surgeon speaks out on what really causes heart disease” by Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D. or our newsletters on sugar, fats and transfats.
In men, testosterone protects the cardiovascular system, just as estrogen does for women. In cases of insulin resistance, however, we see men becoming estrogen dominant (developing “breasts”) and women becoming testosterone dominant (growing “beards”), and we know cardiovascular destruction is well under way. These are the folks who fatigue after meals, whose fasting blood sugar is over 100 and who typically show high LDL and triglyceride levels. If this is you, regulating dysglycemia (blood sugar imbalances) is imperative to your heart and overall health.
1. Wainwright G, Mascitelli L, Goldstein MR: Cholesterol lowering therapies and membrane cholesterol. Stable plaque at the expense of unstable membranes? Arch Med Sci 2009; 5: 289–295.
2. Vy Lam, Jidong Su, Stacy Koprowski, Anna Hsu, James S. Tweddell, Parvaneh Rafiee, Garrett J. Gross, Nita H. Salzman, and John E. Baker, Intestinal microbiota determine severity of myocardial infarction in rats FASEB J fj.11-197921; published ahead of print January 12, 2012, doi:10.1096/fj.11-197921
3. Ross R. Atherosclerosis: an inflammatory disease. N Engl J Med. 1999; 340: 115–126.
4. Yudkin JS, Stehouwer CD, Emeis JJ, et al. C-reactive protein in healthy subjects: associations with obesity, insulin resistance, and endothelial dysfunction: a potential role for cytokines originating from adipose tissue? Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1999; 19: 972–978.
JAMIESON HEALTH CENTER
Samuel R. Jamieson, D.C.
Emotional Stress Relief
Total Body Modification
1175 Saratoga Ave, Ste 8
San Jose, CA 95129
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Seminars we’ve taken.
Since I want to make a difference in your lives and that of your children, I’m constantly trying to keep up with the latest developments in healing practices, clinical research and new discoveries in the area of integrative holistic medicine. To that end, I have attended the following seminars and conferences over the last several months:
· The Neuorendocrine-Immunology of Hepatic Detoxification
· Functional neurology – ongoing at the Carrick Institute of Neurology
· Understanding the complexity of gluten sensitivity
· Breaking the complex web of leaky gut
· Neurochemistry of childhood brain developmental disorders
· The neuroendocrine immunology of andropause
· The neuroendocrine immunology of perimenopause
· The aging brain
· The brain-gut axis
· Nutrition Response Testing
· NeuroIntegration therapy– Level 1 and Level 2 training
· Alpha/Theta training with neurofeedback
· Deep States training with neurofeedback – level 2
· Level 2 advanced neurofeedback training
· Alpha-Theta advanced training
· Autoimmune regulation
· Metabolic Biotransformation: an overview of detoxification and weight management
· Restoring Gastrointestinal Health
· Practical Blood Chemistry
· Neurotransmitters and Brain
· The Thyroid-Brain–Immuno Connection
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Female Hormones in Menopausal Women
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Hormones in Cycling Women
· The Impacts of Estrogen on the NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Male Hormones
· Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics for Addictions and OCD
Some patients have asked about previous newsletters and they can be found on our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com/archive.htm
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