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  • Cholesterol measuring is pointless?

    Yesterday my immunologist told me that any measure of cholesterol is meaningless and all the cholesterol studies are bullshit anyway. Today I read Kurt Harris' last post (a little behind the time I know) and he says pretty much that cholesterol could be a sign of ongoing problems and trying to 'correct' your cholesterol is pointless because it misses the real issue. Comments are off at his post so I thought start a thread here:

    Basically, what's your view on cholesterol?

    Secondly, does anyone know of any current research into cholesterol that backs up this view? Kurt didn't list any resources.
    A steak a day keeps the doctor away

  • #2
    I like your immunologist! One thing about medical tests that is important to consider - does knowing the results of your test change what you would do? Otherwise the test is pointless. So would you eat differently or take a statin or exercise more if you knew your cholesterol was high? I wouldn't.

    A good publication is deLongeril's critique of the JUPITER trial from the Archives of Internal Medicine from earlier this year. I would link it but I'm on my iPhone.

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    • #3
      "Yesterday my immunologist told me that any measure of cholesterol is meaningless'

      It isn't meaningless to insurance companies. Try getting a good rate if your Cholesterol is high.

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      • #4
        I think a lot of doctors these days prefer that we have artificially low cholesterol levels, since this fits in with CW, even though this is probably not healthy. It only makes sense that insurance companies would follow along, but it's kind of sad that we've got to the point where the medical industry, the government and the drug industry are all pushing us away from good health.

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        • #5
          If you have any number of conditions that drive it up as a side effect (hypothyroidism, for example), something several people do is watch their cholesterol in addition to their numbers for that condition. In most cases, with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the cholesterol is a marker that indicates whether you're on the right or right amount of meds. It'll level off at a sane level once that's under control, if there are no genetic precursors to keep it high.
          Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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          • #6
            Yeah, Naiad, I just had this happen the past 8 months.. cholesterol went up (235) and then adjusted my meds and it came back down (181).

            I am probably not quite right with this, but isn't cholesterol in our body to help repair damage? So higher levels means there's something going on that our bodies are trying to fix? Therefore lowering cholesterol with drugs avoids the real issue of what's causing the making of more cholesterol and keeping the body from fixing what's wrong with it?

            Seems to me we should be seeing a higher cholesterol as a reason to check out other things and get our house in order.
            sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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            • #7
              I love it!! I am convinced that cholesterol is just a red flag. You need to get to the root of the problem, not get rid of the flag itself.

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              • #8
                Inflamation is the problem... cholesterol just fixes it. Without inflamation and the resulting damage... cholesterol can run free without any problem.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bisous View Post
                  I like your immunologist! One thing about medical tests that is important to consider - does knowing the results of your test change what you would do? Otherwise the test is pointless. So would you eat differently or take a statin or exercise more if you knew your cholesterol was high? I wouldn't.

                  A good publication is deLongeril's critique of the JUPITER trial from the Archives of Internal Medicine from earlier this year. I would link it but I'm on my iPhone.
                  I will try to find that. Thanks.

                  Originally posted by naiadknight View Post
                  If you have any number of conditions that drive it up as a side effect (hypothyroidism, for example), something several people do is watch their cholesterol in addition to their numbers for that condition. In most cases, with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the cholesterol is a marker that indicates whether you're on the right or right amount of meds. It'll level off at a sane level once that's under control, if there are no genetic precursors to keep it high.
                  Originally posted by Minxxa View Post
                  Yeah, Naiad, I just had this happen the past 8 months.. cholesterol went up (235) and then adjusted my meds and it came back down (181).

                  I am probably not quite right with this, but isn't cholesterol in our body to help repair damage? So higher levels means there's something going on that our bodies are trying to fix? Therefore lowering cholesterol with drugs avoids the real issue of what's causing the making of more cholesterol and keeping the body from fixing what's wrong with it?

                  Seems to me we should be seeing a higher cholesterol as a reason to check out other things and get our house in order.
                  Originally posted by lcme View Post
                  I love it!! I am convinced that cholesterol is just a red flag. You need to get to the root of the problem, not get rid of the flag itself.
                  Originally posted by arthurb999 View Post
                  Inflamation is the problem... cholesterol just fixes it. Without inflamation and the resulting damage... cholesterol can run free without any problem.
                  All of you are hitting the nail on the hurt. This is exactly what Kurt Harris was saying. However, he didn't point to any research and perhaps there really is none. But I posted this thread in the hope that among the wide readership of MDA someone would have stumbled across a paper disputing the cholesterol hypothesis.
                  A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                  • #10
                    Yes yes and yes, from everything I've read. If the "standard" test was LDL pattern and HDL, and those were the numbers, cholesterol results might be useful. I had an odd conversation with my GP, also a cardiologist, which "opened my mind" to doubt the CW and may have played a role in me deciding to give primal a shot. He said, basically, with my cholesterol readings I would be sure to get heart disease and die at an early age. But when I said, so cholesterol causes heart disease, he goes, no not really, it's just a predictor but not a cause, in fact most people with heart disease have normal cholesterol. But it would be malpractice for him to not recommend a statin, so he recommends it to anyone with high cholesterol. I can't wait to get re-tested after 8 months primal and 40 lb lighter.
                    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                    • #11
                      I recommend a book, "The Cholesterol Hoax" by Sherry Rogers,MD. Very detailed discussion of what cholesterol is all about and how CW medicos are abusing their patients. The book is replete with references to medical papers, texts, studies, etc.. Believe me, I mean there are a lot of references.

                      The only problem I had with the book is that her 'correcting' procedures are mostly based on macrobiotics. With a reasonable familiarity with Primal/Paleo, you can get around that with ease. Nothing macrobiotic about most of the references.
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                      • #12
                        I wrote a post on my blog weighing the relative risk of cholesterol compared with blood sugar here: http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot....e-and-why.html

                        Chasing a cholesterol number is meaningless without changing the diet. Quit refined carbs and sugar, and LDL-C and Trigs will plunge. In the process of dropping wheat and sugar, the appetite resets itself.
                        My Blog: http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot.com

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