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Total cholesterol got down into the 90s from the 200s;...

Jim,

Congrats on getting your cholesterol under control, but are you aware that it can be too low? Cholesterol is a very important part of our body chemistry and IMO way too villainized by todays society, including many doctors.

I recently picked up this great book called The Protein Power Lifeplan, by Drs Eades. They spend a whole chapter going over cholesterol and lipids in great detail. One very interesting graph is on page 100 in the paperback version showing Total Mortality vs Serum Cholesterol. By looking at "deaths from all causes" rather than just "deaths from heart disease", the data shows that the best place to be is right around 200:

Look at how the mortality curve shoots sharply up as cholesterol falls below 160 mg/dl. It climbs even more steeply at the low end of cholesterol levels than at the high end, meaning that having a cholesterol reading below 140 mg/dl is as bad as or worse than having one above 240 as far as risk of dying goes. At the lower end of the scale, deaths don't occur from heart disease and stroke, rather people in that group die from cancer, suicide, homicide, and vehicular trauma (which quite often is disguised suicide.) .... Just a quick glance at this U-shaped line shows where you want to be--down there in the flat part of the bottom where the incidence of deaths of all kinds is lowest. This means your best bet would be to keep your cholesterol in the 160 to 220 range...

They go into great depth on all the different types of cholesterol, including the different kinds of LDLs which are not reported on our typical cholesterol profile where LDLs are approximated by subtracting HDLs and triglicerides from total cholesterol. They state that there are at least two types of LDLs, the bb type and a "fluffy" type, (for lack of a more scientific word.) It appears that the "fluffy" LDLs are heavily resistant to oxidation and some researchers believe they may even play an antioxidant role in your system. There is a very expensive test that can be done to determine the types of LDLs you have, but there is also a direct correlation with lowering your triglicerides resulting in an increase in the "fluffy cottonball" type LDLs. Basically, their point is that lowering your total cholesterol as low as you can is not a healthy goal.

They also go into some of the side effects of statins, some of which are not mentioned in the drug pamphlets. In addition to the better known liver dammage, skeletal muscle depletion and kidney failure, one of their primary concerns is that statins deplete the body of coenzyme Q-10, a critical antioxidant for the heart, thereby seriously increasing the risk of oxidative damage to tissues body wide. Dr. Andrew Weil is a strong proponent of taking as much Co Q-10 as you can afford on a daily basis. If you take statins, as some people must, the Eades suggest you take at least 300mg of an oil-based coQ10 every day as long as you take these drugs. They do suggest taking the niacin if your levels remain over 250 or LDLs over 190.

I realize they are not targeting diabetics specifically in their book, but they are dealing with cardiac patients, some of whom are diabetic. The book is a great read, and their statements are backed up by data and footnoted studies. Well worth the $9.99 I paid for it at Books-a-Million.


Food for thought,
InParadise


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