cholesterol lowering drugs

Cholesterol: The Real Story

Contrary to popular belief cholesterol is not fat. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced by the liver and also ingested through foods we eat. It often has fatty acids contained in it and therefore it is considered to be fat, but it is not fat in and of itself.

Up to 80% of cholesterol is used to make cholic acid which is essential in bile salts that are, themselves, necessary for digestion and absorption of fat from the diet. Additionally, cholesterol is used to make the hormones progesterone, estrogen and testosterone.

There is a significant amount of cholesterol in the skin that helps the skin to resist water absorption and water evaporation. The presence of cholesterol in the skin also helps to decrease the penetration of toxic agents such as solvents etc.

Perhaps one of the most important roles of cholesterol is in the formation and maintenance of cellular function through the integrity of cell membranes as well as many of the membranes of the other structures within the cell including the organelles that produce energy. Membrane integrity is essential for life and for health and the prevention of disease. A breakdown in cell membrane integrity will lead to ill health and disease. In addition to cholesterol benefit in our skin as a protective agent there is scientific evidence that cholesterol protects cell membranes from oxidative/free radical damage. The significance of cell membrane function is covered extensively at our chelation seminars.

Here is a substance that is, in fact, a health enhancing life necessity but purported to be life threatening. Cholesterol has gotten a bad rap.

We are told that we eat too much cholesterol in our diet and that elevated levels in the blood cause hardening of the arteries that, in turn, cause heart attacks and strokes. We are told that lowering cholesterol is essential to decrease the aforementioned disease process and its sequela. Low fat diets are prescribed and if that isn't effective, cholesterol lowering drug therapy is prescribed. This philosophy has been touted for so long as scientific fact that it is accepted without question by the majority of physicians and patients, in spite of the fact that there are thousands and thousands of people who have low cholesterol levels in their blood and have blocked arteries all over their bodies, and those who have elevated cholesterol levels without any problems.

The rest of the cholesterol story explains why these exceptions occur, why cholesterol is a problem for some and not for others. With this additional data you can think for yourself and decide for yourself.

As we stated at the outset, cholesterol is not fat. Cholesterol often has fatty acids, the basic building block of fat, attached to it. Cholesterol/fatty acids are carried from one area to another through the blood stream by a substance called lipoprotein. This is a form of protein that acts as a carrier, a basket if you will, which carries fat around to the cells for use as a source of energy. The two primary lipoproteins are low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). The LDL principally carries fat to the cells and the HDL carries the fat away from the cell. LDL is considered bad and the HDL is considered good. Herein lies another bit of misinformation. LDL and HDL are not cholesterol at all but simply the carriers that carry the substances of cholesterol and fatty acids to the cells and away from the cells. The good and bad terms are derived from the fact that the HDL is considered good because it carries fat away from the cell decreasing the potential of the fat being deposited, whereas the LDL carries the fat to the cell increasing the potential for it to be deposited. But there is more to this story.

In recent times the terms free radicals, free radical damage and antioxidants have become familiar jargon. Taking antioxidants has become popular but few people understand the importance of free radicals and the damage they create and the antioxidant's potential to prevent that damage. Those of you who have attended one of our chelation therapy seminars have a good understanding of what all of this means.

It is very important as far as cholesterol is concerned to understand that the LDL structure (fatty acids with protein) is the primary source of plague in hardening of the arteries. The HDL form of lipoprotein (protein with fat attached) is not the type of lipoprotein which contributes to plague build up and as we said earlier, actually helps to lower the fat in the area by carrying it away from tissues. It is important to note that LDL, even though considered bad, is an essential part of the body's mechanism for handling fat and as such, is necessary and beneficial. The reason that it could be considered bad is not because of its mere presence, but rather because of changes that take place which alter its natural or beneficial form to an aberrated, detrimental form. The process that alters the natural LDL is called oxidation, caused by free radicals. This damage can be prevented by utilizing anti- oxidants.

To summarize, LDL cholesterol/ fatty acid is normal in the body and has a function. When it becomes altered by free radical damage it is transformed into a detrimental form. The native or normal LDL can pass freely through tissues such as the lining of arteries. The damaged LDL cannot and gets stuck in the artery wall. The scientific evidence of this has been known for years and continues to proliferate.

An article that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1989 entitled "Beyond Cholesterol" spoke directly about this. The article reviewed numerous studies over many years including studies back to the 70s and early 80s.

Blood flow through an artery can be impaired by another major mechanism apart from a blockage of the blood flow from plague. Arteries can go in spasm decreasing blood flow, often significantly. This process is often a cause of angina. A study that appeared in 1990 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, detailed evidence that coronary artery contractions can be caused by oxidative LDL. Evidence also exists that oxidized LDL, not normal LDL, impairs the function of the cells lining arteries that function to initiate blood vessel dilation.

We have previously discussed one of the benefits of HDL is that it carries lipids away from tissues. Numerous research projects are identifying an enzyme associated with HDL that inhibits the oxidation damage of LDL. In other words, this may be a major way the HDL is protective and the so-called "good guy."

The Journal of the American Medical Association published an interesting article in the December 8, 1999 issue entitled "Smoking and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in Men with Low Levels of Serum Cholesterol". The study showed, not surprisingly, that smoking was a risk factor for atherosclerotic vascular disease and also that "a low cholesterol level confers no protective benefit against smoking related ASVD". How does smoking damage the body? Primarily from free radical damage. Cholesterol is not a problem unless it is damaged; smoking damages it and it becomes a problem whether the level in the blood is high or low. Lowering the cholesterol in the blood does not decrease its potential to damage. The article is proof of what some of us have been saying for years and is proof of the known science on the cholesterol subject.

The most important factor is not the amount of cholesterol, or even the type, but whether it is clean or dirty, normal or damaged.

Conrad G Maulfair, Jr DO

Medical Alternatives

We have a way to save health care dollars by staying healthy.  Avoiding the usual treatment for symptoms, pharmaceuticals, is a great place to start.  You need to find doctors who agree with not turning to drug therapy until other measures have been exhausted – so it really starts with you.
It is so hard to face the fact that we are causing our own disease.  First, we live a lifestyle with some aspects that make us sick.  We also believe what our doctors say which may not be so bright.  Where are they getting their information?  Do they know anything about how to stay healthy?  I have had women tell me their surgeons, at the time of breast cancer surgery, tell them to stay away from pesticides.  Has your doctor ever told you that before you develop cancer? 

What to do?  Start some research with a little of your spare time.  Look into the ingredients in processed foods.  Find videos describing how your food is made.  Find a glossary for ingredients and food additives and get a good dictionary to help you discover the things in your food.  Why does exercise help?  Where are chemicals stored?  Do nutrient supplements work and are they absorbed orally?  Avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs.  Bad stuff.  The business is so powerful the truth never comes out when we need it, they just eliminated most sugared soft drinks in school machines.  The exact opposite of what should have been done.  What are the machines doing in schools in the first place?  They bring the school additional revenues.  Children gain weight because artificial food additives and sweeteners cause weight gain.  Sugared soft drinks are safer than artificially sweetened drinks.

Even though we deal with these issues daily I learned something from the film “Food,Inc.”;  I found out an additive is mixed in with hamburger that has ammonia in it because the ammonia kills a certain e coli bacteria present in most hamburger.  This additive is a filler.   That did it for me.  Fresh organic burger is an even better idea than I originally thought.  Organic for sure!

We were able to bring a good amount of organic foods to the supermarket because we, the public, asked for them.  That is why they are there.  What would happen if you asked at your favorite restaurant if any selections on the menu were organic?  That would help.   Supporting your local organic growers is very important.  You can find a great deal of the foods you need each week right in your neighborhood if you live outside the cities.  Try it.

Educate yourself about good oils and which ones to consume.  Avoid canola, corn and soy, yep, soy products are nearly all GMO foods.  You need an abundance of fat to keep your weight down.  You body needs it.  There are lots of lies regarding fat consumption and cholesterol.  Check out our earlier blog entries.  Our best advice is get active with exercise and get active in your research of contaminant sources and clean food sources.  It will work, you will feel and be better.

Our life support system: Better living through chemistry?

You don’t live near an industrial waste site? The truth is that even if you do, you probably get most of your toxins as pesticides and additives in your food or each time you apply various consumer cosmetic products. Your home, your cars and even the water you drink slowly leak chemicals into your life.There has been a staggering proliferation of toxic chemicals produced without due regard for testing for long-term health effects of low level exposures. Thousands of new synthetic chemicals come into manufactured consumer products every year with little to no safety testing or public approval process. According to the World Health Organization, there are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in use in consumer products today with 1,000 to 2,000 being added to the list each year.
We breathe these chemicals through our lungs, absorb them through our skin and ingest them in the food we eat and water we drink. We are soaking up chemicals that we’d be hard-pressed to spell or pronounce, if we could even find out what they were.

Finish the article here.

Health Facts, You Might Have Been Mislead

Health news includes research from the New England Journal of Medicine showing that niacin is more effective in improving cardiovascular disease than expensive drugs that lower cholesterol like Zetia and Vytorin.  Physicians wrote prescriptions of more than 29 million contributing to the worldwide sales of 4.56 billion.  When it comes to profits and money motives you could get a bum steer if you do not know how your body works.
When you have disease or just a few symptoms you know something about the normal function of your body has gone awry.  Here is a definition for you from Stedman’s Medical Dictionary: “cholesterol n. A white crystalline substance found in animal tissues and various foods, normally synthesized by the liver and important as a constituent of cell membranes and a precursor to steroid hormones.  Its level in the bloodstream can influence the pathogenesis of certain conditions, such as the development of atherosclerotic plaque and coronary artery disease.”

If you have attended Dr. Maulfair’s seminar you know the rest of the story with many examples and scientific backing that ONLY when the cholesterol is DAMAGED by free radicals does it become a problem and develop into a disease process.  Cholesterol is a major constituent of the membrane around the billions of cells your body is made up of.  The liver makes cholesterol and you need it.  I am not a scientist but I bet if you take a drug that limits cholesterol your liver will make more to keep up.  Stedman’s also has this definition: ” Cholesterolosis n. A condition marked by the abnormal deposition of cholesterol, as in tissues or blood vessels.“  So lets wonder why cholesterol gets deposited in tissues where it does not belong.  The real question to figure out is what is happening in your body and why.  If you just stop to think for a minute you will discover that all drugs are unnatural and considered by your body to be toxins.  They interrupt normal functions you might actually need.  You need to find out WHY you have a non-optimum condition.

There is no substitute for looking for the reasons, causes of problems.  You know this from living life, when you find the right reason why the solution comes naturally.  If you have a leak in your water pipes you cannot add some substance and fix it you have to find it and repair it.  If you fail to find it you still have the leak, and it will progress and create more problems.  When you find the exact cause you have no more leak.  So take the time to study a bit.  Find seminars given by people in health care and look at who is paying for the meeting.  Follow the money.  Pull out the dictionary and start looking up the words dealing with your condition and you will find the real answers.

You are the guinea pig.  Many people have had serious side effects from limiting cholesterol with drugs.  Muscle weakness, liver problems and some digestive problems have been a direct result of drug usage.  There are more studies, you need to look for them and then get busy improving your health with better dietary choices and antioxidants in the proper amounts. 

Good luck -we wish for you a year of knowledge and independence from drugs!!  We will save some health care dollars too!