If cholesterol reducing drugs cause problems what
else can we do to reduce cholesterol?
When we have a cholesterol test, the doctor measures total cholesterol, LDL (low density lipids [or fats] - the bad guys) and HDL (high density lipids - the good guys) and triglycerides.
Cholesterol molecules are transported around the body as LDL or HDL, together with other fats and proteins, just like a bus picking up and dropping off people as it travels the bus route. Cholesterol comes from the breakdown of fatty protein foods that we eat and is used in the body for a number of things - such as being a major part of cell membranes all over the body, including the brain and nerve cells; used for hormone and steroid production, as part of bile to help digest fats, in the skin to make vitamin D from the sun and so on. If we donít have enough cholesterol our bodies simply makes more in the liver.
All fat is broken down to single glycerol (fatty) chains to be transported through the gut membrane, either into the blood stream or into the lymph system to go straight to the liver. For transport these singles strands combine into threes ie tri (3) glycerides(fats) which can be part of other lipo (fat) proteins in the blood. These are called HDL, LDL, VLDL (very) low density, depending on the density of the protein carried. VLDLís carry a large fat load from the gut. LDLís are formed from VLDL fragments to carry cholesterol to the cells. HDL carries cholesterol from the cells to the liver for breakdown to be eliminated from the body. That is why HDL is the good guy. It helps to get rid of cholesterol from the body.
What the doctor does not measure, is a lipoprotein attached to LDL with an additional adhesive protein surrounding it that is called lipo- or apo-protein(a) ie apo(a). Apo(a) is only found in animals, including man) that are unable to make their own Vitamin C. Apo(a)ís job is to repair damaged tissue, wounds, cuts etc. It is one of the most effective repair molecules in the artery wall. Artery walls are weakened by insufficient Vitamin C. Vitamin C strengthens cell walls and stops them leaking. Arteriosclerosis is plaque consisting primarily of apo(a) that the body uses to try to plug up weakened arterial walls. Taking extra Vitamin C repairs the arterial walls making them slippery so that plaque is loosened and reabsorbed. Vitamin C doesnít decrease the size of plaque but does stop it from rupturing or causing a clot and increases the production of enzymes that degrade triglycerides, lowering levels. HDL picks up plaques, returning them to the liver for degradation. Vit C and E increase HDL levels. Apo(a) is not reduced by cholesterol reducing drugs or by a low fat diet. Only Vitamin C, E, or B3, reduce apo(a). Lysine and proline help to reduce the stickiness. More than 40 studies show that 2-3 Gm of Vitamin C daily can lower cholesterol by 50% - 70%.
Carnitine helps as it enables fatty acids to produce energy. Taurine uses cholesterol in bile production. B3, is effective in the form of niacin but is hard to get in Australia. Plant sterols are new and help too.
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