Heart disease has taken over North America prompting everyone to lower cholesterol. Naturally or with drugs we scramble to get those numbers down. Heart disease is an epidemic and we cannot take it lightly. But, while mending the heart we tend to neglect to check other parts of the body. That’s unfortunate, because plummeting cholesterol has side effects. One of them is low immune system.
Is lower cholesterol better for the heart?
Few people question their doctor’s prescriptions. Few investigate whether the practice of lowering the numbers actually prevents heart disease or increases lifespans. Doctor prescribes. Patient takes. That’s their respective roles.
It is exactly that blind trust and the lack of deeper insights that makes doctors great salesmen and patients great profit generators. Neither are aware of this smart scheme and most believe that the current system is the best it can be. It is evidence based, scientific, and effective. It rescues humanity from the inevitable, genetically inflicted maladies. Drugs make us healthy!
I question this logic. If prescription drugs are so health-promoting how come those who start with one, end up with about seven of them plus a cane or a wheelchair by the time they are in the 7th decade of life? Look around and see the stats for yourself.
You won’t live longer with lower cholesterol
It is believed that low cholesterol equals better heart and longer life. Not so. Independent studies consistently show that although prescription medications are very effective in lowering the numbers, they do nothing to extend lives.
Natural methods are not any different. Even if one lowers cholesterol naturally with supplements such as niacin or red yeast extract, one should not expect benefits beyond improved lab results. Just like with drugs, lower cholesterol does not translate to longer life.
Health is a skill, not a pill
Surprisingly pill-independent lifestyle changes seem to accomplish just the opposite. It is relatively difficult to change cholesterol numbers by eating better or exercising, but it is rather easy to experience a longer lifespan with better self-care. For example, the Mediterranean diet lowers heart disease risk and extends lifespans. Yet it does it without making significant changes to cholesterol numbers.
This may sound confusing and against what your doctor may be telling you, but avoiding heart disease has not much to do with lower lab numbers, but a lot to do with better health.
If you are concerned about your own heart and want to find solution to it, visit the links below. You may get a few lesser-known clues from them:
- Is spiked blood pressure genetic
- Blood pressure fluctuations, dips and spikes explained
- Common high blood pressure causes
Lower cholesterol has side effects
Many people believe that lower cholesterol does body good. Their beliefs are supported by pill peddlers, media messengers and doctors alike. Few consider any side effects which includes weak immune system.
I did not know about this immune system link either until a few years back when I dug out research and went through studies and relevant statistics. I was rather surprised because I believed my medical program was complete and unquestionably true. I was in shock when I discovered that the post-university education comes with a lot of informational gaps.
Low immune system connection
One of those missing pieces was the immune system – cholesterol connection. They go in the same direction. Cholesterol is needed for the immune system and is it appears to be immuno-protective.
People with high numbers can fight off germs and parasites much more effectively than people with low numbers. This link is very pronounced and statistically significant. Studies confirmed that people with high numbers put up a stronger fight and suffer significantly fewer deaths from infections. The association between the two is linear and suggests that low cholesterol and weak immune system go together.
For example, World Health Organization mortality data from 164 countries show that people with total cholesterol of 150 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/l) suffer about 1,000 deaths in 100,000 people, while those with 220 mg/dl (5.7 mmol/l) have no deaths at all… and that’s despite your cardiologist’s objections.
Here is some food for thought. If you have plans to travel to remote locations, need to visit germ-infested hospital, or simply wish to stop worrying about dying from flu or other bugs, maybe it would be worth-while to check your lab results and have an earnest chat with your doctor.
Low cholesterol, weak immune system, and cancer
Weak immune system cannot fight cancers. If low cholesterol contributes to low immune system can it also be linked to higher incidence of cancers? In fact, it is. You won’t hear this from your cardiologist, but low cholesterol and cancers seem to be connected.
If you are a male listen up! Male immune system is very fat sensitive, even more so than that of woman. In men low cholesterol can increase cancer incidence as much as 30%, making him especially vulnerable to colon and lung cancers. In females this association is not as pronounced, and is more related to another factor: a large stomach.
No one has yet come up with a solid answer on why such a link exists, but there is a speculation that low cholesterol may accelerate progression of the tumor after it has started growing. Researchers suggest that lowering the numbers should not be attempted in cancer patients and suggest that the practice of lowering cholesterol naturally or with chemicals can lead to low immune system and result in 24% increase in cancer rates.[i] You can read more on the negative effects of low fat in my new book “The Cholesterol Trap!”