High Cholesterol - Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

cardiology Feb 05, 2024
High Cholesterol Symptoms Treatment Causes

High cholesterol - Symptoms Causes Treatment

We can now completely eliminate heart disease. Yes! I said it. We can completely eliminate heart disease if we wanted to. We just have to "want to".

We now have the ability to maximize genetics and increase lifespans and health spans by decades. Yes, you can live to over 100 years, and you won't spend the last 30 years in a nursing home debilitated. You will be super healthy and running around doing whatever you want!

It all comes down to aggressive and early lipid management. The earlier, the lower, the more aggressive, the longer you will live. This is not a debate in the literature anymore.

LDL Cholesterol Causes Atherosclerosis (Heart Disease)

We have an overwhelming amount of data that now shows, without question, that lowering lipids,,, sooner, more aggressively, and for longer... will absolutely add decades to your life. 

Brian Ference and his colleagues wanted to answer this exact question. What criteria must be met to prove that LDL Cholesterol causes heart disease?

They did a very in-depth analysis with over 20-million-person years of follow up. Here are there results.

What Is Cholesterol?

Below I describe what is cholesterol in a brief 20-minute video. be sure to share this video if you enjoyed it.

  • What is Cholesterol?
  • Is Cholesterol good or bad?
  • When is cholesterol bad?
  • When is cholesterol good?
  • Can there ever be such a thing as too low for cholesterol?

 

 

Is Cholesterol Good Or Bad?

Cholesterol has shown, over and over again, to be the causal agent in heart disease. Long before we could even differentiate between low density and high density, all we had was "total cholesterol" and it tracked with cardiovascular events and death rates. I go over all of the data in my new cholesterol book.

Why Is Heart Disease Still The Number One Killer?

Deaths from heart disease have gone down substantially since the advent of lipid lowering therapy. Back in the 1950s, when someone had a heart attack, you just put them on oxygen and morphine and hoped they didn't die by the next morning. We had an 80% mortality rate if you had a heart attack.

Since 1968, we have had a 70% reduction in death from acute heart attacks and an additional 10% in the last 10 years with the new more powerful lipid lowering medications.

Do We Need Cholesterol?

Yes, you need cholesterol. Every cell in your body makes it's own cholesterol. You do not need excess cholesterol. Lipoproteins job is to traffic cholesterol and fatty acids (calories in the form of energy) back to the liver for elimination.

 What are Lipoproteins?

Lipoproteins are molecules that help traffic energy. When your cells make excess cholesterol, which they are doing every day and all the time, lipoproteins help bring those excess units of fatty acids and cholesterol back to the liver for elimination.

They also function to traffic energy to muscle cells that need them in the form of chylomicrons. Excess calories are then trafficked to fat cells, adipocytes, for storage.  

Total Cholesterol

Total cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol in all your lipoproteins in one deciliter of blood. For example, if you have 100 mg/dL of LDL cholesterol and 40 mg/dL of HDL cholesterol, your total would be around 140 mg/dL. There will be small contributions from VLDL and a few other minor lipoproteins.

Is Cholesterol Really Good Or Bad?

Cholesterol is neither good nor bad. It's just a fat, waxy substance that is trafficked inside of lipoproteins that may carry out good or bad roles. But sometimes the "good" lipoproteins carry out "bad" roles and vice versa. They serve different purposes in different parts of their lifespan and life cycle.

LDL Cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol)

Traditionally, LDL cholesterol was referred to as "bad" cholesterol because much of its lifespan is spent delivering excess cholesterol to your arteries and plugging them up. However, this is a misnomer. Because LDL particles spend much of their lifecycle helping HDL particles return cholesterol to your liver for elimination.

HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol)

 HDL has often been referred to as "good" cholesterol, because in much of it's life cycle, it is taking cholesterol out of your arteries and returning it to your liver for elimination. However, HDL particles are not always doing "good". There are times when they are dysfunctional or too high and may not be "good". We don't currently have testing to test the functionality of HDL particles.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are also carried around in lipoproteins. These are the fatty acids and energy units. They are three fatty acids connected to a glycerol backbone. When you consume food, it ends up in your intestines. Then the free fatty acids are packaged up into triglycerides and placed in chylomicrons for distribution. Chylomicrons leave the intestines via the lymphatic system and ultimately enter circulation through your thoracic duct in your chest or neck area. Chylomicrons then go to muscles to deliver energy (TGs) and then to adipocytes (fat cells) to deliver the extra energy. This is how you gain fat. Then chylomicrons go to the liver to be degraded.

How to Live to Over 100?

With that all said, we can now completely eliminate the most common cause of death and debility. We can maximize your genetic potential.

If you don't smoke, don't drink, exercise regularly, and have good enough genetics, we can almost guarantee that you will live to over 85, and maybe even much longer into the 100s if you are genetically gifted.

Dr. Alo's Optimal, Normal, Bad Cholesterol and Lipid Values

What should your cholesterol numbers be?

What is a Good LDL cholesterol number?

What should your apo B (apolipoprotein B) be?

Below are my cholesterol targets based on the Framingham data, Framingham Offspring, and MESA databases.

If you enjoyed this, you will really enjoy my cholesterol book!

 

 

 

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