Cholesterol Behind The Numbers: Facts Your Doctors Don’t Tell You

By Raluca Schachter

Guest writer for Wake Up World

You got your blood test results back and you found out your cholesterol level is 300! You panic and listen fearfully to your doctor telling you how the “bad” LDL cholesterol needs to be lowered immediately! Medication? You are hesitating, since you’ve heard about statin’s negative effects on your health like heart and liver problems, memory loss…Maybe you better stop eating eggs and saturated fat and then it will all be good…? Maybe you’d consider a cholesterol lowering supplement as well…

Reality is that this scenario has to STOP! After all it’s about YOUR HEALTH. It shouldn’t be about the doctor, the processed food industry and the pharmaceutical company! Cholesterol numbers tell a different story than the one you’ve probably heard from your doctor. Here are the most important facts to know when you have high cholesterol:

” The question is, why do some people have more cholesterol in their blood than others, and why can the same person have different levels of cholesterol at different times of the day? Why is our level of cholesterol different in different seasons of the year? In winter it goes up and in the summer it goes down. Why is it that blood cholesterol goes through the roof in people after any surgery? Why does blood cholesterol go up when we have an infection? Why does it go up after dental treatment? Why does it go up when we are under stress? And why does it become normal when we are relaxed and feel well? The answer to all these questions is this: cholesterol is a healing agent in the body.” (Natasha Campbell–McBride)

The Cholesterol And Inflammation Connection

Your body creates more cholesterol as a response to deal with inflammatory issues within the body. So cholesterol is not the problem, it is merely the solution your body is using to try and heal itself. Inflammation in the arterial walls is the real danger, and if left unchecked the swelling can eventually shut off blood flow to the heart or brain, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.

What Are The Inflammation Sources In The Body?

When there is a high level of oxidation present in the body, there also tends to be free radical activity in the tissues. LDL oxidizes in the body due to consuming artificial, partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats), vegetable oils, genetically modified food, a diet high in refined sugars, alcohol and tobacco. Damaged cholesterol is found in powdered eggs, in powdered milk (added to reduced-fat milks to give them body) and in meats and fats that have been heated to high temperatures in frying and other high-temperature processes. Elevated levels of LDL also may be caused by chemical and heavy metal toxicity, liver toxicity and stress, hypothyroidism and kidney failure.

“Bad” and “Good” Cholesterol? No Such A Thing!

LDL (low density lipo-protein) is the “carrier” of cholesterol, sending out cholesterol to various parts of the body where needed. HDL (high density lipo protein) takes cholesterol back to the liver. LDL and HDL are neither “good” or “bad”, they are just cholesterol.

However, once the pharmaceutical companies realized they could easily produce a drug to lower blood cholesterol (and so make huge profits) they simply bought and paid for the “science” to “prove” their theories. This way, the “good and bad” cholesterol scam was born and continuously fed with heavy marketing campaigns over the years.

Low levels of HDL reflect a sedentary lifestyle. Doctors and others who push the misinformation about raising HDL as being a good thing, fail to address that HDL levels greater than 75 are actually correlative with autoimmune processes. This is a strong possibility especially if triglyceride levels are low (less than 40). Excess consumption of alcohol, drug use, hypothyroidism, and excess estrogen can also cause HDL levels to become too high.

Cholesterol Numbers And Their Meaning

High serum cholesterol says nothing about how much cholesterol is in the tissues. As people begin to heal and correct their metabolic imbalances, the blood cholesterol may go up, because it’s leaving the tissues!Most people, including doctors, feel they need to immediately take action on “righting” the “numbers”, when they look at these “snap-shots” of a moving picture in the body.
It’s not enough to look at the high and low numbers of LDL and HDL. The particle size of LDL cholesterol and the C-Reactive Protein (the protein found in the blood, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation) should also be checked.

What does the particle size of the LDL tell us? A healthy LDL particle is big and fluffy – and as a result, it naturally flows through the system and is non-problematic. However, when the particle size is small and dense it doesn’t flow so smoothly and has a tendency to get stuck in the small gaps in the arteries where nutrition flows in. When this happens, like all things that are stagnant, it creates inflammation and the beginnings ofatherosclerosis.

Different Biochemistries, Different Metabolisms, Different Cholesterol Numbers

The “cholesterol scam” initiated by the pharmaceutical companies ingrained the idea that a total cholesterol number of 200 needs immediate “action” : either a drug or/ and no saturated fat and cholesterol rich foods.

Not only is a total cholesterol value greater than 200 not necessarily high, for many people it is normal and very important! Protein types as defined by the Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing often have values greater than 200 while being very healthy. These types thrive on a higher ratio of saturated fat and cholesterol containing foods.

 A Short Review Of Cholesterol’s Vital Functions In The Body

And let’s not forget how vital cholesterol is! It was meant to exist in our bodies NOT to harm us, but to perform a wide variety of functions without which we couldn’t survive! Just a few of these are below:

  • Every single cell of our body is made from cholesterol
  • Cholesterol increases cell membrane integrity; it gives our cells necessary stiffness and stability
  • Every steroid hormone is made from cholesterol
  • The body’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D is dependent on cholesterol
  • Cholesterol is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger
  • The bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of fats in the diet
  • Our immune system needs cholesterol to repair damaged cells. (as it’s in the case of a surgery, cell damage due to toxic food and chemicals)

So my advice to all of you is start educating yourself about what cholesterol really means before you decide for the medication and for avoiding saturated fats and cholesterol rich foods. Non of these will work. It will be like killing the messenger (cholesterol) for delivering you bad news.

Article Sources:

Campbell-McBride, Natasha, MD. Cholesterol: Friend Or Foe?

Lundell, Dwight, MD. The Cholesterol Lie Exposed

McEvoy, Michael. Cholesterol Is Powerfully Anti-Inflammatory & Prevents Free Radical Activity

McEvoy, Michael. ‘Good’ & ‘Bad’ Cholesterol: No Such Thing

Schaff, Rick. An Open Letter on the Essentials of Understanding Cholesterol, Saturated Fats & Heart Disease

Taubes, Gary. The Soft Science of Dietary Fat

Previous Articles by Raluca Schachter

About the Author

Raluca Schachter is a passionate Nutritionist and Metabolic Typing Advisor ®, with a background in both nutrition and communication/PR. She believes in traditional, unaltered food, ancestral wisdom, sustainable farming and living. Raluca was able to naturally reverse chronic health conditions she was struggling with most of her life, and now uses her knowledge to help as many people as possible do the same. Her health programs and diet plans offer a very unique and comprehensive approach to health, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met using specific nutrients and foods that each metabolism thrives on. This approach reveals why and how ‘one diet/herb doesn’t fit all’ and why ‘one man’s food is another one’s poison.’ Raluca currently resides in Garden Grove, CA and offers her services for local and distance clientele. For more information visit her website and blog or join Raluca on Facebook



Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Wake Up World or its staff.

  • Jeff Wilson

    Awesome article big pharma does not want folks to know the Truth, that the whole Cholesterol Theory is WRONG. One thing I would add: Regarding the inflammation that is at the source of the problem. Aside from the above mentioned factors. Vaccinations,chlorine and fluoride in the water, and one of the biggest ones is antibiotics, taken by us, or the animals we eat. All of these (and a whole lot of other “advancements” of civilization destroy gut flora (the key to health)…allowing pathogenic bacteria to colonize and very often permeate the gut wall. The result is that too large molecules of perfectly harmless foods get into the bloodstream, where being at an unrecognized size and structure, they are attacked by the bodies defenses. A bi product of this attack creates inflammation. This is one reason folks who have food allergies, get tested and find they are allergic to almost everything, and even when they exclude the offending items…. they become allergic to new ones. It isn’t that they are allergic to these foods per se, but too large molecules of any food are treated as allergens…and allergens are a primary source of inflammation.

  • Raluca Schachter

    Thank you Jeff! And yes, I perfectly agree with your additional explanations!

  • Tracy Kolenchuk

    Cholesterol is healthy. Surely we know that, but unfortunately we don’t study healthicine nor healthiness. When cholesterol numbers are high, it can indicate a strong, healthy response to a problem. Unfortunately, our medical systems treat high cholesterol like many other symptoms – they tackle the symptoms rather than the cause. That’s the medical paradigm in action. And then the drug manufacturers create a patented product to tackle the symptoms, that’s the patent medicine paradigm in action.

    We need a health paradigm, not an illness paradigm.

    We’ll never learn to understand healthiness by studying symptoms illness. We need to study the study the symptoms of healthiness.
    to your health, tracy

  • http://Website Francis J, MD

    This article is based on half truths and very misleading… While some things you presented may be true on the surface (eg. Cholesterol contributes to a cell membrane, is not intrinsically good/bad but has a specific physiologic teleology, etc). That people believe physicians are part of some conspiracy is absolute garbage… We all are highly trained and study actual BIOCHEMISTRY to enable us to learn the pathophysiology of diseases, including inflammatory responses to excess cholesterol. We don’t just memorize arbitrary LDL levels to know cutoffs to treat– a computer can do that. We actually learn disease processes and to apply them in a clinical context. Everything we learn, including current standard of care, is based on years of established, highly reproduced, and widely accepted clinical data, all rooted in sound pathophysiology. Therefore to say that it is a lie that high cholesterol is damaging to your vasculature is just not true. I invite you to look at some of the widely regarded studies that have been completed that are the basis of clinical practice before you say that treatment is a scam. Do you know how many drugs enter development and never make it to the market? Far more that actually enter clinical use; pharmaceutical companies can’t just make any drug and market it to physicians, they must have years of proven benefit taking I to account the risks. Don’t write an entire article based an elementary level of biochemistry and maybe ask somebody who understands the disease process to explain to you how excess cholesterol intake leads to oxidation and uptake by scavenger receptors in macrophages, leading to fatty streaks, and the entire pathogenesis of artheroslcerois. Don’t just open Wikipedia and get a few terms and turn it into some conspiracy. Statins are amongst the safest and most efficacious drugs on the market today, and reduce mortality for many populations. Biochemistry is biochemistry and is the basis for drugs. Drugs are then tested exhaustively and clinical practice is based on empiric data on what can reduce morbidity and disease burden. It is quite simple minded to think doctors simply look at an “LDL Level” and write a prescription for a random statin. This is what we have studied and we base our decisions on the best current clinical data and firm pathophysiological understanding. Not to say your entire article is unfounded but it is quite incomplete and gives people the wrong idea about cholesterol.

    Here are some of the clinical trials I am talking about FYI. I urge you to try to understand the disease pathophysiology and review the empiric data before making any more claims.

    • Raluca Schachter

      First of all, this is what I believe about the different healthcare systems we have available today: the conventional, western model of medicine is a symptom and disease oriented approach. There is no real prevention here. Action is taken when symptoms appear and that action is mostly based on prescribing drugs for a lifetime. Deep, underlying factors that determined the disease in the first place are not considered.

      Even alternative medicine is mostly disease based, where symptoms are suppressed by natural remedies; sure, it’s not that toxic as taking drugs but it’s not the solution for long term health either.

      The third model is one that aims to go much deeper than symptoms and treating diseases on the surface level.This patient-oriented paradigm is a totally different approach altogether, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met. We are talking about METABOLIC INDIVIDUALITY, about how and why “one man’s food is another one’s poison” and how and why “one diet/herb/ nutreint doesn’t fit all”.

      And now back to your comments:

      —- That people believe physicians are part of some conspiracy is absolute garbage

      The data is out there, public, check this out, just a small example…

      —- We all are highly trained and study actual BIOCHEMISTRY to enable us to learn the pathophysiology of diseases, including inflammatory responses to excess cholesterol.

      You might learn biochemistry, but not for the right purpose. You learn it to understand disease, NOT health! Conventionally trained doctors know everything about disease, nothing about prevention, real health and how to build up health, from the ground up. There are so many previously trained MDs who even admitted to that and even wrote important books on the matter. There is no real nutrition taught in medical schools, and we all know it all starts there…

      —- Do you know how many drugs enter development and never make it to the market? Far more that actually enter clinical use; pharmaceutical companies can’t just make any drug and market it to physicians, they must have years of proven benefit taking I to account the risks

      The market is FLOODED with pharmaceuticals, far more than any human being would need! There have been numerous recalls of drugs and many helpless people end up in places like nursing homes are being drugged out, without their or the family’s consent. (On a personal note, a member of my family had to be in such a facility for 10 months and was drugged out with various medication; they didn’t even want to show us all records in the beginning…She was constantly delirious, lost her mind almost… She’s been given the “newest medication” for “depression” she didn’t have for months, until we found out what was going on….The moment she stopped the drugs and went back home, she regained her mind and can have a normal conversation now. She actually wasn’t even aware of what happened to her in the nursing home. While she was there she would look at her son and say: “you’re dead, what are you doing here?” This is just one of the thousands similar stories that go on every day throughout the country..)

      —- Don’t just open Wikipedia and get a few terms and turn it into some conspiracy.

      I don’t see any Wikipedia in my resources and I definitely don’t use that as my source for articles. Rather, the facts are extracted from clinical evidence, numerous studies and the work of numerous experts (including MDs, yes) who studied the cholesterol in depth. Just a few of these renowned experts :

      Natasha Campbell McBride, MD (Cholesterol, Friend Or Foe?)

      Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD (‘The Cholesterol Myths)

      Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD

      Malcom Kendrick, MD (The Great Cholesterol Con)

      Dwight Lundell, MD (The Cholesterol Lie Exposed)

      —- Statins are amongst the safest and most efficacious drugs on the market today, and reduce mortality for many populations.

      Statins are the most unnecessary and dangerous drugs on the market today. They are meant to keep people dependent on the medication for a lifetime, without curing or healing anything. They cover up symptoms, don’t address the real cause. They have serious side effects like : Co-Q10 depletion, cognitive impairment, dizziness, cancer, depression, pancreatitis, muscle pain and weakness, pain in the hands and feet.
      They add to the toxic load of the body.

      And when patients experience these side effects, what happens? They should ingest other drugs to suppress even more symptoms? It never ends!

      “Statin drugs are very expensive–a course of statins for a year costs between $900 and $1400. They constitute the mostly widely sold pharmaceutical drug, accounting for 6.5 percent of market share and 12.5 billion dollars in revenue for the industry. Your insurance company may pay most of that cost, but consumers always ultimately pay with higher insurance premiums. Payment for statin drugs poses a huge burden for Medicare, so much so that funds may not be available for truly lifesaving medical measures.” (Sally Fallon, Mary Enig)

      —- Biochemistry is biochemistry and is the basis for drugs.

      Biochemistry teaches us we all have unique metabolisms, as unique as our fingerprints. It is meant to help us better understand the human body, and what it really needs in terms of nutrition, nutrients and natural remedies in order to stay healthy. It is definitely NOT the basis for drugs. Money are the basis for drugs.

      —- Drugs are then tested exhaustively and clinical practice is based on empiric data on what can reduce morbidity and disease burden.

      Many drugs hit the market before they were proven they won’t kill anyone..Studies are done in a hurry and serve certain big interests. There is so much evidence against that right now, it’s really easy to find out…

      “Morbidity and disease burden”? How about taking care of that the real, effective and non-harmful way? By choosing real food, a healthy lifestyle and remedies from Nature? Millions did it and many more will do it. Diseases are useful signals our bodies are sending us that there is an imbalance which we need to address. It’s not a “burden”, it’s an important survival mechanism. We should be aware of it and treat it the right way. The “magic pill” and not taking responsibility for one’s health will never bring true health back.

      This message is already getting longer than I wanted to keep it. There is SO much solid evidence out there about the dangers of statins and about the “cholesterol scam” that it’s impossible to put everything in one message. But more articles will follow. And Wake Up World is one of the best places to read about real truth!

    • http://Website Eric M.D. L.A.c. N.D.

      You are obviously one who follows standard of care and can not think outside the box. I am so happy that people are taking their health into their own hands instead ofbletting M.D.s and pharmaceutical companies tell us lies. you think you we’re trained in complete medicine but you were not you were taught by followers not independent thinkers Medicine is really only about money when taught at traditional meical schools. It is by no means about the individuals health

  • http://Website Jennifer

    I do not disagree with the writers statements about cholesterol and needing to examine more closely the role of cholesterol and heart attacks. However, I am not sure about the sources used to cite the facts in this article and I am still not sold of the research in this area. More research is indicated before I can be convinced that low cholesterol is linked with heat disease.

  • Bruce Calkins

    Raluca, thank you so much for this article. I have read much about this subject and recommend another reference: “The Cholesterol Conspiracy” by Ladd McNamara, M.D. He recommends a new blood test which measures the amount of oxidized cholesterol in the blood, which he says is what sticks to the damaged or inflamed arterial walls causing plaque to build up. If our antioxidant levels are high enough, we shouldn’t have a problem. Of course avoiding as much toxicity in the environment as possible is an important practice to reduce the free radicals in the body as well.

  • http://Website Sole

    Raluca, your arguments to defend your article are excellent. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about this with us. I second your statements “You might learn biochemistry, but not for the right purpose. You learn it to understand disease, NOT health!”