Newest Cholesterol Guidelines Make More Sense

By on May 16, 2009
cholesterol guidelines

The newest guidelines for High Cholesterol levels and treatment are being embraced by some who don’t see cholesterol as being the huge cardiac risk factor that some organizations see it as. Some see the newest studies that have come out as better and more common sense guidelines for treating cholesterol than the “lower is better” crowd that give out the cholesterol lowering statin drugs to everyone with a cholesterol level over 150.

Essentially, for the past decade, we have been taught that cholesterol is bad and have been encouraged to get it as low as possible for health and to not eat cholesterol laden foods like shrimp lest it make our cholesterol levels go up even a smidge. But there are those on the other side of this issue who question the lower is better theory. They see cholesterol as the precursor for every single hormone in the body, a requirement in order to make Vitamin D from sunlight and as a required component in every cell wall of the body. In fact, a former Heart Surgeon is taking on the notion that cholesterol is a problem at all! Take a look at why Dr. Lundell believes that Cholesterol is NOT a problem!

So there are doctors who are questioning whether we even SHOULD be lowering cholesterol in the first place. And a new study is finally shedding new on the ‘lower is better’ debate. The study is summarized in an easy to use guideline entitled The Importance of the Triglyceride/HDL Ratio. Essentially, they say to take your cholesterol levels and triglycerides and put it into a formula in order to find out your risk. You take your triglycerides and divide them by your HDL level. In other words, you do the following easy formula:

Triglycerides/HDL=___

Then use the following formula to find out your cardiovascular disease risk:

  • 2 or less is considered ideal with the lower the number the better
  • 2-4 = high risk
  • 4-6  =very high risk

Check out this real life example of a 37 year old female (actually ME!). My:

  • Total Chol is 199
  • LDL is 127
  • HDL is 72
  • Trigly  are 83
  • CRP less than 1

According to the (hopefully soon to be abolished) thinking about cholesterol of ‘lower is better’, it’s likely that my doctor would have at least considered if not insisted upon a statin. But according to this standard, I have very low risk with my Triglyceride/HDL ratio at 1.15 which is VERY low. My family history also agrees with this and I KNOW that I take care of myself VERY well so this article confirms what I already knew anyway. I love it when that happens.

Another study also showed that the C reactive protein, also called the CRP level- a marker of inflammation,  is really a more important predictor of heart disease than cholesterol. So my CRP of less than 1 also agree with the conclusion that I am at low risk for cardiovascular disease. And that’s also what Dr. Lundell writes about in The Great Cholesterol Lie. He believes that it is INFLAMMATION that is the problem- NOT Cholesterol. These are much more common sense and livable guidelines for Cholesterol levels that seem to work in real life situations much better than the practically unachievable and possibly detrimental ‘cholesterol level of 150 or less’ that gets just about everyone who sees their doctor on a cholesterol lowering statin drug.

About Kerri Knox, RN

The author is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With 20 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in both Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the underlying causes of chronic illness, while empowering you to take charge of your own health. She is the owner and author of this blog and website.

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