Source for Alternative Medical Advice
TO LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL
Written and Researched
by Ronald J. Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O
Tony was recently evaluated by his
family physician and found that his cholesterol was 327. Concerned that this
might be an early warning sign for a pending heart attack, he asked his
physician what he should do. Obviously the recommendations were right out of a
television commercial. Lipitor was prescribed. Tony was also told to follow a
low-cholesterol, low fat diet and check with his physician in three months to
have his cholesterol rechecked.
With a family history of heart
disease, Tony was determined to do whatever it took to lower his cholesterol.
For three months Tony was on a mission: No fat. No meat. No cholesterol!! His
diet consisted of bagels with margarine, fruit, pasta, vegetables and all the
non-fat foods he could get his hands on. He began taking 10 mgs of Lipitor and
worked his way to 40 mgs per day. He followed his physician's recommendations to
the letter. His three month cholesterol follow-up was ordered and to Tony's
surprise and disappointment his cholesterol had improved, but only by 15 points.
A 312 cholesterol was not what he expected! His physician explained that it may
take time and that Tony needed to continue with his medication and strict no
fat/no cholesterol diet. In fact, his physician recommended that he increase the
Lipitor to 80 mg.. the maximum dose allowed.
Again, Tony "pulled his straps
up" and gathered his strength and began another three-month course of
lowering his cholesterol. With added determination, Tony was confident he would
not fall victim to the #1 killer in the country.. heart disease. His thought of
his father lying in the hospital after his triple bypass was enough to keep Tony
from going off course. The day of recognition was quickly approaching.. his
cholesterol was to be checked in two days!! With a slight degree of
apprehension, Tony had his blood drawn and had to wait five days before he
received the call from his physician's nurse. "Tony, I wanted to call and
tell you that your cholesterol results have come in. I don't want you to be too
concerned, but your cholesterol has increased to 357." Your physician has
scheduled you to see a cardiologist. Tony just knew that he was doomed. At 42
years old, Tony thought, "How could this be? I did everything right. I
followed the program to the "T".
Tony is just one of the millions of
people who suffer from a resistant high cholesterol. Health food stores are
filled with people looking for a natural alternative to lowering their
cholesterol. The consumption of garlic by health food zealots is enough to knock
you out cold.
Although Cholesterol has been linked
to heart disease, most people are not aware of some of it's more important
functions. Cholesterol is responsible
for the production of testosterone, natural cortisone and estrogen. The
synthetic lowering of cholesterol has been linked to female hormonal problems
and increased muscle and joint pain.
Like Tony, the frustration of not
being able to effectively lower ones cholesterol runs rampant in our country.
The over prescription of Zocar and Lipitor has been linked to a number of
serious side effects. These medications, commonly referred to as statins, are
some of the most frequently prescribed drug classes in the world with over five
million people in the U.S. alone currently taking them.
Lowering Medication Side Effects
of the most common side effects are
liver damage, sexual dysfunction, tendon inflammation and peripheral neuropathy.
One of the more recent problems with cholesterol lowering medications is it's
effect on insulin and anti-oxidants. In a recent study, Zocar affected insulin
sensitivity by 13% and decreased important anti-oxidants by 22%. It is a
well-known fact that decreased insulin sensitivity leads to insulin resistance,
to Type II diabetes, and eventually kidney and heart disease.
What is the
In order to lower cholesterol, it is
important to understand the significance of why the cholesterol is high in the
first place. A little bit of biochemistry will help solve this mystery. Most
people with high cholesterol are not guilty of consuming too much cholesterol
food. The fact is that cholesterol is synthesized in the body; at least 2000 mg
per day. Don't eat enough cholesterol and the body will produce more. Remember,
cholesterol is needed for important hormone production such as estrogen and
testosterone... to name a few.
The problem lies in a defect
or problem in lipid (fat) metabolism. Improve
how lipids are metabolized and the cholesterol will improve and normalize.
Mary entered my office with an
elevated cholesterol of 359. After three years of following the traditional
protocol of cholesterol lowering medications and restrictive fat and cholesterol
diets, her improvement was to say the least "zilch" - no improvement!!
Review of her medical records
confirmed my suspicion that Mary was never evaluated for a lipid metabolism
defect or abnormality. The first step in Mary's case was to obtain an essential
mineral profile and see if she was deficient in any essential minerals.
Essential Mineral Assessment
Results of her mineral test revealed
a significant deficiency of magnesium and selenium and a toxic level of copper.
In addition, a fatty acid test was ordered which revealed a significant
deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids.
Fatty Acid Profile
Mary was given a dietary program
emphasizing omega 3 foods. In addition, Mary was encouraged to eat a diet
consisting of 30% good fats such as olive oil, nuts and avocado etc., 30% low
glycemic carbohydrates, and 40% protein. Protein intake consisted of
Atlantic salmon (not farm-raised), lamb, antibiotic-free chicken and beef. She
was prescribed magnesium, L-carnitine and selenium.
A five week follow-up revealed a
dramatic change of Mary's cholesterol from 359 to 173! Mary was able to
discontinue her cholesterol medication and continues to maintain her cholesterol
well within the optimal range.
It is important to understand that
objective testing procedures is the only way to truly make this type of
long-lasting improvement. The familiar clichй applies, "One must
treat the patient and not the disease."
Routine prescription of a low fat,
low cholesterol diet and not much else is inadequate case management which
allows what could be a reversible condition progressing to the stage of a life
threatening heart condition.
It is obvious that biochemical
testing should be part of an overall cholesterol assessment. Simply prescribing
cholesterol lowering medications such as Lipitor opens the door to additional
health challenges. Addressing the underlying biochemical defects or
abnormalities may soon prove to be the treatment of the future. As more
progressive physicians begin to utilize the medical laboratory testing for lipid
metabolism, a greater percentage of cholesterol compromised patients will
undoubtedly win the battle against one of the risk factors of cardiovascular
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This page was last revised on July 11, 2002
© 2001 Ronald J. Grisanti
NOTICE: This information is provided for educational
purposes. Any medical procedures, dietary changes, or nutritional supplements
discussed herein should only be undertaken on the advice of a qualified
Ronald J. Grisanti, D.C.,
The Grisanti Center for Integrative Medicine
4200 East North Street, Suite 14 • Greenville, SC 29615
(864) 292-0226 • FAX: (864) 268-7022