(NaturalHealth365) For years, cholesterol in general – and “bad,” or LDL cholesterol in particular – has gotten a bad rap in the media, taking much of the blame for American’s current heart disease epidemic.
But not all scientists agree that cholesterol deserves its reputation; in fact, multiple studies indicate that the links between cholesterol and heart disease may be exaggerated, and that cholesterol isn’t actually as bad as it’s been portrayed.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest cholesterol findings…
The many myths surrounding cholesterol
For decades, we’ve been told that high levels of cholesterol, specifically low density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol, is a causal factor in heart disease. In order to lower LDL levels, many people avoid foods with high cholesterol content, such as eggs, butter and red meat, while others have turned to cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.
It’s a common issue; according to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in six adults – or 17 percent of Americans – have high cholesterol. However, according to Harvard Medical School and CNN, more than 42 million people currently take statins to lower their cholesterol, or nearly one in four Americans.
Does LDL deserve its “evil” reputation?
Multiple studies say “no”!
A 2014 study in Future Medicine suggests that dietary sources of cholesterol do not play a role in increased risk of heart disease.
A 2013 metastudy in the British Medical Journal found that higher consumption of foods that contained high levels of LDL cholesterol did not increase the risk of coronary heart disease and, in fact, reduced the risk of developing a hemorrhagic stroke.
A 2011 study in the Journal of Gerontology found a link between higher LDL levels and higher muscle mass amongst adults that exercised regularly.
These and many other studies underlie a key fact that’s often overlooked in the cholesterol discourse: The body actually needs cholesterol, both LDL and HDH – high-density lipoprotein or so-called “good” cholesterol – to function properly.
Diets and drug regimens that severely reduce LDL may not be as healthy as once thought.
All things in moderation
Dr. Steve Reichman, researcher at Texas A&M University, notes that LDL actually serves an essential purpose in the body: helping the body to gain muscle mass.
His 2011 study found that after adults exercised vigorously, those who gained the most muscle mass actually had the highest LDL levels. He attributes this finding to the fact that the body needs LDL in the blood in order to repair and rebuild muscles after exercise.
He also notes that elevated LDL levels not related to exercise serve as an early warning system that something is off – whether that’s an unhealthy diet, smoking or a lack of exercise.
Many experts point to a diet high in trans-fats, sugars and processed foods, all of which lead to inflammation, as the bigger culprit – noting that cholesterol is found throughout each cell in the body and is actually necessary for health.
These recent studies clearly indicate that the cholesterol story may be more complex than previously thought, indicating a need for more research.
Looking for natural health solutions? Sign up now – for our free, weekly show featuring the greatest minds in natural health and science plus a free gift!
SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Click here to join the NaturalHealth365 INNER CIRCLE – a monthly (online) subscription offering over 300 audio and video programs, special events, natural health product discounts, free gifts plus much more!
Food & Nutrition
Natural Health 365
Natural Health 365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The Food & Nutrition articles found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on eating healthy, nutritious foods and safely using supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you informed! Articles range in topic from the cancer fighting qualities of Olive Oil, to the remarkably high concentration of anti-oxidants found in blueberries, to how to make your own almond milk, to a nutritional comparison of organic vs conventional produce, to an analysis of the health benefits of tree nuts. You can find all of the Food News Articles here
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Artichokes, Olive Oil, Almond Milk, Blueberries
More Food & Nutrition Articles
Fresh Organic Produce Fights Cancer, Susan G. Komen on Organic Foods, Hemp Seeds for Inflammation, Pau D’Arco For Improved Immunity
In addition to exploring health benefits of certain foods, vitamins and supplements, we also aim to connect healthy eating and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to long-lasting health and adding healthy, happy years to your life. For example, did you know that eating Granny Smith Apples on a regular basis can reduce your chance of building up unhealthy gut yeast? Or that ingesting ground hemp seeds can significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body? Perhaps you didn’t know that Fresh Organic Produce has been found to have higher concentrations of key, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and vitamins than conventional produce? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
We’d love to know what you’re thinking! Please join the conversation on Facebook, post comments here on the website and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Please use and share the articles you find here with your friends, family and peers.