Cholesterol - Risk myth?

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rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:32 pm

Rattex,
you are right of course. But it is not so easy.
There are thousands of studies done in the last few years alone - all effectively pointing to a problem with current medical treatment protocols around this issue. A quick search with Google will find them for you - many of them from very reputable organizations and published in many equally reputable peer reviewed journals. Have a look at the NIH and the American Cardiologists associations website - they store just about everything. I suspect not much of it gets read by those that should.
Non of the research we are talking about is from the pharmaceuticals. Of course not. Those are companies that need to earn money to exist. Nothing wrong with that. They are not charity. If they are going to spend large amounts of money on research it better result in patents and a sellable product. If you where a share holder I don't think you would be pleased with the board if they would sanction anything that will reduce your companies turnover would you now ?

There are many, many studies of varying nature out there showing you what to do - yes, it takes a bit of effort to find them and evaluate them with respect to what you are after but that's life for now.

Now, we have been moaning about statins in general. But let's have a look at something new, just to illustrate what is going on.

About two years ago I got an invitation from my cardiologist to participate in a new drug trail. I was given some forms to fill in and given brief information (only after I asked for it - still rather vague). It was a new drug that lowered LDL significantly in a different way. I was interested but somehow the paperwork got lost. Anyway, glad it did.
The drug is PCSK9. Google it. I will not bore you with the details on what it does.
Here are some facts:
It lowers LDL in all subjects significantly (>50% is easily achievable).
Around 70% of study subjects (not on the placebo) reported side effects (including very severe ones - much the same as statins do, just much worse).
There is zero evidence at this stage that it helps in any way with cardiac issues (too new for that).
It's being fast tracked to market. Two manufacturers have now been approved already and it's available for treatment.
It's very expensive (around R15.000 per month, needs one injection per month).
Celebrations all around and earnings estimates in the billions. It's the next big money maker. Or is it - time will tell ?

So, to put not too fine a point to it - we throw this out there, not very well researched as to long term effects (including desirable effects), much criticism abounds, big media statements on what a great and wonderful advance we made (perhaps true, we just don't know yet) and even my doctor is keen to give this to every patient, no matter what.
Now get this: For the first time in like ever - these drug companies are stating that this is ideal for patients that cannot tolerate statins. Before this little problem was hardly even acknowledged to exist (it's just in your head as my doc would say 10 years ago).

There are so many remedies and good research out there (yes, some bad as well). Yet it gets completely ignored. So will this article you refer to. It's just another one...

Something is really, really wrong. Badly.

Rainier


rattex wrote:A US study quoted in the guardian today shows that lowering cholesterol can raise the risk of death. The study is presented in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), so I think the main stream will slowly have to sit up and take notice.

<<<
Replacing animal fat in the human diet with vegetable oil may not lower the risk of heart disease, and might even boost it, according to a study that challenges a cornerstone of dietary advice.

Switching from saturated to unsaturated Omega-6 fats did result in lower blood cholesterol in a trial with nearly 10,000 participants, the US study said, but not the expected reduction in heart disease deaths.

Those with a greater reduction in cholesterol “had a higher rather than a lower risk of death”, according to the research published by the medical journal BMJ.
....
“If blood cholesterol values are not a reliable indicator of risk of cardiovascular disease, then a careful review of the evidence that underpins dietary recommendations is warranted,” he wrote in the BMJ.
>>>
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rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:03 pm

I should mention something I learned this weekend.
A family friend of mine who also had a bypass many years ago (and is doing quite well) decided to start taking what I am taking about 8 weeks ago after noting my rapid progress at the time.
He went for his annual checkup with his cardiologist. He did not mention to him what he was doing (he was afraid he'd get shot down).
His doc did all sorts of tests (more than usual, lots of blood tests, stress ECG, ultrasound, etc. My friend got increasingly worried).
The doctor, once done and all results came in gave him a clean bill of health.
The doctor reduced is high dose of Lipitor statin (80 mg) to 10 mg. His blood pressure has normalized as well.

My friend still does not want to tell his doctor.

Rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Walid » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:15 am

rainier wrote:I should mention something I learned this weekend.
A family friend of mine who also had a bypass many years ago (and is doing quite well) decided to start taking what I am taking about 8 weeks ago after noting my rapid progress at the time.
He went for his annual checkup with his cardiologist. He did not mention to him what he was doing (he was afraid he'd get shot down).
His doc did all sorts of tests (more than usual, lots of blood tests, stress ECG, ultrasound, etc. My friend got increasingly worried).
The doctor, once done and all results came in gave him a clean bill of health.
The doctor reduced is high dose of Lipitor statin (80 mg) to 10 mg. His blood pressure has normalized as well.

My friend still does not want to tell his doctor.

Rainier
The doctor probably thinks that Lipitor is the next best thing to sliced bread :roll:
rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:20 pm

Walid wrote:
rainier wrote:I should mention something I learned this weekend.
A family friend of mine who also had a bypass many years ago (and is doing quite well) decided to start taking what I am taking about 8 weeks ago after noting my rapid progress at the time.
He went for his annual checkup with his cardiologist. He did not mention to him what he was doing (he was afraid he'd get shot down).
His doc did all sorts of tests (more than usual, lots of blood tests, stress ECG, ultrasound, etc. My friend got increasingly worried).
The doctor, once done and all results came in gave him a clean bill of health.
The doctor reduced is high dose of Lipitor statin (80 mg) to 10 mg. His blood pressure has normalized as well.

My friend still does not want to tell his doctor.

Rainier
The doctor probably thinks that Lipitor is the next best thing to sliced bread :roll:
Yes you are right. How do you fix that ?

BTW, with all the banting talk on this thread you better be careful about mentioning bread. It means different things to different people now. :lol:

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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Walid » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:18 am

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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:27 pm

It is a good page but does not cut my entry level requirements for consideration due to lack of relevant references. While much of what is said on this page is probably true it is really important to back up any claim made with a valid and good study or at least a detailed scientific reasoning. This is important as it is so easy to write anything you feel like and publish it as fact.

References allows the reader to verify the claims based on a foundation that should include further references where needed. This way you get a spiders nest of references that is relatively easy to follow. You can then also apply a value to a reference which may make it more or less relevant. This value can be derived from multiple factors pertaining to the perceived quality of the reference, who did it and how and how do the peers view the reference. This is really a valuable way to navigate a lot of rubbish that you will find.

I am not at all stating that Mercola is in any way rubbish - don't get me wrong. But it is intended for the casual audience that reacts on sound bites. It is useful as a pointer though - if there is a statement that sounds interesting it can provide a seed for further investigation and I have used Mercola's website (and others like Webmd) for that. Usually you can quickly find the missing references yourself - long live Google !

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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Antman » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:44 pm

Hi Rainier

Really appreciate the info you're providing!

With reference too
It is a good page but does not cut my entry level requirements for consideration due to lack of relevant references.
You'll find the Sources and References at the bottom of the page, just click the little + and you'll get the following.
[-] Sources and References
STAT News April 4, 2016
Epoch Times April 1, 2016
1 WebMD September 6, 2012
2 Nature Communications December 4, 2012; 3:1249
3 Journal of Nutrition Nov 1990, 120:11S:1433-1436
4 TIME February 11, 2015
5 2015 DGAC Meeting December 15, 2014
6 Science Daily February 10, 2010
7 BMJ 2013;346:e8707 [Epub ahead of print]
8 Am J Clin Nutr May 1998 vol. 67 no. 5 828-836
9 Authority Nutrition December 2015
10 The New York Times April 4, 2016
11 Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Mar;8(2):201-10.
12 Stats.org
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:44 pm

Antman wrote:Hi Rainier

Really appreciate the info you're providing!

With reference too

You'll find the Sources and References at the bottom of the page, just click the little + and you'll get the following.
That's not really the kind of references I was talking about. Mostly anyway. Very little that points to good research. It's really mostly pointers to other, similar websites, magazine or newspaper articles. OK in the context of what Mercola's website is aimed at - easy to read stuff.
However, you will find the odd good reference - follow that and if its good - that will have the references you are after.

Mercola and similar websites are useful as "pointers", mostly because Google tends to latch onto them. View them as starting points but in a way where you look at a presented fact and, if it sounds interesting, take a neutral stance on it, then see if you can find anything more on it. If you start to get hits from websites such as the NIH or ACA or similar then there is perhaps something with more of a handle that you can start looking at.
Don't be afraid of trying to read these medical research and study documents. They are difficult to read at first and use a lot of big words that make your head spin (again, Google is a handy tool to translate those into something mere mortals can understand). You will notice they all follow the same layout from introduction to conclusion. I read those sections first (i.e. the first and the last page effectively). If its relevant to what I'm after - then I start looking at the body of the text.
You will notice that these documents tend to have a rich list of references at the end - often I find these references are of more value than the document you just found so don't ignore them.

Be very aware of clinging to a reference because it sounds good or is what you are looking for and ignore similar because it does not agree. You will find a lot of that. Things are rarely cut and dry. Sometimes you will find meta-studies. These are useful to bring perspective into such occasions - and often point to interesting research you did not know about.

Mercola and similar very much challenge "official" medical thinking in just about everything. Yes we need websites like this but there is a tiny bit of alarm that rings in the back of my head. Despite everything I have posted which relates purely to my own experience I am reluctant to condemn established medical practices out of hand. We can't throw everything out of the window. There is a lot of stuff that does work and we should not forget that. Mercola is not going to help you take out your inflamed appendix. There is almost a two lane highway now related to medical treatments. A fast growing alternate and the established profession. They are both relevant but in my opinion we have a problem in that the medical profession is largely ignoring what is happening outside of the consulting room, whatever the reason may be. There are really a lot of seriously viable "alternatives" out there but you will be lucky to get such prescribed by your doctor or have your medical aid chip in. That is what should change. But of course it's not going to.

Rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by dany » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:46 am

The word Cholesterol is one of the golden words for the medical industry to drain money from one,s pocket.

Most of what happen to us today,is self inflicted and that again tie in with being just lazy. If you spend most of your time in a chair, then ovbious your body will react to how much energy you burn.

Nature is about balance. If I kept on listening to all the docters the last couple of years, I would have been dead long ago. They drained my medical aid fund, then all of a sudden all help stopped(funny how the best and most friendly doctor/institution turns nasty when they cannot claim anymore from your medical fund and you start to ask for quotations). I was on my own. Did research, I do my own gardening and most other stuff like washing the car and boat), buy all of most directly from farms that specialize in organic farming(be extremely carefull with GMO,s, that beautifull big and color full fruits laying in the shop,might not be as friendly as it seems, I know those in the industry will fight with their lives about it,but in the end, its your LIFE thats at stake,not theirs. Do some reading on just how tomato,s was modified to last longer,and then you,w see that the DNA of what was used to do that, fitts 100 % in the DNA of what caner cells will breed on). Same with the chemicals to control sugarcane and other mass produced crops. That stuff kills. End of story.)

Whenh I invite friends, they fell on their backs about the foods we eat now in the house. About all their doctors warned them against and their mecial aid pays a arm and a leg for prescribed medicine).
Meat with fat and lots of other stuff. Breakfast is made with pans sizzeling with oils and stuff(but is is the right oils). No more magarine in our house, only fresh thick farm butter. We bake our own bread, no more mass production tastless mall produce. My garden changed into a farm also. Grow all sorts of stuff that one can cook with.

I,m still not 100 % and my biggest enemy now is the damage all the drugs did that I was given(chemo cocktails). I,m on my way to recover, feel good but as said again, this was in the beginning no easy road, looking back,I see how stupid I actually was. It was mostly self inflicted. My lifestyle caused and trigger this, then the doctors came around and took their bite by turning me into a financial milking cow). Each and every living specy, has got bad elements in the body, If you do not trigger them, you will die of age and not illness.

For radiation treatment I found the better clinic by doing my own research, NOT WHAT THE TEAM OF DOCTORS(some of which claimed to the very best in SA) sent me to. That was the turning point and what opened my eyes to what was about to happen.

Strange when one,s body is in harmony with itself,it will tell you immediately when you do something wrong. We way to qiuck to grab a pillbox. Instead of listening, backtrack,and find out what did you drink,eat that caused it. Go do research on it,see if it fitts your diet,and learn not to take it again.

I,m no more with specialists and what ever. Found a docter that was willing to listen to ME(and a butcher that can supply good quality meat with ample of fats on it, and I counteract that fat intake with palmtree oils)), I pay cash, and the last year or so,my tests improved miles faster then with all the chemo and other stuff. In fact, I am basicly clean now. Now to repair the damage done. And I enjoy quality life.

One of our own biggest enemies is that we became lazy. End of it.
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Success !!!!

Unread post by rainier » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:53 am

Well, went to my cardiologist yesterday for my checkup appointment (somewhat nervously I shall admit).

Blood pressure nice, did the treadmill. Looks good. Doc then insisted on a echo scan - so we did that. Result is excellent (The guy doing the scan exclaimed after a few seconds "This is a GOOD heart...") Made me feel a lot better. A lot !

OK, seems Doc is getting interested. Sent me for some more blood tests. He mentioned I'm not the only patient he's now got doing this.

Best news: I'm OK for the flight medical. Yesssss !!! Sky, here I come again !!! I can blow the dust off my wings...

From urgent bypass case to flight medical in 5 months without surgery or prescription drugs. Beat that !

This is not some made up story. This is real.

Rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Whirly » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:47 am

Dr Rainier, I presume? :twisted:

I will kick the regular quacks into touch should this problem prop up and come knocking. :D

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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Tue May 03, 2016 1:47 pm

Both K2-MK7 and Niacin are almost impossible to get anywhere (don't use the flush free niacin - that is not niacin, not even close and has not shown any notable benefits in trails). About the only source of Niacin in SA at the moment is from Solal in a tiny 35mg per tablet which makes this hugely expensive and inconvenient (you want 1-2 grams per day !).

I have managed to get my brother to import some from his U.S. suppliers. He runs an on-line store for cosmetic products for some years and has added both to his website. You will find it on http://www.absoluteskin.co.za - go to the "health" tab on the left - the two products are at the bottom of the page that pops up. It's 500mg Niacin x 100 and K2(MK7) at 100mcd x 90.

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Requests for advice

Unread post by rainier » Thu May 05, 2016 10:04 am

Perhaps not surprising but I am receiving almost daily requests for advice via PM or e-mails.
This was not my intention (I tend to get carried away sometimes).
I received a request for assistance today from an individual with stubbornly high cholesterol that does not want to be controlled.

I did answer but realized I once again got carried away so I rather would like to paste this here as it may be of more general interest.
Before you read any of this. Please keep in mind that this is just a personal opinion from somebody that knows nothing. This is not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a qualified medical doctor and not entitled to do this on a public forum. Please discuss anything your may learn here with your doctor before doing anything.

------------------------------------------

Well, Cholesterol is a bitch.
Unfortunately there are several possible causes and you can have more than one of them. Some have no trouble reducing while others can't - no matter what.

Effectively you need to find out why you have high cholesterol. You could be producing too much (then we need to know why) or your body is not capable of getting rid of it (in which case it simple dams up in your serum).

You need to speak to your doc and ask him to help you nail down the cause. It is absolutely required to find out the cause before embarking on any kind of therapy. Just prescribing statins without any further investigation is actually not according to current medical protocols but since it can get complicated most doctors take the easy way out. Most of the time it works.

Please ask him to do a full thyroid test including T3 hormone levels. That's the most fundamental test as this dictates your entire metabolism. If it's not right (Sounds like a good chance it is not in your case) it can be fixed easily. Ask for a complete liver and renal checkup - all of that is fundamental to cholesterol metabolism.

You can do some experiments yourself - ask your doctor for a couple of lipid test forms so you can go at your own leisure. Keep your diet as constant as you can for a month then do a lipid test as a reference (if you don't have one already that you can use). Get a script for ezetrol and take it. Keep all other medication (statins etc) constant. It is important to only change one thing at a time then test.
Do this for 4 weeks and do another test. Your lipid profile should have improved. How much is now the interesting part. If only a little (say 10-15% on the LDL or less) then you likely have little issue getting rid of the stuff. If its more (20%+) it's promising. This stuff prevents absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream from you gut - while this can include dietary cholesterol it may be mainly your own cholesterol that your body is trying to get rid of via the bile (so you are simply recycling your own).
If you find this works, the statin is working on your problem at the wrong end. In this case you can also consider adding a resin (there are one or two available that can be used). This stuff binds cholesterol in the gut so it is not available for reabsorbtion.

The point is - you may be one of the unfortunate that need to experiment to find out exactly what it going on. Your doctor should be able to assist you (but in my experience you have to do the ground work and prompt him in the right direction).

Finally - there is a really big discussion going on whether or not cholesterol levels are relevant and there is a lot of doubt. There is good evidence for either cause which simple means it's business as usual. We can't collectively decide due to conflicting data clouded by much opinion even egos that are too big.

As this is the case, allow me to add mine:
Cholesterol matters, It's good stuff and very necessary. Too little is deadly. Too much is not good either. But it's not the actual quantity (it really is not one number that everybody should go for). Everybody has their own cholesterol needs and the cholesterol metabolism in your body is well understood in detail. It is quite complicated while at the same time quite elegant.
Because it is complex it is easily disrupted. Genetics, illnesses, aging, diet all play a role here. Muck with it in the wrong way and you will get punished.
Neither part of any cholesterol particle will on its own cause you any harm. But it is part of a bigger picture that can. It is never the cause of heart disease.
To put it simply: Cholesterol particles, calcium, bacteria and a lot of other gunk floating around your serum are the bricks of your arteriosclerosis plaque. You need something to make that all stick together and stick to the walls of the artery. You need the cement, the mortar. Enter lipoprotein (a). That's the one. Take it away and no heart problems. Simple. Trouble is: you can't. No medication has been found to be effective (except for Niacin, resins and yes, ezetrol but neither are effective enough). You can lower it greatly by drinking a lot of alcohol. But you need a lot. So that's no good either (sadly).
Anyway, you need the stuff as well. I'm not going to detail all about it here - there is plenty of info easy to find using Google. Have a read. It's interesting. Even political in a way.

So does lowering cholesterol make sense if it is too high ? Well, given the above it's not that critical unless you really have morbidly high levels - in which case the effect is obvious and it will kill you at a young age.
As I have been able to demonstrate so successfully on myself, forget the cholesterol to some extent - just keep it reasonable. Instead do what any engineer would do: Go and fix the actual problem. The problem is lp(a). You can't get rid of it but it is extremely easy and cheap to neutralize by giving it what it loves. Do that and it no longer sticks. Everything else is optional.

Yes, I know - your doctor is not telling you this so it must be wrong. I have been grappling with this for months and still don't really understand. Yes, when I started this I was skeptical but what the hell, might as well give it a try (remember I was told I had a few weeks at best unless I have a second bypass op).
Now, I cannot deny what has happened. Neither does my cardiologist.

It works for me, it may or may not work for you. Whatever you do - discuss with your doctor. Any sort of intervention may have undesired consequences. It's a risk. It's good to have your doctor on your side.

Rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rattex » Thu May 05, 2016 2:28 pm

Hi Rainier

You have achieved exceptional results with your regimen. What intrigues me though, is how you intend to determine a maintenance dosage that has the desired effect, without becoming toxic in the long term.
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Thu May 05, 2016 5:06 pm

rattex wrote:Hi Rainier

You have achieved exceptional results with your regimen. What intrigues me though, is how you intend to determine a maintenance dosage that has the desired effect, without becoming toxic in the long term.
It is a very good question. Luckily it has been answered by sheer weight of experience. And no, my result is not exceptional. If I would not have read the many, many testimonials and observational studies (which all sound pretty unbelievable) I would not have decided to try this. I do admit that the sheer number of extremely positive reports did throw me off - things can't be that good. It's just not possible. Everybody would be doing it. But I did notice that there where no negative reports (look at just about anything else and you will find both in good quantities). There is nothing that disproves it. Some stuff gets quoted that apparently does (at least very partly) but start having a closer look and in fact it does not. Anyway, rest is history.

To start - we are not introducing anything that our body is not completely familiar with. Yes, some of the dosages are high and they need to be, at least initially, to have the desired effect. It appears, any side effects so far for me are positive. A few small "age" related (so I thought) niggles have disappeared.

I will likely settle for around 1/2 of what I am taking now and I am patiently waiting for the right time. This will be indicated by my lp(a) results. Right now, they are straight through the roof at almost impossible levels even though my lipid profile is starting to look OK(ish). That is expected if you indeed have or had large deposits (right now, if you work it out, I have around 9 grams of the stuff floating in my serum). It's harmless now and most of it has been released from my various deposits. The body takes a long time to get rid of it as there is no natural mechanism to clear it rapidly. lp(a) is tough - it needs to be as it has a duty to perform. It can take a year to get out but I should start seeing it starting to come down so I check it every few weeks. Once it starts going down at fair tick I can start reducing my dose as I can then conclude that there is nothing left to release.
There is a form of dialysis that can get rid of the excess lp(a) almost instantly but I am not sure if that is available here in SA. However ezetrol has been shown to be effective over time so I am now starting to give that a try (so technically I am now back on a prescription drug). I'll give it a month and then do another check. Ezetrol is not a statin and does not attempt to fiddle with the cholesterol metabolism - it just blocks the reabsorbtion of lipids (including lp(a)) from your gut.

For those that want to Google things a bit, at it's base my protocol leans on the work of Linus Pauling (which you will find gets some real serious and nasty attacks) but adds a bunch of other items that work in concert or independent. Essentially anything that has been found to get results with some form of believable research behind it gets thrown in the mix as long as there are no obvious negative interactions. So you will find a wealth of information by taking the ingredients in turn and Googling them with respect to heart disease.
Keep an open mind. You will need it.

Rainier
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