Cholesterol - Risk myth?

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PO
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by PO » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:41 pm

rainier wrote:The link between cholesterol and heart disease risk is undeniable. Higher cholesterol = higher risk.
I hear you - but many sources point to the opposite, e.g. http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/12/21 ... goes-down/ , ,http://www.ravnskov.nu/2015/12/30/the-b ... olesterol/ etc.

However, you are quite correct (and many of your links in fact say just this - but read all of it).
This does not mean that if your cholesterol is high you WILL get heart disease. At the same time - you can have perfectly normal levels and end up with a bypass. The only difference is the likelihood.
Statistics show that roughly half of bypass patients have normal cholesterol levels. However you need to see that against the backdrop of just what percentage of people have high cholesterol. So clearly, there is something here.

The big debate however goes around the actual mechanism now. Just screwing around with cholesterol levels does not seem to significantly change the outcome (the big numbers published by the pharma companies are not real - that's statistical interpolation based on short term drug trails completely ignoring all cause mortality).
True

Statins do have a small positive impact on heart disease - short term anyway - but the thinking goes that this has less to do with the drop in cholesterol but more with anti-inflammatory action - this has been proven (and is at the cornerstone of some texts presented in this thread). However - at the same time it must be said that if that is the case - surely there are much better ways to combat inflammation ?
Re the small impact:
http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/10/27 ... -a-statin/
http://www.dietdoctor.com/the-terrifyin ... atin-drugs
Re better ways to combat inflammation : cut grains, starches and sugars perhaps?


In any case, we do know now abundantly that lowering excessive cholesterol using statins has a (minor) positive effect while doing this with some other drugs like fibrates does not seem to have the desired effect - even though cholesterol levels may be well in check.

But all of this is first tier intervention. Primitive. It's like cutting off your hand because it hurts.

Our bodies are not that simple - there is real and highly complex chemistry going on and we don't understand even half of it.

The big failure here - is first tier intervention (that is continuing with new cholesterol intervention drugs soon to hit the market at great cost - Pcsk9. Google it. It's frightening) - Somehow the medical profession does not look at causes in this case. Oh yes - must be diet - if not then its familial history. Nope - not that simple. We absolutely know what is happening and we know for quite a while. We know what fixes it, we know what prevents it - the light went on early 1990's and since then much new evidence has led to remarkable refinement in what to do about the problem - by identifying the exact mechanism at play and looking at what actually kills you (and THAT is the important bit).

I'm on your side - don't get me wrong, (I know :) - just discussing it a bit :) :) ) I've been on the receiving end of statins and know the bad side only too well. But the answer is not going after sensationalist claims (whether with or without merit is beside the point). It's no longer needed. The evidence is in and well established. No more need to argue. The research is good, meaningful and highly effective when implemented.
Agree

So where is the trouble then ?

To my astonishment, neither my house doctor nor cardiologist has the foggiest idea about this. This has been baffling me - I really did not expect this. I think I know the answers - at least some of them. Firstly, the doctor of old that would look at every and all information and even experiment on himself - that has long gone. My doctors are busy. Very busy. There is no time and far too many patients. But that's fine - a well established structure is in place to feed the doctor at the end of the line with all he needs to know. A continues stream of reps from the pharma companies keep the doctor informed as to which drugs to prescribe (and there is even a thick book for him to look it up) - medical councils ensure correct medical practices and establish guide lines for every illness - staffed of course, as you might expect, with medial professionals that toe the line. Peer oversight is strong - get out of line and you are quickly ostracized.
The other, even more profound challenge any doctor faces - should he do anything or prescribe anything that does not have the backing of a pharmaceutical company - and something goes wrong - any half-witted lawyer is going to have a field day with him.
So if you where a doctor today - what would you do ? Probably exactly the same. That is not where blame needs to be applied.
Agree, will take a brave man to stand up against Big Pharma and peers. (Ask Tim Noakes).

The solutions to our cholesterol / heart troubles are well known for those that care to look beyond their doctors desk. No argument from my side there. It's real. My only regret is that I did not look earlier. The big thing here: none of these treatments, highly effective as they are, require a prescription drug. Nothing here can be patented, nothing needs to be discovered that needs a lot of funding. There is no money here. Nada. Nothing. Zero.

Thanks to the internet - this is spreading fast and the lid will blow sooner or later. The medical industry as a whole stands to loose a huge portion of their income. It's going to be interesting.
The very fact that, here on Avcom, this thread exists is proof of steam starting to escape the pot.

Knowing what I now know, having experimented on myself as final stage cardiac disease patient and observed the results first hand - I'm part of the steam and will tell anybody that cares to listen.

Rainier
I respect you for walking the talk - you have been there, I have no idea perhaps of the hell you went through, and maybe still are :( All the best with the road ahead.
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:42 pm

PO wrote: I respect you for walking the talk - you have been there, I have no idea perhaps of the hell you went through, and maybe still are :( All the best with the road ahead.
No. Hell is over. For now.
Three months ago I was given the choice of another bypass. A triple one. I actually had no symptoms despite the severe state of my hearts coronary arteries and my fitness level was quite OK thanks to regular mountain biking (I'm 55 now). My stress ECG however was crap.
The opinion was that it is urgent and I'm not going to make it. Not even a week (I had a holiday booked in Mauritius - two weeks away). I had my back against the wall.
I said "no".
I'm glad I said "no". I took my laptop to Mauritius and started collecting medical research papers and medical publications (journals and otherwise) - anything I could find that looked relevant. The rest is history.
Now I'm able to beat my wife cycling up the hill (and she is VERY fit, cycling 3-5 times per week). How's that !!!?
I have not felt this good and energetic in a decade. Not even Zuma gets me down.
Now I bought my own stress ECG machine so I can track my progress (I need proof, even if it's just for myself)-
it's better than good...

No, hell will have to wait for me just a little longer...

Rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Iceberg » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:00 pm

This topic intrigues me. But I am still confused.

My brother had a quadruple bypass at age 51. His total cholesterol was 5.1.
He is now 72 and doing fine. He is not on statins but watches his weight and exercises a bit.
Mine is about 6. At age 58 my ECG, BP etc. are fine - the AME is happy to give me a class 1 medical.
Our father made it to 3 months short of 90. He smoked for 60 years. He didn't even know his cholesterol values.

So why did my brother have a problem and not my father and I? I really dunno. :?
The sky is not the limit....
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Flymed » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:06 pm

Genetics.
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:16 pm

Iceberg wrote:This topic intrigues me. But I am still confused.

My brother had a quadruple bypass at age 51. His total cholesterol was 5.1.
He is now 72 and doing fine. He is not on statins but watches his weight and exercises a bit.
Mine is about 6. At age 58 my ECG, BP etc. are fine - the AME is happy to give me a class 1 medical.
Our father made it to 3 months short of 90. He smoked for 60 years. He didn't even know his cholesterol values.

So why did my brother have a problem and not my father and I? I really dunno. :?
That's because this is a highly individual thing and lifestyle comes into it as well.
As pointed out many times in this thread - the actual cholesterol level does not really tell you that you are going to get a problem or not.
Many people get diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease with perfectly normal levels. Others have ballistic levels of cholesterol and make it to 100.

Lifestyle changes after such an event can do much more than any drug will ever be able to accomplish. But we are not machines made in the same mold. Everybody is different and reacts differently to food, minerals, supplements - your entire nutritional status needs to be seen against your nutritional needs. There is no such thing as "one size fits all". Lifestyle changes, nutritional changes, exercise all can make a big difference - but not for everybody and not in equal measure. There is a big "it depends" here.

To a very large degree this is an aging process and as we know - we all age a bit differently. Your body is really a marvelous machine and it continuously fixes itself - that process however needs raw materials and it becomes less efficient as you get older. Many of the raw materials needed for these basic repair jobs are not available in sufficient quantities in many diets and things go south.
Cholesterol (made in your liver from several raw materials and some diet intake) plays a major role in your bodies repair processes and in some cases assumes a primary role in this process to replace or augment another that no longer works effectively.

Many of of the statin side effects are down to lowering cholesterol - you're reducing available material your cells need to live and replicate.

Yes, cholesterol is found in prodigious quantities contained in arterial plaque- complete with fibrous caps, calcium ingress and layering and a collection of other unsavory rubbish deposited via your serum. What is interesting: only unsaturated fats are found in plaque - not the saturated fats initially thought of. The cholesterol is in fact highly oxidized, small particle LDL (That means "rancid"). And mostly lipoprotein(a). The Lipoprotein is the stuff that first starts a plaque. It's hugely sticky due to amino acid binding sites - almost purpose made to bind to the matching amino acids contained in the intima of your arteries - and exposed when the intima starts to break down - that happens mostly at choice locations where simple mechanical stress on the artery wall is at its greatest. The lipoprotein comes along to fix the intima so as to prevent bleeding - that could kill you. Your bodies own polyfilla. I told you our bodies are amazing.
Trouble is - the fix is not great and more and more things start sticking - including more lp(a). It grows and eventually causes a real big problem - something breaks off and you get a heart attack or it just closes and your not much better off.
But these things are known to regress as well - for decades we knew that. Change something and they can go away, or grow slower or faster or not at all. We got quite a good handle on that now - and it does not involve any statins. It does come down to nutrition at the end of the day - and that is lifestyle. Like it or not.

You can attack arteriosclerosis simultaneously in four different ways:
a) Help the intima so it does not break down - that's prevention and healing.
b) Get something that floats in your serum and can bind fats - including cholesterol. Needed to remove fatty deposits.
c) Place a sufficient quantity of the required amino acids in your serum to
1) bind to the lp(a) before it hits the damaged site in great quantities (a little goes a long way - your body tends to produce too much)
2) help remove excess lp(a) from the deposit
d) Add what is needed to complete your calcium metabolism so your own body can take care of moving calcium deposits from your artery walls and put it where it's needed (your bones for example).

Then you can add further items to assist in arteriogenesis - the making of new arteries and beefing up of existing ones.

That's basically it in a nutshell. Sounds like science fiction ? Dreamland ?

OK, next installment in this accidental series I'll tell you the ingredients that I am using. And where to get them.

Rainier
Last edited by rainier on Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:19 pm

Flymed wrote:Genetics.
Yes.
But only indirectly.
There's more.

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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by pietenjab » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:35 pm

I have followed this topic and the input underscores a number of my own experiences.

Highest cholesterol ever was 5.8.

Genetic history of cardiac disease.

Had angina and 5x bypass at age 56.

As part of the cocktail of meds prescribed, I took Simvastatin. Ended with a spontaneously severed tendon in my finger as complication. Also joint pains.

Changed to Torvastatin and Q10 co-enzyme to protect tendons and muscles. Side effects disappeared.

Thiazides for blood pressure tend to cause higher blood sugar levels. Went from 6 to 8.

A diet change and fine tuning of meds now has everything in balance and blood pressure of 120/80.

Stress ECG and Doppler show heart is great. Left ventricle 70% expulsion.

Post cardiac surgery recovery is a slow mental process. After this road you could be less of an aviation risk than before.

It is a blessing that aviation medicine has progressed to embrace this principle.

All parameters are spot on for me now.

It is a matter of balance and choices.

If you want to fly, reduce your risks. If your BP is controlled by some meds, it means that your carb intake may have to drop.

It is worth it.
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Flymed » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:25 am

I am glad we have someone who is taking over my self appointed role as medical advisor on this forum. :D
I bow out.
Cheers
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Walid » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:21 am

Rainier, have you tried (intermittent) fasting ?
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:35 am

Flymed wrote:I am glad we have someone who is taking over my self appointed role as medical advisor on this forum. :D
I bow out.
Cheers
Sad.
Why ?

We need your input. You are the professional and have been most helpful on this forum. If I'm wrong - tell us and why. I can take it.
Like you I want to help. In this case with my own experiences (and I have a lot of them). This is called an observational study.
I'm an engineer and I'm tackling this the way an engineer would go about solving a problem - it's my problem. Nothing sinister here.

Would you prefer me to go away ?
Say so and I will. No hard feelings. PM is also fine.

I will hold any further contribution from my side until you give an answer.
I consider this your forum and respect that.

Please reconsider.

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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by Walid » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:46 am

rainier wrote:OK, next installment in this accidental series I'll tell you the ingredients that I am using. And where to get them.
Go for it !
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:20 am

deleted due to edit
Last edited by rainier on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:28 am

rainier wrote:I will but give me a bit of time.
Last week I have come across a very interesting publication which relates to the matter we are discussing, I am busy following up the references which will take a day or two (I tend to read everything, even the parts I don't understand so well - so then I need to learn).

The answer is not really simple and quick and I have been at pains thinking about what the best way would be without having to write a book. It would appear the book has been written.

You see - I can list the ingredients of which there are about a dozen and the quantities but it needs a discussion on each as to why and what complete with an outline on when it may not work or even work against you (i.e. may have side effects that are not desirable) - and what to do about that.

There is much research and much in the line of studies and various issues around our problem - everything is valuable, including those that give a negative result (this is as valuable as a positive result). The answer lies in bringing all of it together so you have a bottom line and then testing it. This has been done in several instances over time, in each case arriving at nearly identical therapies with only fairly minor variations.

Rainier
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:29 am

]I will but give me a bit of time.
Last week I have come across a very interesting publication which relates to the matter we are discussing, I am busy following up the references which will take a day or two (I tend to read everything, even the parts I don't understand so well - so then I need to learn).

The answer is not really simple and quick and I have been at pains thinking about what the best way would be without having to write a book. It would appear the book has been written.

You see - I can list the ingredients of which there are about a dozen and the quantities but it needs a discussion on each as to why and what complete with an outline on when it may not work or even work against you (i.e. may have side effects that are not desirable) - and what to do about that.

There is much research and much in the line of studies and various issues around our problem - everything is valuable, including those that give a negative result (this is as valuable as a positive result). The answer lies in bringing all of it together so you have a bottom line and then testing it. This has been done in several instances over time, in each case arriving at nearly identical therapies with only fairly minor variations.
Who said the sky is the limit ? I think not.
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Re: Cholesterol - Risk myth?

Unread post by rainier » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:31 am

Deleted due to edit (sorry, finger trouble)
Who said the sky is the limit ? I think not.

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