The cholesterol myths

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Skweek

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Feb 5, 2009
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#1
Hi all - post #1.

I was watching Terry's (occasionally) sombre "Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's " last night and something he said struck me; that his serum cholesterol was about 2.7, which is very low and and, according to prevalent wisdom, indicative of good diet and health.

Terry needs to think again.

A major constituent of brain and nerve tissue is cholesterol, and low serum levels, (particularly when induced by the poisonous enzyme blockers called "statins", which interfere with liver function and inhibit the production of this vital cellular and endocrine "building block"), is very bad news.

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that statins cause memory loss and other cognitive problems, IOW, symptoms indistinguishable from dementia or even Alzheimers, presumably due to a shortage of cholesterol that prevents the creation of new synapses (IOW, neuronal connections).

Let's be clear - practically ALL the cholesterol found in the body is made by the body

http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm

The higher one's cholesterol in old age, the longer you're likely to live;

http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/benefits_cholest.html

Best wishes to Terry.
 

Tonyblack

Super Moderator
City Watch
Jul 25, 2008
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#2
Interesting Skweek! Thanks for that and welcome to the site. :)
 

Skweek

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Feb 5, 2009
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#3
Thanks for the welcome!

I hope Terry will look into this - I really believe it's important.
 

Jan Van Quirm

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Nov 7, 2008
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#4
Most dietary 'advice' these days I take with huge pinches of salt - I adore salt although I do now use low-sodium varieties a fair bit to mitigate some of the effects of my dirty little habit...

As for cholesterol - I have had tests 'as required', but never bothered to find out the results and anyway have never been told to adjust my intake of fatty nasties so I guess I'm OK. For years my mother on the other hand has been bludgeoned into adjusting hers and despite using the lowest and nastiest low-cholesterol spreads known to man, drinking skimmed milk (you might as well drink water so far as I can see or ,more importantly, taste) and using light varieties of every oil or fat substance you care to name that's edible, still had a cholesterol level of between 5-6. Finally medical advisors admitted she was a naturally high producer of natural human cholesterol and short of never eating again her levels would never fall to medically acceptable proportions...

Excess is bad for you yes. Hell - anything is bad for you or aging if you overdo it, including exercise and refusing to ingest any animal products unless you're really careful to keep your protein and yes, fat levels balanced acceptably. As soon as we're out of the womb it could be argued that we're dead meat. Do what you like and eat what you like in moderation I say - if you're happy doing that then it's good for you. If it doesn't make you happy - then stop it. :devil:
 

chris.ph

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Aug 12, 2008
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#5
i have a slightly elevated choleterol count which the doctor said was fine as i have a mediteranean diet (lots of olive oil) coz the boss is italian. olive oil is a monosaturate not a polyon saturate . italians for the most part are a healthy long lived bunch :)
 

Skweek

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Feb 5, 2009
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#6
Jan Van Quirm said:
Most dietary 'advice' these days I take with huge pinches of salt - I adore salt although I do now use low-sodium varieties a fair bit to mitigate some of the effects of my dirty little habit...

As for cholesterol - I have had tests 'as required', but never bothered to find out the results and anyway have never been told to adjust my intake of fatty nasties so I guess I'm OK. For years my mother on the other hand has been bludgeoned into adjusting hers and despite using the lowest and nastiest low-cholesterol spreads known to man, drinking skimmed milk (you might as well drink water so far as I can see or ,more importantly, taste) and using light varieties of every oil or fat substance you care to name that's edible, still had a cholesterol level of between 5-6. Finally medical advisors admitted she was a naturally high producer of natural human cholesterol and short of never eating again her levels would never fall to medically acceptable proportions...

Excess is bad for you yes. Hell - anything is bad for you or aging if you overdo it, including exercise and refusing to ingest any animal products unless you're really careful to keep your protein and yes, fat levels balanced acceptably. As soon as we're out of the womb it could be argued that we're dead meat. Do what you like and eat what you like in moderation I say - if you're happy doing that then it's good for you. If it doesn't make you happy - then stop it. :devil:
I've actually come to the conclusion that not only are fats, and particularly saturates, never bad for one, in any quantity (within ones calorific requirements, and not adulterated, processed or over-heated), but are actually necessary for good health.

Vegetarians are often said to be risking a protein defeciency when actually it's fats they need to pay attention to. The brain is practically made of fat.

Man is the only primate that lives outside the tropics, and saturates are abundant in vegetable sources (nuts and seeds) there.

Coconut oil, for eg., is 93% 'medium chain' saturates, including lauric acid (the main one in human breast milk), and evidence is building that it is (to use the rather hackneyed buzz phrase) a "super-food".

Essentially, I believe the whole dietary fat / cholesterol issue is a monumental scam to allow food producers to pass off cheap "value added", processed seed oils (sunflower, rape, etc') as "healthy", and corperate pharmaceuticals to con millions upon millions of perfectly healthy people into believing they are "ill" and should take their wonderful drugs - just do a little googling for "statins" and "profits" (along with "side effects").
 

silverstreak

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Aug 1, 2008
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#7
chris.ph said:
i have a slightly elevated choleterol count which the doctor said was fine as i have a mediteranean diet (lots of olive oil) coz the boss is italian. olive oil is a monosaturate not a polyon saturate . italians for the most part are a healthy long lived bunch :)
Right up until the point that they die.
 

Straw Walker

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Feb 6, 2009
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#8
Jan Van Quirm said:
Excess is bad for you yes. Hell - anything is bad for you or aging if you overdo it, including exercise and refusing to ingest any animal products unless you're really careful to keep your protein and yes, fat levels balanced acceptably. As soon as we're out of the womb it could be argued that we're dead meat. Do what you like and eat what you like in moderation I say - if you're happy doing that then it's good for you. If it doesn't make you happy - then stop it. :devil:
Moderation in everything! I enjoy real butter, full cream milk, all kinds of cheese and I smoke a pipe, have done since I was 21. My cholesterol was 5.1 at the last count because I don't overdo any of it. In particular, I go really easy on the exercise. upstairs to the computer a couple of times a day is plenty. :laugh:
 

sgt-Angua

Lance-Constable
Aug 25, 2008
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Berkshire
#9
I discovered another problem with a low fat diet ..... Gall stones..... after having to lose weight for the good of my health (over 4 stone and counting), I developed a gravel pit in my gall bladder and had to have it removed at the end of last year.

now I try to eat everything in moderation, it seems to work just as well, I think there are so many food scares now its getting silly :(
 

bitbosk

New Member
Feb 12, 2009
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#10
Low Cholesterol

I felt the same as the originator of this thread, Skweek - I was startled when Terry mentioned his low cholesterol and wondered if this would be referred to again in the prog. (Don't think it was?)

I read the 'Cholesterol con' by Dr Malcolm Kendrick a while ago and while I don't agree with all his views, he points to a lot of research that seems to contradict the information given us on safe cholesterol levels.

This includes some striking 'evidence' that too low a cholesterol level can impair mental functions.
At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy nutter, it does make you wonder if the amount of money made out of statins prevails against more research into this?!
 

Batty

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Feb 17, 2009
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#11
My doctor sent me for a cholesterol test without telling me to fast for 12 hours beforehand. As I had just left a function and had eaten small cakes, party food and had a small glass of wine, it isn't surprising that my test results showed a level of 7.4
My GP immediately put me on statins which made me ache and I could hardly walk. I then told him that I refused to take any more statins owing to the side effects and the negative reports that I had subsequently read, and much to his annoyance I am still refusing to take them.

Of course, the fact that GP's get a bonus from their suppliers for dishing out their drugs has probably nothing to do with his eagerness to pounce on his prescription pad...
 

cols

Lance-Corporal
Nov 5, 2008
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#12
The other half has a cholesterol level of 9. something and last year it went as high as 12. He has informed the doc that he'll never take statins and instead he simply drops his dairy intake until the level lowers.
At this point the doc has relented and just posts out regular diet information.Which basically allows most things in moderation.
 

SandraB

Lance-Constable
Oct 2, 2008
14
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1,650
#15
The evidence that saturated fats are bad for you is begining to look a little thin - it's now considered better than most polyunsaturated fats - mainly because people are more wary and don't eat as much (also butter has flavour - so people don't use as much). There are two easily obtainable mono-unsaturated oils - olive oil has a strong flavour for those who don't like it use rape oil (canola) just as good for you.

I've had high cholesterol levels all my life (I somehow doubt they suddenly were high as a teenager), when first diagnosed statins were not available, I was on a brown rice diet (yuk) for 6 months and the results did not change. Removing artifical hormones made a difference but in general my levels are always high.

Eventually they got me onto statins - 3 years of waking up wanting to vomit and I fianally pursuaded a doctor that this was unacceptable and now they don't bother even testing my levels but then I have both high Cholesterol and blood lipids - the two are probably linked at a genetic level as relatives also have the same problems.

But my health problems all turn out untreatable (symptoms are controlled but not the underlying cause), I'm getting used to that. Hey even my GP's are getting used to that!

In general be sensible - in the right dose even oxygen is highly toxic!
 

Batty

Sergeant
Feb 17, 2009
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#16
I read this article in the Daily Mail yesterday, and thought it was interesting. I haven't copied the whole article as it was too long, but these are the salient (IMO) points.
I am so glad that I have refused to take statins!

Daily Mail 10.03.09.
Statins are the new NHS wonder drug for cutting cholesterol. But do they have sinister side-effects?

Could statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by more than three million Britons, be doing more harm than good to many thousands of patients? This is the rather alarming suggestion to emerge from two new studies.
The research challenges the medical convention that lowering your cholesterol is always a good thing - indeed, they suggest statins may affect intelligence, cause depression and even raise the risk of suicide.
The studies add to a growing body of evidence that having low cholesterol levels may prove as dangerous as having high readings.
In patients vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes, the drugs reduce the risk of fatty deposits gathering in their bloodstream and causing life-threatening blood clots.
But cholesterol is also produced by the brain, where it is used to release vital chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry messages between brain cells. Now a study by Iowa State University suggests that statins inhibit this vital process.
When brain cells are deprived of cholesterol, they are five times less effective at releasing chemical messengers, says the research, published in the highly respected journal Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences.
'If you deprive cholesterol from the brain, then you directly affect how smart you are and how well you remember things,' says Yeon-Kyun Shin, the biophysics professor behind the study. 'This may lead to depression and irrational acts.' He believes this is directly caused by disruption in the neurotransmitter release in the brain.
The findings do not question the standard medical advice that people with high blood cholesterol should diet or take statins.
Current guidelines from the Department of Health say that the maximum healthy total
Even more worrying, studies of older people have found that those on low- cholesterol diets have a much higher rate of stroke, possibly because cholesterol has a protective effect in mature brain linings.
 

Jan Van Quirm

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Nov 7, 2008
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#17
Hah! Is there anybody you can trust these days?

*goestolookforthenew'wonder'chocolatebaryouhavetoeat3timesadaytocureacneshesawonThisMorningthismorning* :devil:

Mummy - there's voices in my head telling me to stop breathing 'cos it's bad for me! :eek:
 

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