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Thread: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

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    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    The study in question is not out yet, but there are leaks that suggest that a major new approach to cholesterol will be contained in its pages. The most important aspect? This:

    More recent research shows that consuming cholesterol does not actually seem to have much, if any, impact on the amount of cholesterol found in the blood.
    This is part of a broader shift away from the idea of a tight connection between diet and cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Your genes, as it turns out, are a much bigger factor in determining whether you'll have lots of cholesterol in your bloodstream."Basically, our bodies make a lot of cholesterol," Willett said. "So, really, we are our own most important source of cholesterol." Cholesterol is a key building block of many essential hormones, including sex hormones, and dietary cholesterol doesn't appear to affect those functions, either.
    So, yeah. It's mostly genetic. And we need to be far more concerned about the types of fats we consume (saturated, trans, whatever), how many calories we consume, and how much exercise we get than we do about cholesterol. Who knew?

    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/02...olesterol.html
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Interesting subject Redeye. A very sharp RZ member started a similar thread last year:

    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...ht=cholesterol

    I think the love affair with statins was much overblown. Cholesterol isn't nearly the boogyman we were once told

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    RedEye (02-19-2015),Rojo (02-20-2015)

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    Interesting subject Redeye. A very sharp RZ member started a similar thread last year:

    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...ht=cholesterol

    I think the love affair with statins was much overblown. Cholesterol isn't nearly the boogyman we were once told
    From what I understand, having high amounts of "bad" cholesterol is still dangerous for your cardiovascular system, but it derives mostly from genetics rather than what you eat. So... statins are still very useful in that sense, for those of us who have the cholesterol gene, like yours truly.

    That said... maybe I can eat more of these now!

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    Last edited by RedEye; 02-19-2015 at 10:29 PM.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Slyder (02-20-2015)

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Once you've controlled for gender,age, weight and smoking cholesterol falls out as an important risk factor for heart disease. That's been true for 35 years.

    They treat cholesterol for two reasons.

    #1 Big pharma CAN treat it. Statins work and even better, they work with few side effects.

    #2 The story behind why increases in cholesterol would lead to decreases in blood vessel flow which woudl lead to increases in heart disease MAKES SENSE. We love that,

    Those things stack. Doctors love believing they understand things and big pharma loves handing the docs a story they can believe and a drug that controls the levers in the story. The rest of us want to believe docs and want to keep hearts disease at bay.

    It's perfect, except for the bit about it being true. Once you control for other things, cholesterol falls out.
    "Even a bad day at the ballpark beats the snot out of most other good days. I'll take my scorecard and pencil and beer and hot dog and rage at the dips and cheer at the highs, but I'm not ever going to stop loving this game and this team and nobody will ever take that away from me." Roy Tucker October 2010

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Bacon and eggs are so good, we find a way to make them bad for you. Veganism is another form or Puritanism.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    From what I understand, having high amounts of "bad" cholesterol is still dangerous for your cardiovascular system, but it derives mostly from genetics rather than what you eat. So... statins are still very useful in that sense, for those of us who have the cholesterol gene, like yours truly.
    You are correct that having high amounts of LDL (bad) cholesterol is bad for the CV system. But it is important to note that while the science has evolved to show that genetics are the culprit in the base levels of cholesterol in your body, what you eat can still affect your LDL levels. Cholesterol laden foods are often high in saturated fats and trans fats, which have been shown time and time again to raise LDL levels. I wouldn't take these new guidelines as a license to eat anything and everything.

    And I do agree that statins do still have a relevant use, particularly in the treatment of high LDL levels. But the use of the of them as a one-size-fits-all treatment for everyone (no matter what their numbers were and not accounting for the potential of genetics being in play) was/is preposterous and out of hand.

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    RedEye (02-20-2015)

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin Fan View Post
    Cholesterol laden foods are often high in saturated fats and trans fats, which have been shown time and time again to raise LDL levels.
    The link between heart disease and saturated fat is debatable. But you're not going to get a big, multi-million dollar organization like the American Heart Association to turn the ship around easily.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Our family concentrates on avoiding carbs. We believe that carbs are the most dangerous part of what goes into the body (besides the obvious smoke, drugs and alcohol). We had a pretty lengthy talk on this in redszone during the Summer.
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Our family concentrates on avoiding carbs. We believe that carbs are the most dangerous part of what goes into the body (besides the obvious smoke, drugs and alcohol). We had a pretty lengthy talk on this in redszone during the Summer.
    alcohol isn't bad for you as long as you don't overdo it.
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfandan View Post
    alcohol isn't bad for you as long as you don't overdo it.
    Nothing is, really.

    My spouse is coming to the belief that triglycerides are going to reveal a lot about our health.
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    LDL cholesterol is something to watch. I disagree with those that say that statins have few side effects. We're finding that they have all sorts of side effects. In particular they're leading to intense body aches for some people such as back or leg pain. I personally know of some people who went through all sorts of doctors and getting diagnosed with sciatica to fibromyalgia and all they really needed to do was drop the statins. There are also reports that this drug is horrible for the liver. I wouldn't want to trade heart problems for liver failure.

    There is a new wave of folks like the author of the grain Brain book which I talked about in the other thread referenced earlier who thinks that no one should be on a statin drug and that our brains feed off of fat and cholesterol in particular. Others have said that people with heart disease should be considered for statins but not otherwise healthy folks.

    I agree with Kingspoint that sugars are much worse for you than cholesterol and they are related. People who go on low carb diets often see their cholesterol numbers decrease even though they're eating more meats and eggs.

    Redeye I am familiar with a family that has the LDL receptor problem and if left untreated their cholesterol numbers can soar to 400+. I think statins should be in the armamentarium for doctors treating them. But cholesterol is not a poison as the media seems to have labeled it. It's something that the body makes and needs. Of course too much of anything is not good.

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    Kingspoint (02-22-2015)

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    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    LDL cholesterol is something to watch. I disagree with those that say that statins have few side effects. We're finding that they have all sorts of side effects. In particular they're leading to intense body aches for some people such as back or leg pain. I personally know of some people who went through all sorts of doctors and getting diagnosed with sciatica to fibromyalgia and all they really needed to do was drop the statins. There are also reports that this drug is horrible for the liver. I wouldn't want to trade heart problems for liver failure.
    Interesting. I have not seen these reports. If you don't mind, send me a link -- either here or via PM. I've heard nothing but good things about statins, but I haven't done too much research admittedly. With the frequency that the pendulum on cholesterol seems to swing back and forth, I wouldn't be surprised if we go back to "food cholesterol very bad" again in a few years.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    I am on generic form of Lipitor 20 mg for high cholesterol. I think the highest it ever got was about 240. My ratio was less of a problem, I guess because I am a mid-distance runner and endurance exercise can raise good cholesterol thus skewing the total cholesterol number. Triglycerides are more of a problem for me. I get my liver tested twice a year and everything checks out. Haven't had any side effects. Guess I am lucky that way as some are not. I wasn't told to avoid alcohol and I haven't. I don't take Tylenol though, to avoid stress to my liver. I prefer NSAIDs anyway. Advil is a friend to those in their mid fifties who run. I have considered stopping the medication, but it sems to be keeping my triglycerides under control. The first time I was found to have high cholesterol I had been a vegetarian for a couple of years. Low fat diet with whole grain everything and rarely had sugar. I guess I am one of those with high cholesterol in my DNA. Like the Queen song "It was the DNA that made me this way."
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
    -Todd Snider

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Cholesterol is OK now. Wait... what?

    Quote Originally Posted by 919191 View Post
    I am on generic form of Lipitor 20 mg for high cholesterol. I think the highest it ever got was about 240. My ratio was less of a problem, I guess because I am a mid-distance runner and endurance exercise can raise good cholesterol thus skewing the total cholesterol number. Triglycerides are more of a problem for me. I get my liver tested twice a year and everything checks out. Haven't had any side effects. Guess I am lucky that way as some are not. I wasn't told to avoid alcohol and I haven't. I don't take Tylenol though, to avoid stress to my liver. I prefer NSAIDs anyway. Advil is a friend to those in their mid fifties who run. I have considered stopping the medication, but it sems to be keeping my triglycerides under control. The first time I was found to have high cholesterol I had been a vegetarian for a couple of years. Low fat diet with whole grain everything and rarely had sugar. I guess I am one of those with high cholesterol in my DNA. Like the Queen song "It was the DNA that made me this way."
    We all need to make our own decisions about our personal medical care but you are the type of person who need not take statins IMO. Now, i don't know your triglyceride numbers before/after statins but doctors putting healthy, active people like yourself on statins for 240 cholesterol is not indicated. Do you really want to to take this stuff for the next 25-30 yrs? It says in the disclaimer that they have not been shown to reduce heart attacks.

    Again I don't know a lot of your medical history but if other things checkout, I'd be thrilled if you continued to exercise regularly and ate somewhat responsibly and forget about putting drugs into your body indefinitely


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