Doctor Oz Takes on The Cholesterol Controversy
Season 4, Episode 63
What We’ve Been Told About Cholesterol for Years Is Wrong!
Dr Oz’s guests are Dr. Stephen Sinatra (Cardiologist) and Dr Jonny Bowden (Nutrition.) They say everything the medical community believes about cholesterol is WRONG. Their book “The Great Cholesterol Myth” is changing the way many doctors think about cholesterol.
The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will
Among other things, they say:
- The idea that cholesterol causes heart disease is a lie.
- The higher your cholesterol, the longer you’ll live.
- Cholesterol will not harm you.
Dr. Sinatra has been studying cholesterol for forty years. He’s had dozens of patients with low cholesterol numbers dying of heart attacks. He believes the real travesty is the focus on cholesterol as a cause of heart disease has diverted our attention away from the actual causes of heart disease. Half the people with normal cholesterol have heart disease and half the people with elevated cholesterol have normal hearts. We need cholesterol for our cellular function, it makes vitamin-D in our skin, it helps with our cerebral vascular function, it helps with our neurotransmitters function so we can think better, it helps with memory, it lubricates the skin and is a vital component of our lives. It also protects us from infectious disease of the GI track and the lungs.
Dr. Bowden says our biggest nutritional mistake is believing that fat and cholesterol cause heart disease and trying to lower heart disease by lowering cholesterol.
The Drs say one of the biggest mistakes is that cholesterol causes heart attacks. These incorrect perceptions were started by some faulty studies done in the 60s and perpetuated by even well-meaning doctors who just don’t have time to read the details of current research.
Dr. Oz says that at the heart of the cholesterol debate is whether or not the cholesterol tests we do are even relevant.
There is HDL (“good” cholesterol) and LDL (“bad” cholesterol.)
Dr. Sinatra explains the root cause of heart disease is inflammation and inflammation causes the plaque in the arteries. How much we weigh and what we put into our body causes inflammation. Sugar is the villain He also believes our second big mistake is believing that statin drugs are safe and will prolong your life. Statins do lower your cholesterol, but again, cholesterol is not the root cause of heart disease, it’s inflammation. And the statins have huge side effects. He says that with the exception of middle-age men with coronary disease, we should get away from statins (especially for women and children.)
Statin drugs have an enormous side-effect profile. There is data which shows that statin drugs cause diabetes, cancer, muscle pain, coronary calcification, liver problems, sexual dysfunction, memory loss and more.
Dr. Bowden says to reduce inflammation in the body and keep the heart healthy, do the following:
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods
- Take fish oil
- Get rid of toxic relationships.
- Lower stress in your life.
- Get exercise
- Get some sunshine and some vitamin-D
Dr Oz agrees that food can be a potent option.
Dr Oz agrees on the cutting edge new test called a Particle Size test for LDL cholesterol which can predict your risk of a heart attack. It measures specifics about the bad cholesterol in your body.
Not all LDL is harmful. It depends on the size of the LDL particle. If you’re getting your cholesterol tested, you must ask your doctor to do the Particle Size test. If you have a lot of the small size LDL particles that can get inside the artery wall, they set the stage for inflammation, which sets the stage for plaque, which can be a precursor to coronary disease.
Dr. Oz says that if you don’t have a heart problem and your doctor wants to give you a statin, then push back, especially if you’re a woman. Push back by asking for the LDL Cholesterol Particle test. And remember, the sugar in your diet is more of a problem than the fat in your diet. So, enjoy some more of the fats, but be really strict on the sugars in your diet (for both your heart and your waistline.)