|Back to Back Issues Page|
Your Health & Wellness, Issue #008 -- Learn the truth about cholesterol and statin drugs
August 24, 2007
(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)
If you like this ezine, please do a friend and me a favor and pass it along.
If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting subscribe
Week of August 26, 2007
Table of Contents
* Cholesterol and Statin Drugs--A Big Money-Making Combination for the Pharmaceutical Companies *
* Build a Toned Midsection *
Cholesterol and Statin Drugs--A Big Money-Making Combination for the Pharmaceutical Companies
The optimum way to get and remain healthy is through nutrition. NOT nutrition plus pharmaceutical drugs--but nutrition alone. Nutrition should be obtained from whole, natural foods as much as possible. This is food as found in nature. As Hippocrates so wisely stated, "Let food by thy medicine."
Drugs or medication should your last resort. If eating a healthier diet and taking supplements doesn't resolve the problem, medication may be required. But even if prescription medication is required, a healthy lifestyle including exercise and whole foods should be continued. One day you may be able to drop your medication.
The number one killer of Americans today is heart disease. This fact has led medical researchers into seeking the cause, and the remedy for that cause. After many studies, mainstream medicine has made up its mind about the cause. High cholesterol has been named the culprit.
Now is a good time to state what cholesterol IS NOT. There is no such thing as LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. There is JUST cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein; HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. 'Lipo' means lipid (fat.) Lipoproteins are a combination of fat and protein.
The common misunderstanding about cholesterol seems to indicate that there are two cholesterols. Or that there are two types of cholesterol. Neither is true.
Because of the marketing and educational campaigns of the powerful pharmaceutical industry, cholesterol has been presented as practically evil. Don't underestimate the power of the pharmaceutical industry. They set the standards for and educate the medical profession. Their very, very deep pockets control both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and our healthcare system.
The pharmaceutical industry has invented drugs to control cholesterol levels. But they first invented a disease for which they could apply the drugs. This disease is called hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemia is defined as: 'the presence of abnormal amounts of cholesterol in cells of the body and in the plasma of blood; it is associated with risk of atherosclerosis.'
I should mention that there is no physical sign from anyone suffering from hypercholesterolemia, or too much cholesterol in the blood. As a matter of fact, people with high cholesterol usually feel great.
Throughout the years the cut-off level for high cholesterol has changed. Twenty-five to thirty years ago if you were a middle-aged male and your cholesterol was greater than 240, and there were other risk factors, you were a candidate for drugs. After the Cholesterol Consensus Conference of 1984, anyone with cholesterol greater than 200 was a candidate. Now if your cholesterol is over 180, you are a candidate for a cholesterol lowering drug.
The latest recommendation about cholesterol levels is that they should be as low as possible. This eliminates it being accomplished by exercise, diet, or any lifestyle change. You must take a statin. Not surprisingly, eight of the nine panelists who made this decision were on the payroll of a pharmaceutical company.
Coincidentally, each revision of the cholesterol cut-off level made more people candidates for the pharmaceutical companies' cholesterol lowering drugs. These drugs are known as statins. The primary job of a statin is to inhibit the production of cholesterol in the body.
The body produces cholesterol. If it didn't, life would not exist. Cholesterol:
"...Nowhere is the failing of our medical system more evident than in the wholesale acceptance of cholesterol reduction as a way to prevent disease--have all these doctors forgotten what they learned in biochemistry 101 about the many roles of cholesterol in the human biochemistry?" (Mary G. Enig, PhD. Read...)
Low cholesterol levels interfere with the production of bile salt. People on statins can experience difficulties digesting fats. This presents another set of problems.
Cholesterol is as important for the body as is water and blood. Cholesterol lowering drugs or statins are the pharmaceutical companies' BIGGEST SELLING DRUGS OF ALL TIME!
Currently 16 million Americans take the statin Lipitor. Lipitor, made by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is the best-selling statin on the market. Other statins include Zocor (Merck), Pravachol (Bristol-Myers Squibb), Lescol (Novartis), Meracor (Merck), and Crestor (AstraZeneca.)
Not satisfied, the pharmaceutical industry says that an additional 36 million Americans are candidates for statins! A couple of years ago, the sale of statins brought the pharmaceutical industry $12.5 billion!
Statin drugs are very expensive. Their average cost ranges anywhere from $900 to $1,400 per year. This breaks down to $75 to $117 per month.
Statins are not without side effects. A 1999 study performed at St. Thomas' Hospital in London found that 36% of their patients taking Lipitor's highest dose reported side effects. At its lowest dose, 10% of the patients reported side effects. The most common side effect is muscle pain and weakness. This is most likely due to coenzyme Q10 depletion. Coenzyme Q10 is important because it supports muscle function.
Lipitor has the following disclaimer in fine print: "has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attack!" Remember, it is the pharmaceutical companies' contention that high cholesterol is responsible for heart disease!
In summary, cholesterol is important for overall health. The body produces it. Artificially and arbitrarily lowering cholesterol levels is harmful. Remember, statins deplete the body of coenzyme Q10. This enzyme is necessary in order for muscles to function. The heart is a muscle. The heart muscle requires large amounts of coenzyme Q10 to work.
Despite protestations to the contrary by the pharmaceutical industry, diet and exercise are beneficial. Follow the following nutritional plan for good health:
1) avoid all trans fats. (Read...) 2) take cod liver oil (a good source of vitamins A, D, and EPA) 3) eat some saturated fat (encourages production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins) 4) take evening primrose, borage or black currant oil (sources of GLA- See...) 5) eat foods high in copper, especially liver 6) avoid refined sugars, especially fructose 7) eat coconut oil and coconut products (See...) 8) avoid reduced fat milks, powered milk products such as whey.
Build a Toned Midsection
Have you ever been envious of a person who had not only a flat tummy, but defined abdominal muscles to boot? There is nothing as impressive as a 'six-pack' or 'washboard abs.' A toned mid-section defines fitness.
Although everyone has abdominal muscles, their shape, length, and prominence are determined by genetics. There is nothing anyone can do to change those characteristics. Some people will not have prominent abdominals no matter how many ab exercises they do, and how low their body fat is.
I know bodybuilders who have the classic six-pack. Their abdominals, all six of them, are in perfect alignment. That's due to genetics, not to a particular exercise. I don't have a six-pack. My abdominals are closer to a '4 pack.' In addition, my abdominals are elongated rather than 'squarish.' This is all determined by genetics. Don't try to get abdominals like anyone else. Just train them to be the best they can be.
I have also seen professional bodybuilders who don't have abdominals in the traditional sense. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't have prominent abdominals. Yet he was a highly successful pro.
The mid-section can serve as a guide to overall body fat levels. A defined and toned mid-section is only visible when body fat levels are low. Though it is possible to have muscular abdominals when overweight, what good are they when hidden by a layer (or two) of fat?
Defined and toned abdominals, no matter what your genetics, will feel defined and toned to the touch. They will feel solid. You will not be able to pinch that proverbial inch.
Trained abdominals will strengthen your core. Together with a strong lower back they serve to keep your posture erect and your internal organs in place.
I remember when I was very young I began to keep my abdominals tight. I sucked it in and stood erect. This was before I knew anything about bodybuilding, or fitness in general. I have since forgot what prompted me to do it. I have been doing it now for decades. I do it subconsciously.
The very act of keeping your abdominals tight exercises them. I am not talking about sucking in your waist to the point of holding your breath. I wouldn't want you to deprive your brain of oxygen and pass out. Keeping them tight means that you don't relax the abdominals to the point where they just sag.
Stand erect. Posture is important. Don't slouch or walk hunched over. Imagine an invisible magnet above your head keeping your body in a straight line. Keep your shoulders up and back--not rounded. Try doing the same when seated. Sit in a chair erect with your abdominals tight. It'll take practice and conscious effort. But I guarantee the results will be well worth it. It will give the illusion of a slimmer you.
Two things are required for a toned mid-section--abdominal exercises and nutrition. Abdominal exercises serve to build, tone, and sculpt the muscles. Nutrition serves to reduce body fat levels, and provide your body with the right fuel to help burn calories.
Water is essential for weight loss. A state of dehydration will slow down the body's metabolism (Read....) How much water should you drink? Enough so that your urine is a pale yellow.
As far as exercise is concerned, the abdominals are like any other muscle. There are two facets to successful abdominal training. Keeping your lower body still and bending at the waist will work the upper abdominals. When you keep your upper body still and raise your legs, you work the lower abdominals. Though it is not possible to completely isolate your abdominals, after all they are not two separate muscle groups, this system will target and fatigue the entire abdominal region.
Exercise 1: Lie on your back with your legs bent. This will prevent you from straining your lower back. The soles of your feet should be on the floor. Cross your arms on your chest. Now raise up. Concentrate on raising your upper body by flexing your abdominal muscles. Keep your head fixed throughout the movement. At the top of the movement, crunch your abdominals and exhale (breathe out.) Slowly return to the starting position. Do as many as you can working up to 15 to 20 repetitions.
Visualize your abdominal muscles pulling your upper body up from the floor. The mind plays an important role in any physical exercise. Visualization and concentration on your working muscle helps you to form a mind-muscle connection.
Exercise 2: Again lie on your back. But this time place your calves on a chair or sofa. This will be a little more difficult than the previous exercise. Cross your arms on your chest. Keeping your head fixed, raise your upper body. At the top of the movement, flex your abdominals and exhale (breathe out.) Slowly return to the starting position. Work up to 15 to 20 repetitions.
Lie on your back with your legs straight. Raise your legs several inches off the floor and slowly draw them towards your chest. As your hips rise from the ground, crunch your abdominals and exhale (breathe out.) Return your legs to the starting position (several inches off the floor.) Work up to 15 to 20 repetitions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you are new to abdominal training, it will take time to work up to 15 to 20 repetitions. Take it slow. Your muscles are not used to these movements. And I guarantee they will be sore the next day. This is normal and does not mean an injury.
Remember, exercise alone will not bring out your abdominals. It must be coupled with a solid nutritional plan that reduces body fat.
New E-book now available Let Food Be Thy Medicine.
The title of this manual is from the famous saying of Hippocrates in 400 bc. The full quote is “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates is known as the father of modern medicine. The foods which constitute the standard American diet (SAD) lack the ability to supply essential nutrients, let alone be medicine for a sick body.
Whole foods such as wheat and other grains, and fruit are processed to such a degree that dietary nutrients and fiber are removed. Examples are white rice, white bread, and fruit drinks. These processed products are inadequate to supply the human body with the nutrients it needs just to sustain itself. Even though the majority of Americans are eating more than enough calories, they are empty calories.
People are literally starving themselves to the point that the body is highly susceptible to attack by disease. Their immune systems are undernourished and not capable of fighting chronic illnesses.
By following the information given in this manual you will slowly nourish your body with the wholesome nutrients it needs to maintain, repair and build itself. Instead of calorie dense foods you will be consuming nutrient dense foods. You will put yourself on the road to strength, vigor, and vitality–no matter what your age. Price: $21.95.
|Back to Back Issues Page|