Episode #23: Cholesterol: Fact Vs. Fiction

July 8, 2019

Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey everybody, what's going on? Doctor Chad Woolner here and Dr. Buddy Allen. And this is episode 23 of the health fundamentals podcast. And on today's episode, we're going to be talking about all things cholesterol, separating fact from fiction. So let's get started.

Speaker 2: (00:14)
You're listening to the health fundamentals podcast. I'm Dr. Chad Woolner and I'm Dr. Buddy Allen. And this show was about giving you the simple but powerful and cutting edge tools you need to change your health and your life. So sit back and enjoy the show as we show you the path to your best life down to a science.

Speaker 1: (00:33)
So, hey everybody, hope you guys are having a great day. Uh, today we figured we would, uh, tackle a relatively controversial topic, uh, that being cholesterol. Um, if you followed this show for any length of time, uh, you'd come to find that we, we try to steer clear of extremes, uh, not because we're, we're afraid of tackling difficult subjects, but just because we find that more often than not, uh, extremes don't really lead us into, uh, truth. You know, more often than not missing the mark, you bet. More often than not, when we start veering into these really, uh, you know, kind of heels dug in camps on either end of the spectrum, wherever that may be, uh, we tend to find that you, you find less truth and more bias. That's what you find. But, uh, the interesting thing is this topic here, uh, is a real hot button topic.

Speaker 1: (01:30)
Uh, when we talk about cholesterol and specifically more specifically, uh, cholesterol drugs, uh, specifically we're talking about stats. Um, and, and what you'll find is if you start really doing even just a casual search online, what you will find is an overwhelming body of evidence showing, uh, that stat observed for the most part worthless. And yet, uh, it still is part of an agenda, um, of, of prescribing them and, and like the status quo is going to remain the same for the indefinite future is what it looks like in, in spite of new guidelines and new evidence showing and suggesting, uh, a, that cholesterol is not the boogeyman that, that we once thought it was and claimed it was. And B, that stats are not the savior drugs that the pharmaceutical companies marketed them to be. You know? So, um, let me just start off with this.

Speaker 1: (02:34)
There's an article that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Uh, I'm trying to find the date here, uh, to October 1st, 2018 and this is the abstract. They said statens are the most widely prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs in the world despite the expiration of their patents, which is typically when most pharmaceutical companies, drugs, store beers, ticket ticket, dramatic hid in terms of the revenue in terms of their profit, uh, revenue for statens. Despite that revenue for sentences, it's exceeded, is expected to rise with total sales. Get this total sales on track to reach an estimated $1 trillion by 2020. That's just next year. That is how much money we're talking about here. So when you're talking about, we're not even talking money in the billions, which is still unfathomable. We're talking about money in the trillions. That's like government money. That's like the United States like deficit money. Yeah. This is crazy deficit.

Speaker 1: (03:37)
And it's, it's, I mean, that type of money. So they went on to say a bitter dispute has erupted among doctors over suggestions that statins should be prescribed to millions of healthy people at low risk of heart disease. There are concerns that the benefits have been exaggerated and that the risks have been underplayed. Also, the raw data data on the efficacy and safety of stents are being kept secret and have not been subjected to scrutiny by other scientists. This lack of transparency has led to an erosion of, of public confidence doctors and patients are being misled about the true benefits and harms of statins. And it is now a matter of urgency that the raw data from the clinical trials are released. Well, we do have some of that data that's out there, you know, um, one of the, one of the first real studies that we learned about in school that really helped to I think was the beginning eye-opening towards like the real true nature of cholesterol.

Speaker 1: (04:34)
And this is 16 years ago, right? Yeah. This is a while ago was the Framingham study, which if I'm correct, is still ongoing study has been going on for 30 plus years. It started back in like the, the fifties or sixties, right? 40, yeah. You're Framingham, Massachusetts. Yep. So it's longer than that. It's been going on for a long time. And basically what they've been doing is, it's a, it's a perspective study that's just been kind of ongoing. They'd been looking at a group of people and what they've been trying to tease out are, are, uh, answers to questions such as, you know, what's, what's the story with cholesterol? Is it, is it good for you? Does elevated cholesterol make a difference? Does it, does it harm us? Uh, you know, uh, and then looking at other risk factors associated with heart disease or what they call coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease.

Speaker 1: (05:22)
Um, but, uh, yeah, this is kinda crazy. It's really crazy. And really when you kind of started diving into things, um, think about, you know, there, there's, there's, it really comes down to that causation versus correlation. You Bet. You know, and, and, uh, and, and that's really kind of where they got their ground to, I guess initially, um, run from with the medication is listen, if, if people who are dying have, you know, cloud or have heart disease, have clogged arteries and they have a lot of, you know, an elevated cholesterol [inaudible] exactly. So they kind of start saying, well, if that's the case, that means the cholesterol must be causing the, you know, the coronary artery disease, which is frankly not true, will it? And again, it's one of those things where at the beginning it seems not only plausible but very reasonable to assume that, that that's the case.

Speaker 1: (06:15)
Right. Um, so let's, let's first start by maybe for those listening here, cause oftentimes we hear these misnomers like good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. And I think that that sometimes can lead people astray in and of itself. Cholesterol is cholesterol, right? Uh, cholesterol is a fat. Uh, it's something that our body uses to synthesize or create a variety of different hormones in our body. Um, very important ones. Uh, so a lot of our sex hormones are derived from cholesterol. You look at hormones like progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, um, cortisol, uh, these are all derived from, uh, from, uh, cholesterol. Our body needs cholesterol to be able to produce these, these essential hormones for our health, our growth and development, right? Virtually. Well, every cell wall in our body has cholesterol that makes up the LE, the living there, my layer, right? And so when there's damaged cells in our body, we need cholesterol to help prepare them, right?

Speaker 1: (07:18)
So, so let's maybe maybe unpack that for people and to explain. So why do people get in, in many cases, elevated levels of cholesterol? Wonderful. You know, and when we look at that, it comes down to your inflammation and irritation to the, the, the vessel linings. You know, so, so, so when we have, uh, increased, uh, inflammation in the body, when there's inflammation, inflammation leads to damage in the body. Um, we can call this inflammation. Some people will call it free radical damage. You've got, it's virtually the same thing. People who smoke, people who have high blood sugar, you know, diabetics, they write horrible. You know, these are people that have a classically well and you don't even have to be diabetic necessarily, right? If high blood sugar is not good for the body, it's, it's toxic to the body. Whether you're diabetic or known, it's gonna, it's gonna have a detrimental impact on your body.

Speaker 1: (08:10)
Exactly. So eating, uh, you know, foods that are high in, in, uh, you know, sugars, um, uh, heavily processed foods, you know, basically just eating a diet that is not a healthy diet is going to lead to inflammation. A smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, drinking too much, drinking. These are all the types of things that are going to lead to inflammation in the body. When you have increased inflammation in the body, it's going to create damage. And one of the most common places where it will create damage is the inner lining of blood vessels. And more specifically, uh, blood vessels that, uh, are coronary blood vessels that surround and supply blood to the heart itself. Um, and so what happens? What does the body, when we have damage to those blood vessels, the interlinings, it ships out cholesterol so it can heal the, the damaged areas.

Speaker 1: (09:03)
And again, that's a, that's a normal, very natural and very healthy response. The body's just doing what it's supposed to do, heal itself and take care of itself, manage itself. The problem is that what happens when the cholesterol gets there, it patches up the inner lining of those blood vessels. And yet we still continue to do the same things that got us there in the first place. Sure. Well, inflammation doesn't go down. And so what happens when inflammation hits that cholesterol? Same thing irritates it, breaks it down. So more cholesterol comes to repair it. So, and then and like what? Hitting a wall over and over, right? Well, and then what happens is this process, the, the technical term is atherosclerosis is the term. And basically what that means is that cholesterol now starts to harden. It not only starts to put more there to try and repair the damage, but it starts to get hard.

Speaker 1: (09:51)
And that's where the damage starts. That's where the real kind of risk, danger, danger, danger, I guess is the word where all of a sudden it starts to narrow. Because what, imagine that, right? It's like you're putting up the wall only to put more putty, only to put more petty and it starts to harden and get thicker. Um, and, and, and when they harden and get less thick, uh, not only does it create a narrowing effect, but it, the blood vessels normally should have a certain flexibility or appliability to them to allow blood that's moving through to be able to create a, a decent amount of stretch on those blood vessels to allow that blood to flow properly. But the problem is, is if that blood vessel hardens, if it doesn't have that stretch on it, that you know, normally happens, it constricts and restricts proper blood flow, which is ultimately what leads to heart attack.

Speaker 1: (10:39)
You know, it blocks it off completely. So cholesterol, despite what, you know, some might may say is not the Boogeyman, uh, that it is, it has been made out to be so, but, but in order, in order for us to be able to sell Staten drugs, we have to make it the demon. The, yeah. The narrative has to remain the same. And again, at the beginning when it first came, when, when this whole, uh, cholesterol causes, you know, increased cholesterol is, is as heart disease as heart disease, um, it would seem the logical, uh, you know, step to that would be, well then yeah, we decrease it via these cholesterol lowering drugs and that would make perfect sense. The problem though is that when you look at the studies, what does it say in terms of the effectiveness of Stanton's ability to actually lower cholesterol is negligible at best.

Speaker 1: (11:33)
Not very good, not very good. And then on top of that, what we start to now see is a growing body of evidence of some pretty nasty side effects and risks associated with a continual use of Staten drugs. What are some of those risks? Um, one of the probably most scary ones is the, the risk of increasing, um, risk of getting diabetes type two diabetes. That is, and they say in those who are, um, who have the, the, you know, the, that are leaning that way anyhow, it's gonna increase those risks, but it's a pretty substantial amount. 38%. I think you had read in one of the studies, like it's, it's significance. So, yeah, get this, this was published just march of this year, 2019, March 7th of 2019 published in the New York Times. This is what they said, uh, statens may increase risk of diabetes. The risk may be especially high in those who are overweight.

Speaker 1: (12:28)
So for a while that the, the evidence was, was kind of like, yeah, it looks like that. But what they say now is they say the link between stat news and the development of type two diabetes may be even stronger than previously believed. A new study suggests researchers perspectively studied 8,567 men and women whose average age was 64. All were free of diabetes. And not taking statens when the study started in a follow up, uh, of up to 15 years, about 12% of the group started taking stats. So roughly we'll just guesstimate about a thousand people, right? 8,500, 12%. I'm just estimating is probably going to be a little bit of a right at about a thousand. Right. Um, in fact, we'll just do the math real quick so we know. So we know an exact number. We'll give them, we'll give them an exact number. It was 12% of, uh, 8,567 times 0.1 to a 1028 to be exact so you could get a little over a thousand.

Speaker 1: (13:27)
Right? Um, all right. 12% of the group or were taking statens most, uh, using either Zocor or Lipitor, uh, known as Simvastatin or a tour of a Staton and the rest, either a private call or less call a, which is previs, stat and or fluvastatin. Most took them for more than a year and there were 716 new cases of diabetes in the group after controlling for age, sex, smoking, family history of diabetes and many other risk factors. They found that stat and use get this was associated with higher risk for insulin resistance and high blood sugar and with a 38% increased risk for the development of type two diabetes. That's massive. That is crazy. And we were just reading a from a, this was, uh, a medical center. They basically did like a, you know, our staten's really that bad. And they basically went line by line and they were saying some say that, uh, this is what they said about the diabetes risk.

Speaker 1: (14:31)
This was their take on it. Um, they went, they went as oh and they said, well, stand to increase my risk for diabetes are complicated. Existing diabetes. The risk is true to some extent, but it's wildly exaggerated is what they said. So equally percent. If you think 38%, uh, increased risk is, is a wild then boy, you know, I, yeah. What? Yeah. That doesn't seem wildly exaggerated to me. To there. Yeah, 38% risk. Increased risk. Like that's crazy. I mean we're, we're broaching, I don't wanna like overestimate here, but like 38 ain't too far from 50% you know what I mean? Like, so that, I mean one third, if we're, if we're extrapolating that right and here's the, here's the rub on this is too deep to decrease all I'll, you know, to eliminate these, these risk factors and all of these terrible things. There's some simple, simple things you can do to change lifestyle and I'm not talking huge things where you would, these drugs are totally irrelevant.

Speaker 1: (15:35)
100% so relevant. And so what are those things first? So things like making sure you're eating healthy diet, losing weight, get to a healthy weight, let's, let's keep getting political. Yeah. And let's give a little bit more of a framework. In terms of macros. Macros, we would be saying for a healthy diet, you know, they say, and they say here actually they say in this state I mentioned medic, the Metadata, which, which again has evolved to some degree in terms of what people are shifting towards. You know, I would say Mediterranean ketogenic or Paleo esque style diet. And I'm sure when we get into the really nitty gritty fine tuning of that, some people would say I was totally different at the end of the day. The way I say it is, look, increase your healthy fats, increase vegetables, green leafy vegetables, colorful vegetables, uh, eat lean, moderate amounts of protein and lower dramatically your carbohydrate intake, especially refined carbohydrates.

Speaker 1: (16:28)
Uh, eliminate, you know, just the junk. Well, things like exercise, exercise, quitting smoking, obviously things we already know we should be doing, right? Decrease the amount of alcohol. If you consume alcohol, decrease it. They say a low to moderate is okay, but you know, anything above that you're, you're causing all kinds of damage. Um, increasing fiber like you mentioned, increasing healthy fats, especially omega three fatty acids because they are a very anti inflammatory in nature. And again, inflammation is what causes the damage. And, and that's, and that's the point I think that we need to drive home here, is that all of these things are not going to directly lower cholesterol. That's not what we're talking about here. What these things are going to do is help reduce systemic inflammation in the body, which will in turn lower cholesterol. Exactly. Or I shouldn't even say necessarily lower cholesterol, but allow your body to produce the correct amount of cholesterol for your body.

Speaker 1: (17:28)
Right? That's the point. Your body is going to normalize. And ultimately what you're doing is you're giving your body what it needs to be able to do what it knows how to do inherently. And that's one of the neatest things that we get to see in our practice is the literal miracle that is the human body in the sense that, um, our body knows exactly what it needs to do. Our body knows what it needs. Our body knows how to do what it needs to do to heal itself and to maintain itself. But the thing is is that we need to give it the, what it needs to be able to do that, right? We often times we use the analogy of a plant like a, you know, a plant or a tree or whatever. What is it that it needs? Well, it needs sunlight, needs water.

Speaker 1: (18:08)
Uh, you know, it needs fertilizer and nutrients and, and you know, those things that it needs to be able to take care of and grow itself. When you give it those things, it knows what to do. And it's the same thing with our body. Right? Right. Same, same idea. The challenge though, when you say that there's, there's a, there's a rub to that. What you're saying there is the problem buddy, is that you've got two options here. Option a, you gotta be proactive. No effort. Well, I was going to say option aver does require [inaudible] exercise, but option B, the appeal of a stat and drug is that it's a drug. I, all I have to do is just, you mean, you mean to tell me that I can continue to do and, and that's the thing. That's the, that's the kind of clever pitch of the drug companies is they're not stupid.

Speaker 1: (18:51)
They're not going to say, you know, just take this drug and everything will be okay. They don't have to directly say that it's, it's implicit in the fact that what they're, you know what I mean? They'll say like, just take this drug and then exercise and diet and do all the, you know, they like mumble that under their breath. Um, but, but the reality of it is, is that it's always going to be inherently far more appealing and easier to take the, the easy button, you know? Um, Oh man, this is, it's, it's huge. NZ. I would say for me, like if we boil this all down, it's take charge of your health. Absolutely. Don't give that over to somebody else. The reality here is that, that's what I mean. Yeah. You're by, by giving, you know, letting them just give you this medication you are giving over that control that you have and you can do all of this yourself.

Speaker 1: (19:44)
You turn on camera a hundred percent. You can do this all yourself. Back in back in July of 2015, the world journal of Cardiology, uh, they, they produced, uh, they put out a paper called cholesterol confusion in stat and controversial. I think this is a good place to go. They said the role of blood of blood cholesterol levels in coronary heart disease and the true effect of cholesterol lowering statin drugs are debatable in particular whether Stanton's actually decreased cardiac mortality and increased life expectancy is controversial concurrently. The Mediterranean Diet model has been shown to prolong life and reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, and coronary heart disease. We here in review current data related to both statens and Mediterranean diet. We conclude, we conclude that the expectation that coronary heart disease could be prevented or eliminated by simply reducing cholesterol appears unfounded. On the contrary, we should acknowledge the inconsistencies of the cholesterol theory and recognize the proven benefits of a healthy lifestyle incorporating a Mediterranean diet to prevent coronary heart disease.

Speaker 1: (20:53)
So really what they're basically saying is what they're concluding here is what we basically just send you here, right? We're not trying to base this off of some personal bias or vendetta. We hope that that's really crystal clear here that we are not anti-drug sometimes. Uh, and, and I would say many times drugs have a very profound and powerful place in helping to prolonged life and even save lives. Um, but this just happens to be one area, unfortunately, where they do not. And the problem is when we're talking about a trillion dollar industry here, that is not something that is going to go away easily or lightly. That's not something that a drug company is going to just relinquish up. Well, you know, we see the error of our ways here. We see that the evidence is overwhelming that this drug doesn't work. So we're just going to let go of this a trillion dollar profit making machine, million dial a trillion dollars buys a lot of people's attention.

Speaker 1: (21:49)
You Bet. You Bet. Absolutely. Whether they think so or not at right. Yeah. And that's the thing like what we're producing or what we're, what we're sharing here is nothing new. Yeah. Like this news has been around literally, it's been, uh, I would say a minimum of 20 to 30 years. We've known this information. You Bet. I like, like safe can safely concluding like we know that stat and drugs are not what they purport to be, that cholesterol is not the scary thing that it has been made out to be. And that lifestyle is going to be the driver to help reduce a heart disease. And so it's, you know, and it's the same sort of thing as uh, you know, the whole, it's this, this ties in very, very clearly to the uh, fat being the cause of Oh, people being fat versus sugar.

Speaker 1: (22:38)
You know, the sugar industry has been pushing, you know, to demonize fat for a long logo shirt, you know. So anyways, any other thoughts on this? Nope. Other than, like I said before, take control of your health. It's a, it's not as hard as you might think. Yeah, absolutely. So, all right guys, we'll hopefully this has been valuable. Hopefully we have given you guys some good information to kind of think on, consider if you know somebody who is taking statin drugs or has cholesterol issues, maybe consider sharing this with them. Uh, do the research yourself. That's what I would encourage people to do. Do it yourself. Don't just take our word on it. Sure. You'll come to find is some pretty uh, I think eye-opening, uh, data and eyeopening information out there that will show loud and clear, uh, that stance or not what the drug companies have made them out to be, uh, that the risks far, far, far outweigh any, uh, minuscule benefit that they might provide. Um, and just realize that there is definitely an, an agenda. They're behind this. So, uh, thanks for listening guys and we'll talk to you guys on the next episode.

Speaker 2: (23:40)
Thanks for listening to the health front of Middles podcast. Be sure to subscribe so that you stay in the loop. And in the note with all of the cutting edge health information that we share, if you know other people that could benefit from this information, please share it with them as well. Also, be sure to give us a review. These really help us to ultimately help more people. Last but not least, if you have questions that you want answered live on the show, or if you have ideas for topics that you would like us to cover, please shoot us an email and let us know at info@thehealthfundamentals.com.





MJ Manlunas
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