High cholesterol and diet

cholesterolHas your doctor told you your cholesterol is too high?  Are you now trying to decide what the best diet is to reduce your cholesterol levels?  Have you been put onto a statin drug?  Is high cholesterol and diet connected?

This post will give you a healthy alternative to reducing and stabilizing your cholesterol.

When it all started

High cholesterol and diet has been connected now for decades. It was in the 1950s that cholesterol started to be associated with heart disease.  A solution needed to be found for the high incidence of heart disease which was rising at an alarming rate.  There seemed to be strong evidence that cholesterol could be the culprit along with a high fat diet which caused the atherosclerosis and increased the risk of heart conditions. This was the start of the recommended low fat and low cholesterol diet which is still advocated today in our modern world.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid.  It is taken in by the body from the food we consume and is synthesized by our cells.  It is a necessary component of all tissue and cell membranes and is vital for such hormones as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, as well as the stress hormones.  It is converted to vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight.

hdl-ldl
Cholesterols have different densities

It was total blood cholesterol that was considered as an indicator to monitor health but now we know that there are different types of lipids in our system.  Research discovered that cholesterol was attached to other components of fat and protein which formed cholesterol lipoprotein complexes.  These are now classified according to their density of high, low and very low density.

Good and bad cholesterol

High levels in the blood of LDL (low density lipoproteins) and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) are associated with hardening of the arteries.  These are often called ‘bad cholesterol’.  HDL (high density lipoproteins) are called the ‘good cholesterols’ which are beneficial and actually transports fat out of the arteries, preventing the formation of plaques.

Blood levels of HDL that are too low are considered a marker for heart disease.  TG (triglycerides) are also another type of fat which increases the risk of heart disease so they are put together with LDL and VLDL.  We hear about ‘high cholesterol’ a lot but as you can see, there are different types and this simplification is a little misleading.

blausenThe high fat diet

There is evidence that a high fat diet in both animals and people have a negative effect on the arteries and the heart.  But did you know that there is strong evidence that those with a magnesium deficiency that also consume a high fat diet will have a higher likelihood of arterial damage.  This is because magnesium alleviates injury caused by the harm from excess fat. Magnesium is actually in control of how and when cholesterol is produced.

Clinical studies

Way back in the mid 20th century, it was reported that magnesium supplements could reduce high cholesterol levels in laboratory animals.  A few years on it was suggested that a combination of high fat in the diet and low levels of magnesium could be responsible for the higher levels of cholesterol found in those Australians who had immigrated from Europe as against the levels of magnesium in native Australians.

Several clinical studies since, have confirmed this hypothesis, with results of 18 studies on humans showing that taking magnesium supplements can normalize cholesterol levels.  The results showed total cholesterol dropping by up to 23%,  LDL cholesterol dropping by up to 18%, TGs dropping by up to 42% and HDL cholesterol levels rising by up to 11%.

Research mostly ignored

Magnesium and cholesterol research has in the main been either ignored or dismissed for one reason or another.  The positive results of these studies have not been dissemminated to the medical fraternity which means that medics rarely prescribe magnesium foreducate elevated cholesterol levels.  This is either because they are ignorant of the facts or they would rather prescribe a pharmaceutical drug which the pharmaceutical companies will obviously be pushing and giving medics incentives to prescribe.

How does magnesium control cholesterol?

Magnesium controls a crucial step in the enzyme driven process that stops or starts production of cholesterol.  Cholesterol is produced after a series of reactions that start with the conversion of a compound known as HMG-CoA to a compound known as mevalonate which is a fatty acid derivative.  Mg-ATP (magnesium activated adenosine triphosphate) deactivates the limiting enzyme HMG-CoA reductase inhibiting activation of mevalonate.  With adequate magnesium levels, the regulation of this enzyme can stop or decrease the production of mevalonate, therefore regulating the amount of cholesterol production depending on the body’s needs.

Cholesterol is important

If there is a magnesium deficiency, the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate is not controlled therefore continual cholesterol production can give rise to atheromas, fatty deposits in the arteries.  This is why the body regulates production of cholesterol because it is needed for many processes not least the sex hormones and the adrenal corticosteroids as well as vitamin D.  The enzymes necessary for these process are activated by magnesium.  So, if there is too much cholesterol, it can be harmful and conversely if they is too little cholesterol, it can be just as harmful.  It has to be regulated and it won’t be without magnesium.

statin cartoonSo what will the doctor prescribe?

Well, statins of course.  Statins are excessively prescribed for patients who have high cholesterol but at the same time, have never had a cardiac event.  Studies investigating the use of statins with a data pool of 65,000 plus people showed that no benefit was gained for patients who had never been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease.  In fact for some, taking statins may do more harm than good and the question is asked.  Why are so there so many patients on statins when they’ve never had a stroke or heart event?  Why prescribe this drug, with its unpleasant side effects, if it doesn’t prevent heart disease?  Some speculate that it could have something to do with money! God Forbid!

Let’s compare statins with magnesium

  1. Both statins and magnesium target the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase but magnesium also targets LCAT.  Now LCAT stands for Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase which is an enzyme that actually converts LDL cholesterol into HDL cholesterol and magnesium activates this enzyme.  That means that the action of magnesium actually increases HDL (good) cholesterol whilst decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  2. Statins actually inhibits or poisons HMG-CoA reductase, but magnesium naturally regulates and controls it.
  3. Both statins and magnesium reduce LDL.  Statins sometimes raises HDL but magnesium naturally raises HDL while reducing LDL.
  4. Statins V MgBoth statins and magnesium prevent clot formation, except magnesium does it naturally.
  5. Both statins and magnesium reduce inflammation but again magnesium does it naturally.
  6. Statins and magnesium also both slows and/or prevents atherosclerotic plaques from forming.  Magnesium will do this naturally with no side effects.
  7. Statins raise liver enzymes past normal.  Liver function has to be checked regularly with statin use.  Magnesium does not raise liver enzymes.
  8. Statins can cause a nasty condition called myopathy which is a disease of the muscles.  Magnesium actually prevents myopathy.
  9. Statin drugs have many side effects.  Magnesium has no side effects.

And the health benefits?

Results of 16 research studies, 8 on statins and 8 on magnesium produced the following results.

  • Statin drugs:  17-22 percent drop in overall mortality, 24-28 percent drop in heart disease mortality and 13-45 percent drop in heart disease events.
  • Magnesium:  37-80 percent drop in overall mortality, 71 percent drop in heart disease mortality and 49-76 percent drop in heart disease events.

statinsHow the body treats statins

A statin is a drug and since the body will treat it as a toxin, the body will do its best to eliminate it in various ways depending on whether it is water soluble or fat soluble.  In any event, it will be excreted from the body at various rates in a few hours or a few days.   So to keep the statin working it has to be taken continuously on a daily basis.  If not the enzyme it targets will not be inactivated.  Purposely putting a toxin into the body should be a last resort.  If there is a natural remedy, why not use it!

Mg glassHow the body treats magnesium

Because magnesium is an essential and natural nutrient, the body will not be trying to eliminate it but more conserve it and store it for later use.  It still has to be consumed daily through water or food or by way of supplementation.  If the body perceives levels are low, it will do its best to keep vital organs and processes, such as the heart supplied with this vital nutrient the lack of which can actually cause sudden cardiac arrest.

Magnesium does not have to be processed by the liver because it’s not a toxin and will be excreted by normal processes if there is too much in the body.  Because it is a nutrient rather than a drug, it has no side effects other than diarrhoea if taken in too big a quantity at once.

coconut oilSo how about your diet?

If your doctor advises you to review your diet, that’s good advice.  But don’t get hung up over fat.  There are many good fats out there including organic coconut oil and a high quality extra virgin olive oil.  If he says your cholesterol is too high, look at taking a magnesium supplement.

 Eggs are full of nutrients

Don’t be frightened of eggs.  They’ve had a bad press in the past but have been completely exonerated.  They are the finest source of nutrients you can eat as long as they are at least free range and at best organic.  Don’t forget what the egg has to have within it.  All the nutrients to produce a living creature that can run as soon as it comes out of the egg.  Use your common sense with your food intake.  Don’t eat junk food, don’t consume fructose corn syrup, don’t drink sodas, don’t use transfats and keep your sugar consumption low.  Don’t use artificial sweeteners except stevia, which up to now, has not shown to have any adverse effects.

statinsvmg

If you’ve been told your cholesterol is high, don’t panic, use a good quality magnesium supplement like magnesium chloride solution or magnesium citrate.  Don’t buy cheap supplements, they’re cheap for a reason.  Your cholesterol levels will soon be stabilized and you can go about your daily life without stressing over cholesterol.  You will also be protecting yourself from a plethora of other diseases and conditions, have a look around this site and you’ll see what I mean!

Ches Power AuthorLastly, if you are prescribed statin drugs and you have never experienced a cardiovascular or heart event, question your doctor as to why.  You are now more informed, try informing him and the best of luck!

 

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High Cholesterol and Diet
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High Cholesterol and Diet
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Has your doctor told you your cholesterol is too high? Have you been put onto a statin drug? Is high cholesterol and diet connected?
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http://magnesiumandhealth.com
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12 thoughts on “High cholesterol and diet

  1. Hello Chessie,
    I love your site and it is very informative and especially for me because I had no idea about cholesterol and magnesium. Now, I am so much more aware and I am going to change a few of my eating habits. Thanks to you and your site, I really appreciate it Chessie.
    Carol

  2. Hi Nikola and thanks for your input. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for magnesium is approximately 300-400mg per day but it ranges depending on the source of the RDA. For me, I take 600mg of Mg Chloride solution per day and I weight in at around 160 lbs. I put the days dose in a litre of water and drink it throughout the day. This is also good for keeping yourself hydrated. This dose is apart from any Mg consumed through food. It is a case of upping your dosage slowly until you reach a level that suits you. I would start at around 300 – 400mg and if you feel no difference up it gradually over the next week. Don’t take large doses in one go, always spread throughout the day and always be aware of any stress you are under as stress depletes Mg considerably. If you work out and exercise a lot, take a look at Magnesium and Working Out and be sure to keep your levels up. Good health to you and yours. Ches

  3. Hi Chessie. I like your post about the connection between diet and cholesterol. I knew a lot, but also learned a lot. As for magnesium, i figured I do not have it enough in my diet so I started using magnesium topical sprays. I dont have a cholesterol issue(I think) but use it as an energy booster. Tell me, what is the daily requirement for cholesterol control and for boosing mood an energy levels? Thank you.

  4. Hi Courtney and thanks for your comments. By all means share the info acknowledging the source. We need to get as much out to the public as we can so they can take control of their health. I agree with you about natural foods but with magnesium particularly, it is very difficult to gain enough of this vital mineral through food alone, mainly because of farming practices and the consumption of junk food which is lacking in magnesium. Also the predisposition to consume excess calcium, magnesium’s antogonist partner, keeps the balance of magnesium to calcium too low. This is a lot of the problem, not the deficiency but the balance of the two minerals which should be as near 1:1 as possible and this is so difficult with our modern diet. Ches

  5. Thanks for reading the post and your input and comments. Yes, eggs are a great source of nutrition as are seeds and nuts and magnesium will help to stabilize your cholestrol. But, it is also a good idea to dump the junk food, sodas and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Ches

  6. It was heart wrenching to read your About Me page; but I am happy you are over the hump.There is need for an international debate about Health Education. We can do so much better and save a lot of money if health education was taught from early. A great selection of research material,but I would much prefer natural foods rather than supplements.Is it OK to share complete articles or do you have to seek permission, or is acknowledging the source adequate?Thanks for sharing. Stay well.

  7. Hi, Ches!
    Although i am aware of cholesterol and the discrimination in good and bad, i didn’t know that eating eggs it’s ok! The other thing i learn is the therapeutic effect of magnesium in stabilizing the levels of cholesterol in a way that is more effective- you mentioned that it increases HDL (good) cholesterol whilst decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol. That’s good to know!
    Wish you best,
    Rebecca!

  8. Hi there Ralph and thanks for your comment and input. Magnesium has a positive effect on nearly every kind of condition and disease out there. That’s because it is used in nearly all of our bodily functions including cardiovascular, neurological, brain function, pulmonary, muscles, bones, you name it magnesium will be necessary for it. That’s why a magnesium deficiency is so problematic. I’m pleased you’ll be back eating eggs now! Ches

  9. As someone who is very much into health, I did not know magnesium had such a positive effect when it came to cholesterol.

    I love my eggs so it is good to hear that I don’t need to fear them since nowadays you feel you need to stay away from everything.

    I usually try to make sure I eat as healthy as I can to maintain good health. Thanks for this very informative article!

  10. Hi Celeste and you are right about virgin olive oil, it should not be heated. Coconut oil (organic) is definitely the better oil to use for higher temperatures but there is a consensus of opinion that frying anything is not good. But living without a fried egg could be difficult, for me anyway. I use only organic coconut oil when I need to fry.

    Thanks for your comment and input. You’re still fit and young, make sure you stay that way ie. fit and feeling young even when you’re as old as me! Ches

  11. I had no idea about cholesterol until I read this article. I obviously don’t suffer from a high or low cholesterol. It’s good to educate yourself on these matters and eat the right foods to try and stay healthy. I’m glad to learn that eggs are okay because I love eggs. What would be the best oil to fry your eggs in? I have heard that virgin olive oil is not good for you when heated. Is this true?

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