Dyslipidemia is the clinical term for an imbalance of lipids (fats) in the blood. It occurs when you have too many or too little levels of lipids in your blood. It should be made known at this point in the article that, contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is absolutely necessary for the body to work properly. The key is to have the right amount and the right types of cholesterol for optimal health.
There are three types of fats in blood: high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides. LDL is the lipoprotein that is delivered to cells and can be more easily deposited in arteries. HDL is the lipoprotein that acts as a scavenger molecule to take excess cholesterol and put it back into liver to be excreted. Triglycerides are the storage form of fat or excess calories from the diet. In general, you want more HDL than LDL in your blood.
Cholesterol levels can be too high. And there can be too many of the wrong types of lipids in the blood. In our office, we are concerned with too many small, dense, oxidized LDL particles in the blood. Having too many lipid particles or too much of the harmful types of lipids will raise your risk for atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the fatty buildup of plaque in blood vessels that leads to an increased risk for heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
Of course, here at the Drs. Wolfson, we are concerned with analyzing different types of lipids for prediction of cardiac risk. This is why we do the most advanced cardiac testing there is.
Ask your doctor for an advanced lipid workup. If they can’t do it, come see us.
The SAD is rich in processed foods, carbohydrates and trans fats, all of which are easily converted into LDL and triglycerides in the blood.
Insulin resistance is associated with elevated levels of small, dense LDL particles and triglycerides along with decreased HDL levels.
In general, being overweight promotes increases in LDL and triglycerides and reductions in HDL. A major risk factor for dyslipidemia is excess weight around your waist, otherwise known as abdominal adiposity.
Metabolic syndrome, which includes excess weight and inflammation, is linked to abnormal lipid levels.
Smoking lowers the good HDL cholesterol. It is also a toxin that harms LDL and stimulates this small, dense, damaged type of LDL to get stored in plaque and contribute to atherosclerosis.
In excess, alcohol gets stored as a fat in the body. It also takes precedence over everything when it comes to digestion. Therefore, increased alcohol intake leads to increased storage of triglycerides and production of LDL.
Too little HDL means the body can’t sufficiently clear excess lipoproteins from the blood. HDL is the scavenger molecule that takes lipids to the liver to be excreted.
Exercise has been shown to improve blood lipid profiles. Physical activity can raise HDL levels. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of activity per day.
The sun’s rays convert cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D. Spending time in the sunshine is a natural method to regulate blood lipid levels (and boost vitamin D status).
Additionally, individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, hypothyroidism and kidney disorders are all populations that are at-risk for dyslipidemia.
Conventional medicine prescribes statins for cholesterol treatment and this is often not needed. For the majority of cases, statin drugs don’t actually work or save lives. Only in a small amount of cases do they work. A UK study published in the journal Heart found that for one in two individuals, the statin drugs don’t work and that these patients have an increased cardiovascular risk (Source).
There are also major side effects with statin drugs. These include but are not limited to: muscle aches and weakness, depleted coenzyme Q10 levels, sleep issues, digestive distress, detrimental effects on the liver and kidneys, and even brain degeneration.
Statin drugs work by blocking the liver enzyme that produces cholesterol. They lower total cholesterol levels. The issue is that the body still needs cholesterol in the right forms and amounts to function optimally and prevent chronic disease.
Our bodies are not deficient in statin drugs. We are deficient in nutrients, sunshine, sleep and physical activity. We need to work to find our best cholesterol by eating the right foods, getting sunshine, getting adequate sleep, living the right lifestyle, and using evidence-based supplements as necessary.
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