Everyone is so concerned about high cholesterol, but did you know that very low levels of cholesterol are unhealthy too? Death rates related to cholesterol levels look like a J on a chart. If you have results over 250ng/dl or under 150ng/dl the mortality rates rise. Why?
Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver in response to the body’s need for two things: bandaids and hormones.
Cholesterol is nature’s bandaid, providing the necessary materials to shore up damaged tissues and support cells.
Cholesterol is also at the center of every steroid hormone: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, aldosterone. The word steroid comes from “sterol” — the cholesterol molecule at the root of every steroid hormone.
When your body produces less hormones in times of stress or with the natural aging process, the hypothalamus which orchestrates the symphony of hormones alerts the liver “get some cholesterol to the gonads and adrenals, pronto!!” Now the tired, declining glands cannot always use the cholesterol resources so generously provided by the liver, so it floats around in the bloodstream. High cholesterol is not a dis-ease but a symptom of something deeper.
Cholesterol is measured by its density. Total cholesterol is divided into high-density lipids (HDL), low-density lipids (LDL), and very low-density lipids (VLDL). We used to think of HDL as good and LDL as bad, but not all LDL particles are bad. Only small LDL particles cause plaque in the arteries (arteriosclerosis).
If your HDL is high and your triglycerides are low than the majority of your LDL is large particles, which is fine… and probably a sign that your hormones are out of balance. If your HDL is low and your triglycerides are high than the majority of your LDL is small particles, which is not good. A cardio reactive protein (CRP) helps determine if there is inflammation in the cardiovascular system. If the CRP indicates cardiovascular inflammation then more labs are needed to determine how to treat the inflammation. Apolipoprotein B is measured to see how much of your LDL is dangerous small particles. A measurement of fibrinogen indicates how much plaque is being laid down. A measurement of homocysteine indicates how your body is dealing with cholesterol oxidation which causes inflammation of the arteries.
If you keep hormones in harmony by supporting the ovaries, testes, and adrenals, excess cholesterol will be made into necessary steroid hormones. Whenever cholesterol is elevated, I look for steroid hormone imbalances. The liver is not trying to clog up your arteries, but just responding to the hypothalamus’ cry for help.
I recently got an email from one of my readers about cholesterol. She’s menopausal and in spite of a healthy diet and exercise, her cholesterol is rising. Would Genesis Gold® help?
I created Genesis Gold® to balance your hormones and your hypothalamus which helps lower cholesterol. That’s because hormones specifically steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol are made from LDL cholesterol. Whenever I see a patient with elevated cholesterol, I start working on balancing their hormones.
Of course I also work with my patients on their diet as insulin resistance will cause an elevation in cholesterol too (it’s not fat but sugar that raises the bad cholesterol).
Now balance takes time, so the effect on your cholesterol will not be seen for at least three months. In the original research it took six months to bring down total cholesterol in the most hormonally challenged patients, but their cholesterol ratio was healthier (with HDL rising to >30% of total cholesterol in the first three months). I measure LDL and HDL particle size and Genesis Gold definitely improves both protective LDL and HDL particles.
Clinical studies showed that within three months the HDL rose (which is protective) and within six months elevated LDL dropped lowering the total cholesterol to healthy levels.
Usually after three to six months of using Genesis Gold®, the cholesterol levels normalize as the hormones come into balance.
If symptoms of hormonal decline are severe — unmitigated hot flashes, night sweats, severe mental fog, depression, anxiety — I recommend natural bio-identical hormone replacement.
If you are over fifty and menopausal (or andropausal for aging men), it is normal for cholesterol levels to rise up to 200-250 ng/dl, even if you exercise and eat well. Over 250, I treat with natural cholesterol-lowering agents, because statins have the ominous side effect of suppressing protective CoQ10 production leading to neurological damage. I usually do not treat high cholesterol until the endocrine dysfunction is corrected, unless you have a family history of heart disease specifically arteriosclerosis (clogged arteries) causing stroke and heart attacks.
Pharmaceutical cholesterol-lowering drugs work by blocking the liver’s production of cholesterol as well as Coenzyme Q10 which is an essential element for cardiac and neurological health. Studies have shown that long term use of lipid-lowering drugs can lead to cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) and neuropathy (ie. Parkinson’s disease). Side effects of lipid-lowering agents include muscle pain, fatigue, depression and liver dysfunction
An alternative to pharmaceutical treatment is Red Rice Yeast, a natural microplant that lowers cholesterol in the same way as the drugs but with little side effects. Co-enzyme Q10 should be taken daily with a fatty meal to enhance absorption whether you choose the conventional medications or the natural therapy.
What about diet? You can’t control your cholesterol levels by eating a low-fat diet. The liver does not make cholesterol from excess dietary fat but from excess sugar and starches. When you consume more glucose than you can expend or store as glycogen, the liver converts the glucose into triglycerides (meaning three sugar molecules on a fat) which are taken by VLDL to the adipose (fat) cells for storage. Limit your sugars and starches to help lower triglycerides and cholesterol.
So, yes, I think Genesis Gold® will help balance the neuro-immune-endocrine system which in turn will lower the liver’s production of LDL cholesterol.
Since cholesterol is the root of steroid hormones, doesn’t it make sense to treat hormonal imbalances first?