As many of you know, I love the subject health and cholesterol in particular. Researching it endlessly and sharing what I come across is something I enjoy and almost feel compelled to do. There’s so much misunderstanding, misinformation, propaganda, pharmaceutical influence, confusing science and conflicting research that it can be hard to keep it all straight. One of the biggest contributors to the mainstream health mess has been Dr. Oz and his daily “health entertainment” show. I am usually critical about his treatment of many health and nutrition related topics because his show (in my mind) misses many opportunities to educate people on what science and human biology really tells us, particularly when it comes to heart disease and cholesterol.
Then a few months ago his show aired a segment called “The Doctors Who Say Everything You Know About Cholesterol Is Wrong” and he took a big step toward redeeming his reputation. In a bit less than 15 minutes Dr. Oz, along with Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Dr. Jonny Bowden, explain to the public how we have been misunderstanding the role cholesterol plays in heart disease. And they actually do a pretty good job of presenting the information. Dr. Oz gives some of his usual TV friendly visual demonstration and they cover the topic in some depth.
In general, I found myself agreeing with most of what was presented here. A few things have been learned even in the last few years that expands upon this segment (and I think we also need to keep digging at some underlying issues and questions a little deeper when looking at cholesterol) but on the whole this piece gives a pretty good overview on how we should look at cholesterol.
Here’s the show segment:
Here’s the synopsis:
The old way of thinking about cholesterol is wrong. This is why:
1. Old, faulty research led to conclusions about cholesterol that formed our current misunderstanding.
2. Cholesterol is vital for every cell is the body, it is NOT trying to kill you, it is actually protective and may extend your life.
3. Inflammation is the underlying problem. Think sugar and stress specifically. Reduce it naturally by eating less sugar (sugar is a bigger problem than fat), eliminating toxic relationships, getting sunshine and exercising.
4. Statins come with side effects and will not prolong your life unless you are a middle age man with existing coronary heart disease. Women have no need for them and children getting put on statins is a travesty.
5. Cutting edge cholesterol tests are now available that measure particle size. What size are your LDLs? Small and dense is bad, large and fluffy is good.
**Pretty good stuff, except for the last point about particle size. This is outdated already and continues to misinterpret cholesterol in the body. They are also still calling LDLs “bad cholesterol” which is reinforcing a skewed belief and is missing the point, cholesterol is not bad. LDLs carry cholesterol, along with other important subsrances to every cell in your body. Small, dense LDLs are not bad. Any LDL that ends up leaving cholesterol in your artery is doing that FOR A REASON. Don’t blame the LDL or the cholesterol. Find out why the LDL is delivering or leaving cholesterol in your arterial walls and then you will be getting somewhere (I have much more to say on this and will be very covering this in great detail very soon)..**
All in all, I can actually say thanks to Dr. Oz for giving us a good glimpse at cholesterol. I hope this is a sign of things to come.
Thanks for reading, have a great week!
P.S. For those of you looking for more check back in a couple days for a big post from me on cholesterol and here’s a bit more current discussion on the topic:
Dr. Peter Attia covers the cholesterol basics part 1 and part 2 as summarized by Marks Daily Apple.