Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Book Review - Cholesterol and Inflammation..a Naturopathic approach

Today's book is really a booklet...one that I picked up in a health shop a number of years back on holiday (...good holiday reading of course!!)
This booklet came to mind as a friend of ours was diagnosed with high cholesterol just recently and I was thinking this would be of use to him and may be of use to some of you other folks out there.
One of the things I like about it is that it is written from a naturopathic perspective and looks at health and disease with a multi pronged holistic approach.
In medical practice these days...it seems to be the opposite.  A diagnosis is given after  breaking things down in to pieces and individual components....  in search of a culprit who is then blamed.

We've all heard for years that cholesterol = bad news... (it being blamed as the bad guy that causes heart disease).  This book puts it in to context of the bigger picture of why we need cholesterol and what other factors may be the baddie creating disease states instead.

Cholesterol rather than being the culprit that's picked on, is  shown to be the good guy that gives our brain cells a protective layer, builds our sex hormones and other hormones and is the precursor to the all important Vitamin D...amongst other things. The book looks at what exactly cholesterol is in all it's different forms and explains the difference between them and what are deemed as being acceptable levels.

It covers cholesterol lowering drugs and all the side effects from them but then balances them out with the use of herbs and other solutions that can effectively absorb cholesterol. It also looks in to the argument of should it be lowered in the first place?
 One of the things I like about the "booklet" is that claims are sited by research in the bibliography at the back so you can go on a paper trail and do some more study for yourself. Numerous studies are given as examples.  One reported in the journal of American Medical Association followed 10,355 people aged 55 and older... half were given a satin drug to lower cholesterol levels. After five years overall mortality and cardiovascular death rates were similar for both groups. $31 million of drugs demonstrating no effect.
So if cholesterol is off the hook who is the other culprit? Having a high Homo-cysteine levels (an inflammatory marker) was found to lead to three times more heart attacks than lower homo-cysteine levels. According to a study in the New England Journal, deep inflammation is twice as bad for the heart as cholesterol. The theory being that inflammation damages artery walls, which in turn causes cholesterol to act as a patch. It therefore looks like cholesterol is the messenger telling us that there is inflammation that need to be dealt with. Chronic dehydration can also be blamed for damage to the lining of arteries which can lead to inflammation. It is also a factor in strokes, blood pressure and atrial fibrillation. It looks like cholesterol may well be off the hook?

The solutions given in the book to inflammation are simple and inexpensive. B vitamins, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, modest increases in exercise can all cut inflammation and cholesterol levels...
Diet of course is also a solution but one size does not fit all. The book explores the "Eat right for your type" book by Dr Peter D'Adamo, where people with different blood groups do better with certain diets.

Blood type "A" have problems when they eat lots of animal products and cheese and individuals have noted that when they eat these foods cholesterol and blood pressure increase, whereas when put on a diet high in vegetables with some turkey, chicken and fish they did better.
Blood type "O" and "B" find that excessive grain especially wheat will  have a tendency towards higher triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Something to look in to perhaps?

The book contains numerous sections on solutions such as co enzyme Q10 usage (ubiquinone), garlic, cayenne, hawthorn berry, vitamin c, vitamin E, chickweed, guar gum, lecithin and chocolate! Yippee..!
As always  research and study needs to be done to gain a good understanding of what potential precautions and contraindications there may be before jumping head first in to using any of the above remedies. Finding and using a good practitioner to help you is also worth the time and effort to make sure you get it right.

...It's a quick read but packed full of information. Definitely worth the few dollars I paid for it!


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