As a Nutritionist – I get a TON of questions and hear a lot of concern around cholesterol numbers.
There is so much fear around what many who practice western medicine call “high” cholesterol: when lab total cholesterol is 200+. At the sight of this single lab marker – many western medicine doctors will start suggesting statin drugs (cholesterol blockers).
In functional medicine – the “high” range for the total cholesterol marker is 240 – 250 and taken into consideration with all other lab markers. This is because we know that cholesterol in the blood is a good thing – not a bad thing. We have to have cholesterol to make hormones – without it, females wouldn’t be able to reproduce and men wouldn’t have enough testosterone – among other hormones. We have to have cholesterol for brain function – without it, our brains literally cannot function at base-level, much less at an optimal level. Just two examples.
This is where taking a statin can be dangerous (vs helpful) because if we’re blocking one of the main nutrients we need from getting to our cells – while we might be “resolving” high cholesterol – we’re not going to be able to function very well – therefore creating a lot more problems for ourselves down the road.
If you hear me say only ONE thing today – please hear this:
…we cannot “judge” a persons cholesterol (much less any other diagnosis) on one single lab marker. We HAVE to take the WHOLE picture into consideration and ask WHY specific numbers are “too high” or “too low” vs just treating the single number.
I am sharing an article (4-5 mins read) by Chris Kresser – a Functional Medicine Practitioner I’ve been following for years – that speaks to the various reasons WHY cholesterol could be high.
If your doctor has expressed concern for your cholesterol and/or already suggested you take a statin – I STRONGLY encourage you to get a second opinion from someone in the Functional space.
Last but not least – if you’d like to dive more into the Functional side of the research on cholesterol and heart disease – I encourage you to read (or listen to): The Great Cholesterol Myth. It will be eye-opening.
Remember – regarding cholesterol or otherwise – look at the HOLISTIC picture + always ask WHY to resolve the root of the issue – THAT is what will give you lasting results and optimal health.
Send any questions my way!