This story starts with an unexpected main character – so-called “bad” cholesterol, but first we have to establish at the outset – there is no such thing as ‘bad’ cholesterol – ALL cholesterol is good. Cholesterol has NEVER been the cause of heart disease, ever. Got that? And even more importantly, cholesterol is ABSOLUTELY VITAL to thyroid health! Cholesterol is like the ambulance and paramedics at the scene of the accident – they arrive afterwards to sort out the mess – they did not CAUSE the accident. In the same way cholesterol has NEVER (and I stress this) EVER been shown to cause heart disease or heart attacks – inflammation is now being recognized as a main culprit, not cholesterol.
Cholesterol actually PROTECTS your heart and does the same for your thyroid. Did you know your thyroid can be more of a cause of heart disease than even inflammation? Hypothyroidism was first discovered to be a cause of heart attacks in 1890, but the blame shifted to cholesterol in about the 1930s, even though it has consistently from that day to this, been found to be an erroneous assumption. For example, take a look at the graph from the HUNT Study, the largest population-based heart disease study ever conducted, showing clearly how ‘bad cholesterol’ rises in direct correlation to thyroid function. If your thyroid is underactive, your cholesterol WILL rise.
Unfortunately in the 1950’s, so called “heart healthy” polyunsaturated fats were recommended after discovering that they could lower cholesterol, but very soon further research showed that these very ”heart healthy” fats actually INCREASED your risk of heart disease. They were anything BUT healthy! And where the thyroid is concerned, these polyunsaturated fats are incredibly thyroid-suppressive as they block every part of your thyroid hormone pathway. Terrifyingly, the US ‘declared war on cholesterol’ and promoted a low cholesterol diet – and that’s when things really went wrong.
Endocrinologist and thyroid expert, Dr Broda Barnes had already shown through his hypothyroidism and heart disease research that low cholesterol diets made heart disease worse – he stated “ the low cholesterol diet had not only failed to protect the arteries but the damage was increased four-fold”. Tragically, in the 1980’s, statin drugs entered the market place and while they don’t save lives, they are one of the most prescribed drugs on the planet. A study – Statins and all-cause mortality in high-risk primary prevention: a meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials involving 65,229 participants. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20585067 -) concluded: “This literature-based meta-analysis did not find evidence for the benefit of statin therapy on all-cause mortality in a high-risk primary prevention set-up.”
Statins instead have been shown to dramatically increase your risk of diabetes, increase muscle wasting and steal your memory. When they decided to develop a new class of cholesterol drugs to increase HDL while decreasing LDL, they had to stop all clinical trials because all three of the newly developed drugs failed.
“We have a paradox: here we’ve got an agent that more than doubles the levels of good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol and yet has no effect on clinical events [heart attacks]” said Professor Stephen Nicholls – lead author on Evacetrapib clinical trials. To put it simply – “good cholesterol” vs. “bad cholesterol” makes no difference at all! There really is NO ‘bad’ cholesterol at all, and just by the way, anything you do to artificially lower your cholesterol is dangerous to your thyroid.
When your thyroid is functioning well, you are able to convert T4 to the active T3 and your body requires cholesterol, thyroid hormone (T3) and vitamin A from animal sources to do this (there is no real vitamin A in the plant kingdom) and to produce all your protective steroidal hormones including pregnenalone, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. Artificially lowering cholesterol when your body cannot use it efficiently due to being hypothyroid is not a good idea. It further lowers your levels of these very protective hormones, and without them, you will remain hypothyroid. So this is why cholesterol is good for your thyroid gland.
Progesterone is worth a mention here – this is one amazing hormone! It plays an important role in activating the enzymes which allow the thyroid to release thyroid hormone into your bloodstream. Just having a progesterone deficiency is a common cause of hypothyroidism today, and if you are not getting enough naturally, Renewed Balance is an amazing cream you can use to increase your levels safely by placing a little on your skin (find it in my online store).
Did you know low cholesterol is more dangerous than high cholesterol? As your cholesterol levels drop, your cancer risk rises. Cholesterol is PROTECTIVE against cancer and people with the highest cholesterol have been shown to live the longest (See Decline in serum total cholesterol and the risk of death from cancer. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9229204) “Cancer mortality was 66% higher in the group with the lowest plasma cholesterol than in the group with the highest plasma cholesterol.”
So please don’t be hoodwinked into taking statins without doing some prior research – God created our livers to make cholesterol to protect us, not to kill us.