Why hasn’t my healthy diet cut my cholesterol?

Tuesday’s Daily Mail has a section called “Good Health” and the resident GP answering questions is Dr Martin Scurr.

On Tuesday 26th June 2012, Susan Bence emailed in to say:

“Twelve months ago, I had a cholesterol test that indicated a higher than acceptable cholesterol level of 5.5.

I took immediate action, lost one-and-a-half stone in weight, began walking 30 to 40 miles a week and completely changed my diet.

I now no longer eat red meat, sausage, bacon, cheese or chocolate, and have increased the amount of fruit, fibre and oily fish I consume.

However, a test last week showed that my cholesterol level remains slightly high at 5.5.

Is there anything else I can do to reduce this?”

You can read Dr Scurr’s reply here:

Dr Scurr’s reply

I would like to make a few comments on Dr Scurr’s reply and then give Susan an alternative reply to consider…

Dr Scurr says: “Your cholesterol level, at 5.5 mmol per litre, is only just above the recommended top end of the normal range.”

Your cholesterol level is, in fact, completely normal. Here’s an extract (in blue) from my book The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it?

“The average cholesterol levels for England were reported by the National Health Service (NHS) as 5.5 mmol/L for men and 5.6 mmol/L for women. (Ref 1) The NHS further noted that “two out of three adults have a total cholesterol level of 5mmol/L or above”. I found the BBC statement of the position statistically implausible: “The average total cholesterol level in the UK is 5.5mmol/l for men and 5.6mmol/l for women, which is above a normal level.” (Ref 2) What is the average, if not the norm? Even if we get into the detail of the mean, median and mode, surely the average for a data group defines normal for that data group. The notion that an actual norm is somehow abnormal – because it has been decreed to be as such, makes no sense. The normal distribution curve sets a norm by definition. For us to declare the actual cholesterol norm to be abnormal, is not normal in itself. This would be like suddenly declaring normal blood pressure to be 100/60 and not the normal distribution norm of 120/80, because we picked the number and declared it to be so.

In the Western Journal of Medicine, (May 2002) Thomas Samaras and Harold Elrick posed the question “Height, body size and longevity – is smaller better for the human body?” (Ref 3) The study took 100,000 males from six different ethnic populations – in the same city (California) to try to normalise other factors. The table had the following height orders (tallest first): African Americans; White Americans; Hispanics; Asian Indians; Chinese and Japanese (the first two groups were recorded as of equal average height – 70 inches). The age standardised death rates for all causes and coronary heart disease were included in the table. A clear pattern was immediately obvious. I calculated the correlation coefficients as 0.85 for height and CHD and 0.9 for height and all causes of death. What if we concluded that height were a cause of CHD (and all causes of death) and that we should therefore redefine the average height to declare the actual average of 69.7 inches (for all American men) to be abnormal. What if we picked an arbitrary new target 10% lower than the actual average (5.0mmol/L is approximately 10% below the actual cholesterol norm of 5.5mmol/L) and decreed that normal height should be approximately 63 inches. We could then stop the body from performing a normal bodily function (growth) by administering drugs to stop growth hormones from doing their job. I trust that this analogy disturbs you. The Chinese practice of foot binding – an artificial intervention in the normal development of the human body, to achieve an artificial ‘norm’ – was thankfully outlawed in the early twentieth century, but trying to reduce the normal cholesterol level continues.”

Dr Scurr says: “However, some individuals, no matter how rigorous they are with their diet, are unable to get their level down into the normal range.”

a) Susan is in the normal range b) diet has nothing to do with blood cholesterol levels (Ancel Keys: “There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood and we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”)

Dr Scurr says: “This, as you know, is a frustrating situation, and is due to the liver naturally producing too much cholesterol.”

The body is designed to produce cholesterol. Not only the liver produces cholesterol – every cell of the body produces cholesterol. This is because cholesterol is so utterly vital for human life, we die instantly without it, that the body must have fool proof mechanisms for making cholesterol.

Dr Scurr says: “Although we do get cholesterol from food, most is made by the liver, and it is our intake of foods high in saturated fat that is thought to increase levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol (the material that causes havoc with our blood vessels), though we are still unclear exactly how it does this.”

OMG! How many things can a doctor get wrong in one sentence:
a) There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood and we’ve known that all along.

b) LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. LDL is not cholesterol, let alone bad. LDL carries cholesterol and protein and triglycerides and phospholipids. How a carrier of four substances ends up being called one of them, I know not.

c) LDL is the residue of IDL (Intermediate Density Lipoprotein); IDL is the residue of VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein). LDL, IDL and VLDL are all lipoproteins (think of lipoproteins as ‘taxis’ that transport cholesterol, protein, triglycerides and phospholipids around the body to do their vital, life saving work). Another lipoprotein (the largest) is called a chylomicron and this transports dietary fat from the digestive system around the body to do its vital work. How any dietary fat, saturated or otherwise, leaps out of chylomicrons and finds its way into VLDL and then IDL and then LDL “to cause havoc in blood cells” is not only unexplained, it is ludicrous!

d) The most interesting bit in the sentence is “we are still unclear exactly how it does this.” Quite so! Not only is there no evidence that dietary fat does impact LDL, there is no understanding of how exactly it can!

Dr Scurr says: “Treatment with a statin to lower your cholesterol level might be advisable…”

Dr Malcolm Kendrick says (p160 The Great Cholesterol Con) “Statins do not save lives in women. Statins do not save lives in women. Statins do not save lives in women. Is it possible to highlight how important this fact actually is? Statins do not save lives in women.”

Susan needs to know what statins actually do in the human body. The body is designed to produce cholesterol. Human life depends on the body doing this. Statins impair the body from producing the cholesterol it was designed to make. Thankfully statins don’t work fully, or they would have a 100% death rate.

Statins block something called the mevalonate pathway. This is catastrophic. Blocking the mevalonate pathway means that no cell can replicate or repair itself. Blocking the mevalonate pathway means that every cell in the body dies. The only thing that varies is how long each cell takes to die – some take more time than others.

My letter to Susan would therefore be as follows:

Dear Susan

Your cholesterol level is completely normal. You do not want to lower your cholesterol level in any circumstances. You may like to look at the graphs on this blog – I have done some original research with all the World Health Organisation data available for 192 countries. It shows that (read this carefully) the lower the cholesterol levels the higher the death rates from heart disease and all causes of mortality for both men and women; the higher the cholesterol levels the lower the death rates from heart disease and all causes of mortality for both men and women.

Cholesterol is utterly life vital. We die instantly without it. We need it for every single cell of the body, the muscles, the brain, hormones, bile production, fat digestion, reproduction – it simply cannot be emphasised enough how vital cholesterol is.

It is so vital that the body makes it – the body cannot afford to leave it to chance that we would need to get cholesterol from our diet. This makes cholesterol even more vital to the body than essential fats and protein – as we need to eat these.

Your body makes the cholesterol that it needs. If you were to get pregnant, your body would make extra cholesterol because you need lots of cholesterol to make a healthy baby. If you had an operation or an injury, your body would make extra cholesterol to repair you – because that’s what cholesterol does – repair you.

One statin alone, Lipitor, has been worth $125 billion to Pfizer since 1997. (Ref 4) This statin is the most lucrative drug in the world. It is not the only statin. There is huge financial benefit to statin manufacturers to try to artificially lower your cholesterol level. There is likely no benefit to you and substantial harm.

Statins stop the body from making the cholesterol that it was designed to make (not entirely, or they would have a 100% death rate).

Statins block something called “the mevalonate pathway”. This is catastrophic. Blocking the mevalonate pathway means that no cell can replicate or repair itself. Blocking the mevalonate pathway means that every cell in the body dies. The only thing that varies is how long each cell takes to die – some take more time than others.

Assuming that you had weight to lose, losing one and a half stone will have been beneficial for your health. Walking is also an excellent activity to have chosen – natural and enjoyable and this should have given you further health benefits.

Red meat from grass living animals is the healthiest food that humans can consume. It’s what we evolved to eat. Giving this up will have worsened your health and you may have lost vital complete proteins, essential fats, vitamins and minerals as a result. Giving up any processed food (including processed meat, which sausages and bacon tend to be) is always a good idea. Cheese is a vital source of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium (the bone nutrients, so vital for women to avoid osteoporosis), as well as fat soluble vitamins and protein, hence your health may also have suffered as a result of this random decision. Oily fish actually has more fat overall and more saturated fat than red meat (Ref 5). Not that any natural dietary fat is bad for you, but just to point out that you may not have achieved what you set out to achieve for whatever misguided reason. The only bad fat is the one made by man and found in margarines, spreads and many processed foods.

Do not worry about your cholesterol level. You should revere, not fear, cholesterol. The average GP knows frighteningly little about cholesterol, as Dr Scurr has illustrated.

The Hippocratic oath taken by doctors is “First do no harm”. In my opinion, doctors administering powerful drugs to stop your body doing what it was designed to do and to block the mevalonate pathway is not only in breach of the Hippocratic oath, it is medical malpractice.

Very best wishes – Zoë

p.s. if anyone knows Susan Bence, please send her this link. Her life could literally depend on it.

[Ref 1] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cholesterol/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[Ref 2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/cholesterol1.shtml

[Ref 3] Thomas Samaras and Harold Elrick, “Height, body size and longevity – is smaller better for the human body”, Western Journal of Medicine, (May 2002). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071721/

[Ref 4] http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/treatments/story/2011-12-28/Against-odds-Lipitor-became-worlds-top-seller/52250720/1

[Ref 5] 100g of sirloin steak (USDA database) has 71g water; 0g carb; 21g protein and 5.4g fat (of which 2.1g is saturated)

100g of mackerel (USDA database) has 64g water; 0g carb; 19g protein and 12.1g fat (of which 3.3 is saturated).

113 thoughts on “Why hasn’t my healthy diet cut my cholesterol?

  • avatar
    May 2, 2019 at 5:34 pm
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    Hi Zoe
    You say dietary cholesterol has no effect on the blood cholesterol, however, Dr Michael Mosely(uk) conducted a very i teresting trial ,televised,with 3 groups of people. It was some while ago,but what did remain in my head, was that those people who only added cocnut oil to their diet(as opposed to any other oil) had lower ldl count and higher hdl. The people on butter, had raised ldl, an d the people om oliv e oil,if I remember correctly, their numbers were little changed.
    I took m yself off statins a year ago,after doing a lot of research and listening to some eminent scientists, dr Stephanie Senef, Dr Zac Bush and dr Aseem Malhotre, to name a few.
    However, My total cholesterol is 8. My ldl 5.2 and hdl 1.9.I m 71.very active,walking cycling, bp yesterday 109/60,no heart attacks or strokes in the family. I m really in to eati g well, fer mented food etc.Appara tly my risk factor is 12% I prefer to say, I have an88%chance of remai ing healthy in the next 10 years. I hope i m right! I know my GP will push for statins

    Reply
    • avatar
      May 3, 2019 at 2:58 pm
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      Hi Mary
      It was this experiment https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/3/e020167

      The summary was:

      LDL-C concentrations were significantly increased on butter compared with coconut oil (+0.42, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.65 mmol/L, P<0.0001) and with olive oil (+0.38, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.60 mmol/L, P<0.0001), with no differences in change of LDL-C in coconut oil compared with olive oil (−0.04, 95% CI −0.27 to 0.19 mmol/L, P=0.74). Coconut oil significantly increased HDL-C compared with butter (+0.18, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.30 mmol/L) or olive oil (+0.16, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.28 mmol/L). Butter significantly increased TC/HDL-C ratio and non-HDL-C compared with coconut oil but coconut oil did not significantly differ from olive oil for TC/HDL-C and non-HDL-C. There were no significant differences in changes in weight, BMI, central adiposity, fasting blood glucose, systolic or diastolic blood pressure among any of the three intervention groups.

      A number of points:
      1) Significantly means statistically – not what we would mean as significant. The changes were tiny – well within the 19% margin of error for the whole cholesterol test.
      2) Butter is the only one of these to contain dietary cholesterol. But butter also contains a trace of carbohydrate and protein and water (which the oils don't.)
      3) Olive oil and coconut oil should lower cholesterol because they contains plant sterols (check them on nutritiondata.com). My own research has shown this is not good for outcomes. https://thescipub.com/abstract/10.3844/ojbsci.2014.167.169
      4) All three fats changed – saturated, mono and poly – and vitamins and minerals (oils pretty much only have vits – no minerals) – so what caused what? No one can say!

      On your own results – you may find this interesting: https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/

      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    February 5, 2019 at 7:54 pm
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    Dear Zoe,
    I have been told my cholesterol is 7.1. I also have high blood pressure, the highest i know at this point is 169 over 100. The medium range over a 24 hour monitor was 139 over 93. I am 43 years old. Very nervous as my Mum had a stroke at 37 and died at 41. Im 10 stone and quite healthy. I not sure what to do! I have cut out all trans fats and eating quite healthy, constantly worrying about it all.

    Can you advise me please

    Many thanks
    Deborah

    Reply
    • avatar
      February 6, 2019 at 7:26 am
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      Hi Deborah – I can’t give advice – I can only give information and opinions. There’s a lot more information on the topic here (https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/) This is my main statins and cholesterol post – with many links to other reading, so there’s plenty to read.

      Your medium range BP is quite normal – it’s just that normal is being redefined (https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2014/06/diabetes-cholesterol-bp-normal-is-no-longer-normal/). Your cholesterol is quite normal too (again – before normal was re-defined) and is particularly normal for this time of year (when we haven’t seen the sun for 6 months).

      Worry won’t be helping anything – your problems won’t be helped by the stress of worrying at all. That’s one of the reasons that all the scare mongering about cholesterol upsets me – it’s often causing more harm than good.

      Walk, meditate, do yoga/pilates maybe – anything to not worry!
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    August 21, 2017 at 10:03 am
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    Hello Zoe

    Need to ask this, i am female, age 44 from a very hot but humid country in asia, I weight 51 kg for my height of 5 ft 1 in. I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure for many years, but started last year, my doc prescribed me Lodoz 2.5 to lower my bp, and it does help. He said stress could have caused my bp that high. However, lately i always find myself hard to breath, doc really never prescribed me anything to ease my problem, so early this year, i did a test on my own just to find out about my cholesterol and uric acid level. At first it was okay, but each time i did the checking, the reading keep rising up. I was so worried because it continuously getting higher from 160 to 250 mg/dL. I was afraid that i might get any heart attack, considering i never got any health problem except for that high bp. So, i started by myself taking Niacin, 1 pill a day before going to sleep, just 5 days after taking it, i take another reading, and the reading got reduce to 193 mg/dL. I really thought Niacin helped a lot in reducing it. However, 2 days ago, I did another test on my own, and I was surprised to see it was so high, the reading was 286 mg/dL with my uric acid on a high reading too (it was normal when i tested it 2 weeks ago). What is happening? Why did this happen? Any suggestion what should I eat? I cut out meat from my daily intake for almost a month now, seems like it doesn’t work. I ate a lot of fish and chicken meat only as my meal, avoiding prawns, squids and other seafood. And what is the best time to measure my cholesterol, should I fast for more than 10 hours before taking any reading so it is accurate? Advice me please!

    Reply
    • avatar
      August 21, 2017 at 11:01 am
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      Hi Zaira
      I sorry but I can’t give advice – just information and opinions. I’m a research doctor, not a medical doctor (not that a medical doctor would advise you through a blog :-))

      I get so many questions from people worried about cholesterol that I wrote this post (https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/) It should answer many queries (you may need to follow the links to other articles) – e.g. why the test is so inaccurate and why (in my honest view) it would be better if people never measured cholesterol and then there would be far less needless worry!

      Best wishes Zoe

      Reply
      • avatar
        August 22, 2017 at 5:02 am
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        Tq so much, this is more than enough to make me felling better and stop worrying too much….

        Reply
  • avatar
    April 5, 2017 at 4:12 pm
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    Hi, I’m a 46 year old male. I would class myself as very fit and active. I fell and mountain run and also regularly cycle. I’m 6ft tall and 74.8 kg. I eat relatively healthily but i do like some junk food from time to time and i don’t feel guilty about it especially after a strenuous run which burnt off 2000 calories or more. Also i don’t drink or smoke.
    I recently had a medical at work and all the results came back as excellent apart from, you’ve guessed it, cholesterol! The results were 6.43 for ldl and o.80 for hdl so a combined ratio of 8.0 !! Naturally I was somewhat shocked at this. The guy who did the tests was a little surprised that my hdl wasn’t higher given my activity levels and if it had been say 1.9 or so my overall score would have been 3.5 or similar.
    The only thing i can think of is that ive inherited this from my mother who had always had high cholesterol. She no longer takes statins due to side affects. She had a full scan a year or so ago due to an illness and her results came back as fantastic. The results showed her arteries showed no sign of narrowing and the quote used was ” it’s been a pleasure looking at your arteries, i wish they were all like this”
    I’m going to see my doctor next week and if he wants to put me on statins i think i will decline.
    I’m not sure what else i could do other than eat a little healthier.
    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • avatar
      April 5, 2017 at 4:41 pm
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      Hi Jonathan
      I wrote this because I get so many cholesterol queries https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/
      Check out the link to the inaccuracy of the test.
      Assuming you’re in the northern hemi? you’ve had no sun for 6 mths, so your cholesterol will be at its highest. NEVER let anyone take your cholesterol level when you’ve not been in the sun – too late!
      Hope the post is of interest
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    January 20, 2017 at 6:26 pm
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    Hi Zoe,
    This post has massively reassured me.
    I’ve recently been called up as a stem cell donor and as part of that I had a health test. Everything came back fine apart from my cholesterol which was 9.36.
    I am a fairly fit 38 year old male with no discernible heart problems in the family. Saying that because my mother died at 39 of pericarditis and my brother was born with transposition of his arteries our family has a full heart check up every 2 years. (Last one in November 16). From feedback my heart, arteries etc are completely fine and I’ve never had high blood pressure in any test.

    When I found out I had cholesterol that high I completely freaked out, I’ve got 2 young boys and a wife and the thought of them growing up without a parent like I had to is terrifying.

    So off to the docs I go, he takes blood pressure again and comes back normal. He’s been our family doctor for ages and couldn’t see any familail traits so we thought to take the test again.

    Just got it back and it’s gone from 9.36 to 8 in 2 weeks.

    I’ve got mixed feelings, I’m happy I was able to reduce it that much just by eating more natural foods, laying off sugar etc.. but I’m also still a bit worried. It’s made my lose faith in my body, every time I do exercise I think should I be putting my heart under so much strain!

    I’ve got a follow up appt with my doctor on Monday, the last thing I want to do is take statins and I’ve read your posts about what’s “normal” but are their things I should be looking out for?

    P.s my grandmother on mothers side is 87, has apparently always had high cholesterol and apart from a minor furring of arteries which meant a small op in her early 70’s, she’s still very active.

    Your sincerely

    A middle aged English hypercondriac ;-)

    Reply
    • avatar
      January 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm
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      Hi Dan
      This post may help more (https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/) Follow the links to other posts – the BMJ article about the test being 19% inaccurate for starters may help explain why your numbers were so different. They always will be. The only thing that would surprise me would be the same number twice!

      Your chol (assuming you’re N hemisphere?) should be highest at this time of year – until you next sunbathe – that’s all explained too.

      The reason the “worried about” post starts with – I wish people didn’t get tested – is exactly because of your comment above. The billions upon billions of dollars that is the great cholesterol con have millions upon millions of people needlessly worrying about a life vital substance. Worry/stress is a genuine problem in heart disease. Cholesterol isn’t. That test has done you more harm than good.

      Check out this medical doc (I’m a PhD doc) – up to blog XXIV on what really causes heart disease https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/

      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    December 3, 2016 at 11:23 pm
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    Hi Zoe,

    I am a 25 year old male, personal trainer and generally fit and healthy. Got told I had a slightly raised cholesterol of 5.5 and my LDL was 4 mmol/L in December 2015.

    I started working with a functional medicine practitioner as I also had gut issues which we found I had parasites, bacteria issues and yeast overgrowth. We opted for a cleanse with herbal supplements and a low carb, higher fat diet.

    I got my cholesterol checked 3 months later at the end of July and my cholesterol came back at 8.1 mmol/L and my LDL was 6.2 mmol/L which my doctor was concerned about and wanted to put me onto statins. I declined as I know the issues with them.

    Slowly I have reintroduced good carbs like grains and starchy tubers but have avoided wheat, gluten and a few other foods and have been working with my practitioner on another herbal protocol to clear any leftover parasites and gut issues. We are also looking into adrenal issues.

    I recently got my cholesterol checked again and the overall is now 7.8 mmol/L and the LDL is 5.8 mmol/L.

    Is there a reason why since starting my new nutrition regime and consuming virtually no processed foods at all since April that my cholesterol has gone up?

    No family history of heart disease.

    Thanks
    Dom

    Reply
    • avatar
      December 4, 2016 at 9:23 am
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      Hi Dom
      This is the post you need: https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/

      Follow the link on the normal bit – your 5.5 was below normal – it wasn’t raised. You have been conned.

      Follow the link to the accuracy of the test (the BMJ Fraser paper) – it’s out by 19% for starters. Your readings will vary every time you take the test – that’s why I wish no one ever took a test – the worry does WAY more harm than good.

      Avoiding processed foods is a great thing to do – you’re 25, a PT, fit and healthy – I wouldn’t be thinking there was something wrong with me – I’d be out enjoying life!

      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
      • avatar
        December 4, 2016 at 9:55 am
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        Hi Zoe,

        Thanks for the reply.

        With the parasites and gut issues could any of the supplements be causing the cholesterol to elevate because of their healing properties on the gut since I know LDL rises in response to healing in the body?

        Just can’t understand why it has gone up when I am eating better and I know it shouldn’t matter but I jist think it is strange.

        Thanks again for such a swift reply.

        Reply
        • avatar
          December 4, 2016 at 10:07 am
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          Hi again
          As the “Worried about” article says – the body is making cholesterol for a reason, so you’re right to be asking why. I’m just surprised that a young, fit, healthy guy has gut problems.

          The diet I devised for weight loss (which became known as The Harcombe Diet) features three conditions that drive food cravings (Candida, Food Intolerance & Hypoglycaemia). The Candida/yeast/flora condition I’m thus very familiar with. The perfect diet to overcome this was described by Trowbridge & Walker (two of the earliest doctor/writers in this field) as MEVY – Meat/fish; Eggs; Vegetables (not spuds) & Yoghurt – natural live yoghurt. That is the basis of Phase 1 of The Harcombe Diet and my books explain why (and where this fits in with the other 2 conditions).

          Diet is the best way to address gut problems. You may also like to take a course of Kefir – or even take it daily, as I know many people who swear by it for gut and general health. I’d spend the money on that rather than any practitioners. Your practitioner may be fab, but the best diet to treat yeast problems is already known.

          I would be wondering what else may be causing your body to produce slightly more cholesterol than the average person (notwithstanding the inaccuracies of the test and the fact that you’re still normal, as defined by the normal distribution). Do you over train? Have you been injured? Are you stressed? Fighting an infection? Those would be higher suspects for me than gut flora.

          Hope this helps
          Best wishes – Zoe

          Reply
          • avatar
            December 4, 2016 at 5:33 pm
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            Hi Zoe

            We do believe that I might have some adrenal issues. We found I had 2 gut parasites which have damaged the gut so have been avoiding certain food groups and also using probiotics to repair the gut lining.

            No injury but we believe the stress is from my gut being damaged by the parasites so we have run a parasite cleanse and we are now looking at adrenal issues since my body is all over the place. We also ran a food sensitivity test (MRT) to avoid foods my body doesn’t agree with.

            Before all this I did run a no carb MEVY style diet for 3 months with a supplement protocol which is when my cholesterol went up to 8.1.

            Kind regards
            Dominic

  • avatar
    October 31, 2016 at 4:46 am
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    Hi Zoe,

    One requirement to be hired in a job application is to pass a medical exam that includes cholesterol reading. If my cholesterol reading is higher than the reference normal, I will fail. What shall I do to get around it?

    Reply
    • avatar
      November 1, 2016 at 10:53 am
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      Hi Brian
      I have never heard of this before and never heard of anything so outrageous. This post may be of interest (https://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/03/worried-about-cholesterol-andor-statins/) especially the link to the article on what is normal. They won’t even be judging you on true normal – they have invented a new normal so that they can statinate everyone.

      I don’t know what you can do in this circumstance except try to educate the idiots putting this stupid requirement in place!

      Good luck
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
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  • avatar
    October 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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    How refreshing to read something I agree with 100%. I too have been researching this subject matter and have reached exactly the same conclusions. The other thing I would add is that it is sugars and starches that do the harm, certainly in the case of triglycerides. Low fat diets (Fat out / Sugar In) is a ridiculous notion. Fats like grass fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil etc are extremely good for you. Look at the diet of Japan or the Mediterranean diet, they have the lowest Heart Disease in the world. Try and watch Sugar the bitter Truth by Robert Lustig – Its on Youtube and is an eye opener. Also Ivor Cummins The Cholesterol Conundrum is worthy of a watch too.

    Keep up the good work

    Reply
    • avatar
      October 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm
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      Hi Mike
      Seen and love both of those – we’re kindred spirits :-)
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    October 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm
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    Hi is 2.2.9 consider a high LDL my good cholesterol is .9.4

    Reply
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  • avatar
    August 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm
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    Hello Zoe. I have just found this thread having just been phoned by my practice nurse to let me know that my cholesterol level has risen in 18 months from 5.5 to 6.8 which she says is rather high. I’m a 52 year old woman have a connective tissue disease and am also hypothyroid. Both my parents died from Altherosclerosis related hear failure both at 73. My dad was diabetic type 2 and had hypertension and smoked a pipe. My mum however was a healthy weight and always ate the type of food you recommend. Following a couple of stroke like events and an awful year health wise I’m currently tapering of steroids – and having also followed your dietary recommendations for five years – I had a carotid duplex us last week and every carotid artery was calcified thoughout with some mild plaque.

    I think you will be pleased to learn that despite all this (increased risk factor from RA plus hereditary issues) and sometimes a very high BP – my GP refuses to put me on BP meds or statins. The hospital doctors have all said my BP is too high but he says this is just hospital phobia and I’m normal when he tests me.

    He says that stains will only compound my problems and as I’m very drug intolerant (have had severe reactions to many drugs including four immunosuppressants) I should just carry on with a wholesome and balanced diet and regular exercise and as much fresh air as possible. The hereditary issues he feels I can’t do much about and my Liver Function tests are all too high because of a recent post op (gallbladder removal) infection and seven lots of antibiotics this year. He says statins and BP meds would both put me at risk and aren’t necessary.

    I was thinking him somewhat blasé and perhaps a bit negligent but after reading this thread I’m really delighted to have such an enlightened GP!

    I hope this reassures you that not all the medical profession are statin shoving monsters?!

    Best wishes,
    Matty.

    Reply
    • avatar
      August 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm
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      Hi Matty
      Many thanks for sharing this – it is lovely to hear and well done to your GP – a rare one in my experience!
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    June 4, 2015 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    My cholesterol was very high also my trygricyride , Im only 24 years old . My Doctors told me this was too high, in the family, i.e. my Farther Had also a very high cholesterol , this needed to be lower.
    My doctor required a medication
    But i think im too young
    Im on a diet and im practicing twice a week
    What should i do?
    With My diet and my practice my cholesterol is still high.
    I need your advice.

    Reply

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