As any experienced medical school professor will tell you, 50% of what is being taught to medical students today as the bible truth in medicine will be obsolete in 10-20 years. The problem is that we don’t know which 50% it is. In the case of hypercholesterolemia, the conventional wisdom 30 years ago was that a high cholesterol diet would cause an increase in blood cholesterol level which would then be a key trigger for heart diseases. Americas were put on a low fat diet under that conventional wisdom. It was not until recently that the relationship between cholesterol and hormones was researched.
After millions of dollars spent in extensive medical research, the conventional wisdom is only proven only to be marginally true. In fact, studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has less than a 15% correlation with blood cholesterol level . There are obviously other pathways involved and the hypercholestrolemia issue is far more complex than most scientists have ever imagined.
Fortunately, some scientists did not buy the conventional cholesterol wisdom and one such scientist is Dr Linus Pauling, the two time Nobel laureate. Dr. Pauling advanced another theory and he postulated that hypercholesterolemia is the result of excessive cholesterol made in the liver in response to a damaged endothelium caused by the free radical attack on the blood vessels. As the blood vessels begin to break down due to the lack of collagen from the free radical attack, the body tries to repair the endothelium by promoting the production in the liver. Cholesterol is sticky and is the body’s way of repairing the damaged blood vessel because there is nothing else the body can do. Dr. Pauling’s theory is that the endothelial wall of the blood vessel can be repaired with the use of a cocktail of vitamin C, lysine and proline, in order to stimulate the production of new collagen. When the blood vessel is healthy with the new collagen produced, no signal will then be sent to the liver to make more cholesterol and the blood cholesterol level will then decrease naturally. This hypothesis is one of the many reasons that leads Dr. Pauling to take up to 18 grams of vitamin C a day in the later part of his life. In recent years, clinical studies have shown that Dr. Pauling’s theory is indeed correct and have confirmed that vitamin C is able to reduce blood cholesterol level and the risk of heart disease.
Recently, there is also talk of cholesterol being a result of multi-hormone deficiency. Let us take a look more closely at this hypothesis. The body uses this as a basic building block for cell membranes. It is also a precursor to multiple of hormones made by the adrenal glands including DHEA, pregnenolone, testosterone, and progesterone. When there is a deficiency of these hormones, a signal is sent to the liver to increase cholesterol production in order to help the adrenal glands to make more of these steroidal hormones that have cholesterol as the precursor. To test this hypothesis, a clinical study was performed involving 41 patients over a 6 year period, who had high cholesterol level. These patients aged 25-81 received a multitude of identical human hormones and were dosed to attain a youthful physiological, but not the normal, level. The result of the study showed that all 41 patients responded positively to the therapy given . Their total level was reduced from 254.6mg/dl to 188mg/dl after treatment, a significant decrease of 25.6% and their serum HDL level (the good cholesterol) also dropped 19.6%. Further investigation is now underway on cholesterol and hormones.
Cholesterol is one of the key macro nutrients needed by the body which it simply cannot function without it . Maintaining normal levels should include not only vitamin C, lysine, proline (Dr. Pauling’s protocol) and consideration should also be given to adrenal hormone replacement including the intake of DHEA, pregnenolone, and progesterone.
Free radicals can damage our endothelial lining of our blood vessels when the liver does not function efficiently to detoxify toxins that enter our body. This rise in oxidative stress can lead to an accumulation of cellular debris and a response from the body to produce more cholesterol to repair damage. When the human body is over burdened with chronic stress, our NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM suffers in its function to cope with the mounting stress and specific organs in our body are directly affected. When the body’s detoxification workload increases, symptoms of a toxic environment within the biological system are created. They can appear as a supplement or medication intolerance.
Hormonal regulation is also an essential keystone of the NEM stress response. Hormonal deregulation can not only cause increased cholesterol production, it can lead to symptoms of fatigue, loss of hair, lowered libido and infertility. Symptoms of stress can have a great effect on cholesterol and hormones.