It is important to recognize that even though cholesterol gets a lot of attention, it is not necessarily the most important (or even an especially significant) factor in preventing heart disease. Other factors, such as nutritional support and optimizing thyroid function (in women) and testosterone levels (in men) may also decrease the risk of heart attack.
Although the cholesterol-lowering medications in use today can be lifesaving in those who have already had a heart attack or have angina, they only decrease heart attack deaths by 1.4% in those without a previous heart attack (called "primary prevention"), and they are not without risks. Some of these include muscle pain, liver inflammation, and depletion of the nutrient coenzyme Q10. This nutritional deficiency can then contribute to fatigue and congestive heart failure, and I believe that anybody on Mevacor related cholesterol-lowering medications (most are) should take 200 mg a day of coenzyme Q10.
To put it in perspective, cholesterol medications lower the risk of heart attack death by less than 2%, while owning a cat is associated with a 30% lower risk of heart attack death, and having high vs. low normal thyroid function is associated (in women) with a 69% lower risk of dying of a heart attack.
Although cholesterol is NOT the main cause of heart disease, heart and blood vessel diseases are the number one killers in the U.S. Increasingly, heart disease is occurring because the heart muscle is not making enough energy. This can occur because of a number of changes, and is a subset of the "human energy crisis" occurring worldwide. This is why decreased heart function is a part of CFS (the heart muscle has trouble making energy just like the rest of the body), and CFS/fibromyalgia also improve (often dramatically) using the nutritional energy powerhouses discussed in Treating Heart Disease Naturally.
So why all the fuss about cholesterol? Two main reasons:
The second reason is the main one.
Meanwhile, taking cholesterol medication can cause muscle pain (including fibromyalgia) and heart failure, which the physician will usually mistakenly blame on something else. Except for those with a history of heart disease, or cholesterols over at least 250, I will not use cholesterol medications in CFS or fibromyalgia! Often, when the medication is stopped, the CFS/fibromyalgia symptoms lessen over the next month or two — making it clear that the medication was a factor.
A few key points:
Let's look at safe and natural ways to lower your cholesterol.