by Gwen Hansen, CPT, CSNS
For many years my blood test results showed that my cholesterol levels were low. Sometimes my bad cholesterol was a little high & good cholesterol a little low but since my total cholesterol number was very low my Dr. told me I had no cause for concern. Being a fanatic about having my body function at it’s best I decided to pursue this issue further with a cardiologist. After all, cholesterol is an important hormone that can affect many biological processes.
I proceeded by requesting a PARTICLE cholesterol test. This test will tell you the size of the good and bad cholesterol particles. The LDL or bad cholesterol particles are troublesome when the particles are small because they can get lodged into the arteries, when they are big and fluffy they are more likely to pass through. The HDL, good cholesterol will remove LDL so we are always looking to increase that number.
The results of my particle test were out of range in a bad way. The Dr. wanted me to go on statins immediately. Having worked in the supplement industry for over 15 years I had witnessed first hand many of customers with side effects from statins. There was no way I was going down that road. First and foremost statins block your production of CoQ10. CoQ10 is present in every cell of your body & CoQ10 gives your mitochondria energy.
Well, being 100% against a statin solution I needed an alternative plan. I convinced the Dr. to give me 6 weeks to try to get my numbers going in the right direction using nutrition & supplementation. The Dr. told me there was no way I was going to make any significant change with nutrition. I could see that she was actually holding back laughing at my insistence that I could. I actually did think that it would take longer than 6 weeks to get my numbers right but I figured I would at least be able to show good improvement. To my surprise 6 weeks later I had completely flipped my numbers. My results were terrific.
After doing a good amount of research & consulting with my close friend & mentor Robert of Apollon Nutrition this became the approach. Reduced my daily carb intake, taking out all simple carbs except for pre & post workout fast carbs. Also nutritionally, I increased my good fats. Everyday I included almonds, almond butter, macadamia nuts or mac oil, avocados, sardines, EVOO, & coconut manna. No limit on the intake of good fats, most likely even took more than needed. As for supplements I took 1 T-spoon of Med-omega a high potency fish oil in morning & 1 tsp at night. I also took regular niacin 100mg, 5x a day (no flush niacin & timed release niacin do not work & both can be harmful to the liver.)
This was a self-designed protocol. “I am not suggesting you try this at home.” What I am suggesting is that there are usually alternative ways to solve problems. Nutrition can be a powerful tool, having incredible impacts on our bodies. We are organic beings so it stands to reason we should respond well to organic resources. It is important not to blindly follow anyone's advice about your health. No one understands your body better than you do. Deep down, we know what is right for us. Of course sometimes a Rx is the best choice as well. We must do research, ask questions and then trust ourselves to make educated decisions.
One of the main sources I use for information is Dr. Joseph Mercola. When I have questions his website is one of my first stops. A combination of sources is best to get different perspectives.