The other day I got an email from Josephine and she asked:
“Dr. Sam – I got off the cholesterol-lowering drugs (I felt HORRIBLE on them!!!) and I’ve been using your CholesLo now for 6 months. My Cholesterol levels went from 227 down to 191. This is a good start, thank you. How do I get it below 150? Should I increase the dosage?”
So the problem here is that many people, including doctors … try to really lower their cholesterol as much as possible.
For example, I have a friend whose cholesterol is 121 and his doctor is happy with this.
However, this is crazy and it explains why my friend is depressed, has lost muscle, has memory problems, and has no sex drive.
Cholesterol is GOOD for you. It has many health benefits. In fact, “low” cholesterol, which I think is anything less than 150… is linked to:
- Memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease4
- Depression and an increase in suicide rates1,2
- Increase your risk for mental health problems3
- “Low drive” – physical, sexual, and emotional.5
So here’s what you want:
Healthy cholesterol levels — between 150 to 220. I know everyone tries to get it below 200, but it’s okay to be a little “higher”. The ideal range is about 170-190.
Optimal HDL/LDL ratios — What you should care more about is your “good’ HDL and “bad” LDL levels. These are known as lipoproteins — fats combined with proteins. And your goal is to have higher HDL and lower “small density” LDL particles.
Lower Triglycerides — Simply stated this is “fat in the blood”. A little bit of “fat” is normal for energy, but too much and things start to “clog” up in your arteries.
Lower Homocysteine — This is an amino acid in your blood and it’s a major risk factor for heart problems. Most doctors, especially in the US, still don’t test for this. But for sure you want this lower.
Healthy Liver Function — most people don’t know, but almost 80% of your cholesterol is formed in your liver, NOT from the foods you eat. So you want to make sure your liver is clean, strong, and healthy.
So, total cholesterol is just ONE factor for having “healthy lipid” levels.
And again, you don’t want it too low, which is why drugs just make this situation much worse. They are too powerful and just shut down everything.
Additionally, the other 4 factors I mentioned when combined with healthy cholesterol levels, DRAMATICALLY reduce your risk for heart problems — and THAT’S the secret!
- Psychosomatic Medicine 2000;62