Updated: December 2022
The debate about cholesterol is an interesting one. I’ve had some patients tell me that their prescribing doctor told them that they weren’t going to be happy until they lowered their cholesterol to below 100.
I’ve had other patients tell me that their doctor wanted them to take the statin drug to lower their heart attack risk or risk of stroke. They prescribed the statin lowering medication to limit the patient’s risk.
I understand wanting to limit risk of a possible stroke or a myocardial infarction. No one wants to have a heart attack or a stroke. But, the literature hasn’t shown a significant decrease in stroke and heart attack rates since cholesterol lowering medications began being prescribed.
Additionally, cholesterol below 140 is considered an ominous sign of poor health. Ominous means bad. I think of the word “ominous” as something that is going to cause impending doom. It’s not good.
The reason that cholesterol lower than 140 is bad is because the body needs cholesterol in order to heal and repair. If you don’t have enough cholesterol, your cells can’t be healthy.
Also, cholesterol serves a very important antioxidant role in the body. All aging comes from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals damage our cells and cholesterol is the garbage collector that cleans up the damage.
If you don’t have enough cholesterol, you don’t have enough garbage trucks to pick up all of the trash. I know, I use a lot of funny examples but I’m very straight forward with my patients and like to explain health conditions in easy to understand terms.
Is Cholesterol Important for good Health?
Cholesterol also makes vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important part of the immune response. Vitamin D has been proven to support macrophage activity. Macrophages are white blood cells that fight infections and help us stay healthy.
Cholesterol also makes up cell membranes throughout our body. Sterols are cholesterol derivatives which means that sterols are made from cholesterol. Your brain cells need sterols in order to be healthy.
Okay, I could go on and on about why cholesterol is not the enemy and how our bodies need cholesterol to be healthy. I’ve written other articles discussing facts about cholesterol.
This article is about the best way to lower cholesterol naturally, without medications, so I’m going to reveal what I believe is a great option for people who have high cholesterol that don’t want to take potentially harmful medications.
What Causes Cholesterol to go High?
First, I want to say that cholesterol typically goes high for one of two reasons: When the body is inflamed, it produces more cholesterol in every attempt to heal and repair the damaged tissues. Also, cholesterol tends to run high with hypothyroidism.
Chronic inflammation leads to cell death over time. That is why inflammation is called the root of all disease processes. Unhealthy, inflamed cells can break open releasing cellular contents and perpetuating more inflammation. Something has to repair the damage – increased cholesterol.
Hypothyroidism or “hypothyroid” and even the autoimmune hypothyroid disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can cause high cholesterol. Why? Because the thyroid gland controls metabolism.
When the metabolism is slow because of an underactive thyroid gland, the liver continues producing cholesterol but the metabolic rate in the body is so slow that the cholesterol just doesn’t get broken down or metabolized.
That I’m always carefully analyzing the lab testing to look for every possible marker of inflammation and also why I run a complete thyroid panel on every functional medicine patient that I treat. It’s important to see the whole picture instead of just seeing bits and pieces of the picture.
Lowering cholesterol naturally is good to do if your levels are too high but I believe that the best way to approach high cholesterol is to find out why it went high in the first place. Is there undetected or undertreated hypothyroidism? Is there chronic low grade inflammation?
Getting to the root cause is the best way to make change on a grand scale. I don’t like to treat something without knowing or understanding the mechanisms behind the reason why it is there to begin with.
Cholesterol Elimination in Feces
Having said all of that, there is a great way to lower cholesterol naturally. It’s easy and convenient. It’s also safe. You may be thinking that it sounds too good to be true, but you can eliminate cholesterol through your feces.
Yes, I am saying that you can lower cholesterol through your poop. It’s simple and is 100% natural. Excess cholesterol can bind to the fiber and pass out of your body straight into the toilet.
With my patients, I use a pure form of psyllium seed husk that works very well. The trick is to get enough water so that constipation doesn’t become a factor. Fiber is known for helping constipation but it can also cause constipation if not careful.
Each patient is different and there are always tweaks or modifications that I work through with patients but overall, psyllium seed husk works very well for most of my patients without creating blood sugar issues like some of the oats and other methods of getting fiber can do.
Health is Happiness,
Dr. Keith Currie