Cholesterol guidelines flap / Testosterone part 2

Discount pricing ends at midnight
If you want copies of the Gluten Summit lectures and transcripts, I just figured out that the $67 price for all 29 was temporary–$97 after tonight. Still a bargain though.

Healthy by Nature radio show this week
Nutritionist / Educator Tim Mount joins me to talk about nutrients for beauty and we’ll touch on avoiding the typical 4-7 lb. holiday weight gain. We’ll also learn something about Vitamin Angels, a life-saving charity supported by NeoCell, the company Tim works with. Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue is a popular health expert on Canadian television and radio. Her terrific book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, discusses how this little known vitamin can reduce dental cavities, heart disease, prostate cancer, liver cancer, diabetes, wrinkles, obesity, varicose veins, and other ailments. Call the live show with questions at 1-800-281-8255. Click here to find podcasts, show archives and how to listen nationwide.

Newsletter taking a break next week.
I figure that everyone will be busy traveling or preparing for Thanksgiving so I’m giving you a double dose of data this week.

Next, statins in the water supply?
Last week virtually all media outlets assaulted us with the news that the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology had issued new guidelines for dispensing statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. Gone were the simple total cholesterol number guides and in their place appeared a plan that at first sounded more thoughtful and personalized. However, using the old guide, 1 in 4 persons over 45 have been taking statins compared to the new plan where more like 1 in 3 or even more would take them. Thankfully some of the media did the right (if uncharacteristic) thing—they told the other side of the story.

Critical input from experts was provided but overlooked in making the plan. Many respected experts say that the new approach would put too many people on the drugs who would not benefit from them. Here is a good article in the NY Times and another. I think that the most fundamental problem is that mainstream doctors are apparently not taught that cholesterol is a protective molecule the body needs. Therefore, the most sensible thing to do is determine and fix whatever it is that the body is trying to repair. (Often inflammation.) Also, the new formula was based on averages and you are not a statistic. For example, one component of the proposed formula is Body Mass Index or BMI for short. That is a simple calculation using height and weight. Plug an Olympic weight lifter into that formula and he will be called obese. (An actual measurement of body fat percentage would be more useful.)

And, as Dr. Young pointed out in his seminar last Saturday, in the 1950’s the cholesterol upper limit was considered to be 300 at a time when only 3% of the population had cardiovascular disease. Most cardiologists today think that even 200 is too high. You might think that tighter standard would be helpful, but today four times as many people have cardiovascular disease. Doctors’ love of statins makes  a fertile market for the drug makers, but potential side effects include: Muscle pain and weakness, memory loss, heartburn, damage to the liver, cataracts and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. As many as 300 different side effects have been reported. So, at most it would seem that the drugs should only be given to those few groups for whom the studies show they actually save lives.

Testosterone continued
In last week’s newsletter, I discussed questions about a recent testosterone study. Whatever you guys decide to take away from the conflicting studies, avoid these hormone replacement pitfalls (most of which apply to women and female hormones as well).
   •One-size-fits-all. Each person is biochemically unique, so testing and monitoring should accompany any replacement therapy.
   •More is better. That may apply to love and money but not hormones. Risks increase if a guy tries to regain lost youth by achieving super high blood levels of testosterone rather than replacing only up to an age-adjusted normal range.
   •Synthetics are about as good. They are not. The reason for creating synthetics is to get a patent, but the body clearly knows one chemical structure from another. Near-miss chemicals can tie up the binding sites on cells while only delivering a few of the benefits of the real thing. (One reason for the huge controversy with female hormone replacement turned out to be that the HRT commonly used was a synthetic progesterone paired with horse estrogen. LINK) Use bio-identical hormones.   
   •   Surely commercials must be truthful. There are a myriad of clever ways to leave a misleading impression without telling a flat out illegal lie. Besides, the fines are a small price to pay for the increase in business.

A guy doesn’t have only two choices (i.e. to replace testosterone with a drug or just wither away). There is another option–become healthy enough that the body normalizes hormone levels on its own. To restore your ability to make testosterone, first, make sure your medications aren’t dragging you down. (For example, if cholesterol if forced too low, you might not have enough raw material to make testosterone.)

All the basics help: exercising, avoiding toxins and making sure you get enough zinc, vitamin D, protein and good fats to run your hormone machinery. Also, keeping body weight at a good level and limiting refined carbohydrates helps prevent your fat cells from turning your testosterone into estrogen. (Unless “man boobs” are your thing.) If you still need a boost, there is DHEA. This is a more basic hormone that gives the body the ability to make dozens of hormones as it feels the need and it offsets some of the negative effects of stress. DHEA is an over-the-counter supplement that is best implemented as a topical cream.

A good resource on male health issues is the book Maximize Your Vitality & Potency by Jonathan V. Wright .

If you are in the DFW area, mark your calendar for Saturday, Dec. 7. A big event is planned with remote broadcast of our program, demos, samples, refreshments and great prizes. There will also be prizes for listeners nationwide. Details.

Last Week Follow-up
LINK to that show in the archives. John Young, MD’s clinic (Young Foundational Health Center in the Tampa Bay area of Florida) focuses on nutrition, natural approaches to chronic illness, herbal detoxification and orthomolecular therapy. Note: if you are interested in his Young Health shake, click here and enter the code 20HN to save 20%. Callers asked how to find a doc who does the same type of work he does, especially the platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections for joints. He suggested (In the DFW area I suggest Dr. Kotsanis.) This website was discussed: CancerOptions. Books he mentioned: Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA each Year, and How to Protect Yourself by Joel M Kauffman Phd. The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It by Marcia Angell. Questioning Chemotherapy by Ralph W. Moss. He also wrote: Customized Cancer Treatment: How a Powerful Lab Test Predicts Which Drugs Will Work for You–and Which to Avoid.

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2013 Martie Whittekin, CCN

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