Since 2015 there have been a few pharmaceutical companies working on a new cholesterol-lowering drug type as a replacement for the older class of statin drugs, such as Lipitor. Lipitor was the best-selling drug of all time, but its patent expired a few years ago. The new mantra is getting LDL cholesterol levels lower than statin drugs. The drug class of these new cholesterol-lowering drugs is a PCSK9 inhibitor. Of course, this is madness for two reasons: (1) Cholesterol and fats, in general, are not the cause of heart disease; (2) cholesterol is vital for hormone production and nervous system and brain function. The fact is that cholesterol is vitally essential for good health, and lowering cholesterol artificially can and does lead to more immediate health problems, and a lower life expectancy. So why the focus for a new cholesterol-lowering drug? Once again, we follow the money.
There have been numerous studies on lauric acid for various health supporting factors. Did you know that virgin coconut oil is 50 percent or more lauric acid? So whatever healthy attributes lauric acid contains so does coconut oil, and more. And more will be explained later in this article. For now we’ll focus on coconut oil’s major component, lauric acid, and a recent animal study with dramatic results discovered for reducing hypertension (high blood pressure) and oxidative stress.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. Researchers have detected more than 3,750 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins giving an indication of its wide-ranging health effects. More than 300 different enzymes also rely on magnesium for proper function. A common estimate is that 50 to 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, and the health consequences are significant. Magnesium plays an important role in your body's biochemical processes, many of which are crucial for proper metabolic function.
Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago followed more than 800 heart failure patients for an average of three years. Both their health status and salt intake were analyzed. It turned out that those following a low-sodium diet were 85 percent more likely to die or require hospitalization for heart disease compared to those who didn’t restrict their salt intake. Among those restricting their sodium intake, 42 percent died or were hospitalized for heart problems during the study, compared to 26 percent of those with no salt restrictions.
Heartburn drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the most commonly used drugs in the world. About 15 million Americans use PPIs, either in prescription or over-the-counter form. Brand names include Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium. The drugs have long been touted as a safe way to relieve heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. They work by inhibiting the production of acid in your stomach, which helps to relieve symptoms but appears to have a number of unintended consequences as well, including for your kidneys. PPIs have previously been linked to a kidney disorder called acute interstitial nephritis. Now researchers have linked them to the risk of chronic kidney disease, prompting experts to call for more caution in their use.
A recent study in Critical Care Medicine is titled, “Lipid Paradox in Acute Myocardial Infarction- The Association with 30-Day In-Hospital Mortality.” This study followed 724 hospitalized patients who suffered an acute heart attack (i.e., myocardial infarction). The scientists attempted to clarify the relationship between the lipid profiles and the 30-day mortality in patients who suffered a heart attack. The authors found that those with lower LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels had a significantly elevated mortality risk when compared to patients with higher LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Why would lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels be associated with a higher mortality rate? Fats from triglycerides are a major energy source and LDL-cholesterol is critical for cell membrane synthesis and is needed to fight infections. Adequate LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels may be critical for cell function and survival in the case of a heart attack—as well as in other conditions. Folks, we have been hoodwinked to believe that we must all take cholesterol-lowering medications in order to prevent and/or treat heart disease. People do not get heart disease because their cholesterol level is elevated. Remember, 50% of patients who suffer a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure. Statins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2 in your body; vitamin K2 protects your arteries from calcification. Statins may also damage your heart by interfering with CoQ10 production, causing mitochondria damage, and interfering with selenium-containing proteins.
A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that coconut oil supplementation and physical exercise improved high blood pressure and oxidative stress in hypertensive rats. The rats were supplemented with virgin coconut oil and subject to a swimming protocol for 4 weeks. The researchers found that coconut oil combined with exercise training reduced body weight, reduced blood pressure in hypertensive rats, improved baroreflex sensitivity, decreased lipid peroxidation, and reduced superoxide levels.
Exercise is a foundational strategy to naturally maintain healthy cholesterol levels and optimize your heart health. However, research now shows that if you take a statin drug, you’re likely to forfeit any and all health benefits of your exercise. Statin drugs, which millions are taking as a form of “preventive medicine” to protect their heart health, can have detrimental effects on your heart.
As a natural, whole food, nuts are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can boost your health in numerous ways. If you’re interested in protecting your heart health, snacking on nuts is a far better option than snacking on whole grains.