Recently a new patient was referred to me because of her lower back discomfort during cycling. She is a 27 years old female athlete with good diet and exercise regiment. During the consultation, she told me her MD was about to put her onto cholesterol lowering drug because her cholesterol test came back higher than 200 from her last blood test. She doesn’t want to take mediation and also doesn’t want to have heart attack, she asked me what to do. While I personally don’t have the power(outide of our practice scope) to prescribe OR take her off medications, what I can do is giving rightful information to educate her as well as rest of the community. Here is a great article about cholesterol myth written by Dr. Ronald Grisanti DC, the director of Functional Medicine University:
“The published evidence is quite clear in documenting that the actual total cholesterol level itself is not the most important risk factor of cardiovascular disease.
It is the ratio between the level of HDL-“good” cholesterol and total cholesterol
that we need to be concerned about.
Therefore, in adults, the HDL-“good” cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol).
Or more precisely, the HDL/total cholesterol ratio:
- 0.24 or higher is considered ideal
- under 0.24 – low
- less than 0.10 – very dangerous.
Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better (the lower your risk of a heart attack).
However, HDL is closely related to triglycerides. It appears common for people with
high triglycerides to have low HDL’s, and these same people also tend to have high levels of clotting factors in their blood stream, which is unhealthy in protecting against heart disease.
Therefore, in adults, the triglyceride/HDL-“good” cholesterol ratio should be below 2 (just divide your triglycerides level by your HDL).
Or more precisely, the triglyceride/HDL ratio:
- 2 or less is considered ideal
- 4 – high
- 6 – much too high
In other words, the lower your triglycerides, or the higher your HDL, the smaller this ratio becomes. It is now believed that the triglycerides/HDL ratio is one of the most potent predictors of heart disease.
A Harvard-lead study author reported:
“High triglycerides alone increased the risk of heart attack nearly three-fold.
And people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL — the “good” cholesterol — had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts.”
Dr. Wu DC’s comment:
Yours in health,Dr. Wu DC
- The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio (Circulation 1997;96:2520-2525).”