As a matter of fact, low total cholesterol has been proven to be more dangerous than high levels in terms of overall mortality. This is most likely because cholesterol is a critical nutrient. Your body uses it to repair wounds, tears, and irritations to blood vessels and to heal and repair the sheaths around the nerves. Cholesterol is a structural component of every cell in your body, in fact (it makes up fifty percent of your brain and nervous system), and if you don’t get enough of it through diet, your liver will simply manufacture more to keep levels up.
For these reasons, I believe the level of total cholesterol that drug companies are currently promoting—below 150—is dangerously low. And so does your body. Even at levels around 170, it will work against your efforts to lower the level by forcing your liver to manufacture more.
The best way to ensure your cholesterol level is healthy is to avoid refined carbohydrates (e.g., white sugar and flour) and include high-quality fats in your diet. These include fish oil, flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil as well as fats from whole-food sources such as nuts and wild-caught fish.
Q: Often, when I quickly sit or stand, I experience periods of disorientation and dizziness. How can I correct this naturally?
A: The dizziness you describe is usually associated with low blood pressure (BP) and/or adrenal fatigue. If you’re BP is low, obviously you’ll know it from a standard sitting blood-pressure reading. To assess whether you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, you can do a simple test by measuring the difference between your blood pressure taken while sitting and while standing. When you stand, your blood pressure should rise about eight points relative to its value when you were sitting. If your BP stays the same or goes down upon standing, it’s a sign of adrenal fatigue. So, depending on your blood-pressure readings, the big picture here is to (a) help raise your blood pressure and/or (b) nutritionally support your adrenal glands.
Blood pressure is best supported by eating a whole food-diet with an emphasis on good sources of B complex vitamins, such as nutritional yeast, eggs from free-range chickens, tuna, wild-caught salmon, organ meats, almonds, sunflower seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, and beans. Also, your doctor may have you augment your diet with a food-based nutritional supplement, such as Cataplex B from Standard Process. Sea salt also helps raise blood pressure and should be used regularly if you have low BP. Avoiding refined carbohydrates also helps raise low blood pressure.
The adrenal glands are your stress glands, and if you are under stress instead of on top of it, adrenal deficiency may be contributing to a blood pressure problem but might also be responsible for any fatigue and energy loss you’re feeling as well. For better adrenal gland performance, eat a diet of whole foods and avoid coffee and refined carbohydrates. Taking a food-based adrenal-support supplement such as Drenamin or the herbal Adrenal Complex—both also from Standard Process—will promote better, faster results.
For more information on self health, see Health Is Simple, Disease is Complicated, Dr. Forleo’s award-winning book in which he walks readers through each major organ system of the body, clearly explaining their function and importance before offering effective self-care exercises and nutritional advice to help restore their balance and individuals’ well-being. It’s like an owner’s manual for the human body! You can also visit Dr. Forleo’s website, www.healthissimple.com, for articles on blood pressure, the adrenal glands, the importance of cholesterol to the body, and much more.