high cholesterol

The American Heart Association is wrong. Coconut oil is NOT a bad for you

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Recently the American Heart Association (AHA) made a statement that coconut oil increases bad cholesterol which causes heart disease.

They got it wrong…

First, the AHA taunts dated information.

Remember not all LDL is created equally. And heart disease as well as stroke are diseases of INFLAMMATION not high LDL cholesterol!

Second, the oils listed by the AHA are not healthier, in fact they induce inflammation.

And frying foods does create transfats which are well researched to cause major inflammation.

Prior to WWII, heart disease was relatively uncommon. Americans ate lots of saturated fats. Then the dairy products were used to support the troops and replaced with vegetable oils, including margarine. Guess what? By 1950s heart disease was the new killer.

Third, eating fat does NOT produce bad cholesterol.

Eating sugar, starches and more carbs than you expend increases small particle LDL and inflammation which causes heart disease.

Here’s the truth about cholesterol.

Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver in response to the body’s need for two things: bandaids and hormones.

Cholesterol is nature’s bandaid, providing the necessary materials to shore up damaged tissues and support cells.

Cholesterol is also at the center of every steroid hormone: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, aldosterone. The word steroid comes from “sterol”—the cholesterol molecule at the root of every steroid hormone.

When your body produces less hormones in times of stress or with the natural aging process, the hypothalamus which orchestrates the symphony of hormones alerts the liver “get some cholesterol to the gonads and adrenals, pronto!!” Now the tired, declining glands cannot always use the cholesterol resources so generously provided by the liver, so it floats around in the bloodstream. High cholesterol is not a dis-ease but a symptom of something deeper.

If you keep hormones in Harmony by supporting the ovaries, testes and adrenals, excess cholesterol will be made into necessary steroid hormones. Whenever cholesterol is elevated, I look for steroid hormone imbalances. The liver is not trying to clog up your arteries, but just responding to the hypothalamus’ cry for help.

I recently got an email from one of my readers about cholesterol. She’s menopausal and in spite of a healthy diet and exercise, her cholesterol is rising. Would Genesis Gold® help?

I created Genesis Gold® to balance your hormones and your hypothalamus which helps lower cholesterol. That’s because hormones specifically steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone and cortisol are made from LDL cholesterol. whenever I see a patient with elevated cholesterol, I start working on balancing their hormones.

Of course I also work with my patients on their diet as insulin resistance will cause an elevation in cholesterol too (it’s not fat but sugar that raises the bad cholesterol).

I explain all this in my book Hormones in Harmony®. Thankfully Genesis Gold® helps reverse insulin resistance.

Now balance takes time, so the effect on your cholesterol will not be seen for at least three months. In the original research it took six months to bring down total cholesterol in the most hormonally challenged patients, but their cholesterol ratio was healthier (with HDL rising to >30% of total cholesterol in the first three months). I measure LDL and HDL particle size and Genesis Gold definitely improves both protective LDL and HDL particles.

Usually after three to six months of using Genesis Gold®, the cholesterol levels normalize as the hormones come into balance.

If you are over fifty and menopausal (or andropausal for aging men), it is normal for cholesterol levels to rise up to 200-250 ng/dl, even if you exercise and eat well. Over 250, I treat with natural cholesterol lowering agents, because statins have the ominous side effect of suppressing protective CoQ10 production leading to neurological damage. I usually do not treat high cholesterol until the endocrine dysfunction is corrected, unless you have a family history of heart disease specifically arteriosclerosis (clogged arteries) causing stroke and heart attacks.

Pharmaceutical cholesterol lowering drugs work by blocking the liver’s production of cholesterol as well as Coenzyme Q10 which is an essential element for cardiac and neurological health. Studies have shown that long term use of lipid lowering drugs can lead to cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) and neuropathy (ie. Parkinson’s disease). Side effects of lipid lowering agents include, muscle pain, fatigue, depression and liver dysfunction

An alternative to pharmaceutical treatment is Red Rice Yeast, a natural microplant that lowers cholesterol in the same way as the drugs but with little side effects. Co-enzyme Q10 should be taken daily with a fatty meal to enhance absorption whether you choose the conventional medications or the natural therapy.

What about diet? You can’t control your cholesterol levels by eating a low fat diet. The liver does not make cholesterol from excess dietary fat but from excess sugar and starches. When you consume more glucose than you can expend or store as glycogen, the liver converts the glucose into triglycerides (meaning three sugar molecules on a fat) which are taken by VLDL to the adipose (fat) cells for storage. Limit your sugars and starches to help lower triglycerides and cholesterol.

Anything eaten in excess is not good for you.

Americans are into super sizing everything. So if coconut oil is touted as healthy, then why not replace all your fat with it? Wrong! Only one third of your fat intake should come from saturated fats, the rest from unsaturated fats – like olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.

So, yes, I think Genesis Gold® will help balance the neuro-immune-endocrine system which in turn will lower the liver’s production of LDL cholesterol.

Since cholesterol is the root of steroid hormones, doesn’t it make sense to treat hormonal imbalances first?

How Stress Makes You Gain Weight

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Stress—a fact of modern day living, and the cause of so many diseases. Stress has been linked to heart disease, cancer, allergies, autoimmune disease, thyroid dysfunction, mood disorders and obesity.

While stress affects many parts of the body, the adrenals are responsible for creating the stress response.

What are the Adrenals?

The adrenals are small glands that lie on top (ad) of the kidneys (renals). These amazing glands have multiple functions. While the adrenals are endocrine glands producing hormones in response to pituitary stimulus that control carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, the adrenals also respond to neurological stimuli to initiate the fight or flight response, as well as electrolytes circulating in the blood to control blood pressure, and produce cytokines that influence immune function.

That’s a lot of responsibility for one pair of glands. Read the rest of this entry »

Hormones from Birth to Death

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In this brief video we learn the roller coaster of hormones, and what happens when the ride starts to slow down!

The Webinar mentioned is currently underway. But click here to join our facebook group and don’t miss out on the announcements!

The Male Brain

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Is Male Behavior affected by Hormones?

Of course! Any woman knows that. Men are as affected by their hormones as we women are affected by ours. Yet it takes a study from Cambridge University to prove to the world of powerful men that indeed, their behavior is affected by hormones.

What’s most interesting is that this recent study looked at not male athletic or sexual performance, but how testosterone levels affect financial decisions.

In today’s world where the alpha male is not judged as much by his brawn but by his brains (or at least his ability to make money), these findings are quite significant. The study found that the higher the morning levels of testosterone were, the more money made that day. Read the rest of this entry »

The Truth about Cholesterol

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Everyone is so concerned about high cholesterol, but did you know that very low levels of cholesterol are unhealthy. Death rates related to cholesterol levels are a J curve—over 250ng/dl and under 150ng/dl—mortality rates rise. Why?

Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver in response to the body’s need for two things: bandaids and hormones.

Cholesterol is nature’s bandaid, providing the necessary materials to shore up damaged tissues and support cells. Read the rest of this entry »

Raise Testosterone Naturally

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Testosterone is the hormone of manliness. Yes, women make testosterone too, yet men make much more to achieve the body size, muscle mass, bone density and strength associated with manhood. Low testosterone levels contribute to infertility, loss of lean body mass, increased body fat, moodiness and even hot flashes. Yes, men have hot flashes too.

In men, testosterone is a hormone produced primarily by the testicles. As men age, testosterone levels decline. By age 30, stress, lack of exercise, highly processed foods and exposure to xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals that have estrogenic effects like those found in pesticides) depletes testosterone levels.

In the past fifteen years the norm for blood levels of testosterone in men has dropped dramatically. Most men have no idea what their testosterone levels were when they were young and virile. By the time they seek medical attention with signs of low testosterone including erectile dysfunction, low libido, loss of muscle mass, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and rising cholesterol levels, their testosterone has dropped significantly.

In severe cases, bio-identical testosterone replacement therapy can be prescribed by an experienced health practitioner. Yet high doses and continual use will diminish your natural ability to make testosterone.

8 Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels

Read the rest of this entry »

Fatigue, Moodiness, Insomnia…It’s Your Hormones!

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I saw a new patient this week. Barbara complained of lack of energy, insomnia, moodiness.

Barbara’s been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

She’s on synthetic thyroid hormones, antidepressants, allergy meds.  Her cholesterol is elevated, her blood pressure is low, her heart rate is high. Her skin is dry, her hair is thin and brittle, her eyesight is diminished. She complains of frequent bladder and vaginal infections. Her bowels are irregular and she reacts to many foods she used to love. She’s tried lots of diets but keeps gaining weight. She’s taking so many supplements that it’s a wonder she has an appetite for real food.

Barbara’s seen seven other health care providers. They’ve given her drugs, supplements, diets but nothing works. She’s still tired all the time. She has brain fog. She can’t sleep through the night. And honestly, she looks a lot older than 38.

Does this sound familiar?

Barbara’s my typical patient. First I’ll teach her How Hormones Control Everything.  Remember when I say “hormones” I mean all your biochemical messengers.

Barbara’s hormones are out of balance. That’s why she can’t sleep, has no energy, and is moody. That’s why she can’t lose weight no matter what diet she tries. That’s why she needs antidepressants and allergy mess. Because her hormonal imbalance is affecting her brain and her immunity.

Remember everything’s connected. Here’s how your hormones are interconnected to all the rest of your body functions. 

excerpt from Hormones in Harmony® – Heal Your Hypothalamus for Optimal Health, Graceful Aging and Joyous Energy

May your hormone’s be in harmony,
Deborah Maragopoulos MN FNP
Intuitive Integrative Health