Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association estimated the total cost of cardiovascular disease in 2015 exceeded $320 billion. It is largely preventable with diet and exercise.
Unfortunately, cardiovascular disease is one of the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions in medicine. Over the past decade science has learned a tremendous amount regarding what causes heart disease, but the medical establishment is still operating on outdated science from over 40 years ago.
For example, it is a now well established in the scientific literature that eating cholesterol in the diet has no discernible impact on serum cholesterol levels in most people. Even if it did, the level of cholesterol in the blood is not the driving factor behind heart disease. Organizations like the National Lipid Association are working hard to raise awareness of these new developments but most of the general public and healthcare profession still are operating in the old paradigm.
Who it affects?
Cardiovascular disease affects over 85 million Americans with close to one million of those have a heart attack each year. In the US, one person dies every 40 seconds of cardiovascular disease. One in three Americans has metabolic syndrome, a cluster of major cardiovascular risk factors related to being overweight and insulin resistance.
High cholesterol is a symptom and not a disease. It is a sign of an underlying problem. If you are given a drug to decrease your cholesterol without investigating the cause, it is suppressing symptoms instead of improving function. Cholesterol-lowering drugs may be necessary for some, but the initial step should be to investigate any root causes contributing to the symptom.
The key factors that drive how heart disease develops is the number of LDL-P (low density lipoprotein – particle) in the blood and oxidation of those particles once they enter the artery wall.
The primary causes of elevated cholesterol / LDL-P and heart disease are:
- Metabolic dysfunction (insulin and leptin resistance)
- Genetics (family hypercholesterolemia carriers)
The current scientific research has also identified other potential causes of elevated cholesterol and heart disease which should be investigated with abnormal lipid profiles:
- Poor thyroid function
- Infections such as Chlamydia pneumoniae and H. Pylori
- Intestinal Permeability (leaky gut)
- Environmental Toxins such as mercury and bisphenol A