Can A Paleo/Low-Carb Diet Alone Treat Familial Hypercholesterolemia?

Filed under: Health — @ July 21, 2010

It’s almost impossible to flip through the channels on your television set these days without seeing some kind of advertisement about what to do about a condition commonly labeled as “high cholesterol.” From Lipitor to Crestor, these popular cholesterol-lowering medications have been highly touted by seemingly intelligent and respectable people like physicians and patients who claim to have been helped by regularly taking these statin medications. If you ask most people if taking a statin drug is good for you or not, it would not be surprising to hear upwards of 9 out of ten respond in the affirmative. Such is the power of the marketing of these drugs in modern society.

Unfortunately, most doctors seem clueless about cholesterol and are stuck in cookie-cutter mode about how to best treat what they deem as “high” when it comes to LDL and total cholesterol especially. But the greater importance of higher HDL cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides which are typical of people who are livin’ la vida low-carb is oftentimes flat out ignored because the pharmaceutical companies have created quite a racket peddling pills for a trumped up condition like “high cholesterol.” It’s THEIR responsibility to the consumer to prove that having “high cholesterol” is unhealthy in most people. They can’t do it, though, and so they conveniently ignore the issue altogether while continuing to peddle their drugs to family doctors who happily push them on their patients who are blindly asking for them because a TV commercial told them to. You know, I’d love to see the looks on the faces of any of these doctors when I tell them my total cholesterol is 326 and I don’t need a statin, something a man calling himself “Doc” said made me a “dead man walking.” Well, I’m not gone yet and don’t plan to be anytime soon.

While many patients with a poor lipid panel (low HDL, high triglycerides, and high levels of small, dense LDL particles) got that way from consuming a high-carbohydrate diet according to a 2007 study, there are more rare instances of cholesterol issues stemming from genetics that some people need to be concerned about. It’s called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and it is indeed something that can run in families causing their LDL cholesterol levels to skyrocket and put them at a greater risk for premature cardiovascular disease as early as 30 years old. This is known as familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia (FHH) and impacts approximately one out of every 500 people. So if 50,000 people are reading this column, then 100 of you statistically speaking have FHH. One such reader contacted me about this condition after he was diagnosed with it last year and he asked me to write about it so that others can benefit from the knowledge he is still building on this subject.

Click here to read more about the details of his condition and the surprising recommendation that respected low-carb cardiologist Dr. William Davis offered up as the best way to treat the FHH.

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