I saw this headline not long ago and it made my jaw drop.
“Daily statin use to lower cholesterol may soon be a thing of the past.”
I thought maybe — finally — the war on cholesterol was coming to an end.
Instead, it turns out Big Pharma is doubling down on cholesterol drugs. They’ve found a new multi-billion dollar scam. Let me explain…
Statins have been blockbusters for the drug companies. Worldwide sales hit $34 billion in one year. But most of these drugs have come to the end of their patents. Profits are starting to dip. Big Pharma needs another patent to replace them.
So instead of statin pills they’re developing vaccines to lower cholesterol. And a brand new mouse study shows that one of these new vaccines can drastically lower cholesterol.
The study was published in the European Heart Journal.1 Researchers took mice that were bred to develop heart and vascular disease. They gave half of them shots of the experimental vaccine. The other half got a placebo. Then they fed them all a high-fat diet for 18 weeks.
At the end of the trial, the vaccinated mice had 53% lower total cholesterol compared to the controls. Here’s how it works…
The vaccine targets an enzyme called PCSK9. It’s naturally produced in your liver. PCSK9 keeps cholesterol in the blood. By blocking the enzyme the vaccine allows cholesterol to be cleared from the blood.
But here’s the thing… You NEED cholesterol.
Your body uses it to build cell membranes and make vitamin D. It helps form bile acids to digest fat. And it helps maintain the health of your intestinal wall.
Cholesterol also makes up a large part of your brain as well as the protective layer of your nerves. So it’s essential for good brain function as you age. You also need it for the proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain to ward off depression. And it helps stave off neurological diseases like dementia, MS and Parkinson’s.
Without cholesterol you wouldn’t be able to produce testosterone, estrogen, progesterone or cortisol. It’s a key building block for all of your hormones.
And it is critical for a long life. In a 10-year study of 724 people published in The Lancet those with higher cholesterol had a lower risk of dying from all causes.2
For decades Big Pharma has been peddling statins to lower cholesterol. And despite the billions spent on this crusade, heart disease remains the number one killer.
Now these new shots may be even worse than statins… Instead of turning your immune system against foreign invaders, they turn it against a natural enzyme your body produces. And once you turn the immune system against your own body, no one knows what the side effects could be.
Rather than lowering cholesterol, I help my patients raise their HDL. That’s the so-called “good cholesterol.” High HDL is a strong predictor of heart health. The famous Framingham Heart Study proved it.3 If you get your HDL to 85 or above, your risk of heart disease drops to almost zero. Even if your total cholesterol is through the roof.
3 Easy Ways Raise Your HDL
- Use guggul. This reliable ancient Indian herb comes from the resin of the guggul tree. Ayurvedic healers have used it for thousands of years as a heart-strengthening tonic. The guggulsterones in the resin lower the inflammation that acts on cholesterol and help improve your cholesterol ratio (the ratio of LDL to HDL).
Look for guggul extract standardized to 6% guggulsterones and take 300-400 mg two to three times a day.
- Increase omega-3s. Omega-3 fats increase HDL as well. You can find omega-3s in wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, sardines, walnuts, flax seeds and olive oil. You can also take supplements.
I recommend getting around 3 to 5 grams of omega-3s every day. Look for krill or calamari oil. They’re purer and more concentrated than fish oil. And your body absorbs them better.
- Get more niacin. Studies show niacin (vitamin B3) raises HDL levels by 25 to 30%. You can get niacin from grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, wild-caught salmon and peanuts. But to raise HDL levels you’ll need 750 to 1,000 mg a day. For that you’ll have to supplement.
I recommend starting at a small dose of 250 mg per day because too much niacin can lead to a slight burning sensation called “flushing.” Increase the amount gradually every month until you get up to your target. You can also split your dose into twice a day to help reduce the flush.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Christine Landlinger, Marianne G. Pouwer, Claudia Juno, et al. “The AT04A vaccine against proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 reduces total cholesterol, vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis in APOE*3Leiden.CETP mice.” European Heart Journal. 2017.
2. Weverling-Rijnsburger AW, Blauw GJ, Lagaay AM, Knook DL, Meinders AE, Westendorp RG. “Total cholesterol and risk of mortality in the oldest old.” Lancet. 1997.
3. Castelli, W.P., “Cholesterol and lipids in the risk of coronary artery disease— the Framingham Heart Study,” Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 1998.