• Cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease but rather a potent antioxidant weapon against free radicals in the blood, and a repair substance that helps heal arterial damage (although the arterial plaques themselves contain very little cholesterol.) However, like fats, cholesterol may be damaged by exposure to heat and oxygen. This damaged or oxidized cholesterol seems to promote both injury to the arterial cells as well as a pathological buildup of plaque in the arteries.50 Damaged cholesterol is found in powdered eggs, in powdered milk (added to reduced-fat milks to give them body) and in meats and fats that have been heated to high temperatures in frying and other high-temperature processes.

    High serum cholesterol levels often indicate that the body needs cholesterol to protect itself from high levels of altered, free-radical-containing fats. Just as a large police force is needed in a locality where crime occurs frequently, so cholesterol is needed in a poorly nourished body to protect the individual from a tendency to heart disease and cancer. Blaming coronary heart disease on cholesterol is like blaming the police for murder and theft in a high crime area.

    from http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/skinny.html#summary
    Pharmacist who’s life was almost ruined by Lipitor

  • john e russo md facm faafp

    The normal total cholesterol and calculated LDL cholesterol for a 17 year old is lower than that for those age 25 and above. If you have an elevated LDL at your age this is a serious concern and implies a much higher incidence of premature cardiovascular disease (such as a heart attack) than someone whose LDL elevates much later in life. Flaxseed oil has been studied. It does not lower but may elevate LDL cholesterol. There is no credible evidence that suggests that flaxseed oil may be linked to prostate cancer. I must emphasize that if your LDL is indeed elevated you should not be searching for a non-prescription alternative. This is a very serious matter at your age. It would be helpful if I knew your family history and your full lipid profile: triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. In a lipid profile the LDL is calculated (by the 1972 Friedewald equation) rather than directly measured. In a 17 year old I always perform a more extensive lipid profile as well as other laboratory chemistries. I would order a cardiac CRP (a measure of inflammation linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease). I would order VLDL. I would order a direct measurement of LDL. I would then fractionate these lipids. For example large buoyant LDL is not as atherogenic (which means ‘bad’) as a small dense LDL. HDL2 is protective while HDL3 is not. I would also order a particle count. We have the ability to determine the number of particles in LDL and HDL molecules. Higher particle counts in LDL means more atherogenic whether it is buoyant or dense. The above testing is not that expensive. It allows the physician to make a more precise estimate of your cardiovascular risk. It helps to define the goals of treatment. I will repeat that an elevated LDL in a 17 year old is a serious matter. If I may be of further assistance please let me know – johnerussomd@jhu.edu. I wish you the very best of health and may God bless.