Wise Words from Primal Wisdom

It was a weekend too busy for blogging, with a couple of home projects, getting started and well into Mark’s book, The Primal Blueprint (so far: I think it’s going to be the ‘go to’ book), and a little cooking.

There’s quite a number of interesting comments on my last post that figured largely on the subject of cholesterol. I think it’s important to understand that we are all different and aren’t necessarily going to have the same lipid numbers even on largely the same diets. I see lots of signs that people are stressing out about it. They are feeling great, have dropped a ton of weight, the one big sign they are on the right track is the typical huge drop of triglycerides, but then they go and worry and beat themselves up because total cholesterol went up, and/or they are not getting the numbers they want in LDL or HDL. Some have gone on to get NMR LipoProfile testing done and are not happy about their particle size and mix.

So, with that in mind, let me paste here some wise words from reader and commenter Don Matesz, who also blogs at Primal Wisdom.

Let’s not forget that Dr. Ravnskov has pointed out that people with higher cholesterol live the longest.

And as Mary Enig says, a total blood lipoprotein count between 200 and 240 is normal, not a disease process. 

In any population, all measurable characteristics vary within a normal range in a Bell Curve fashion. Just as some people are shorter than average and some taller than average, some have smaller and some have larger feet, and some have lower and some have higher total lipoproteins. Thus, "high" cholesterol is not by itself indicative of a disease process any more than above average height indicates a disease process.

I have read that taller people have, in general, a lower life expectancy than shorter people (don’t have the reference). Assuming this is true, it would not give warrant for height reduction surgery for taller than average people. Similarly, even if it could be demonstrated that people with lower total lipoprotein counts did live longer, that would not give warrant to subject individuals with "above average" total lipoprotein counts to artificial cholesterol reduction.

This gets back to the whole issue of reductionism. Tim’s doctor thinks a blood cholesterol of 226 is a disease process. He completely ignores the context (patient) in which this occurs. Rather than evaluating the patient, he reduces the patient to a lab number. He wants to treat the cholesterol, not the patient.

We would be wise to keep all of this in mind.

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  1. dermatology rancho cucamonga on July 7, 2009 at 20:08

    I agree that its really important to understand that we are all different and aren't necessarily going to have the same lipid numbers even on largely the same diets, well i must say that i am willing to undergo in kind of treatment to help my cholesterol low.


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