Vince Gironda’s point of view wasn’t mainstream when he told me about eggs in 1985. In that era, eggs were vilified as a nutritional no-no. Vince preached differently, that eating eggs had nothing to do with serum cholesterol. That was in direct contradiction to what doctors were touting at the time. With heavy influence from the drug industry, the medical establishment had published serum cholesterol thresholds, declaring that high cholesterol caused heart disease and that Americans should start taking statin drugs, the new kids on the block, to lower cholesterol. Vince said nearly everything about that was wrong and turns out he was right.
In a nutshell, the numbers set as “high” cholesterol levels were arbitrary. There is still no solid science proving that high cholesterol causes heart disease.  Diet has little, if any, influence on cholesterol levels. Statin drugs have deadly serious side effects.  Cholesterol is crucial to optimal health and plays a role in virtually every cell in our body. Statins interfere with and stop cholesterol production, a vital bodily function.  Lowering cholesterol with statin drugs has virtually no beneficial effect on whether you get heart disease or not.
Cholesterol is good. Gironda was a one-time Mr. Olympia known as The Iron Guru. At his Studio City, Calif. gym, opened in 1948, Vince trained everyone from Arnold to Ferrigno to David Lee Roth, from Oscar winners to James Bonds sent to him by the studio to be whipped into shape. Vince forgot more about health and nutrition than most modern-day experts will ever know. I was his student and took his comments about cholesterol as word. That didn’t keep me from doing a little research myself so I went to the UCLA medical library. Remember, this was way before the University of Google. We actually had to read journals and books and peer reviewed articles to get to good research.
I started by figuring out why cholesterol exists in the body at all, what the body uses it for. Cholesterol is produced in the liver and for a reason. Cholesterol is used in any number of vital functions. It’s a primary building block for new cells. When we suffer injury, cholesterol production is ramped up to replace damaged cells and even to promote healing with new immune system cells. We don’t get high cholesterol because we eat it. We get it because the liver is being tricked into making too much. Screwing up the liver to stop production is the worst thing to do. Why not find out why the liver is pumping it out in the first place?
Vince was right. Cholesterol isn’t like alcohol. With alcohol, you drink a few beers and you can measure it in your blood. Cholesterol doesn’t work that way. Eat a few eggs and your cholesterol level doesn’t shoot up. At the library, I read what the research told me about cholesterol production and started thinking about what stimulates the liver to dump cholesterol into the body in the first place.
Forget lowering cholesterol. Lower stress. Putting it in a paleo-type perspective, an example might be when the body is attacked or injured, it would trigger the liver to produce cholesterol to repair a wound or fight an illness. An injury or infection is a stress that requires cholesterol and for good reason. The problem for modern man is that we don’t have to run from saber-toothed tigers. But we do produce stress for ourselves in other ways and the body doesn’t know the difference. While it may be appropriate for the body to produce cholesterol to repair damage when clawed by a tiger, it’s not necessary for the liver to pump out cholesterol to meet the stress of sitting at a red light when we’re late for an important meeting or dealing with an unruly classroom full of kids. Psycho-stress doesn’t need cholesterol to repair cells. The liver doesn’t know that but reacts to stress like evolution has trained it to and dumps cholesterol into the body.
Check the research for yourself. Latest info shows: little or no evidence at all that lowered cholesterol readings result in lowering heart disease;  women in particular show absolutely no benefit from statin drugs; statins have been found to have deadly side effects; statins interfere with a basic, important function of the body.
High cholesterol is not a disease. Research shows it’s not even related to a disease. But when an industry manages to establish shaky science connecting the two, there are billions of dollars to be made selling a drug that halts the natural production of cholesterol.
Run/Pass Option So, even if cholesterol levels were related to heart disease (iffy), should we take drugs to lower them? Research is strong that mediation — real meditation — can result in lower serum cholesterol levels. And meditation can lower other significant factors related to heart disease, such as wacky hormone levels, hypertension, inflammation and much more. I’d pass on the statins. Turns out you can think it through. (Sources: HeartlandHealing.com/cholesterol)
Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.