The War On Cholesterol

The war on cholesterol has been waged for the past couple of decades because cholesterol is obviously something very terrible…or not exactly.  It turns out that lower cholesterol levels are strongly associated with increased risk for becoming demented.  Again, the lower the cholesterol the higher the risk for becoming demented.  In this video we will take a look at some of the science that will hopefully change your mind about this brain protective chemical.

  • beachy

    I am a 59 year old woman with cholesterol level of 325. What are my risks.?

    • Janice Kyd

      What is too high of a level? My sister, age 63, has a cholesterol level of around 400. Should she try to bring it down and what is the best way to do that?

      • Mary

        I hear you folks asking what would be a good level since the current recommendations are off the mark? Most physicians would probably go along with IOM recommendations.
        At least if Dr. Perlmutter makes a recommendation there will be some ammunition to take to a PCP when we turn down taking a statin drug.

        • Skattabrain

          This is an issue I have, my Dr thinks I’m a fool. Not that I articulate this topic the best, but frankly he doesn’t want to hear it. “Particle size??? What is that in terms of your levels… I’ve never heard anything about that and YOU are telling ME it’s important?”

          I feel great, lost about 30 pounds removing grains and sugar but that means nothing to him. He sort of thinks everyone should take statins just because.

          Otherwise I like my doctor, but might be time to move on.

  • Melissa Wallace Boerio

    Dr. Perlmutter, I know cholesterol is vital for the brain. What are the effects of cholesterol on the heart and blood vessels?

    • Ralph

      LDL is turned sticky by the body’s inflammation fighters. The major causes of vascular inflammation are all products containing or made from corn, wheat (and many other grains), all sweeteners, all dairy.
      Dairy is also a major cause of osteo[orosis because it is acetic and the body has to drain calcium from bones to bring up the body’s alkalinity back above 7.4.

      • Sorry Ralph, but that is not correct. Osteoporosis is a loss of bone matrix, not calcium, and “dairy” does not damage your bones… and there is no such thing as “body” pH, you are referring to the blood, normal pH of which is 7.35 to 7.45…

      • Diana Lynne

        Yes, dairy blocks mineral absorption.

    • joanna drawe

      I am 75 – my cholesterol was 240 when I was 42, 260 when in 1994 and has stayed the same although last year it was closer to 200 for awhile. The new doctor suggested I take a calcium score test on my heart – I didn’t even register on the scale for any calcium blockage. My long time doctor sent me carotic artery test and I didn’t have any blockages in fact the 28 year old that did the test said I came out far better than she had. One artery had one pinpoint the other none. Even though my doctor wants me on statins I stay away from and meds I don’t trust.

  • Great video – lovely to hear a doctor talking about the benefits of cholesterol! thank you! of course, we know low cholesterol is also a factor in depression, suicide and aggression too

  • Mr. Krispy

    It’s amazing how much Doctors think they know that isn’t true. Studies came out showing that high cholesterol kills, then in a few years more studies show that it’s actually good for you. This same pattern is true for eggs, saturated fats, unsaturated fats, salt, etc. The typical PCP regurgitates whatever is currently being hyped. I wonder if the research world ever stops long enough to look back at how much stuff they “knew for certain” but is absolutely not true today…but may be true again in another few years. 25 years ago my PCP was on my case about cholesterol and I told him I didn’t believe him. He told me it was settled science. Now we know the only place it settled was in the toilet bowl. if I were to change my diet every time some new “research” came out I’d feel like a cork screw. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with sticking to a whole food plant based diet….until we’re all placed in a dementia ward…

  • IF THERE IS A “WAR”. I’M ON YOUR SIDE, DOC !!! (lol)

  • PLH7777

    After reading some of the posts below, it looks like I’m not the only one who is questioning how high is too high with cholesterol levels. I appreciate the last two videos from Dr. Perlmutter. However, he does stop short of suggesting a level that would be considered too high for overall cholesterol or LDL. I’m not taking any medications for my “high” cholesterol but I can’t help but wonder at what point (if any) it might be considered a problem and why. I do admit I love having eggs and butter back in my diet! (and gluten out).

  • HKraain

    How does one increase low levels of cholesterol? Mine have always been Lewis’s but now are 160. I eat a low carb diet bit don’t know what else to do to increase these levels. Of course I’m always being told how good these levels are – but after following Dr. Perlmutter’ work, I realize otherwise. My daughter also has very low levels – could this have a genetic link?

  • Nigel Bailey PhD

    It is difficult to give an ideal cholesterol number as it is more complicated than that. A total cholesterol reading is fairly meaningless without knowing more detail, for example HDL and LDL numbers. Even within LDL, knowing the particle size to determine whether you have (harmful) small dense particles or (less harmful) big fluffy particles is important. In general therefore, measuring your HDL (good) and triglycerides (bad) is a good idea, with a triglycerides:HDL ratio of 3.5:1 or lower considered desirable. Hope that helps!

  • Diana Lynne

    Wow, you are really going to tick off Dr. McDougall LOL. He’s so against any form of fat in the diet.

    • Carl Hedberg

      Dr. McDougall needs to eat some fat to clear his mind.

  • Diana Lynne

    My mother had high cholesterol. Never had heart disease! The doctor kept trying to put her on Zocor and she would get sick from it. Her cholesterol was 240 on a very low fat diet. I knew it was normal for her but she tried to follow the doctor’s recommendations. I’m glad she couldn’t tolerate the statins.

  • Giora Zeevy

    There were some doctors who said it all along (and were ridiculed by their colleges) . “The Cholesterol myth” as well all the books of U.Ravnaskov are the most solid presentations of years of science that supports Dr. Perlmutter’s claims. If you would like to see a great presentations about it and what is the medical nutrition that address it (done by those that for over 30 years said it) email me to giorazeevy@gmail.com and I will forward it to you. Have a great day GZ Health Coach

  • joyce

    these data a correlational. It may be that people with the Alzheimers gene dispose of cholesterol prematurely , Cause and effect cannot be determined from correlational studies

  • Sandrien

    I’d like to know how statins and/or a lower cholesterol can effect the hormons, especially going through the (pre)menopause. Is there already something known about that? I’ve been suffering from simvastatin in a very diverse and extreme way and diverse damage unfortunately never stopped or diminished after stopping with the drug. The worst I’m suffering of are heavy painful colon problems as well as a strong cognitive decline. The only way to still get through the day with a low energy level is taking a strong dosage of Co Q10 Ubiquinol and Codliveroil on a daily basis. During premenopauze now I suffer from extreme energylack meaning during the first day of the period I even get problems with breathing and at times I close my eyes b/c that’s costing too much energy. Let’s say I’m suffering of quite some symptoms attached to blood anemia. Hope you might explain something about the hormonal impact. That statins do effect the hormons I do know b/c merely melatonine earlier prvoked colon attacks. Many thanks for your answer beforehand!

    • Carl Hedberg

      Eliminate all Wheat, “ALL” Grains and “ALL” Sugar for a start!

  • As Mark Twain (i believe) once said: “It’s not what we know that gets us into trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so”! Thanks for reminding us of that Dr. P

    Mark Pettus MD. FACP
    Director Population Health
    berkshire Health Systems
    Associate Dean Medical Education
    University of Massachusetts Medical School

  • Wings Fling

    How does the higher cholesterol & saturated fat effect the heart?

    • John Brailsford

      Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are very healthy and good for the brain.

      • Wings Fling

        Yes, good for the brain, but, are they healthy for the heart?

        • John Brailsford

          One of the few sources of medium chain triglycerides coconut oil will do you good. Soya-bean growers attacked coconut oil many years ago as the nonsense about promoting low fat and eat healthy carbs started. Dr Perlmutter can explain far better than I can, go through the website for all the details.
          Made sure your sugar is low < 90 mg/dl which means not drinking sodas and eating bread, spaghetti, pizza etc. 2 slices of bread are equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar. Add high fructose corn syrup and all the sugar added to products like ketchup to your list of nasties.
          A lot of veggie oils like corn oil are bad and lead to small particle LDL which is very bad for your heart, as are man made hydrogenated fats, margarine etc. Don't touch or rather swallow them.
          Hug the coconuts, they can save you from dementure and your heart will never miss a beat. The only problem is if one drops on your head as you are walking under a palm tree!

  • Betty

    My husband is 80 and I am 75. The Dr. We have right now is very sweet but believes a pill will help everything. He is not happy about what we are doing now. He wants us to stay on all the pills. Anyway how do we find a Dr. who thinks like you do ? We really need to find another Dr.

  • Donald

    Interesting video. Cardiologists look at cholesterol as a major risk factor in heart disease, but it’s vital for the brain, so there has to be a balance or range that is optimal. I’ll never take meds for “high” cholesterol, however cortisol can be a factor in weight loss. Chronic pain can produce increased levels of cortisol and make weight loss more difficult, even with exercise. Foods such as spinach, citrus, white beans, walnuts, dark chocolate as well as proper sleep can help reduce the levels, however, if that still doesn’t lower it enough is there an RX or other natural treatments that will help?

  • Becky

    Dr Perlmutter, if we don’t need to worry so much about LDL levels, what is your stance on the small, dense LDL particles that Sinatra and Bowden talk about in “The Great Cholesterol Myth?”

  • aenriquez

    Dr P
    Would you review the reasons of those who favor lower cholesterol values?
    Al. Enriquez

  • mooksmom

    I think gene pool has as much to do with it as anything else. My chol=161, HDL=79, not doing anything to get to those. I have hypotension, not diabetic and tho I once weighed 350 lbs I had gastric bypass in 1997 and hang around 175 lbs. Menopause has been the WORST thing, medically, ever happened to me. IF I get the dementia diagnosis, my final days will be spent with my son and friends and I will chose the day I ‘exit’.
    I feel for those who spend so much of their $$$ on those STATIN drugs and for what??

    • John Brailsford

      You can influence your genes with your life style. Nothing is set in concrete. Trash the grains and follow Dr Permutter´s recommendations.

      • mooksmom

        Thanks, John. I think I will continue on my present path. I don’t eat a lot of anything and the occasional carb is fine with me.
        Good luck on your journey!



    • John Brailsford

      Stop eating grains, bread, pasta, noodles spaghetti and the like.
      Its easy, then your blood sugar and Cholestrol will be fine. The main problem is the low density LDL particles and they come fro the grains.

  • David

    Dr. Perlmutter,
    Are you familiar with this study and what is your take on it?

    However, a new study published in JAMA Neurology detailed the link of cholesterol levels with amyloid plaque buildup that can cause Alzheimer’s disease.
    High levels of LDL (bad) and low levels of HDL (good) were associated with a bigger buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain. This marked the first time that cholesterol levels have been correlated to the buildup of amyloid.

  • Craig Shissler

    Following the Grain Brain Diet, Lipid Panel Question

    Dr. Perlmutter –

    Is the good or bad?

    12/14 – Starting weight 216, HgbA1c 6.2, Cholesterol 183, Trig 259, HDL 43, LDL 88, VLDL 52, on Atorvastatin 80 mg.

    5/15 – Weight 179, HgbA1c 5.3. D/C Atorvastatin 1/15. Cholesterol 285, Trig 129, HDL 45, LDL 214, VLDL 26.

    Will see physician this week and am concerned about the elevated Lipid Panel. I’m sure he’ll want me to go back on a statin, but I feel so much better, I’m hesitant to go back on them.


    Thanks –

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