Cholesterol has been vilified as the cause of cardiovascular disease, but thatís not the whole story. Cholesterol is actually a key raw material. Enzymes present in our circulation and in our cells convert cholesterol into Vitamin D, steroid hormones (Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Cortisol, etc.), and the bile acids that we need for proper digestion. We need some, but not excessive amounts, of cholesterol in the semi-permeable membrane that surround our cells. Our body actually runs through about 800 mg of cholesterol each day. If dietary intake of cholesterol drops off, the liver will compensate by making more. Cholesterol itself is not a cause of cardiovascular disease (would Mother Nature provide us with enzyme systems designed to manufacture a raw material that kills us?). Rather, the key problems are an inability to process cholesterol properly and/or an inability to guard against oxidation of cholesterol by environmental free radicals. We have talked in another section about free radical stress and how we can neutralize it. Now letís talk a little about cholesterol metabolism, how we manufacture it, how we transport it in our circulation, and how we were designed to transport excessive or ďusedĒ cholesterol out of the body.
Cholesterol from the diet travels from the GI tract to the liver, which will also manufacture cholesterol if dietary cholesterol content is limited. Cholesterol, being a fatty material, is not soluble in water, and thus it cannot exist by itself in the blood stream. The liver coats cholesterol with protein, to make a water soluble LDL-cholesterol lipoprotein, which is then sent out into the circulation. Cells that need cholesterol will display a LDL cholesterol receptor (sort of a molecular open hand) on their cell membrane. The circulating LDL lipoprotein will download a cholesterol molecule to the cholesterol receptor of any cell that needs cholesterol. The receptor cholesterol complex then enters the cell, where the cholesterol is put to good use. Cells that do not need cholesterol will not display cholesterol receptors on their cell membrane, and thus circulating cholesterol cannot enter cells that donít need it (think of this feedback mechanism as sort of a cholesterol thermostat). So no matter how high the blood cholesterol level is, the healthy cell cannot be overfilled with cholesterol.
Cholesterol in our circulation can bypass the cholesterol receptor and enter our cells in excessive amounts only if it is oxidized by free radicals. Oxidized cholesterol bypasses the cholesterol receptor and can enter our cells, producing cholesterol toxicity. Oxidized cholesterol can and will incorporate itself into the plaque that narrows our blood vessels. Oxidized cholesterol can and will destabilize the plaques, converting a stable plaque into a heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol is not the culprit. Oxidized cholesterol is the culprit. We have already talked about how we can protect against free radical oxidation of cholesterol. First we can avoid oxidants (stop smoking). Second we can remove pro-oxidants from our bodies (remove Lead and Mercury with EDTA and DMSA). Third we can take antioxidants, like Vitamin C, to neutralize free radical oxidants. Protect your cholesterol to protect yourself!
While cholesterol itself is not the culprit, cholesterol present in the circulation beyond the bodyís needs or within a cell beyond the needs of that cell serves no useful purpose, but it can be oxidized by free radicals. Mother Nature figured this out millions of years ago, so she gave us the ability to carry out Reverse Cholesterol Transport, the ability to remove from our cells (and from the walls of our blood vessels) excessive cholesterol. To carry out Reverse Cholesterol Transport we need Phosphatidylcholine (PC). PC contains two fatty acids and a phosphocholine group. An enzyme present in our circulation, Lecithin Cholesterol Acyl Transferase (LCAT), dissolves one fatty acid from Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and attaches it to cholesterol, converting cholesterol into a compound celled a cholesterol ester, which is then taken up by a HDL lipoprotein and transported back to the liver, from where the cholesterol is excreted from the body in the form of a bile salt, a digestive enzyme that the liver manufactures from cholesterol (in the presence of Vitamin C). As LCAT converts cholesterol in the circulation into cholesterol ester, it also lowers the content of cholesterol in the blood. A low concentration of cholesterol in the blood promotes the egress of cholesterol out of our cells (including the cells that line our blood vessels), and into the circulation, where LCAT, if enough Phosphatidylcholine is present, will convert this newly mobilized cholesterol into more cholesterol ester, which will be taken up by the HDL and transported out of the body. Reverse cholesterol transport is the means by which Mother Nature dissolves excessive cholesterol from the body. Reverse cholesterol transport is a means by which Mother Nature keeps our arteries clear of disease. The key enzyme, Lecithin Cholesterol Acyl Transferase, is stimulated by Phosphatidylcholine, and is poisoned by heavy metals such as Lead, Cadmium, and especially Mercury.
We formulated the Med Fivewith the specific intent to optimize the activity of our Reverse Cholesterol Transport system. The cholesterol lowering drugs that we employ in modern medicine poison the liver enzymes that manufacture cholesterol; this is how they work and this is how they produce side-effects. While these drugs have a role and may be necessary in some individuals, it makes more sense to us to give Mother Nature an assist, stimulating her system of reverse cholesterol transport with Phosphatidylcholine, de-poisoning this system by removing heavy metals with EDTA and DMSA, and providing antioxidants to protect against oxidation of normal cholesterol by environmental free radicals. We believe that Mother Nature is smarter than we are. It makes more sense to us to work with her, and to avoid, if possible, taking drugs that poison the enzyme systems that she gave us.
James C. Roberts MD FACC for Med Five Inc. Last updated 1/1/04..
Do not use this product if you are pregnant or nursing. If you are under a physician's care or taking medication, consult your health professional before taking this product. If you are taking or intend to take other detoxification treatments while on MedFive, please discuss this with your physician first. You should take minerals and vitamins when using this product Ė supplements and medications should be taken at least two hours apart from Step Two. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
It is not necessary to take other detox programs while on Med Five.