You know it will involve donating several vials of blood, a big bill and you’re worried it will be BAD NEWS.
The BAD NEWS often sounds something like this….
“Well, everything seems normal, except your cholesterol level, it is a little high…., maybe you should consider going onto a statin.”
Before you jump on the statin band wagon, you need to consider the timing.
Cholesterol levels fluctuate
First things first, your cholesterol level is going to move up and down during the course of the day, the week, the month, the year.
To get a good picture of where your cholesterol level is really at, your doctor should be looking at your fasting level. This means that on the day of the blood test, you need to have rolled out of bed pretty early, skipped your usual breakfast and just inhaled the aroma of the coffee beans, en route to the lab, to meet up with the human blood sucker.
Since rolling out of bed on a cold winter’s morning and forgoing the piping hot caffeine loaded beverage, is a huge challenge, you should aim to do your cholesterol test on a summer morning.
It will be easier on you and you’re more likely to “like” the result.
Cholesterol levels rise in winter
Bet you didn’t know that….
A research team from Blackburn, demonstrated the seasonal variations in cholesterol levels, way back in 1996.
At the time, if you lived in Blackburn and you wanted to know your cholesterol level, your blood ended up at the Blackburn Royal Infirmary Lab. The lab was very busy, around 1500 samples were analyzed each month. The team crunched the numbers each month, to get the average cholesterol level of the citizens of Blackburn for each month, over the period of 18 months , and then plotted the data.
A clear pattern emerged.
The citizens of Blackburn had significantly higher cholesterol levels in the winter months and lower levels in summer.
Blame the sun
The big difference between winter and summer is the weather, specifically the amount of sun. Even in Britain, a land not exactly known for sunny days, there is a lot more sunshine in summer, compared to winter.
When the cholesterol data was compared with Meterorological Office records, it became clear that cholesterol data showed an inverse relationship with hours of sunshine per month.
The sun was sucking cholesterol out of the citizens of Blackburn.
A little competition
One of the major jobs attributed to the sun, is to turn 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is a type of CHOLESTEROL in your skin, into vitamin D.
If during the summer time, your body is busy turning the cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D, there is going to be less cholesterol in your body for other things. The blood levels are naturally going to be a little lower.
Low enough to be considered normal ?
Quite possibly, especially if your cholesterol level is only marginally elevated i.e. a little high.
Cholesterol levels a sign of trouble not a cause
High cholesterol, particularly sky high levels are definitely not a sign of good health.
You want to keep an eye on the level, but a little high, needs to be seen in perspective.
There are lots of ways to lower inflammation that are as effective as statins, without the risks associated with statin use. A good place to start would be to get the 7 Big Spoons™ sorted.
Start today, rnrol in our free e-course, 31 Days to Better Body ChemistrySunlight, cholesterol and coronary heart disease. Q J Med (1996) 89:579-589. D.S. Grimes, E. Hindle and T. Dyer
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|The brain is a big fan of cholesterol, shouldn’t you be too ?||Winter nookie increases the risk of having an autistic child||Vitamin D gets the blood vessels bending it like Beckam|
The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.
|Balance Eicosanoids||Rein in insulin||Dial down stress||Sleep !||Increase Vit D||Culivate microflora||Think champion|
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