Dancemax Letter #32, Thursday, Jan 4, 2001

Dancing Tid-bits
Lower your Cholesterol

1. If you, or a relative or a friend have a concern about having a Heart Attack like millions of people do, pay attention otherwise disregard this series.

2. If you want to reduce and maintain ideal weight and have energy to dance, read this, otherwise disregard.
Heart attack or Coronary artery disease is caused by blockage of arteries to the heart and it has been established that there is direct correlation between elevated Cholesterol levels in blood and CAD (coronary artery disease).

At the outset I must say that this letter is based on my personal experience but for those of you who want scientific data, you may refer to Dr. Dean Ornish's program for "Reversing Heart Disease" ( ISBN 0-345-37353-7). The data was also published in the Journal of American Medical Association about 2 years ago and is widely known to President Clinton and major Life Insurance Companies in America.

Preamble: Fatty Cholesterol Deposits in the coronary arteries to your heart block the flow of blood to your heart muscle. When this blood supply is cut in excess of about 75% you either get a heart attack or start to have chest pains what is called Angina. So it is obvious, the more cholesterol in your blood, the more the chances that this garbage will block your most precious arteries that supply Oxygen to Heart. Same is true of Brain Strokes. Thus by lowering your Cholesterol, not only you can prevent a Heart attack but also prevent Strokes, etc., which is like a heart attack of the brain.

The Normal Cholesterol Level in Western Societies is considered as 200 to 225 mg% (Please ask your doctor or Hospital to convert this mg thing to your measuring system (Different countries use different systems.) Just like we set lower standards for crime and morals, the standards for Cholesterol levels are too liberal. I f you really mean business, anything above 175 is not very good.

Good Cholesterol v Bad: The bad Cholesterol being the total Cholesterol which can be further grouped into LDL and VLDL but I dont want to confuse you too much and if you keep the total cholesterol below 175, dont worry, your LDL or VLDL will be OK too. You should also increase your good Cholesterol level. The good Cholesterol being the High density Lipoproteins or HDL. The HDL is a garbage hauler, it's like a waste management system that goes to the arteries and removes the bad cholesterol. So you want to keep the HDL high in your system and anything above 35 is OK. Actually you can take Total Cholesterol value and Divide it by Good Cholesterol value which is called the Cholesterol-HDL Ratio and draw some definite conclusions. As long as you keep this ratio below 4, you are in reasonably good shape and lower the ratio, lower the risk. So, actually if the bad cholesterol can be offset by higher levels of HDL, the ratio can still be below 4, but then still it is not a bad idea to lower your total cholesterol values.

Diabetes and Heart: This 'silent killer" is atrocious. Diabetes causes damage to inside lining of blood vessels. This makes them susceptible to develop plaques or clots which cause blockage to blood flow causing heart attack or gangrene of Legs or damage the Eyes etc. Diabetics require strict control to reduce all above risks. One time elevation of sugar level does not mean too much. The average level of sugar is determined by determining the level of Hemoglobin A1C which is like running a batting average. The following values are considered standard. Just remember 6, 7 8.

6 % or less is good. 7% is high but perhaps acceptible for Diabetics. Anything above 8% ifs out of control. For details read or discuss it with your doctor.

I want you to take some lessons from my following readings: I have enumerated my cholesterol values and Hemoglobin A1C levels (I am a diabetic also) and compared them to what they were then and what I keep them now.

1995 2000
Cholesterol 200 mg 144 mg
HDL 19 35
Ratio >10 4.1
Risk High Low

Right on the money, I almost died in 1995 while Jiving but now I live a healthy fearless life and can Jive and dance for hours. I do not take medications (only vitamins, etc.).

I think I have said it all. The next letter will tell you how I did it and then I will stop being a doctor..Best Wishes for a happy new year...Max

Questions and comments to, thank you.

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits