On this week’s episode of Wednesdays With Will, Dr. Harden answers the question What Is Cholesterol and tells us about the necessity of it in the human body as well as its health implications. He talks about the foods we eat and how they effect our cholesterol levels and how he feels about cholesterol lowering drugs.
EPOC of Afterburn
Glenn: Do you know what EPOC means? EPOC stands for Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. But I prefer to call it afterburn. What EPOC or afterburn really means is the increased metabolism a person experiences after a physical event such as a workout or a game of basketball or hiking or anything where you’re moving the body. There’s going to be a little bit delayed, elevated metabolism. We all know this. You probably experience it yourself. But what this afterburn can do is it increases the number of calories that you’re burning above your normal metabolism. That makes sense, right? But how long does it do this? And can you control it?
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic
In a study comparing aerobic cycling with circuit weight training versus heavy resistance training, the heavy resistance training showed the highest amount of afterburn. Let me give you the details. In the aerobic cycling, they were pedaling for 40 minutes straight consistently with their heart rate at 80% of their max. So they were giving it 80% of their maximal effort. The circuit weight training was four sets of eight exercises at 15 reps at 50% intensity. And the heavy resistance training was 3 sets, one rep max, 8 different exercises at 80-90% effort. Now, the heavy resistance training shows the highest amount of afterburn for a couple of reasons. One is the amazing triple win with resistance training. First, you have the energy consumption during the workout. Then you have the afterburn which is immediately afterwards for a period of time that maybe as great as 48 hours. Then we have the elevated energy consumption of the larger muscles. Now that wasn’t being taken into account with this resistance training for their afterburn study but it still factors in there to a person’s overall energy consumption after a workout.
It’s All About the Intensity
Another study showed that afterburn more than doubles when the intensity goes from 55% to 95 % or greater of maximal effort. Now, I know a lot of people like a moderate workout. They get on an elliptical and they move at a moderate pace. They walk. Maybe they go on brisk walks. The intensity level is going matter. Now, I’m not saying those effort levels are not beneficial. They certainly are. But it greatly diminishes or rather it does not trigger such a great response of the afterburn. And one thing these studies do not go into is the efficiency at which a person is in their own sport. For example, I’m a cyclist and when I go a period of time without doing a lot of high intensity cycling, it’s very difficult when I get back into it and my afterburn is much higher but later on in the season when I’ve been cycling for 6 months pretty steadily and pretty heavily, then my afterburn is not nearly as great because my body has become much more efficient. So one reason that weight training has a great afterburn is because we’re triggering muscle growth that is not normally worked and certainly not worked to that manner or in that intensity.
Steady State vs. Intermittant
Studies comparing intermittent to steady states found that the high intensity exercises show a much greater afterburn than a steady state. And that goes back up to the aerobic comparison with the weight training I showed you because when we do an intermittent state, we can go at a higher intensity even though we’re resting in between, we bring that intensity much higher. It’s extremely difficult to push it at 95% of your intensity for 40 minutes straight. And even if you do, you’re at a diminished returns because we’re depriving our mitochondria of oxygen. Now if we back off a little bit and keep moving but at a decreased intensity, let’s say 50%, then our mitochondria can grab the oxygen that’s coming in through the blood and make more ATP, more energy for the muscles to use. Participants, who cycle vigorously for 45 minutes, burned more Calories than they normally would have over the next 14 hours compared to the same person who didn’t exercise.
Rest and Recovery
What this means is they’re burning energy while they’re exercising and continuing to burn Calories while they are recovering. Now rest is super important in this factor because if we don’t give our body’s time to rest and recover and rebuild, we’re not going to get that growth. We might have overuse injuries. We might experience over training. As part of this rest, we also need to feed our muscles and that’s gonna be good nutrients, plenty of water but the sleep is the major factor because while you sleep, that is when the growth hormone is being released and that is when your muscles grow stronger and bigger. We need to sleep in order to growth.
So many people I run across, do a hard workout but then they go off and party or they stay up late studying and they get 4 hours of sleep and then wonder why they can’t perform the next day or the next time they go to work-out because they didn’t give their muscles the opportunity to rest.
So what does this all really mean to you? Let me break it down this way. If you work out for 5 days a week and your afterburn is a mere 100 calories, that equates to a 7 pound loss of body fat in one year. Think about that. Are you working out 5 days a week now? Well, if you are, if you get your intensity up there to the 85-100% level, you’re going to increase your afterburn. And this afterburn could make a huge difference on your stored body fat over time. And now let’s move on to the third episode of Wednesdays with Will and learn all about cholesterol.
Will: Cholesterol is thought of as some evil constituent within our blood stream and clogging up our arteries. Cholesterol serves multiple important purposes. Cholesterol is the building block of all our hormones, primarily and particularly our sex hormones, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone – it’s the building block of many constituents of cell walls. It makes up between 50 and 70% the weight of human brain. Cholesterol is a heavy metal binder. In other words, if you had a toxic load of certain heavy metals for example, mercury, let’s say from exposure to the dust breath in when you broke a fluorescent light or from mercury silver amalgam fillings in your teeth that is known to slowly leak out into the system overtime. Then you would produce more cholesterol to protect yourself from that. That is you would bind the mercury to make it less toxic. So we have been taught that cholesterol is dangerous. Specifically, we have been taught that cholesterol above 200 is somehow dangerous and is gonna kill us from early heart disease.
Do you know until the day that Bakol, the first cholesterol lowering medication, was invented, a normal cholesterol level was considered 300 or below. The day after Bakol, the first cholesterol lowering medicine was invented, the medical community for no explainable reason except they said, “we have come to believe that high cholesterol is associated with morbidity and mortality, Sickness and death, associated with heart disease, with cardiovascular disease, atherosclerotic disease. So we changed our mind and we decided normal cholesterol should be 200 or below, not 300.
Well, what do you think happened to the sale of Bakol? Of course, it went through the roof. And to this day, the number one selling, in terms of financial compensation, medication on the globe is Lipitor, a statin drug. That’s one of many statin drug all of which lower cholesterol. And according to the medical community, it’s warranted any time a cholesterol is above 200.
So what’s one of the first things that happens to a man that say at 40 to 50 whose testosterone level begin to drop naturally? His body wants to make more so he produces more cholesterol so there’s more sub-straight available to make testosterone. So his cholesterol level comes up. It gets s up to 225. The doctor says, “Oh my gosh. We got to put you on to Lipitor. That could be associated with future stroke or cardiovascular disease.” So you lower your cholesterol to below 200. Your testosterone falls even further; however, to this day, there is no research demonstrating that our cholesterol level above 200 or up to 300 is associated with early death or illnesses, associated with heart disease. That’s kind of the biggest irony of all.
So if we lower cholesterol in someone with a cholesterol level of let’s say 200, one, he/she becomes susceptible to potential hormonal drops that tap energy. Two, you lower the cholesterol content of the brain and we know that’s associated with earlier onset of cognitive dysfunction — meaning primarily early onset of dementia. I think a bigger, more like acute concern of lowering your cholesterol is that statin drugs, they all work the same way. In your liver, you from your diet, you make something called acetyl co-enzyme A. And in your liver, in the presence of an enzyme called Acetyl Coenzyme A Reductase, you make in your liver cholesterol and you make something else called Coenzyme Q10. So what the statin drugs do is they destroy the enzyme that makes that reaction occur. They destroy an enzyme, Acetyl Coenzyme A Reductase. So sure enough, they predictably work to lower your cholesterol but they also make it so that you cannot make Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is critically important for skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle health. So if you become CoQ10 deficient, you are prone to cramping of large muscles or pain in large muscles like legs. And that’s the most common side-effect of the statin drug like Lipitor, Plavix, Crestor, Zocor, etcetera.
But you are also automatically becoming CoQ10 deficient, which in 10-20 years will likely lead to congestive heart failure. However, I know that this sounds almost conspiratorial but the makers of the statin drugs all know this. They also know that it will take long enough that you will not necessarily know that the caused of the congestive heart failure nor will you ever be able to prove is that you’ve been on the statin drug for 15 years but they all make a drug that treats congestive heart failure.
Bear in mind, probably the most important thing that I said is cholesterol is made in your liver. Most people with elevated cholesterol levels are told “Oh you need to stop eating eggs and butter and beef.” That has a very negligible– Yes, slight measurable effect on lowering cholesterol but ultimately does not in any way solve a high cholesterol issue. So there are some candidates for cholesterol-lowering medications like those who have a genetic predisposition for something called hypercholesterolemia, which means an unusually high cholesterol level due to a genetic dysfunction and those people who have cholesterol levels have a well over 300’s, sometimes over 400. That is a good candidate for a statin drug. But in that case, that person should be taking 200-300mg of Coenzyme Q10 on each day. And by the way, CoQ10 is available as either CoQ10 or you beck one all or you beck one known. Those latter two compounds are almost certainly more well-absorbed, therefore bioavailable. It’s not exactly known how much out of let’s say a 100mg of CoQ10 is absorbed but it’s probably 50mg. And the rest is not being properly absorbed and utilized.
So there are things to naturally lower cholesterol: one, adequate exercise; two, avoidance of a really high glycemic index diet – in other words, not constantly indulging of sweet-toothed by eating candy and drinking soda; in other words, controlling insulin releases – two, yes, somewhat limit your over consumption of animal fats. But there are natural remedies, for example, niacin. I’m sure you’ve heard of that as being helpful at lowering cholesterol. If you took it alone, I would say very negligible. But if you combine it with something else called gugulipid, plus red rice yeast — there’s ample research that does lower cholesterol – and Lecithin and better yet, a combination a nutrient that combines all of those in one tablet. I carry one. People regularly report lowering cholesterol by doing that.
On a little side note, we often see marked reduction in cholesterol when we do a gall bladder purge. In other words, for week we have someone add to their diet a quarter and a half of apple cider, unfiltered apple cider and on the last day, they do a protocol. And I’m not gonna tell you what that protocol is because if I told you, you’d say no I couldn’t do that but it’s a little involved in the last day but you finish with a consumption of olive oil and a citrus juice. And by doing that, you cause the gall bladder to essentially squeeze itself so that it’s emptying itself of gall stones. Gall stones and for that matter bio oil consists primarily of cholesterol. And when someone adequately purges the gall balder, often within days, their cholesterol level drops as much as 60-90 points. It’s really remarkable.
So I might postulate from that that having what’s called cholelithiais or sluggishness of the gall bladder system due to gall stones, that alone could elevate your cholesterol because you’re not adequately ridding yourself of bile which is cholesterol rich. So that would be another question to ask someone who has elevating cholesterol levels. Do you have difficulty digesting fatty foods? Are you prone to abdominal cramping after you eat?
So I hope that’s not overly thorough perspective on cholesterol. It’s a lot to take in but it’s really important to understand it rather than just following the herd and saying, “Oh my cholesterol levels high. I better take a statin drug.”
Glenn: That’s good, Will. Thanks.
Will: By the way, that gall bladder purge that protocol – and I of course suggest following that to the latter – is called the Edgar Cayce gallbladder purge. And you probably could find that online. If you have difficulty, ask me; I can fax you a copy of that. Scan you a copy of it. Let me know. I’m happy to send that.
Download Your Free Copy of the Edgar Cayce Gallbladder Purge
He also answers a listener question about a standing desk vs. a standard sitting desk.
Ask Will A Question
Glenn: Will, I have a listener question. This is from Gerald from the United Kingdom. “I know that sitting is bad for my back but I have desk job and cannot use a standing desk. What would you recommend?”
Will: That’s really a bigger question than you might realize because really the question is what is my ideal posture or body positioning, and this applies whether you’re sitting or standing. The simplest way to think about proper sitting and standing position would be if I’d look at you from the side, and I visualize a plum line drop from your ears, that line should hit your shoulders. But for nearly everyone if you watch them sitting in at their computer in the car while watching TV, while reading and certainly while texting, you would see that that plum line drops from the ear and hits the lap. So if all you do is shift your head on a horizontal plain to move your ears back over your shoulders, everything else under finds its own proper neutral. In other words, you can’t move your ears back over your shoulders without properly straightening the lower portions of your back from that point down. So if I were going to get really particular, I’d say the ideal sitting position would be ears over shoulders, slide your seat or lower back all the way to the back of the seat, then come about one inch forward and ideally, your feet would be flat on the floor. and I’m not terribly particular about whether or not your thighs end up at horizontal or greater, in other words knees above hips, but that also maybe slightly helpful.
Listen to “What Is Cholesterol” Here
- Dr. Harden’s website, Corbett Hill Wellness Center
- Dr. Harden’s Supplement Shop
- Dr. Will Bar (delicious, nutritious food bars)
Be A Patron
How much is this health information worth to you? If you find value in the Live Fit Podcast please consider becoming a patron and giving what you can, perhaps $1 an episode. You may give more or less if you prefer. Your money will go toward helping me improve the production quality and paying the other related expenses – and for keeping it commercial free. I don’t like advertisements in the shows I watch and listen to, that is one reason I like podcasts. However, more and more shows have advertising on them. I don’t want to do that. Your financial support will help me keep this show for you.
You Might Also Like
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Live Fit Podcast. If you found it helpful, please subscribe and share it with your friends.