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Life Extension Magazine

September 2003

Treating High Cholesterol by Replacing Hormones Lost to Aging
by Sergey A. Dzugan, Ph.D. & R. Arnold Smith, M.D.

Could it be that everything we think we know about cholesterol is wrong? Current conventional wisdom assumes that we obtain too much cholesterol in our diet or produce too much in our liver. A shocking finding by two Life Extension medical advisors reveals that the underlying cause of excess serum cholesterol is a multi-hormone deficiency. Since cholesterol is the precursor to steroidal hormones, when we become deficient in pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, etc., our body responds by overproducing cholesterol in an attempt to restore healthy hormone balance.

To confirm their findings, Drs. Arnold Smith and Sergey Dzugan conducted a clinical study on 41 patients with high cholesterol between years 1997 and 2003. The astounding result from this study was that by properly replacing the steroidal hormones lost to normal aging, 100% of the subjects experienced a significant reduction in blood cholesterol levels.

Today, cholesterol-lowering drugs are the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. These drugs induce side effects and fail to address the underlying reason (hormone deficiency) for why the body is overproducing cholesterol. This article describes how a deficiency in these youth hormones (pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, etc.) is the underlying cause of many disorders associated with normal aging, including hypercholesterolemia. It then goes on to discuss ways that aging humans can safely restore their hormones to healthy levels.

The findings you are about to read could radically alter the way aging humans with high cholesterol are medically treated. It also confirms previous findings showing that hormone imbalance is the culprit behind many age-related disorders.

Our article will concentrate on the 58 million Americans who represent the market of the “worried well.” The focus of this discussion is hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) and a possible novel approach to the correction of cholesterol disorder.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is still a leading cause of mortality in developed countries.1-3 Numerous studies have shown that hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for coronary atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (MI).4,5 Doctors and patients have struggled for years to find ways to lower cholesterol levels with pharmaceutical drugs and diet modifications. Most countries currently have public health strategies that attempt to lower the level of cholesterol.6

Despite considerable success in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis remains a serious problem in the healthcare system.

The lowering of cholesterol is the primary measure to prevent cardiovascular disease. If cholesterol-lowering drugs (CLD) could prevent the origin of hypercholesterolemia, it would be a major contribution to the health of the general population. But unfortunately, cholesterol-lowering drugs only diminish the symptoms of the disease known as hypercholesterolemia, and not its underlying cause.

The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs has risen substantially in most countries7,8 yet there remains intense debate about their overall efficacy. A number of studies show that although primary prevention is effective, long-term tolerability is still a matter of controversy.9,10 Several studies suggest that the reduction of total cholesterol in blood by CLD is accompanied by a decrease in the incidence of CHD, but not in total mortality.11,12 The benefits associated with cholesterol reduction may not outweigh the risks in all patients with hypercholesterolemia. Cholesterol-lowering interventions should be recommended with caution in patients with increased risk of cancer, stroke and depression.13

Recommendations to lower serum cholesterol are widespread, yet low serum cholesterol is associated with poorly understood morbidity.14 Unfortunately CLD is associated with serious side effects, which were seen in 4% to 38% of patients, resulting in discontinuation or dose reduction.15-17 Low or reduced serum cholesterol concentration increases mortality from hemorrhagic stroke and violent deaths.18-20 The adverse events, including poor quality of life, severe rhabdomyolysis, renal failure and death indicate the need to find better treatment regimens for cholesterol elevation.21,22

The concept of quality of life adjusted survival has been developed in many areas of medicine to address an increasing awareness that survival alone, while easily measured, should not be the sole determinant of superiority in assessing interventional therapies.

Aging is a global dilemma. Due to an increase in the segment population over age 65, an increase in cardiovascular morbidity is predicted.23 There is a correlation of decreasing production of multiple steroidal hormones (testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, etc.) with intercurrent life threatening lipid disorders. Different studies presented controversial results of using estrogens, progestogens, androgens and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for lipid disorder correction.24-29 There is a lot of information about the effect of estrogen therapy with or without progestogen on the level of cholesterol in medical literature. Nonetheless, the findings about the benefit of such hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the prevention of cardiovascular disease are still very controversial.30-34

We suggest a new hypothesis for hypercholesterolemia and in this article we will try to present the main points of this hypothesis.35,36 Also, we will describe a new method of cholesterol disorder correction by the rejuvenation of steroid hormonal profile.

Cholesterol and your body
We will evaluate the problem with hypercholesterolemia from a non-traditional point of view. We know that the plasma cholesterol levels increase with age, as does the incidence of CHD.37,38 The mechanism responsible for the age-related hypercholesterolemia is not well understood. Conventional medicine understands the reason for the elevation of cholesterol only partially. Genetic risk and a high fat diet are the two main reasons shown in most medical textbooks. Although much is known about hypercholesterolemia and the associated risk for the development of atherosclerosis, very few researchers have focused on cholesterol metabolism.14,39

There is an enormous level of confusion about the whole area of cholesterol, so we will provide the information in a simple concise manner.