Today I want to talk to you about safe blood cholesterol levels. What is a safe range for blood cholesterol levels? What is an ideal level of blood cholesterol?

The medically acceptable range is a blood cholesterol below 200 mg. per deciliter (dL). In some countries it would be below 5.2 millimoles (mmol) per liter. But the truth is, people still have heart attacks at 200 mg. per deciliter. The true ideal range to get your cholesterol into is below 150 mg. per deciliter, which is also below 3.9 millimoles per liter.

The scientific community knows this because in the Framingham Heart Study – the longest running heart disease study ever undertaken which began in the 1950s – medical researches like Dr. William Castelli showed us that people with a total blood cholesterol below 150 – or 3.9 millimoles per liter – almost never had a heart attack. So we now understand this to be the ideal rate.

And then of course there is the matter of good vs. bad cholesterol. The bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), should be no higher than 72 mg. per deciliter. So out of the 150 – the total – only 72 of that should be the bad cholesterol. If we're dealing with millimoles per liter (as we would say in Canada) then it should be under 1.8 millimoles per liter and up to 3.9 total cholesterol, with only 1.8 millimoles per liter being the LDL cholesterol fraction.

The problem that exists in healthcare today is that unless you have other complicated factors that would increase your risks for heart disease, most medical doctors will allow your cholesterol to creep as high as 200 mg. per deciliter, or 5.2 millimoles per liter, before they would even consider taking action. But as I said earlier, heart attacks can occur even at that level and within that range, so we want it to be much lower. Doctors aren't aggressive enough, not in my opinion.

Secondly, when they do ask, they usually give you a statin drug to lower your cholesterol rather than featuring the important effects of diet and lifestyle.

With statin drugs comes the risk of liver, kidney and muscle damage, which can be significant, and to be honest, life threatening.

I'm not saying that no one should ever take a statin drug, but in 90 percent of all cases you can get your cholesterol within the ideal range with diet and lifestyle. So the first action, in most cases, should be getting on the right dietary and lifestyle program because only 10 percent of all cases actually require medication as a starting point. And remember, high cholesterol is a cardinal risk factor for cardiovascular disease so you do need to get your cholesterol down, one way or another. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death.

In order to gain clarity and be proactive I suggest you download my Cholesterol Lowering Lifestyle program right from this site to learn the strategies and start acting on them immediately.

At www.meschinohealth.com you'll see my published review papers, videos, live footage from different seminars that I've taught and other resources and free downloads to help you to live a long and healthy, functional life. My review articles and teaching materials are complete with their corresponding medical and scientific references; you're on solid scientific footing, receiving evidence-based information on every topic on our website.

I strongly suggest you use our website, www.meschinohealth.com as an ongoing, reliable resource for health and wellness information for both you and your family.

Visit www.meschinohealth.com for more information.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. James Meschino, D.C., M.S., N.D., who holds a Masters degree in science with specialties in nutrition and biology, is a Fellow of the Academy of Anti-Aging Research, a doctor of Naturopathy, and the authour of four wellness/anti-aging books.