Razor starred in Harry Redknapp’s ITV documentary Harry’s Heroes, where they were challenged with getting fit in order to face a fellow German football team. But Harry was so concerned about Razor, who at the time weighed 23 stone, he sent him to see a heart specialist, who offered a very bleak prognosis. Doctor Enam Abood told him: “Your good cholesterol is weak and your bad cholesterol is higher than it should be. Given your lifestyle and your family history, we’ve really got to do something quite drastic about that – and I’m talking about medication to protect you. If I don’t intervene, you are at a risk of having a heart attack and a stroke. Razor, you cannot afford to take this lightly please.”
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in the body.
The liver makes cholesterol, and it is also in some foods, such as meat and dairy products.
The body needs some cholesterol to work properly. However, having too much cholesterol in the blood raises the risk of coronary artery disease.
Medline Plus said: “LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes referred to as “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a build up of cholesterol in your arteries.
“Coronary heart disease happens when the plaque buildup is in the arteries of your heart. It causes the arteries to become hardened and narrowed, which slows down or blocks the blood flow to your heart.
“Since your blood carries oxygen to your heart, this mean that your heart may not be able to get enough oxygen.
“This can cause angina, or if the blood flow is completely blocked, a heart attack.”
Neil, clearly perturbed by the diagnosis, decided to take action. He proceeded to lose four stone, bringing his weight down to 19 stone.
Talking of the achievement in the documentary, he said: “Men are scared to get bad news.
“Both my older brothers have got problems. One’s got a stent. It is in my family. You think it’ll never happen to you, but it can.
“I’m happy I’ve seen the doctor. It can be resolved, so I’m happy we got there in time.”
Revealing the secret to his weight loss, he told What’s On TV: “I lost a lot of weight, with all the training I probably put 11 pound of muscle on, I think I only lost a couple pound, about 3 pounds I think.
“When I started I couldn’t do two lengths of the swimming pool, now I bang out 30 lengths, not a problem. I just didn’t realise how badly I was struggling with that.”
Medline lists the factors that affect a person’s LDL level which include:
- Physical activity
- Age and gender
- Other medical conditions such as kidney disease or diabetes
When it comes to a person’s diet, eating too much saturated fats and cholesterol in the food will make the blood cholesterol level rise.
The NHS said: “A low-fat, high fibre diet is recommended, which should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains.
“There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated.
“You should avoid food contains saturated fats, because these will increase the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.”