New Study finds LDL-Cholesterol Beneficial

HDL-LDLLDL-Cholesterol, Often Called “Bad” Cholesterol Has Been the Heart Disease Boogey Man for Three Quarters of a Century. It Is the Basis for the Multi-Billion Dollar Statin Industry. A New Study in the Prestigious British Medical Journal Not Only Calls This into Question, But Completely Turns the Tables, Asserting that High LDL Cholesterol Is Protective, and That the Lipid Hypothesis Is Bunk.

The lipid hypothesis goes back to the 1940s and Ancel Keys. The idea is simple. High circulating cholesterol causes heart disease. The only problem is that it has remained a hypothesis. It has never been proven. Actually, many would claim that it was proven by the JUPITER trial and others, but JUPITER and the others were run by the pharmaceutical industry. Let’s not even go down that tawdry path.

The robustness of the lipid hypothesis is impressive. It has withstood numerous assaults here and there that cast considerable doubt. For instance, most people with dementia have low cholesterol. Are cholesterol-lowering drugs, like statins, causing this? Here, we have an open question. (Imagine the consequences for a moment if this turns out to be the case.)

Another chink in the armor is the fact that there is no mortality benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. More on that here.

LDL-vs-HeartYet another can be found by looking at our China Study app found here. Scroll the upper box down to P003: NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL, and the lower mortality box to M006: ALL CAUSES AGE 70-79, and click Plot. The slope is downward indicating that higher cholesterol associates with less death. That’s all cause moratlity. To look at the effect on heart disease only, select M059: ALL VASCULAR DISEASE. Still a downward sloping line indicating high LDL cholesterol is protective.


The New Paper

The British Medical Journal paper, found here, reached this stark conclusion: “Conclusions: High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic).” This is quite a statement. What this means is that several decades of stuffing statins down the throats of everyone over 50 has been for nought. (In fact it quite clearly has caused problems. See here and here.)

The researchers looked at numerous studies, eventually choosing 30 representing 68,000 people 60 and older. They found that not only did people with high LDL cholesterol live longer, they also had lower rates of death from heart disease. This flies so strongly in the face of conventional medical wisdom that it is hard grasp. It’s sort of like: “uh, sorry, guess we amputated the wrong leg.”

The findings aren’t miniscule either. The higher cholesterol=lower death trend is quite strong for a vast majority of the people studied.

Lipitor_No_Exercise_AdSo why, you may ask, are we only finding this out in 2016? Actually, there have been many people speaking out against this cholesterol-lowering craze for a long time. We were not the only ones. But we were only a few weak voices. This competes very poorly with multimillion dollar big-pharma ad campaigns that are literally everywhere. Here’s a particularly disingenuous example. If that guy does go on statins, he can forget the gym. Exercise has no benefit for statin users.

And big-pharma financed trials have proven again and again just what they were designed to prove: that their pills “work.” But the blame must be shared. Standard medicine is equally guilty, and they are going to look like such idiots if they have to own up to this that you can be sure they will find some way to bury it. Or attempt to. Hopefully some ethical consideration will ultimately triumph. The British Medical Journal is perhaps a shining example here.

Cholesterol Is Tightly Regulated

Cholesterol is regulated by the hypothalamus. If it is forced low, cells lose their structural integrity, something we obviously do not want. Would this cause problems? Certainly. In fact statins not only lower cholesterol, they act as an antiinflammatory and suppress the immune system. Other drugs that only lower cholesterol, such as ezetimibe, cause significant problems. Still the drug industry is trotting out drug after drug, using the lipid hypothesis as the grand justification.

Is Cholesterol Important Then?

Yes. Here are some cholesterol FAQs

  • Cholesterol is a major cell wall building block. Cells can make their own, but it so important that the liver makes a backup supply and circulates it in the blood. Given this, it is not too much of a surprise that attempts to lower cholesterol, using statins, for instance, are not turning out well.
  • The LDL cholesterol particles that are dangerous are the small ones. These are the ones that can get behind arteries. The cause of small cholesterol particles is high triglycerides (circulating fat), and the cause of high triglycerides if high amounts of circulating glucose. Eating fat, paradoxically, does not cause high amounts of circulating fat. The reason for that is explained here.
  • HDL cholesterol prevents heart disease and cancer. HDL particles circulate in the blood and hoover up any rancid cholesterol. They are basically a garbage collection fleet.

If you are on statins, you might want to share the British Medical Journal paper with your doctor. If fact, share it in any case.

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