Does LDL (“bad”) Cholesterol Prevent Cancer?


Low LDL (so called “bad”) cholesterol has already been linked to increased dementia. New research indicates that cholesterol has a role in cancer prevention as well. Maybe LDL cholesterol isn’t the bad guy after all.

We have long held that, in most cases, LDL cholesterol levels are what they are for a reason, even if we don’t know what the reason is. In view of that, we think it is a dangerous idea to tamper with it.

Nonetheless, most of the medical community treats even mildly elevated levels as life threatening and starts slinging pills at it, primarily statins.

We reported here on a study that found that higher levels of cholesterol were actually protective against heart disease, stunning, to say the least. Conventional medical wisdom completely turned on its head.

There is substantial research, here for instance, tying low cholesterol to higher rates of dementia (Alzheimer’s)

The latest research, found here, indicates that the risk of four very common cancers is reduced in people with high levels of cholesterol. And not reduced by some piddly amounts either. Lung cancer down 20%, colorectal down 30%, and breast and prostate cancer over 40%. These are big results.


Leave It Alone!

All this taken together should be a clarion call to leave cholesterol alone. Meaning stop statin use. At this point, there is no known overall benefit to taking statins and a spate of downsides.

But we digress. Why is cholesterol good? This is the wrong question. The right question is “why is cholesterol bad?”

Cholesterol is a cellular construction material. It is essential. So essential, in fact, that cells make their own. The cholesterol circulating in the blood, the one the medical profession is so apoplectic about, is a backup supply generated by the liver. It is there so that any cells with shortages can grab some out of the bloodstream.

How did cholesterol get a bad name?

An anti-fat, anti-red-meat, anti-cholesterol movement sprang up in the 70s. It was supposedly justified by data from the famous Framingham study, wherein those with high levels of cholesterol had more heart disease. The US government, congress in particular, reacted with the food pyramid, in effect declaring animal product evil. The grain and cereal interests lobbied strongly for that food pyramid. The medical profession chimed in with a crusade against LDL cholesterol and saturated fat. Evidence? Don’t distract us with that. It’s there, trust us.

So what about that Framingham study?

The Framingham study itself proved very little. The people getting heart attacks had high cholesterol. They also were overweight, tended to smoke, and tended to drink. Which of those factors was the bad guy? Better studies, done later, largely exonerate LDL cholesterol (and saturated fat as well).

The Framingham data “proving” cholesterol is bad just wasn’t there. It looks like it was used to push certain interests. But the idea stuck. Fat was bad, especially animal fat, cholesterol was bad. All must be combatted. The war on these began, and 50 years later, it rages on.

Imagine this. Half a century of medical practice based almost entirely on a flawed study. If it weren’t actually happening, no one would believe it possible, it sounds so medieval. Whatever happened to the “age of reason?”

What about studies indicating that high cholesterol in midlife leads to problems later?

Again, the question has to be asked: why was the cholesterol high? If it was high due to a reckless lifestyle, then yes, later on, the piper will be paid. But if someone behaves and just happens to have high cholesterol, there is a good reason for it, and throwing drugs at it is a bad idea.

Why might high cholesterol be more important in later years?

Pretty simple logic here. As we age, our cells become less efficient at every thing they do, including cholesterol production. But they still need cholesterol, and they will get it from the liver, so long as the medical profession keeps their hands off of things.

Quantitative Medicine and LDL cholesterol

Quantitative Medicine advocates about two-dozen critical blood test measurements. From these, health and future risk may be assessed with remarkable accuracy, and modified as well. The two-dozen do NOT include LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol simply has not been found to have predictive value. The body knows best.

Bottom line on statins and other cholesterol reducing drugs

Time they went the way of trans fat and leeches.

How long will it take the medical profession to change their mind.

My guess—35 years. Many doctors still forbid their patients eggs and other dietary sources, even though this has been known to have no effect on circulating cholesterol for at least 25 years, maybe 50. In the meantime, countless millions are having their cholesterol lowered, a bad idea in almost every sense.


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