The 6 Greatest Cholesterol Myths Debunked

Could it be that pretty much everything your doctor and the media has had you believe about high cholesterol and its connection to heart disease, is false?

YES!

As I recently tucked into an avocado salad, it got me thinking about cholesterol and how misunderstood it is. In fact, its poor reputation has tainted the credibility of some of nature’s highest value food sources, and it is high time the record was set straight.

Here, I debunk six of the most common myths about cholesterol.

Myth Number 1: Cholesterol Will Kill You

This is simply not true. Cholesterol is your friend, not your enemy. Essential to good health, especially women’s wellness, cholesterol should not be something that is feared and revered when eating a nutritious diet.

It is a naturally occurring product found in the body which is made by the liver. It is vital to normal cell function and is the parent molecule for such major hormones as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It is critical to the immune system and the brain.

For example, even if you did not consume any cholesterol at all, you would still find it present in your body. Your diet is actually secondary when it comes to looking at cholesterol levels, but this is often ignored by the doctors.

Myth Number 2: High Cholesterol Causes Coronary Heart Disease

God food: One of the best fruits you can eat

There is NO proven link between dietary cholesterol and coronary heart disease.

Numerous studies have been done which claim to show a link, but all have been flawed and NONE have been conclusive. This, we now know.

The most influential study of all – the Seven Countries Study done in 1953 by Dr. Ancel Keys – involved a highly suspicious model of analysis in itself, with Dr. Keys removing statistics which did not ‘agree’ with his ideology. Having taken data from 22 countries, he only took note of the seven countries whose evidence supported his views, discounting the rest. Incredibly, it is this paper upon which the whole cholesterol theory is based. Can you believe it?

“If all 22 countries had been analysed, there would have been no correlation found whatsoever,” confirms leading physician, Dr. Joseph Mercola.

As a result of the study, everyone was told to cut out butter, red meat, animal fats, eggs and dairy from their diet. This approach is mistakenly still in force around the world today, which brings me to my next point.

Myth Number 3: Saturated Fat Is Dangerous

Coconut oil

There is absolutely no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease, as two major studies have recently confirmed.

The biggest issue for the body in terms of fats is WHERE THEY ARE FROM.

Raw fats from a healthy natural diet are GOOD! Your body NEEDS these in order to thrive. They even help REDUCE heart disease.

Artificial and chemically induced fats from processed food are to be avoided at all times.

Great sources of healthy fats include nuts, wild fish, wild and grass-fed meats, seeds (such as chia and flaxseeds), avocados, organic free-range eggs, olive oil and coconut oil.

Myth Number 4: The Higher Your cholesterol, The Shorter Your Lifespan

In a major inquiry into cholesterol known as the Framington Study, those who actually lived the longest had the highest cholesterol. Fact.

Myth Number 5: High Cholesterol Is A Good Predictor Of Heart Attacks

Statistics actually show that more than 50 percent of people admitted to hospitals with cardiovascular disease have NORMAL cholesterol, where those with high cholesterol are seen to have HEALTHY hearts.

Myth Number 6: Lowering Cholesterol With Statin Drugs Will Prolong Life

Research shows no difference in death rates between patients who take statins and those who don’t. In fact, statin medication can cause major negative side effects on the body, such as loss of memory, loss of libido, muscle pain and fatigue.

So there you have it – my opinions on cholesterol in a nutshell.

I actually believe that heart disease is more likely to be a result of stress and the consumption of processed foods, especially refined sugar. When you have stress in the body, it causes a spike in cortisol, which breaks down vitamin C. When you have a long-term subtle deficiency of vitamin C, this causes a weakening of the arterial walls and then in your body’s natural intelligence it, uses readily available cholesterol in the bloodstream to patch up the weakening arterial walls.

This is your body trying to protect itself from arterial wall damage. We call this healing process atherosclerotic plaques or heart disease. We then prescribe statins to reduce cholesterol and try and ‘fix’ the problem. The underlying cause, stress and vitamin C deficiency is rarely addressed.

I would love to see the case against cholesterol reopened and the evidence reassessed. But then the drug companies might not like that …

Creating the ‘High’ Cholesterol Myth – Why Your Cholesterol Level is Normal and NOT High.

Pharmaceutical companies and those people in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies have altered the definition of high cholesterol in order to increase the number of people who are eligible to take cholesterol medications. This article explains how many people who have been told they have ‘high’ cholesterol, in fact have a normal cholesterol level.

What is Normal Cholesterol?

The measurement and recording of physical, biological and social data reveals that most things exhibit a normal distribution or bell shaped curve. This phenomenon has been observed for centuries. It is the most fundamental and the most widely used concept of statistical analysis. The bell curve has certain characteristics. For example, if we measure the height of the population within a country we would find that most people have an average height, a small number of people are very tall and a small number of people are very short. This is a normal distribution and is represented by the typical bell shaped curve.

As would be expected, the range of values that are found for cholesterol levels within a population also follow a normal distribution. And cholesterol levels vary tremendously between different people. Supporters of cholesterol-lowering medications would have us believe that the ideal cholesterol level is below 200 mg/dl (or 5 mmol/l), but we have known for decades that cholesterol varies from 105 mg/dl to 343 mg/dl (or 2.8 to 8.8 mmol/l) in people who are perfectly healthy. The figure below shows the range of cholesterol levels found in healthy people.

Normal Distribution of Healthy Cholesterol Levels

This same range of cholesterol levels has been seen in people who do have heart disease and people who do not have heart disease, as documented by Professor Brisson using data from the Framingham Study – which is one of the largest studies ever done on cholesterol.

Since the Framingham Study, other studies have also confirmed that people with heart disease have the same cholesterol levels as people who do not have heart disease.

For example, in the UK, the typical person who has a heart attack tends to have the same cholesterol level that is seen for middle-aged and older people in the general population. Something that is not unique to the UK.

A study published in the Lancet, included 5,754 patients from Australia and New Zealand who had already had a heart attack. The average cholesterol level of this group of people was around 220 mg/dl (5.7 mmol/l). Data from the World Health Organisation Global Infobase shows that around the same time, the average cholesterol level for the general population was also 220 mg/dl (5.7 mmol/l). People who suffered a heart attack had the same average cholesterol level as the general population.

A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology included 8,500 American men with existing heart disease. The average cholesterol level for this group of people was around 215 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/l), which again, according to the World Health Organisation is around the same or even slightly lower than the average cholesterol level for the general population.

Screenshot from STATIN NATION. Lowering the threshold massively increases the market size for statins overnight

It wasn’t that long ago that we were told anything above 250 mg/dl (6.5 mmol/l) was too high. And over the last few years the threshold has progressively been lowered and lowered – each time without scientific evidence to support the lowering of the threshold, and each time the decision to lower the threshold being taken by experts with links to the companies that make statins. Of course, each time the threshold is lowered, millions more people become eligible for cholesterol-lowering medications – massively increasing the market size for the drugs.
Screenshot from STATIN NATION. Lowering the threshold massively increases the market size for statins overnight.
Screenshot from STATIN NATION. Lowering the threshold massively increases the market size for statins overnight.

And in fact, despite all the hype about cholesterol, many industrialised countries around the world have seen a significant reduction in the average cholesterol level and even greater reductions in the number of people with so called “high” cholesterol – before the widespread use of statins!

For example, in the United States, the number of people with a cholesterol level above 240 mg/dl (6.2 mmol/l) in 2002 was around half the number in 1962. A similar trend can be seen in England.

The general perception is that people in industrialised countries have high cholesterol as a result of poor lifestyle choices. First of all, the cholesterol level has not risen – it was already falling before the widespread use of statins. Secondly, cholesterol levels are not high, but normal for most people. Thirdly, people with heart disease have the same average cholesterol levels as healthy people. And the fourth point is that cholesterol lowering does not reduce the risk of heart disease.

For example in the UK, between 1994 and 2006 the percentage of men aged 65 to 74 with ‘high’ cholesterol decreased from 87% to 54%. Despite this, the rate of coronary heart disease for this age group stayed about the same. Other age groups have experienced an increase in the rate of heart disease as the number of people with ‘high’ cholesterol has decreased.

Those with vested interests have done a really good job of confusing people about normal cholesterol levels and created a huge amount of unnecessary fear about cholesterol solely for the purpose of turning healthy people into patients.

References:

http://www.statinnation.net/blog/2016/5/28/creating-the-high-cholesterol-myth-why-your-cholesterol-level-is-normal-and-not-high

Brisson, G.J., 1981. Lipids in Human Nutrition: An Appraisal of Some Dietary Concepts Jack Burgess, New Jersey

Crossman, D. Science, Medicine, and the Future: The Future of the Management of Ischaemic Heart Disease British Medical Journal 1997; 314:356

Smith, J., 2009. $29 Billion Reasons to Lie about Cholesterol: Making Profit by Turning Healthy people into Patients. Troubador, Leicester

Smith, R.L., 1993. The Cholesterol Conspiracy. Warren Green, Missouri

Allender S, Peto V, Scarborough P, Kaur A & Rayner M (2008a) Coronary Heart Disease Statistics. Chapter 10 blood cholesterol. London: British Heart Foundation.

Allender S, Peto V, Scarborough P, Kaur A & Rayner M (2008b) Coronary Heart Disease Statistics. Chapter 2 morbidity. London: British Heart Foundation.

Allender S, Peto V, Scarborough P, Boxer A & Rayner M (2007) Coronary Heart Disease Statistics. Chapter 2 Morbidity. British Heart Foundation: London.

Carroll MD et al (2005) Trends in serum lipids and lipoproteins of adults, 1960–2002. Journal of the American Medical Association 294 pp1773–1781.

Durrington P (2003) Dyslipidaemia. Lancet 362 717–731.

Rubins HB et al (1995) Distribution of lipids in 8,500 men with coronary artery disease. The American Journal of Cardiology 75 1202–1205.

Sachdeva A et al (2009) Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: an analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in get with the guidelines. American Heart Journal 157 111–117.

World Health Organization (2009) Global Infobase [online].

Sources: http://www.ncbi…http://www.ncbi…http://well.blogs.nytimes…http://www.framinghamheartstudy…,
http://jama.jamanetwork…http://www.ncbi…http://www.thelancet…http://ije.oxfordjournals…,
http://www.ravnskov…http://articles.mercola.com… & http://sevencountriesstudy…

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