Did you know cholesterol is not a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease? Yes, you heard that right. Virtually all of us have been victimized by the anti-cholesterol propaganda campaign. The truth is cholesterol is an essential substance, our brains are made up of cholesterol as well as our Nervous System. Cholesterol is also our body’s natural anti-inflammatory. Blaming cholesterol for cardiovascular disease is like blaming the firefighter for the fire.
So What Happened?
Interestingly, the propaganda started with the processed food industry. Specifically the seed oil industry. The billions of dollars spent towards this goal was enough to sway the minds of millions of Americans.
Next, statins, a class of lipid-lowering medications, were invented, accompanied by a paradigm shift in the establishment. Suddenly cholesterol was the demon of the century. The all-out war has been going on for over 25 years now. It still continues, even though we have known for over 5 years that cholesterol is not a risk factor.
Why Are Statins Bad For Us?
The first danger is liver damage. Statins work by blocking the enzyme HMG CoA reductase so that the liver can no longer synthesize its own cholesterol. Statins interfere with normal liver metabolism and inhibit the liver’s production of many essential substances while damaging the liver in the process. This is why you need to have your liver enzymes checked every 6 months once starting statins.
Another danger of statins is musculoskeletal pain that can be severe and frequently misdiagnosed. The myopathy caused by statins involves elevated CPK indicative of muscle breakdown. This can overload the kidney with CPK leading to possible kidney failure or even death.
Still Think High Cholesterol Is Bad For You?
- Your nerves are made of cholesterol.
- Your body uses cholesterol to make all your important sex hormones and adrenal hormones.
- Without cholesterol to help your digestion, you couldn’t absorb any of your fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E.
- Every single cell in your body is surrounded by a membrane containing cholesterol, and that without that cholesterol membrane no cell in your body could function.
- Cholesterol is so important that your liver produces 2000 milligrams of cholesterol every day.
- When following a low cholesterol diet, your liver makes up the difference by producing more cholesterol just to be sure you have enough.
- High cholesterol in the blood doesn’t come from eating foods high in cholesterol; it comes from a metabolism that is not efficient at handling the cholesterol you need.
- People with Low Serum Cholesterol (less than 180) have 3 times the incidence of strokes.
- People with Low Cholesterol (lower than 200) suffer nearly 40% of all Heart Attacks.
- A study done by Gilman, et al and published in the December 24, 1997 Journal of the American Medical Association found that “Your risk of stroke decreases by 15% for every 3% increase in saturated fat intake."
- Ratio of Triglycerides to HDL cholesterol is probably the #1 risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease. In other words, you want High HDL Cholesterol and Low Triglycerides.
Cholesterol is Vital
It may surprise you to learn that cholesterol is not a terrible demon at all. In fact, cholesterol is an absolutely vital substance; you would become very weak and die without cholesterol, it is that important.
So while selling billions of dollars worth of Statins a year, people are actually in worse shape. Cardiovascular disease is still our #1 killer. Yet statins are still one of the most prescribed medications in the world. Don’t fall for the scam!
Hiraga T, Shimada M, Tsukada T, Murase T. Hypertriglyceridemia, but not hypercholesterolemia, is associated with the alterations of fibrinolytic system. Horm Metab Res 1996; 28(11):603-6. 15 16
Gillman MW, Cupples LA, Millen BE, Ellison RC, Wolf PA. Inverse association of dietary fat with development of ischemic stroke in men. JAMA. 1997 Dec 24-31;278(24):2145-50.
Davignon J, Cohn JS. Triglycerides: a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Atherosclerosis 1996;124:S57-64.
Mohaupt MG, MD, Karas RH, MD, PhD. Association between statin-associated myopathy and skeletal muscles damage. CMAJ 2009; vol. 181 no.1-2
Golmb BA, MD, PhD, Evans MA. BS; Statin Adverse Effects: A Review of the Literature Ecience for a Mitochondrial Mechanism. NCBI 2008; 8(6):373-418
Miller AL, Kelly GS. Homocysteine Metabolism: Nutritional modulation and impact on health and disease. Alt Med Rev 1997;2(4):234-254.
Grau AJ, Buggle F, Beeher H,etal. The association of leukocyte count, fibrinogen, and c-reactive protein with vascular risk factors and ischemic vascular diseases. Thromb Res 1996; 82(3):245- 255.
Assman G, Schulte H. Triglycerides and atherosclerosis: results from the prospective cardiovascular Münster study. Atheroscler Rev 1991; 22:51-63.