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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

CHOLESTEROL & HEART ATTACK RISK

Elevate cholesterol has almost nothing to do with heart attack risk notes Prof. Timothy Noakes

“There is so much evidence to show that it is not cholesterol [that increases heart attack risk],” notes Prof. Timothy Noakes, MD, DSc, PhD in an interview that he did on a Fat & Furious podcast.

“Cholesterol is a terribly poor predictor of heart attack risk.”

“It is so pathetic…”

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Feb 12, 2020 9:32 am | [0] comments

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

CHOLESTEROL & THE RISK OF DEATH

Higher cholesterol, 11-23% lower risk of death in men, 8-28% lower risk in women

Higher cholesterol levels were associated with an 11-23% lower risk of death in men, and an 8-28% lower risk of death in women compared with men and women with cholesterol levels of less than 193 mg/dL according to the HUNT 2 study from Norway.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Oct 23, 2019 3:24 pm | [0] comments

Friday, September 21, 2018

CHOLESTEROL & HEART DISEASE

People whose cholesterol levels decrease are at an INCREASED risk of death!

For years we have been told that lower cholesterol levels are associated with a lower risk of death.

But it turns out that this is not true!

Research shows that the exact opposite is true!

When cholesterol levels fall, people are at a greater risk of death, not a lower risk of death!

This is noted a new review paper by independent researchers Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, author of The Cholesterol Myths, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con, and other independent researchers.

In the review paper, they note:

“If high [total cholesterol] was the major cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], people with high [total cholesterol] should have a higher risk of dying from CVD.

“The hypothesis that high [total cholesterol] causes CVD [cardiovascular disease] was introduced in the 1960s by the authors of the Framingham Heart Study.

“However, in their 30-year follow-up study published in 1987, the authors reported that ‘For each 1 mg/dl drop in [total cholesterol] per year, there was an eleven percent [11%] increase in coronary and total mortality’.

“Three years later the American Heart Association and the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute published a joint summary [8] concluding “a one percent reduction in an individual’s [total cholesterol] results in an approximate two percent reduction in CHD [coronary heart disease] risk”.

“The authors fraudulently referred to the Framingham publication to support this widely quoted false conclusion.”

In other words, they’ve been lying to us for 30 years!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 11:50 pm | [0] comments

CHOLESTEROL & HEART DISEASE

There is no association between total cholesterol and the degree of atherosclerosis

There is no association between total cholesterol and the degree of atherosclerosis notes a new review paper by independent researchers Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, author of The Cholesterol Myths, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con, and others.

“If high [total cholesterol] causes atherosclerosis, people with high [total cholesterol] should have more atherosclerosis than people with low [total cholesterol]. In 1936 Landé and Sperry found that corrected for age, unselected people with low [total cholesterol] were just as atherosclerotic as people with high [total cholesterol]. Since then their seminal observation has been confirmed in at least a dozen studies,” they note.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 12:02 pm | [0] comments

Saturday, May 19, 2018

CHOLESTEROL

Men with cholesterol of less than 160 mg/dL 60% MORE likely to die vs 160-199 mg/dL over 5-13 years

Men whose total cholesterol levels were less than 160 mg/dL were 60% MORE likely to die during the next 5-13 years compared with men whose cholesterol levels were 160-199 mg/dL according to a 2008 meta-analysis of 5 studies in Japan which included a total of more than 173,000 people.

In other words, having LOW cholesterol levels was associated with a dramatically HIGHER risk of death.

Based on this data, do you think that it is a mistake to try and lower your cholesterol levels as low as possible as recommended by the “experts”?

Yes, of course it is!

It is a big mistake!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 19, 2018 11:55 am | [0] comments

CHOLESTEROL

Men with total cholesterol of 200-239 mg/dL 18% LESS likely to die vs 160-199 mg/dL over 5-13 years

Men whose total cholesterol levels were 200-239 mg/dL were 18% LESS likely to die during the next 5-13 years compared with men whose cholesterol levels were 160-199 mg/dL according to a 2008 meta-analysis of 5 studies in Japan which included a total of more than 173,000 people.

In other words, having HIGHER cholesterol levels was associated with a LOWER risk of death.

Or to say this in reverse, having HIGHER cholesterol levels was associated with a LOWER risk of death.

Why would I want to lower my cholesterol levels?

I don’t!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 19, 2018 11:50 am | [0] comments

CHOLESTEROL

Men with cholesterol of 240 mg/dL or greater 24% LESS likely to die vs 160-199 mg/dL over 5-13 years

Men whose total cholesterol levels were 240 mg/dL or greater were 24% LESS likely to die during the next 5-13 years compared with men whose cholesterol levels were 160-199 mg/dL according to a 2008 meta-analysis of 5 studies in Japan which included a total of more than 173,000 people.

In other words, having HIGHER cholesterol levels was associated with a LOWER risk of death.

Or to say this in reverse, having HIGHER cholesterol levels was associated with a LOWER risk of death.

Why would I want to lower my cholesterol levels?

I don’t!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 19, 2018 11:45 am | [0] comments

CHOLESTEROL

Women with cholesterol of less than 160 mg/dL 41% MORE likely to die over 5-13 years

Women whose total cholesterol levels were less than 160 mg/dL were 41% MORE likely to die during the next 5-13 years compared with women whose cholesterol levels were 160-199 mg/dL according to a 2008 meta-analysis of 5 studies in Japan which included a total of more than 173,000 people.

Data from this meta-analysis suggests that elevated cholesterol levels do NOT increase a woman’s risk of death, but if cholesterol levels are LOW — below 160 mg/dL — there is a dramatic (41%) INCREASED risk of death.

Should a woman try to lower her cholesterol levels?

No, I don’t think so!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 19, 2018 11:40 am | [0] comments

CHOLESTEROL

Women with total cholesterol of 200-239 mg/dL NO MORE likely to die vs 160-199 mg/dL over 5-13 years

Women whose total cholesterol levels were 200-239 mg/dL were NO MORE likely to die during the next 5-13 years compared with women whose cholesterol levels were 160-199 mg/dL according to a 2008 meta-analysis of 5 studies in Japan which included a total of more than 173,000 people.

Data from this meta-analysis suggests that elevated cholesterol levels do NOT increase a woman’s risk of death, but if cholesterol levels are LOW — below 160 mg/dL — there is a dramatic (41%) INCREASED risk of death.

Should a woman try to lower her cholesterol levels?

No, I don’t think so!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 19, 2018 11:35 am | [0] comments

CHOLESTEROL

Women with total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL or greater were NO MORE likely to die vs 160-199 mg/dL

Women whose total cholesterol levels were 240 mg/dL or GREATER were NO MORE likely to die during the next 5-13 years compared with women whose cholesterol levels were 160-199 mg/dL according to a 2008 meta-analysis of 5 studies in Japan.

Data from this meta-analysis suggests that elevated cholesterol levels do NOT increase a woman’s risk of death, but if cholesterol levels are LOW — below 160 mg/dL — there is a dramatic (41%) INCREASED risk of death.

Should a woman try to lower her cholesterol levels?

No, I don’t think so!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 19, 2018 11:30 am | [0] comments

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

TRANS FATS, CANCER AND HEART DISEASE

The increase in trans fats paralleled the increase in cancer and heart disease notes Mary Enig, PhD

"Trans fatty acids are sufficiently similar to natural fats that the body readily incorporates them into the cell membrane; once there their altered chemical structure creates havoc with thousands of necessary chemical reactions—everything from energy provision to prostaglandin production," writes lipid biochemist, Mary Enig, PhD, and journalist, Sally Fallon Morell in a wonderful, eye-opening article about fats and heart disease titled The Oiling of America.
"But most of the trans isomers in modern hydrogenated fats are new to the human physiology and by the early 1970's a number of researchers had expressed concern about their presence in the American diet, noting that their increasing use had paralleled the increase in both heart disease and cancer," they note. Read the entire article | Email this article
Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 5:48 am | [0] comments

Thursday, May 28, 2015

DR. MALCOLM KENDRICK

5-fold increased risk of dying from CHD when cholesterol levels fall 40 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) Dr Kendrick

The famous Framingham Study found that people whose cholesterol levels FELL by one (1) mmol per liter during the first 18 years of the study — roughly 40 mg per deciliter — were 500% MORE likely to DIE from coronary heart disease over the next 14 years notes Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of the wonderful book Doctoring Data: How to sort out medical advice from medical nonsense in this 3-minute video clip from an interview that Dr. Joseph Mercola did with Dr. Kendrick.

This information has NOT been publicized notes Dr. Kendrick.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Thu, May 28, 2015 1:35 pm | [0] comments

DR. MALCOLM KENDRICK

ALLHAT study found NO benefit to taking statins notes Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

The ONLY statin study that was NOT funded by the drug companies — The ALLHAT Study — found NO benefit to taking statins notes Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of the wonderful book Doctoring Data: How to sort out medical advice from medical nonsense in this 3-minute video clip from an interview that Dr. Joseph Mercola did with Dr. Kendrick.

All the other statin studies that have claimed to have found benefits have been paid for by the drug companies.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Thu, May 28, 2015 1:05 pm | [0] comments

Sunday, March 15, 2015

STATIN PROBLEMS

Statins increase erectile dysfunction 10-fold in young men

Statins increase erectile dysfunction 10-fold in young men taking the lowest dose of statins according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:48 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Statins can induce insulin resistance

Statins can induce insulin resistance according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:46 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Statins increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers 1.6-fold

Statins increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers 1.6-fold according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

“For unknown reasons, since these publications the squamous cell carcinoma has been excluded in all reports from subsequent statin trials,” the paper notes.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:44 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Long-term statin use is associated with a 23% increased risk of colorectal cancer

Long-term statin use (more than 4 years) is associated with a 23% increased risk of colorectal cancer according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:43 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Long-term statin use is associated with a 29% increased risk of bladder cancer

Long-term statin use (more than 4 years) is associated with a 29% increased risk of bladder cancer according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:42 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Long-term statin use is associated with a 18% increased risk of lung cancer

Long-term statin use (more than 4 years) is associated with a 18% increased risk of lung cancer according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:41 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

High cholesterol levels are protective in the elderly

“[H]igh cholesterol levels have been found to be protective in elderly” according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:40 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

High cholesterol levels are protective in heart failure patients

“[H]igh cholesterol levels have been found to be protective in… heart failure patients” according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:35 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Low cholesterol levels are associated with higher incidence of bleeding in the brain

Low cholesterol levels are associated with higher incidence of bleeding in the brain according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:30 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Low cholesterol levels are associated with higher incidence of depression

Low cholesterol levels are associated with higher incidence of depression according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:20 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Low cholesterol levels are associated with higher incidence of cancer

Low cholesterol levels are associated with higher incidence of cancer according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:10 pm | [0] comments

STATIN PROBLEMS

Higher cholesterol levels are associated with an decreased risk of Parkinson’s

Each mmol per liter (39 mg/dL) increase in cholesterol levels decreases the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease by 23% according to a recent review paper titled The Ugly Side of Statins.

“The risk reduction was significant in women but not in men,” the paper notes.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 1:50 pm | [0] comments

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD: Forward to Book by Michael Gurr, PhD

Whether diet plus plays a major role in heart disease is a question that interests us all. Author Ravnskov has a mission. To inform his readers that there is a side to this question other than the view usually presented to us.

Government and health authorities never tire of remaining those of us who live in industrialized countries that heart disease is a major cause of death. They go further and tell us that heart disease is eminently preventable. While conceding that genetic background interacts with numerous environmental factors to influence each individuals risk of succumbing to heart attack, they insist that diet is foremost among these factors as a cause of heart disease, and that modifying diet provides a straightforward means of preventing heart attacks. If only people would do what they are advised—reduce their intake of fats, especially those rich in saturated fatty acids—then the high toll of death and disability from this disease could be readily reduced. If only!

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:58 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD: Author’s Foreword

When the cholesterol campaign was introduced in Sweden in 1989 I became much surprised. Having followed the scientific literature about cholesterol and cardiovascular disease superficially I could not recall any study showing a high cholesterol to be dangerous to the heart or the vessels, or any type of dietary fat to be more beneficial or harmful than another one. I became curious and started to read more systematically.

Anyone who reads the literature in this field with an open mind soon discovers that the emperor has no clothes, and so did I. But I also learned that the critical analyses or comments, that I sent to various medical journals, were most often met with little interest from the editors and mocking answers from the reviewers. Besides, the inaccuracies, the misinterpretations, the exaggerations and the misleading quotations in this research area were so numerous that to question them all demanded a book.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:52 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Introduction: The Diet-Heart Idea: A Die-Hard Hypothesis

“The great tragedy of Science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
— Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

Did you know…

  • Cholesterol is not a deadly poison, but a substance vital to the cells of all mammals?
  • Your body produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat?
  • This production increases when you eat only small amounts of cholesterol and decreases when you eat large amounts?
  • The “prudent” diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, cannot lower your cholesterol more than a small percentage?
  • The only effective way to lower cholesterol is with drugs?
  • The cholesterol-lowering drugs are dangerous to your health and may shorten your life?
  • The cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins, do lower heart-disease mortality a little, but this is because of effects other than cholesterol lowering? Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer.
  • You may become aggressive or suicidal if you lower your cholesterol too much?
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids, those which are claimed to prevent heart attacks, stimulate infections and cancer in rats?
  • If you eat too much polyunsaturated oil you will age faster than normal? You will see this on the outside as wrinkled skin. You can’t see the effects of premature aging on the inside of your body, but you will certainly feel them.
  • People whose blood cholesterol is low become just as atherosclerotic as people whose cholesterol is high?
  • More than thirty studies of more than 150,000 individuals have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven’t eaten more saturated fat or less polyunsaturated oil than other people?
  • Old people with high cholesterol live longer than old people with low cholesterol?
  • High cholesterol protects against infections?
  • Many of these facts have been presented in scientific journals and books for decades but proponents of the diet-heart hypothesis never tell them to the public?
  • The diet-heart idea and the cholesterol campaign create immense prosperity for researchers, doctors, drug producers and the food industry?

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:48 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Myth 1: High-Fat Foods Cause Heart Disease

“Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
—Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

A challenge

In 1953 Ancel Keys, director of the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene at the University of Minnesota published a paper, which, looking back seems to have been an early kick-off for the cholesterol campaign.[2]

The horizon for the US Public Health Service is too limited, he wrote; any major disease should be prevented, not only those of infectious or occupational origin.

It doesn’t matter that the necessary measures are not yet known. The mere hope that the incidence of a disease may be altered is sufficient reason to invest money and manpower.

What Dr. Keys had in mind was coronary heart disease. This disease is a threat, he continued. While all other diseases are decreasing in the United States, there has been a steady upward trend in the death rate from coronary heart disease. On this particular point the Americans are inferior to other countries; in the US, for instance, four to five times more die from a heart attack than in Italy.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:44 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Triglycerides

Most of the fatty acids in the diet and in the blood are bound to a type of alcohol called glycerol. Usually each glycerol molecule is attached to three fatty acids, and this molecule complex is called a triglyceride. Often shortened to TG. As with cholesterol, high TG levels in the blood have been found to be associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease. Does that mean that we should lover the level of TG in our blood?

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:40 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Myth 2: High Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease

“In our need to understand, to explain, and to treat, the temptation to impute causality to association is pervasive and hard to resist. It is the most important reason for error in medicine.”
— Petr Skrabanek and James McCormick
, Authors of Follies and Fallacies in Medicine

Large and small percentages

Framingham is a small town near Boston, Massachusetts. Since the early-1950s a large number of Framingham citizens have taken part in a study surveying all factors that may play a role in the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Among other things their cholesterol was measured frequently.[30]

After five years the researchers made an observation, which should become one of the cornerstones in the cholesterol issue. When they classified the citizens into three groups with low, medium and high cholesterol values they saw that in the latter group more had died from heart attacks than in the two other groups. A high cholesterol level predicted a greater risk of a heart attack, they said; high cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

The predictive value of blood cholesterol levels was confirmed in the greatest medical experiment in history, the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, also called MR.FIT. In that trial researchers measured the blood cholesterol of more than 300.000 American middle-aged men.

Six years later the director of MR.FIT, professor Jeremiah Stamler and his coworkers from Chicago asked how many of these men had died and from what.[31] The participants were then divided into ten groups of equal size, so-called deciles, according to their cholesterol values. The first decile thus consisted of the tenth of the men with the lowest cholesterol, the tenth decile of the tenth with the highest cholesterol.[32]

The researchers analysis showed that in the tenth decile four times more men had died of a heart attack than in the first decile. Professor Stamler’s team put it in another way: “the risk of dying from a heart attack with cholesterol above 265 mg/dl (6.8 mmol/l) was 413 percent greater than with cholesterol below 170.”

With statistics you can change black to white, or vice versa; as any politician will tell you. Four hundred and thirteen percent! A frightening figure.

But let us look at the real figures and not only at the percentages. How many men had, in fact, died from a heart attack?

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:35 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD: Familial hypercholesterolemia—not as risky as you may think

Many doctors believe that most patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (shortened FH) die from CHD at a young age. Obviously they do not know the surprising finding of a Scientific Steering Committee at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Ratcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England.[83] For several years, these researchers followed more than 500 FH-patients between the ages of 20 and 74 for several years and compared patient mortality during this period with that of the general population.

During a three-to-four-year period, six of 214 FH-patients below age 40 died from CHD. This may not seem particularly frightening, but as it is rare to die from CHD before the age of 40, the risk for these FH patients was almost 100 times that of the general population.

During a four-to-five-year period, eight of 237 FH-patients between ages 40 and 59 died, which was five times more than in the general population. But during a similar period of time, only one of 75 FH-patients between the ages of 60 and 74 died from CHD.

If these results are typical for FH, you could say that, between ages 20 and 59, about three percent of the patients with FH died from CHD, and between ages 60 and 74, less than two percent died from CHD, fewer than in the general population.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:32 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Myth 3: High-Fat Foods Raise Blood Cholesterol

“Ye shall eat the fat of the land.”
— Genesis 45:18

Food and fat in various populations

Why do levels of cholesterol vary in different people? Because of their food! This is the answer from Ancel Keys, stated over and over again in his papers. No alternative explanations are ever mentioned; Keys’s hand never trembles when he writes about the influence of diet on blood cholesterol.

One of his arguments is that the average blood cholesterol is high in countries where people eat lots of high-fat food, especially foods high in animal fat, and low in countries where people eat little fat. And, asserts Keys, if an individual with low cholesterol moves to an area where people’s cholesterol is high, then his cholesterol will also rise.

In 1958 Keys illustrated his idea with a diagram demonstrating the relationship between the amount of fat in the food and the cholesterol level of the blood in various populations (fig. 3A).[86]

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:28 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Myth 4: High Cholesterol Blocks Arteries

“Theorists almost always become too fond of their own ideas, often simply by living with them for so long. It is difficult to believe that one’s cherished theory, which really works rather nicely in some respects, may become completely false.”
—Francis Crick, Nobel Prize laureate together with James Watson for discovering the structure of DNA

Cholesterol: Villain or Innocent Bystander?

Although scientists should do more questioning, in cholesterol research one statement never gets questioned because it is considered just as self-evident as the law of gravity. Even many opponents of the diet-heart idea neglect to question this statement. And what is this statement? It is that, when its level is high in the blood, cholesterol passes through the vessel walls, transforming arteries from smooth canals to rocky rapids.

Doctors and scientists may debate whether cholesterol leaks in passively or is actively transported by cells. But there is a general agreement about the importance of the cholesterol level of the blood; the higher it is, the faster the arteries become sclerotic.

As early as 1953, Ancel Keys wrote: “It is a fact that a major characteristic of the sclerotic artery is the presence of abnormal amounts of cholesterol in that artery. And he added: this cholesterol is derived from the blood.”[101]

No proofs, and no arguments, not from Keys and not from his followers. Cholesterol comes from the blood, and that’s the end to it. Scientists discuss how high the cholesterol level has to be for atherosclerosis to start, but they do not discuss whether the cholesterol level by itself has any importance. The role played by cholesterol in the process of atherosclerosis is no longer under discussion; it has been settled forever, or so we are led to believe. Let us have a closer look at the facts.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:24 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Myth 5: Animal Studies Prove the Diet-Heart Idea

“Rabbit tricks are positive successes.”
—Henry Houdini

Animals eat the wrong food

Perhaps you’re finding the cholesterol question in man a little complicated and it is. But it’s nothing compared to the situation in the animal kingdom, although, if it will comfort you, I’ll say now that cholesterol studies just don’t apply to man.

None of the mammals of the world are exactly like us as regards cholesterol. They have other amounts of it in their blood, they rarely eat as we do, and most of them do not become arteriosclerotic.

Many mammals never eat food containing cholesterol. If they are force-fed a cholesterol-rich diet, the cholesterol level of their blood rises to values many times higher than ever seen in normal human beings. And since such animals cannot dispose of the cholesterol they have eaten, every organ soaks up the cholesterol as a sponge soaks up water.

If animals are so different from us, how can we use them to prove that fat food and cholesterol are dangerous to human beings? Using cholesterol-rich fodder, it is possible to induce in rhesus monkeys arterial changes that vaguely resemble human arteriosclerosis, but it is not possible in baboons. How do we know if man reacts like a rhesus monkey or like a baboon or in some very different way?

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:22 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD: Cholesterol lowering in children

Zealous proponents of the cholesterol hypothesis argue that we should begin cholesterol-lowering measures in childhood. They say that atherosclerosis starts in the early years; therefore, all parents should test their children’s cholesterol and teach them to eat “properly,” beginning at the age of two. This age limit was chosen because, in spite of their clever persuasions, diet-heart proponents would have difficulty convincing parents that whole milk, an allegedly poisonous food for adults, is harmful to babies. So “intervention” is held off until the tender age of 24 months, when most youngsters in the US are put on skimmed milk, milk substitutes and low-fat foods.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:20 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD: Myth 6: Lowering Cholesterol Will Lengthen Your Life (Part 1)

“But besides real diseases we are subject to many that are only imaginary, for which the physicians have invented imaginary cures; these have then several names, and so have the drugs that are proper for them.”
—Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Time for truth

As one scientific study after another has shown, people can gorge on animal fat for many years and still keep their blood cholesterol low. What we have learned also is that atherosclerosis and heart attacks may occur whether one’s food is meager or fat, and most surprisingly, whether cholesterol is high or low. Given these facts, is there any reason to think that lowering blood cholesterol with diet or medicine can prevent heart attacks?

Based on what I have presented so far, the answer is no. In fairness, however, it still may be possible that high-fat food contains something other than cholesterol and saturated fatty acids that might be dangerous to the heart, or that high blood cholesterol slows the coronary circulation in some way other than by stimulating atherosclerosis. It might just be possible to reach the correct conclusion from the wrong premises.

The diet-heart idea itself is invalid, as I have already demonstrated in several ways. But the best way to know for sure if fat food and a high cholesterol level are dangerous is to use human beings as guinea pigs, to see if coronary heart disease can be induced by feeding these people animal fat or by elevating their blood cholesterol, or to see if heart attacks can be prevented by feeding the experimental subjects a low-fat diet or by lowering their blood cholesterol.

The idea to raise blood cholesterol during several years by dietary means is stillborn no matter how interesting it seems. The ethical committees that must approve all experiments on living creatures should certainly condemn the idea. Fortunately the Masais and other populations already have performed the experiment for us with well-known result.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:18 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD: Myth 6: Lowering Cholesterol Will Lengthen Your Life (Part 2)

An expedient byproduct

Parallel with the mentioned study of healthy men the Finnish researchers performed another experiment on men who already had had a heart attack. About 600 such individuals participated, all of them worked at the same companies as those in the original Helsinki study.[157]

The result after five year was disheartening. Seventeen of those who took gemfibrozil had died from a heart attack; compared to only eight in the placebo group.

Dr. Frick and his coauthors were eager to stress, that this difference was most probably a product of chance. In the summary of the paper they wrote: the number of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks did not differ significantly between the two groups.

They were right, because in contrast to their fellow-directors of the other trials they used the correct formula for determining the effect of a treatment, the two-sided t-test. If they had used the one-sided test as diet-heart supporters usually do when the allegedly positive effects are measured, significantly more had died in the treatment group.

But they had modified the result in another way. In the group “cardiac deaths” they had included a small group called “unwitnessed death.” That death is unwitnessed means that we do not know the cause of the death. It is not self-evident that an unwitnessed death is due to a heart attack and such deaths should of course have been classified otherwise.

If they had excluded the unwitnessed deaths there were more than three times more fatal heart attacks in the treatment group; sixteen against five. And this difference was indeed statistically significant.

The directors of the study admitted that the result was not “in accord with previous experience,” but they had a number of explanations.

As the trial was only “an expedient byproduct” of the original trial the number of individuals had been too small to give reliable results, they said. They were especially concerned about the low number of heart attacks in the control group. It was unlikely that it reflected the incidence in the general population. Most probably the individuals in the control group by chance had been less affected by coronary atherosclerosis than those in the treatment group.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:16 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD: Myth 7: The Statins — Gift to Mankind (Part 1)

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.”
—Mark Twain

In the late 1980s, the pharmaceutical companies introduced a new type of cholesterol-lowering drug called the “statins.” These drugs inhibit the body’s production of many important substances, one of which is cholesterol.

Sold as Zocor®, Mevacor®, Pravachol®, Lipitor® and Lescol® these new drugs have received wide acclaim because of their supposed lack of serious side effects and, in particular, because of the substantial cholesterol they can achieve. Whereas the earlier drugs could lower cholesterol by 15-20 percent at most, the statins can lower it by 30-40 percent or more. As of January 2000, the results from the large controlled, randomized and double-blind studies, including more than 30,000 test individual, and numerous angiographic trials have been published. More data will come.

Most doctors believe that the outcome of these trials is a victory for the cholesterol hypothesis. However, a closer look reveals that the cholesterol lowering effects are unimportant and actually rather a drawback. Furthermore, the benefits are trivial and if present, only apply to certain patient groups. In addition, by process of statistical manipulation, ingenious criteria for selecting the test individuals, and generous limits to what are considered as normal laboratory results, the directors of the trials and the drug companies have succeeded in belittling the side effects and thus presenting the statins as harmless.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:14 am | [0] comments

THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS

Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD: Myth 7: The Statins — Gift to Mankind (Part 2)

New guidelines

EXCEL, the Expanded Clinical Evaluation of Lovastatin

This trial was performed by Dr. Reagan H. Bradford and his team from a large number of American clinics and research institutions, including the Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories at West Point, NY, where the drug was produced where the drug was produced. More than 8,000 healthy individuals (called “patients” in the trial reports) with cholesterol levels between 240 and 300 mg/dl (6.2-7.7 mmol/l) received one of four different doses of lovastatin (Mevacor®) or a placebo.[225]

With a view to reporting on possible adverse effects of the treatment, preliminary study results were published after only one year of the trial. No significant side effects were reported, but in the fine print the authors were obliged to mention that death due to all causes was 0.5 percent in the four lovastatin groups combined (32 or 33 individuals out of a group of about 6,600—no exact figures were given in the report) compared to 0.2 percent in the placebo group (three or four individuals out of a group of 1,650). By taking all the lovastatin groups together, the difference would have been statistically significant if the number of deaths in the treatment groups were 33, but not if it were 32. Even if the difference wasn’t statistically significant after one year, it would certainly have become significant if the tendency to a higher mortality in the treatment groups had continued throughout the trial. In any case, the aim of the treatment was to lower mortality and most certainly no lowering was achieved.

Today at least 20 reports from the EXCEL trial have been published in various medical journals. These reports tell us how well lovastatin is tolerated and how effective it is in lowering blood cholesterol levels in various populations, but not one of them has reported the final outcome of the trial, although more than ten years have passed since it began. Therefore, we do not know whether the increased mortality, seen after just one year of treatment, has continued throughout the trial.

Why have we never heard about this outcome of the first statin trial, which was one of the largest? I asked that question in a letter to Merck, Sharp & Dohme. They answered that, “the trial was not designed to measure the clinical outcome, only to test whether the drug was tolerable and did not produce any serious side effects.”

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:13 am | [0] comments

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