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


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 10:20 am Email this article

    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.

    The argument for giving growing children a draconian diet can be made by claiming that the fatty streaks, the thin layer of cholesterol-laden cells situated on the inside of most arteries, are the forerunners of atherosclerosis. These fatty streaks appear even before we are born and are found in the vessels of all children, even in populations where atherosclerosis is rare. The public has not been told that the presence of fatty streaks does not mean that atherosclerosis will develop, and that there is no evidence that these fatty streaks are due to high cholesterol, or that they will disappear if we lower cholesterol in children.

    In addition, high cholesterol in childhood does not mean that cholesterol will be high later in life. Several studies have shown that about half the children with high cholesterol at age two have normal cholesterol when they reach puberty.

    And even if high cholesterol in childhood remained high in adulthood and predicted cardiovascular disease later in life, how should we treat the children? The answer from the proponents is: by diet! For this reason, many children are now being fed chemically processed margarine and a variety of processed, synthetic, low-fat products instead of nutritious and natural foods like whole milk, cheese, meat and eggs.

    And the effect of diet on blood cholesterol is hardly measurable, especially in children. The only way to lower cholesterol effectively is by drugs—even the proponents admit that. But even if we had evidence that cholesterol-lowering measures begun at the age of two were of benefit, we have no evidence that these measures would compensate for the side effects of an unhealthy diet or daily intake of drugs for many years because, luckily, such trials have never been carried out.

    At best, emphasis on lowering cholesterol in children will create families of unhappy hypochondriacs obsessed with their diet and blood chemistry. At worst, it will have unfortunate effects on the growth of children because foods containing cholesterol and animal fats are rich in important nutrients.

    Ravnskov U. Prevention of atherosclerosis in children. The Lancet 355, 69, 2000.

    ———

    Here are links to the other chapters in the book.

    ———

    This chapter is from the book
    The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease
    by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD.

    Dr. Ravnskov has given me the permission to share this version of his book to help educate the world about the cholesterol campaign.

    Information about Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD is posted here.

    More information about Cholesterol Myths is posted on his website here.

    Dr. Ravnskov posted his book for free here.

    Several versions of the ebook can downloaded from Dropbox here or from SmashWords here.

    Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD is the founder of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS.org) which can be found here.

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


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