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Myths & Truths About Cholesterol PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:32

Read this article in: Greek.

NOTE: This information is provided on our Cholesterol trifold brochure (PDF). You may print this at home or at a copy store for mass distribution. If you wish, you can order quantities of professionally printed two-color trifold brochures for 25 cents each via our online Store.

Myths & Truths

MYTH: People with high cholesterol are more prone to heart attacks.
TRUTH: Young and middle-aged men with cholesterol levels over 350 are slightly more at risk for heart attacks. Those who have cholesterol levels just below 350 are at no greater risk than those whose cholesterol is very low. For elderly men and for women of all ages, high cholesterol is associated with a longer lifespan.

MYTH: Cholesterol & saturated fat clog arteries.
TRUTH: There is very little cholesterol or saturated fat in the arterial plaque or clogs. Most of the material is a calcium deposit akin to lime and most of the fatty acids are unsaturated.

MYTH: Eating saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods will cause cholesterol levels to rise and make people more susceptible to heart disease.
TRUTH: Many studies show no relationship between diet and cholesterol levels; there is no evidence that saturated fat and cholesterol-rich food contribute to heart disease. As Americans have cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods, rates of heart disease have gone up.

MYTH: Cholesterol-lowering drugs have saved many lives.
TRUTH: In the two most recent trials, involving over 10,000 subjects, cholesterol-lowering did not result in any improvement in outcome.

MYTH: Countries that have a high consumption of animal fat and cholesterol have higher rates of heart disease.
TRUTH: There are many exceptions to this observation, such as France and Spain. Furthermore, an association (called a “risk factor”) is not the same as a cause. In wealthy countries where people eat a lot of animal foods, many other factors exist that can contribute to heart disease.

Dangers of Statin Drugs

Modern cholesterol-lowering drugs act by inhibiting an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) needed for the formation of cholesterol in the liver. These HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, called statins, are sold as Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravacol, Zocor, etc.

WEAKNESS and MUSCLE WASTING: This is the most common side effect of statin drugs, occurring in as many as one in three users. Muscle aches and pains, back pain, heel pain, weakness and slurring of speech result from statin interference with the production of Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10), needed for the muscles to function.These side effects are more common in active people and may not show up until three years after commencement of treatment.

HEART FAILURE: Rates of heart failure have doubled since the advent of statin drugs. The heart is a muscle that depends on a plentiful supply
of Co-Q10.

POLYNEUROPATHY: Tingling and pain in the hands and feet as well as difficulty walking occur frequently in those taking statins, conditions often blamed on “old age” rather than on the drug.

COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT: Many patients have reported memory loss and brain fog, including total global amnesia (episodes of complete memory loss). The implications for pilots and those driving cars and trucks are profound.

CANCER: In every study with rodents to date, statins have caused cancer. Most human trials are not carried out long enough to detect any increase in cancer rates, but in one trial, breast cancer rates of those taking a statin were 1500 percent higher than those of controls.
DEPRESSION: Numerous studies have linked low cholesterol with depression.

If It Isn’t Cholesterol, What Causes Heart Disease?

Many scientists have put forth valid theories for the epidemic of heart disease in western societies. They include:

DEFICIENCY OF VITAMINS a and d: Back in the 1930s, Weston A. Price, DDS, observed that rates of heart attack rose during periods of the year when levels of these fat-soluble vitamins in local butter went down.

DEFICIENCIES OF VITAMINS B6, B12 and FOLIC ACID: Kilmer McCully, MD, PhD, demonstrated that these deficiencies lead to elevated levels of homocysteine, a marker for heart disease.

TRANS FATTY ACIDS: Fred Kummerow, PhD, and many others have linked heart disease to the replacement of saturated fats with trans fatty acids; saturated fats actually protect against heart disease in many ways.

MINERAL DEFICIENCIES: Deficiencies of magnesium, copper and vanadium have been linked to heart disease.

MILK PASTEURIZATIONON: J.C. Annand, a British researcher, observed an increase in heart disease in districts that implemented pasteurization
compared to those where milk was still sold unpasteurized.

STRESS: Heart attacks often occur after a period of stress, which depletes the body of many nutrients.

Unfortunately, little research money is available for researchers to study these theories; most research on heart disease is funded through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is firmly committed to the flawed hypothesis that cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease.

The Many Vital Roles of Cholesterol

  • Cholesterol is produced by almost every cell in the body.
  • Cholesterol in cell membranes makes cells waterproof so there can be a different chemistry on the inside and the outside of the cell.
  • Cholesterol is nature’s repair substance, used to repair wounds, including tears and irritations in the arteries.
  • Many important hormones are made of cholesterol, including hormones that regulate mineral metabolism and blood sugar, hormones that help us deal with stress, and all the sex hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.
  • Cholesterol is vital to the function of the brain and nervous system.
  • Cholesterol protects us against depression; it plays a role in the utilization of seratonin, the body’s “feel-good” chemical.
  • The bile salts, needed for the digestion of fats, are made from cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol is the precursor of vitamin D, which is formed by the action of ultra-violet (UV-B) light on cholesterol in the skin.
  • Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant that protects us against free radicals and therefore against cancer.
  • Cholesterol, especially LDL-cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol), helps fight infection.

How to Avoid Heart Disease

  • Don’t worry about your cholesterol—the stress of unnecessary worry can contribute to heart disease.
  • Do not take cholesterol-lowering drugs—they contribute to heart failure.
  • Avoid processed food, especially foods containing processed vegetable oils and trans fats.
  • Eat the meat, fat and organ meats of grass-fed animals.
  • Eat plenty of wild-caught seafood.
  • Do not consume protein powders, lean meat, egg whites without the yolks or skim milk. High-protein diets lacking the nutrients supplied by animal fats can deplete vitamin A, leading to heart disease.
  • Eat liver at least once a week to ensure adequate levels of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron and copper.
  • Take cod liver oil and consume plenty of butter from grass-fed cows to ensure adequate levels of vitamins A, D and K.
  • Maintain a healthy weight—neither too heavy nor too thin.
  • Engage in moderate exercise outdoors.
  • Do not smoke; avoid exposure to environmentaltoxins.

Sources and Further Information

The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD

Comments (15)Add Comment
written by Harry Fred Haber Haber, Apr 04 2014
I am very confused by the cholesterol arguement, in that cholesterol has been blamed for heart disease for the past thirty years. The advent of statins has been strongly advocated by Cardiologists in Australia with the SAAB concept, Statins, Aspirin, Ace and a Betablocker. From a medical perspective it would be difficult to go against this recommendation. The China study indicated those with lowest cholesterol were the least likely to have a heart attack. At present I would feel continuation of a statin provided no adverse affects, the use of Coenzme Q10 seems a worthwhile adative, certainly a balanced diet, the question what is that? Maybe some of the readers may like to comment. Box 323 Newtown NSW Australia.
written by shakira, Jan 22 2014
Since cholesterol is a necessary part of cell membranes it's not surprise that statins are so horrible.
Mrs L Mazibuko
written by Lil-Jane, Jan 17 2014
Thanks for the information, Iam really confused now because Iwas trying hard to eat the right food to keep my cholosterol low, at moment it rated 3.6 before it was 4.1 now that means I can live it to increase from 3.6 for the sake of complications.worried 74years of age.
written by health-seeker, Dec 07 2013
Statin drugs are a giant scam! also read: the truth about statins Watch: Food Fight! visit

From my reading it seems the best way is: eat lots of leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, beans, pistachios, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut milk, whole fresh fruit, berries, whole grains, along with some Stevia extract, wild-caught fish, cage-free organic eggs, organic free range meat (hunting is far LESS cruel and dirty than factory farming!). Avoid sugar, soda, white flour bread, white flour pasta, fruit juice, jam, white rice, potato chips, sugary candy, drugs, cigarettes, like the plague!

Do physical activity, fun with friends, good jobs, good books, good sleep, independence, fairness, freedom.

do not torture humans or animals. If killing must be done; it must be done logically , quickly, & with a steady hand. Do not hunt for sport wastefully; but make use of every bit of what you get (by hunting in a responsible respectful way as possible) . Organ meats are cheap and fine to eat. Lamb is ok too
written by Richard Tansey, Oct 22 2013
And you are so close
written by Richard Tansey, Oct 22 2013
It seem's that people are afraid to find out what arterial plaque is, or the compounds of it, pasterized or homargized milk is useless because after that process there is no magnisium or aminio acid'sAnd the dairy dept, rake's in 19.1 billion a year,and it is never said.Paper's by a d.r Fallon that undigested pasterized dairy chunk's clog the villi, and as more and more toxin's are created the pancreus cannot keep up so it get's cancer,oral ceolation then p.h. coated enzyme's by pass the stomuch and the villi can absorb all it need's again.No other mammal on earth drink's milk into aduld hood, 12 countreis dont use dairy for calcium and have little or no vasqular problems,raw milk is fine, and has the same shelf life.I busted more commercials,because it is hardening of the arteries from plaque.So fat, chelesterol,and pasterized milk are arterial plaque. Check it for your self. It's a buisiness and always has been.Take Care
red more
written by Richard Tansey, Sep 27 2013
I just have a question ,why do people never talk about what arterial plague is .If I know,why dont you ?>smilies/sad.gif
written by Ryan Barr, May 17 2013
Another way to make grassfed meat stretch on a budget is by making stews. If you can get cuts with the bone-on it is better. Also, you can add other items to the stew that are much cheaper per pound (e.g. organic split peas). I don't know if the Weston A. Price Foundation has an opinion on organic split peas but they can't be any worse than conventional beef!
written by Alek , Apr 30 2013
@Penny Duff
Lots of people are on fixed incomes, but still eat well. For instance, they grow their own vegetables and fruit.

And you can find grass-fed meat at an affordable price....but not at health food stores; nor at regular grocery stores, for that matter. You have to search out alternative sources, such as purchasing directly from the rancher or farmer. (We purchase in bulk directly from a rancher, and it is MUCH cheaper per pound than Whole Foods, or any other grocery store). If you have the freezer space, this is a good option.

Join your local WAPF Yahoo Group mailing list - it's free and has tons of useful information. Post this very question, and I guarantee you'll get lots of helpful replies.
Living on a Fixed Income
written by Penny Duff, Apr 11 2013
I absolutely agree with your position on cholesterol and statins. As for your dietary recommendations, if you lived on $1300 before bills, you would find grass-fed butter and beef out of the question. If I followed your dietary recommendations, I could eat 2-3 weeks out of the month. Incidentally, we won't talk about liver, because it doesn't matter how many recommendations it receives, to me it has an awful taste and texture. Anyway, it would be nice to have recommendations for those who cannot afford health food stores.
written by very intrested, Apr 04 2012
If tests are done by doctors and they determine a high level at 200, then why are they not reading this or they have and just want us to buy their pharmaceutical drugs?
ENZYMES AND THERE JOB, Low-rated comment [Show]
Ms, ND, LccN
written by Clarence Gaston, May 23 2011
Reading through your pamphlet on MYTHS & TRUTHS ABOUT CHOLESTEROL, the first myth calls out that over 350 is only a slight risk for heart attacks, and that under 350 there is no greater risk than those with very low cholesterol. Is that the true number, or should it be 250?
another cause
written by Heidi Hanson, Dec 11 2010
Radiation exposure is a possible cause of heart disease as well (John Gofman thought so)"His recent study draws upon earlier research by the University Of Washington School Of Medicine, which showed that the buildup of plaque that can block the arteries taking blood from the heart may be caused in part by a single source. Gofman believes that single source to be the kind of radiation that is used in routine medical procedures. The radiation, Gofman claims, causes mutations in heart muscle cells. These mutated cells proliferate, much like a cancerous tumor, and plaque builds up around them in the artery, he contends."
written by Richard Tansey, Nov 26 2010
Thank you for your info on staten drugs,Ive been telling people for years.With statens being a co q 10 depletor ive telling people to take co q 10,a freind of mine one day told me how his doctor advised him to take co q 10 with lipitor,he told D.r a freind of mine been telling me that for years. Unfortintly the proffesion , see's monitory gain as a main principle. they dont tell people about ceolation as opposed to standed surgery.One day my girl freind's mother as'ed about ceolation and was told that would have work'ed four years ago,instead a surgery then.Now it's P.A.D.

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Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2012 14:22