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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
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 PASTEURIZATION: 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 serotonin, 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 environmental toxins.
Sources and Further Information
Fat & Cholesterol Are Good For You by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD
Cholesterol: Friend Or Foe?
Thanks for the information.
However, it would be much more of help if there were references to the studies mentioned.
I totally agree. I need to read and, then, show my DR. that a low-fat diet is NOT the cure-all for high cholesterol. PLUS…..where are the studies about grass-fed beef, free-range chixs in the traditional research. That meat is different!!
Archie L. Tucker says
Want to get the skinny on fat? Read:
The Big Fat Surprise
Why We Get Sick
Caroline Mahoney says
I was in a somewhat unique position 30 years ago, having been diagnosed with very high cholesterol. Like you, I was told don’t eat saturated fatty foods, eggs, prawns etc. I was very strict with my diet while at home, but I travelled a lot, mostly to Thailand, where I ate all the things I’d been told to avoid. I noticed a pattern. On the restricted diet, my cholesterol rose (I was tested every 6 weeks) On the ‘bad’ diet, my cholesterol dropped. This pattern repeated at least a dozen times, yet my doctors dismissed it. My conclusion was that stress was the thing that most affected my cholesterol lever. Beside which, there is some evidence that high cholesterol protects the heart.
Arturo Castro says
There are no references here. It’s quite a bold to plainly put up a “Truths and Myths” page and not have studies to back them up.
Can these references be posted as well?
Arturo, the last few lines of this article include these words along with links:
Sources and Further Information
The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD
Kevin R. says
1 of the 2 sources listed is their own damned website! HAHA!
So you would rather believe the lamestream media and the pharmaceutical industry? And your MD? Sheesh!! There is one born every minute.
Links are broken. We DEFINITELY need links to what the article refers to
Tim Boyd says
Links are fixed now.
no their not
I too am looking for references for all of the “facts” you’ve presented. Perhaps you should put the links With The Facts – so people who read can find them.
Tim Boyd says
All of the links on this page work for me. If you are having trouble with a link, let us know specifically which one.
My husband has a genetic problem with high cholesterol. His maternal grandfather and his mother’s siblings have all either died from heart problems or are disabled by strokes etc. Without medication (which he’ll have for the rest of his life),diet and healthy living makes no difference to his levels. The information you have given seems extremely spurious to say the least. All other cholesterol information disputes what you have written. What are your sources for the claims you make? Whilst it is right that you should promote a healthier style of living, you are playing a VERY dangerous game by advising people to give up their medication. I hope that anyone reading your information is sensible enough to go and do their own research or seek medical advice and not accept your unfounded claims.
AliSid, the last few lines of this article include these words along with links:
Sources and Further Information
The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD
Wiley Alexander says
These comments are two plus years old, but I will reply regardless. I am a chiropractor that personally and professionally uses whole food nutrition primarily from Standard Process. Clinically, I see statins as a major contributor to poor health. It causes muscle wasting, joint weakness to the point of destruction, heart weakness to the point of congestive heart. We have had great success normalizing cholesterol so patients can go back to their prescribing doctor and get off statins. The key is not low fat, which is what the body should be using for energy, but cutting carbs. both complex and simple. To test patients for glucose intolerance, we simply have them cut out all carbs. 7 to 10 days before their next blood test. Typically cholesterol is back to normal in that short of time frame.
No. Just cutting carbs may not come, but he’s right. Dissolve the urates of the endometrium plate with magnesium chloride. Once the arteriosclerosis is over, it will have ‘systemic and non-adherent platelet vasodilation’ and its inheritance in general is outdated. Your familial malady may be in the wasteful gut along with the lack of the place you live. To compensate, you have to take supplement for life or you will cycle diabetes, osteoporosis, others gradually, with various shortcomings out there.
Between 20 and 30 days later, say goodbye to the ‘statins’ without fear. He’s right.
You do not need a diet except to avoid moderate or out-of-meal alcohol, diuretics, ‘bubble’ sodas or very slightly boost the 600 x 70% = 420mg / day dose. Double and spaced dose in the first 21 weeks. Be happy if you have 254 total cholesterol like me (or what your body asks for) many years ago after 4 coronary interventions and more episodes. We are so many and it’s been a long time. Zero pills. Go walking and make decisions accordingly. Nothing is definite. By ‘cure’ the cholesterol will have died the day before. It is the basis of your hormonal life, energy source, defense and messenger.
But without chloride every day, you may have reason to fear.
Read the Weston Price website above. ‘Magnesium: the universal metal’ already gives an idea.
After studying Heart Disease now for 11 years I have the books mentioned here and the best book I have read is by Dr. Kenneth Levy m.d. cardiologist. He uses over 650 studies to argue that Heart Disease’s root cause is focal scurvy. He claims that this disease can be stopped and even possibly reversed where the plaque subsides. Besides taking Vitamin C to rebuild the artery wall from the damage scurvy causes he suggests taking Phosphatidyl Choline. PC can melt the cholesterol in the plaque so it will leave that area. If anything it is a good book that explains the artery anatomy and what happens to/in the artery to cause plaque buildup. I don’t know if what he claims is fact or not because I have not had an angiogram to prove it since starting his regimen.
Gregory Gorey says
Did it change?
Susanne Herb-Eddy says
what is a Whole cholesterol level of 206 and an HDL of 75?
Whole Cholesterol is something like the combined total of HDL & LDL… but it’s not a simple addition of both numbers. There’s a formula they use but I don’t know what it is. For instance… my HDL is 66 and LDL is 191. My Total Cholesterol, or “Whole cholesterol level” is noted as 276.
Btw, several studies have been done that show seniors with higher levels of LDL tend to live longer than those who have “approved” levels of LDL. The current conventional wisdom seems to be cutting people’s lives short. It’s easy to google it.
Perhaps the LDL figure is added 10% to in the MTC or WCL figures
This article lists sources for the mentioned studies
Woniya Fleury says
The only way that I watch what I eat is to avoid processed, preserved, and artificially colored or flavored foods along with corn syrup and trans fat. I consume red meat, nuts and bacon along with copious amount of butter and olive oil and many many eggs. My last cholesterol check was perfectly healthy.
To help you learn about studies and cracks:
(2009?) …. study Framingham and says: For every 1 mg / dL decrease in cholesterol there is a 14% increase in overall mortality rate and cardiovascular mortality! The cholesterol myth …
… x ….
The Cholesterol Myth
….. X …..
…. X …..
….. X ….
We could begin by immediately listing entities from 12 Medical Universities in Europe alone with professors who spoke out and publicly rebuffed. There are a lot more people and some well-known, well-known, there will be many in the American continent and I know written publications of some. These and many other reports backed by comparative science study and dismantling tables should already be sufficient. Grateful to them and those who love the truth.
Penny Woody says
My husband’s problem with his high cholesterol is a genetic issue (and occasionally some diet). His maternal grandfather and his mother have all have either died from heart problems or had heart attacks before the age of 60. My husband had his at 49. He had been on the medication trip since his 30’s. Who’s to say without medication and sensible diet he could have died during his attack. But during that period his cholesterol was always in the 400 + count and all the medication he was on wasn’t changing or helping. The change in foods, basically to organic and farm fresh – in time has shown a steady decline in the numbers. Yesterday for the very first time in 8 years his number was 69 ! Medication and exercise in 13 years never dropped it less than 50 pts. I am not trying to promote anything but clean fresh food and truth. I am a new customer that has been in search of a company that would fit our food needs and am grateful this one exists.
Please tell me what you and your husband eat, When you say farm fresh what do you mean? do you eat everything organic ? I would love to know so maybe it will help my family and me.
Some of you may find this helpful. Dr David Diamond is not an MD but a PhD who began studying all the research due to his own diagnoses. Pretty interesting talk.