Cholesterol in the body is carried around the bloodstream in the form of what are called ‘lipoproteins’. The two main lipoproteins are so-called low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol). Conventional wisdom tells us that HDL-C is a marker for cholesterol being cleared from the inside of the arteries, while LDL-C has the capacity to deposit itself in the artery wall. Because of this, HDL-C and LDL-C are often dubbed ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol respectively.
Many doctors have been encouraged to focus on LDL-C, and ensure that their patients’ levels of this substance remain below a predetermined set point. However, the fact remains that no studies have ever tested the effect of treating LDL-C levels (with medication and/or diet) to below a certain point. It will seem far-fetched to some that the core strategy used in cholesterol management has not been adequately tested, and things get even more unbelievable when it turns out that LDL-C is not even a particularly good marker for heart disease.
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