Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in nearly every cell of your body and is essential to good health. It plays a role in hormone production, digestion and the manufacture of vitamin D following sun exposure, and helps protect your cell membranes. As noted by Zoe Harcombe, Ph.D., "It is virtually impossible to explain how vital cholesterol is to the human body. If you had no cholesterol in your body you would be dead." Cholesterol has long been vilified as a primary cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), yet numerous studies refute this hypothesis, demonstrating that cholesterol has virtually nothing to do with heart disease — at least not in the way conventional medicine presents it. As noted by Harcombe, the notion that there is good and bad cholesterol is also wrong. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are not actually cholesterol; they're carriers and transporters of cholesterol, triglycerides (fat), phospholipids and proteins. "LDL would more accurately be called the carrier of fresh cholesterol and HDL would more accurately be called the carrier of recycled cholesterol," she says. What's more, dietary cholesterol has no impact on the cholesterol level in your blood, so how could dietary cholesterol pose a health risk?
For well over 30 years, every medical student has been taught that high cholesterol levels are responsible for causing heart disease—the number one killer in the US. And, the public has been similarly educated that eating a low-fat diet (having less cholesterol) is the best way to avoid becoming a cardiac patient. At my medical school graduation (nearly 30 years ago—oy vey!) the dean told us that we were trained with the latest medical information. He continued by stating that, unfortunately, over 50% of what was just taught to us was incorrect. He told us that it was our job to figure out what is fact and what is fiction. Perhaps my dean would be proud of me as I have dedicated my professional career to determining what is right and what is wrong with medicine. Now I can state, without equivalence, that the cholesterol=heart disease hypothesis is terribly wrong. Keep in mind, I came to that conclusion many years ago after studying the literature.
As American Heart Association Prepares to Revise Guidelines for Cholesterol, Harvard Doctor Speaks Out on Conflict of Interests
The American Heart Association (AHA) will soon be meeting in Chicago to set new guidelines for treating high cholesterol, the first big update since 2013. Medical doctors are not at all unified in their position on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, although pharmaceutical companies and their front groups, such as the AHA, would like the public to believe all doctors are in favor of lowering cholesterol via medication. Independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson recently covered the issue of the "Statin Wars" on her TV show, Full Measure. In the introduction to her show, Attkisson states: "Past (cholesterol) guidelines have said more and more of us should take cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statins” to prevent heart attacks and save lives. But the recommendations aren’t without controversy. And they raise a larger debate in medicine— over who’s paying the doctors and groups deciding what’s good for us." She interviewed three people with different perspectives on statin drugs.
Network of Cholesterol Skeptics Researchers: Abandon the LDL Cholesterol Theory of Heart Disease and Look at More Important Risk Factors
Dr. Malcom Kendrick is the author of the book The Great Cholesterol Con. He is the co-author of a recently published paper that looks at important risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, pointing out that looking at LDL cholesterol levels are not a good indicator of heart disease. Dr. Malcom Kendrick is part of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS). The lead author of this recently published paper is Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, author of Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You, and the leader of THINCS. We have featured both men's writings frequently here on Health Impact News over the years, as they expose the cholesterol myth and the statin scam. Referring to Dr. Ravnskov and THINCS, Dr. Kendrick wrote in a recent blog post: "As you may know I am a member of an organisation known as The International Network of Cholesterol Sceptics (THINCS). When I say this, people always laugh. I suppose it is better than people shouting and screaming and slapping you repeatedly. The man who set it up was Uffe Ravnskov – our glorious leader. He has done far better than me. His first book The Cholesterol Myths, was burnt, live on air, in a television studio in Finland. I am very jealous. Having your critics become so enraged, that the only thing they can think to do is burn your book, is a very great ‘sceptic’ honour. Although one must be slightly fearful that the mob doesn’t stop at burning your books." So if LDL cholesterol is not a contributing factor in heart disease, what is? This White Paper recently published in the journal Medical Hypotheses encourages researchers to abandon the LDL cholesterol theory of heart disease, and consider other, more important, risk factors.
Scottish medical doctor, Malcolm Kendrick, has just written a brilliant expose on his blog explaining, scientifically, why it is impossible for saturated fats to raise LDL cholesterol levels. As I have written many times over the years, this is the kind of information that can save your life and help you make wise dietary choices, but it is information that the U.S. government, Big Pharma, and the corporate-sponsored "mainstream" media cannot afford to publish. Because to do so would be to admit guilt in one of the biggest medical scams of all time: the lipid theory of heart disease. This theory, which has been proven scientifically to be false, has been an economic success for cholesterol-lowering statin medical drugs, the most profitable class of medical drugs all time. This theory also promotes the low-fat diet which encourages consumption of carbohydrates from U.S. subsidized crops, as well as polyunsaturated oil, also derived from U.S. subsidized crops. This theory of heart disease, which condemns cholesterol and saturated fat, has probably been responsible for many millions of people's early deaths and the life-long suffering of autoimmune diseases for an entire generation.
A new study, published by the BMJ (British Medical Journal) in May 2018, found that people consuming eggs regularly were less at risk for heart disease than those who consumed no eggs. The title of the Chinese study is Associations of egg consumption with cardiovascular disease in a cohort study of 0.5 million Chinese adults. Over a half-million Chinese, between the ages of 30 and 79, were recruited across various regions of China and surveyed for egg consumption. Those with histories of cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes were excluded from the study. Those remaining, slightly under a half-million, were followed for several years to determine incidents of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. The average egg consumption varied from none to over one a day. The study’s conclusion: "Our findings suggested that daily egg consumption (<1 egg) [actually .8 daily on average] was associated with lower risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease], IHD [ischemic heart disease], MCE [major coronary events], hemorrhagic stroke and ischaemic stroke among Chinese middle-aged adults. Our findings contribute scientific evidence to the dietary guidelines with regard to egg consumption for the healthy Chinese adult." The study noted that morbidity from strokes is higher in China than Western nations where deaths from ischemic heart disease (ISD) are higher. An average egg consumption of .8 could translate to five to six eggs per week. The Chinese study also referenced an earlier smaller Japanese study, the Life Span Study in Japan, and found that “daily egg consumption was associated with a 30% lower risk of total stroke mortality” compared to no or occasional consumption of eggs.
Big Pharma Cannot Explain Why People with Very High LDL Cholesterol Have No Cardiovascular Disease and Live Long Lives
If your hypothesis is that all swans are white, the discovery of one black swan refutes your hypothesis. That is how science works. Or at least that is how science should work. In the real world, scientists are highly adept at explaining away contradictions to their favoured hypotheses. They will use phrases such as, it’s a paradox, or inform you that you didn’t measure the correct things or say there are many other confounding factors – and suchlike. Anyway, accepting that the finding of someone with a very high LDL level, and no detectable atherosclerosis, will always be dismissed – in one way or another – I am still going to introduce you to a ‘case history’ of a seventy-two-year-old man with familial hypercholesterolaemia, who has been studied for many, many, years. Try as they might, the researchers have been unable to discover any evidence for cardiovascular disease (CVD) – of any sort. The paper was called ‘A 72-Year-Old Patient with Longstanding, Untreated Familial Hypercholesterolemia but no Coronary Artery Calcification: A Case Report.’ And just in case you believe this is a single outlier, something never seen before or since, let me introduce you to the Simon Broome registry, set up in the UK many years ago to study what happens to individuals diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). It is the longest, if not the largest, study on FH in the world. It has mainly been used as one of the pillars in support of the cholesterol hypothesis. However, when you start to look closely at it – fascinating things emerge. One of the most interesting is that people with FH have a lower than expected overall mortality rate – in comparison to the ‘normal’ population. Or, to put this another way. If you have FH, you live longer than the average person.
A recent study connecting increased statin drug use with rising ALS was discussed by Dr. Malcom Kendrick. He had followed earlier similar studies with similar concerns, but this one confirmed Dr. Kendrick’s suspicions. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), is also known as motor neuron disease (MND), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The study of concern is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Associated with Statin Use: A Disproportionality Analysis of the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System. It was published by the journal Drug Safety in April of 2018. The researchers at the University of California (San Diego) and Advera Health Analytics, Inc., Santa Rosa, California teamed up to analyze data from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) to determine what is known as reporting odds ratios (RORs) involving statin drugs users who have reported ALS symptoms. This study, which allegedly had no outside funding, concluded: "These findings extend previous evidence showing that significantly elevated ALS reporting extends to individual statin agents, and add to concerns about potential elevated occurrence of ALS-like conditions in association with statin usage."
A Pediatric Cardiologist from Georgia has pleaded guilty to illegally targeting teens for a cholesterol drug that was only approved by the FDA for a rare disorder. According to court documents, Dr. Eduardo Montaña colluded with pharmaceutical company Aegerion to sell their drug Juxtapid to teenagers with heart problems, even though the drug was not approved for their conditions. Dr. Montaña violated HIPAA laws of patient privacy by supplying the pharmaceutical company private medical records of 280 teenagers without patient knowledge or consent. Drug company Aegerion was found guilty of criminal wrongdoing in a Massachusetts court. Juxtapid, which received FDA approval in 2012, costs over $330,000 per patient per year, so the drug company had strong financial motives to expand its sales. Dr. Montaña was a willing accomplice in their criminal activities, and reportedly hoped to get a kickback for himself. He requested a $236,000 grant from Aegerion. In the conviction against Aegerion in this case with Dr. Eduardo Montaña, District Judge William G. Young lamented how the U.S. Government allows criminal pharmaceutical companies to get off so easily, and continue doing business. Existing laws that protect pharmaceutical companies apparently prevented Judge Young from automatically issuing the harshest penalty, as the federal government generally strikes a plea bargain deal with the pharmaceutical company to keep them in business. Judge Young wrote: "What is left unexplained is why the government does not simply let Aegerion collapse in disgrace. Surely Aegerion is not too big to fail."
Cardiologist: Millions of People Taking Statin Drugs Will Continue to Have Far Greater Chance of Harm than Benefit
Two recent articles published in the UK mainstream hard copy and online newspaper Express revealed there’s something wrong with cholesterol-lowering statin drug prescription policies, quoting several doctors who claim statins cause more harm than benefit. Dr. Rita Redberg, a cardiologist professor at the San Francisco Medical Center, states: “Unfortunately, until all data is available and discussed with patients, millions of people taking these [statin] drugs will continue to have far greater chance of harm than benefit.” Dr. Rita Redberg's name might be familiar to our readers, because she appeared in an Australian two-part TV news documentary that has often been featured in several Health Impact News articles. Both parts were connected thematically and produced by Dr. Maryanne Demasi, Ph.D. And it was Dr. Demasi’s British Medical Journal (BMJ) article and study review that the Express article was reporting rather favorably with quotes from other doctors supporting her findings. The article’s focus was on the controversy it had ignited regarding the widespread use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.