Debunking More Bad Science – People With High Levels of ‘Bad Cholesterol’ Actually Live Longer Than Those With Low Levels

By Marco Torres

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Mainstream medicine promotes what they want to sell, from a fear perspective. The don’t sell health. They can’t, because they sell little fear pills that have consumers in the billions gobble up, out of fear, fictitious diseases.

Bad cholesterol is a good example because there is nothing bad about any type of cholesterol. The fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest has already emerged clearly from many scientific papers. Now a University of South Florida professor and an international team of experts have once again found that older people with high levels of a certain type of what is known as bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, live as long, and often longer, than their peers with low levels of this same cholesterol.

Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 in the Journal of the American Medical Association that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol. Supporters of cholesterol campaigns who routinely provide disinformation about LDL cholesterol consistently ignore this observation, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a number of studies sponsored by the pharamaceutical industry which have found the opposite.

But it is not an exception; there are now a large number of findings that contradict the lipid hypothesis. To be more specific, most studies on the elderly have shown that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for coronary heart disease at all. On the Medline database many studies address that question, specifically, how high cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis. Dozens of studies have found that high cholesterol does not predict or cause mortality.

Now consider that more than 90% of all cardiovascular disease is seen in people above age 60 also and that almost all studies have found that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for women. This means that high cholesterol is only a risk factor for less than 5% of those who die from a heart attack.

But there is more comfort for those who have high cholesterol; six of the studies found that total mortality was inversely associated with either total or LDL-cholesterol, or both. This means that it is actually much better to have high than to have low cholesterol if you want to live to be very old.

New Evidence

New findings, which came after analyzing past studies involving more than 68,000 participants over 60 years of age, once again call into question the “cholesterol hypothesis,” which previously suggested people with high cholesterol are more at risk of dying and would need statin drugs to lower their cholesterol.

Appearing online last month in the open access version of the British Medical Journal, the research team’s analysis represents the first review of a large group of prior studies on this issue.

“We have known for decades that high total cholesterol becomes a much weaker risk for cardiovascular disease with advancing age,” said Diamond. “In this analysis, we focused on the so-called “bad cholesterol” which has been blamed for contributing to heart disease.”

According to the authors, either a lack of association or an inverse relationship between LDL-C and cardiovascular deaths was present in each of the studies they evaluated. Subsequently, the research team called for a reevaluation of the need for drugs, such as statins, which are aimed at reducing LDL-C as a step to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

“We found that several studies reported not only a lack of association between low LDL-C, but most people in these studies exhibited an inverse relationship, which means that higher LDL-C among the elderly is often associated with longer life,” said Diamond.

Diamond also points out the research that suggests that high cholesterol may be protective against diseases which are common in the elderly. For example, high levels of cholesterol are associated with a lower rate of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies have suggested that high LDL-C may protect against some often fatal diseases, such as cancer and infectious diseases, and that having low LDL-C may increase one’s susceptibility to these diseases.

“Our results pose several relevant questions for future,” said study leader and co-author health researcher Dr. Uffe Ravnskov. “For example, why is total cholesterol a factor for cardiovascular disease for young and middle-age people, but not for the elderly? Why do a substantial number of elderly people with high LDL-C live longer than elderly people with low LDL-C?”

Diamond and colleagues have published a number of studies relating to the use and possible misuse of statins for treating cholesterol. Those studies, including their recent paper published in the medical journal Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, which demonstrated that the benefits of taking statins have been exaggerated and are misleading.

“Our findings provide a contradiction to the cholesterol hypothesis,” concluded Diamond. “That hypothesis predicts that cardiovascular disease starts in middle age as a result of high LDL-C cholesterol, worsens with aging, and eventually leads to death from cardiovascular disease. We did not find that trend. If LDL-C is accumulating in arteries over a lifetime to cause heart disease, then why is it that elderly people with the highest LDL-C live the longest? Since people over the age of 60 with high LDL-C live the longest, why should we lower it?”

Cholesterol and Chronic Heart Failure

Dr. Donna Vredevoe and her group from the School of Nursery and the School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles tested more than 200 patients with severe heart failure with five different antigens and followed them for twelve months. The cause of heart failure was coronary heart disease in half of them and other types of heart disease (such as congenital or infectious valvular heart disease, various cardiomyopathies and endocarditis) in the rest. Almost half of all the patients were anergic, and those who were anergic and had coronary heart disease had a much higher mortality than the rest.

Now to the salient point: to their surprise the researchers found that mortality was higher, not only in the patients with anergy, but also in the patients with the lowest lipid values, including total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol as well as triglycerides.

The latter finding was confirmed by Dr. Rauchhaus, this time in co-operation with researchers at several German and British university hospitals. They found that the risk of dying for patients with chronic heart failure was strongly and inversely associated with total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and also triglycerides; those with high lipid values lived much longer than those with low values.

Other researchers have made similar observations. The largest study has been performed by Professor Gregg C. Fonorow and his team at the UCLA Department of Medicine and Cardiomyopathy Center in Los Angeles. The study, led by Dr. Tamara Horwich, included more than a thousand patients with severe heart failure. After five years 62 percent of the patients with cholesterol below 129 mg/l had died, but only half as many of the patients with cholesterol above 223 mg/l.

Debunking More Bad Science - People With High Levels of 'Bad Cholesterol' Actually Live Longer - fb

Does High Cholesterol Protect Against Cardiovascular Disease?

Apparently, microorganisms play a role in cardiovascular disease. They may be one of the factors that start the process by injuring the arterial endothelium. A secondary role may be inferred from the association between acute cardiovascular disease and infection. The infectious agent may preferably become located in parts of the arterial walls that have been previously damaged by other agents, initiating local coagulation and the creation of a thrombus (clot) and in this way cause obstruction of the blood flow. But if so, high cholesterol may protect against cardiovascular disease instead of being the cause!

In any case, the diet-heart idea, with its demonizing of high cholesterol, is obviously in conflict with the idea that high cholesterol protects against infections. Both ideas cannot be true so lets summarize the many facts that conflict with the idea that high cholesterol is bad.

If high cholesterol were the most important cause of atherosclerosis, people with high cholesterol should be more atherosclerotic than people with low cholesterol. But as you know by now this is very far from the truth.

If high cholesterol were the most important cause of atherosclerosis, lowering of cholesterol should influence the atherosclerotic process in proportion to the degree of its lowering.

But as you know by now, this does not happen.

If high cholesterol were the most important cause of cardiovascular disease, it should be a risk factor in all populations, in both sexes, at all ages, in all disease categories, and for both heart disease and stroke. But as you know by now, this is not the case

If high cholesterol were the most important cause of cardiovascular disease, the greatest effect of statin treatment should have been seen in patients with the highest cholesterol, and in patients whose cholesterol was lowered the most. Lack of dose-response cannot be attributed to the knowledge that the statins have other effects on plaque stabilization, as this would not have masked the effect of cholesterol-lowering considering the pronounced lowering that was achieved. On the contrary, if a drug that effectively lowers the concentration of a molecule assumed to be harmful to the cardiovascular system and at the same time exerts several beneficial effects on the same system, a pronounced dose-response should be seen.

On the other hand, if high cholesterol has a protective function, as suggested, its lowering would counterbalance the beneficial effects of the statins and thus work against a dose-response, which would be more in accord with the results from the various trials.

How is it possible that high cholesterol is harmful to the artery walls and causes fatal coronary heart disease, the commonest cause of death, if those whose cholesterol is the highest, live longer than those whose cholesterol is low?

Your Body Cannot Function Without All Forms of Cholesterol

Among cholesterol’s most essential functions, is its presence in all of the trillions of cell membranes of the body. What is it doing there? It is one of the primary structural components of the membrane of a cell. Without adequate cholesterol, cells will break apart due to a lack of integrity.

In addition to this, all of the steroidal hormones of the body are synthesized from cholesterol. This includes cortisol and corticosteroids, DHEA, the estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, aldosterone, and the master steroidal hormone, pregnenolone. Cholesterol is the precursor to all of these hormones. It is no surprise that some of the many symptoms associated with taking cholesterol-lowering medications are: fatigue, muscle wasting, loss of sex drive and adrenal fatigue.

In addition to this, it is the circulating LDL particles (the so called “bad” cholesterol) that are what deliver cholesterol to the hormone receptor sites of cells.

So Why Does Mainstream Medicine Demonize LDL Cholesterol?

Could it be because it benefits the billion-dollar cholesterol drug industry? Statin drugs are taken by one in four Americans over age of 45, and if patients stopped buying cholesterol drugs, Big Pharma would be in a serious financial crisis. In fact, as soon as the study’s cancer findings were published, a heart “expert” immediately warned that “statins used for LDL reduction shouldn’t be stopped if there is an appropriate use to lower heart disease risk.”

So mainstream medicine’s advice is to hang onto these “miracle drugs” even though they have been linked to nerve damage, muscle damage, liver enzyme derangement, tendon problems, anemia, acidosis, cataracts, sexual dysfunction, an increase in type 2 diabetes, and now cancer.

Even a world renowned heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries has admitted he was wrong about what really causes heart disease, and it’s not high cholesterol.

Statins artificially lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting a critical enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. The consequences are inflammation and pathological breakdown of physiological systems.

In the long run, statins are going to be a bonanza, but for the trial lawyers, not the drug companies. But by then it will be too late for those taking them now.

We need to reform education on what really causes heart disease and why cholesterol, whether high or low, is not an evil process in the body, but a natural part of our biology. When we stop listening to medical doctors, suddenly we start listening to what our bodies crave… to be the healthiest version of ourselves.

Further reading from Marco Torres:

About the author:

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science, and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

This article originally appeared on Prevent Disease here and here.






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