Sunday, January 26, 2014

Things About Cholesterol That Make You Go "Hmmm?"

"The way the body transports fats and cholesterol into the body is really interesting because it doesn't go directly into the blood stream from the gut.  Instead, it gets shipped through the lymph nodes and it arrives right at the big vein that goes into the heart  ... the body has to make sure the heart gets plenty of this first because it knows the heart needs fat and cholesterol."  Stephanie Seneff in "Cholesterol Clarity" by Jimmy Moore

The case against the lipid hypothesis is:
1.  There never was a case FOR the lipid hypothesis
2.  Most of the cholesterol you eat doesn't get to your blood, so eating a low cholesterol diet is pointless and takes away some of the most nutritious foods
3.  Dietary restriction of saturated fat has a very small effect on blood cholesterol; if consumption of saturated fat kills us by raising cholesterol, the effect would have to be manifested by blood cholesterol increases of a very small amount
4.  Restricting saturated fat or any fat has never been proved by intervention study to reduce mortality.  Epidemiological studies, as they tend to be, show "everything" with regards to high/low cholesterol, and high/low fat intake.
5.  The government spent over a billion dollars on studies designed to confirm the lipid hypothesis, and these efforts have spanned the better part of forty years.  They have still not confirmed the lipid hypothesis (which should be termed the lipid conjecture)
6.  Statins reduce mortality in a small group of very sick people (young but with existing heart disease).  They do not reduce mortality in those who have "high" cholesterol but are otherwise healthy.  Statins were the best evidence that lowering cholesterol reduces the incidence of CVD, but they are still not proof that lowering cholesterol is a treatment for CVD.  While statins do in fact reduce blood levels of cholesterol, you have to treat 100 folks for five years to be able to save one from death.  A baby aspirin, on the other hand, will save that same person if you treat 40 people for five years.  The cost difference for these two is exponential, as are the risks (for baby aspirin, there are almost none).  In other words, statins appear to be a high cost, high risk, low effect alternative for baby aspirin.
7.  A powerful LDL cholesterol reducing statin, combined with an agent that decreased absorption of cholesterol and thus reduced LDL over and above statin treatment, was found to give increased mortality compared to the control group, and the test was stopped early (vytorin)
8.  A recent study found that of those admitted to the hospital for acute heart disease, as many had high cholesterol as had low cholesterol, which is congruent with the fact that those who die of CVD have high and low cholesterol, relatively speaking.  In other words, "high cholesterol" is a weak correlate with cardiovascular disease, and is at most only one cause of CVD, and a small one.

The story of how the whole world became flummoxed by the bad science of fat and cholesterol one is a sordid tale of woe and indicts centralized control of drugs, medicine, science and the USDA to boot (every wonder what in the frock the USDA is doing messing about dietary recommendations?).

"We have this issue of cholesterol being the number-one cause of heart disease in the eyes of most of my cardiologist colleagues.  That would have some merit if it as 1963."  Dr. William Davis, from "Cholesterol Clarity" by Jimmy Moore

I've just started digesting Jimmy's book, but hope to learn more.
(Minor edits January 26, 2014)

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