Re: [IP] Re: The Statin Question
....As you get older you *need* your cholesterol to be higher. It's
protective. Your brain needs cholesterol to function. The cholesterol scare is
just a myth perpetrated by the big pharma companies.
As Sue mentions, there is a counter view of cholesterol that you will not hear
from most doctors or statin manufacturers. Because it is not mainstream, the
counter view will sound like heresy to many, if not most, therefore I present
it only for consideration and it is best to make your decision based on what
you and your doctor feel is your best course of action. The alternate view is
counter to the tenets of the lipid hypothesis promoted by the AHA, so it is
much less publicized. I am still learning about this line of thinking but will
share what I have learned thus far.
In a nutshell, cholesterol has been vilified because it shows up in high
concentrations in artery clogging plaque, so the prevailing medical theory
says lower the cholesterol to prevent heart disease. Cholesterol has also been
categorized as being bad (LDL) or good (HDL).
Again in a nutshell, the counter argument says there is no such thing as bad
or good cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed for reparative body functions so
the bad/ good distinction is a red herring. The counter argument acknowledges
the old adage that "correlation does not imply causation". In other words,
just because arterial plaque contains high amounts of cholesterol should not
imply that the cholesterol caused the plaque. The best analogy I have heard
is, fire trucks are always at the scene of a fire, therefore fire trucks must
cause fires. This same thought process was used to implicate cholesterol as
the cause of heart disease. The presence of the cholesterol in the plaque may
instead be a reparative response used by the body for fighting the arterial
damage caused by the plaque.
The counter argument notes that 50 - 60% of people who suffer heart attacks
also have normal to low cholesterol levels. If cholesterol was the culprit,
why do so many compliant patients still suffer heart disease?
Just as some think that inflammation may be a trigger for the auto immune
destruction of T1 beta cells, some are now proposing that inflammation is the
real culprit in heart disease and inflammation promotes oxidation of
cholesterol (oxLDL) which is supposed to be a better indicator of heart attack
risk. Decrease the inflammation response in your body (as measured by
C-Reactive Protein) and lowering of the heart disease risk supposedly will
follow. If true, this line of thinking would explain why those with normal to
low cholesterol levels will still suffer heart disease if they also suffer
high inflammation levels. In this alternate theory, statins may work because
they lower the amount of cholesterol available for oxidation, but do so
without addressing the primary inflammation cause.
Diet is a primary weapon for fighting inflammation. Decreasing omega 6 levels
and making sure you maintain your vitamin D levels are 2 tactics employed. The
theory also says that saturated fats that mankind has eaten for centuries are
not culprits in heart disease. Instead it is argued that the industrial seed
oils that were introduced into the Western diet in the last century are more
likely culprits. The hydrogenated oils that the government used to tell us
were good for us in the margarine and Crisco we were told to eat are now
condemned, while butter was better all along.
Statins interfere with the body's ability to produce Co-enzyme Q10 which helps
fight inflammation, so many recommend Co-Q10 supplements if you are on
You can get a more complete look at the theory from this site by Stephan
Guyenet, a PH.D neurobiologist who blogs about health issues. He does a very
good job of scouring medical studies and backs up his counter arguments with
For a site on fighting inflammation see this blog by Dr. Art Ayers, PH.D
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology :
You tube video on the cholesterol myth:
Dr. Uffe Ravnskov also writes about the cholesterol myth.
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