These studies have been around for a long time, many anti-statin groups will point out the low rate of heart attack within the Eskimo and Icelandic populations even though they have higher than normal cholesterol levels.
What the studies don't point out is the fact that they have much higher than normal HDL levels, as high as 68% over normal, due to their diets that are rich in Omega 3 fats, like those found in fish oil. Also, they have lower than normal serum TGL's. Due to their high HDL levels they have a higher overall TC number, but it's a healthy breakdown.
AND, since many have become westernised, they have certainly started to see the real effects of heart disease. Erijon is correct in that these individual cases are often used to try and disprove the benefits of medications, but they never use the full story. It's the same with the French paradox for the English. Our neighbours consume tons of dairy products yet have very little instance of heart disease compared to us. They tested the effects of wine, grapes, olives and found nothing conclusive, until recently. Dieticians in the UK were fighting obesity and this included removing dairy products from our diet. Dairy products have been found now to be the cause of the French Paradox and the fats in cheese/milk etc seem to react differently in the body to fats from meat etc. They turn into a soapy substance which the body cannot absorb. Two groups were fed the same diet over a month, with the exception that one group had added dairy products. Cholesterol tests after a month showed the group with dairy had reduced their cholesterol levels considerably. The dairy group were also excreting over 30% more fat than the non dairy group. All that was obviously being absorbed into the blood.
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