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Avatar universal

IS CHOLESTEROL THE REAL ENEMY?

I have found out that cholesterol is really not the enemy. The real enemy is hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.The drug industry advertises cholesterol lowering drugs on TV all the time with a disclaimer that the drug will not cure or prevent heart disease. Obviously the drug industry is aware that cholesterol is really not the culprit but continues to market useless drugs and to scare the public into thinking they should target cholesterol. The drugs also affect liver function which is where the source of cholesterol  regulation takes place in the body further overburdening the already overworked liver with more toxic chemicals from the drugs. Why does the medical industry zero in on cholesterol when other culprits are the problem. Why is heart disease still the biggest killer after all these years and all this research.? Why does the medical industry still harp on cholesterol as the cause of heart disease?


This discussion is related to High Choleserol/low triglycerides.
53 Responses
995271 tn?1463927859
consider that it is fully documented that plaque-based stenosis can be stopped and sometimes reversed when cholesterol is reduced.  I know someone that went from a 65% blockage on his LAD to 35% with just statin use.  No diet changes or weight loss.

To me, that's a smoking gun.

There's also scientific studies that show this result and some statins are proven to do so.  Crestor comes to mind.  

The other side of that coin, Crestor is called the "gorilla statin", has a higher possibility of side effects.  pick your poisen.  heart disease or risk the side effects...
159619 tn?1538184537
COMMUNITY LEADER
I've read all the studies going both ways and I look at it like this. Until I see something that is indisputable, I will stick to the current thinking in the medical profession that higher levels of cholesterol increase the risk in CAD. Even if that's not the case, wouldn't it make sense to lower your cholesterol anyways? There are plenty of studies that do conclude that lower cholesterol equates to lower plaque build up in the arteries so I'll stick with my statin until someone proves otherwise. Why not, it can't hurt and I know how well my numbers have been conrtolled since taking a statin!

Jon
Avatar universal
Cholesterol clogs and blocks your arteries.  This is why so many people have to have angioplasty, and surgery to remove the built up plaque caused by high cholesterol  Statins DO lower bad cholesterol levels.  My husband's plaque build up was like concrete, and was caused by high cholesterol.  Statins, change in diet and exercise have helped.  My husband can barely walk due to PAD, blockages in the arteries of the legs by plaque due to high cholesterol.  
63984 tn?1385441539
When universally accepted concepts are challenged, I always question motive.  The evidence overwhelmingly is in the corner of statins as a control of cholesterol, and huge volumes of empirical evidence exists that cholesterol causes high cholesterol levels that lead to heart artery blockages.  What research are you referencing that hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn sugar are the only culprits?  What I've seen is that hydrogenated oils are confusing to the body and add to the problem, and high fructose corn sugar raises the Trigs which adds to the CHF mix.  I don't think it is an either/or proposition, it's combination.  In my case, my CAD was arrested by a combination of statins, exercise and diet.

My question:  have you had heart problems that led to heart disease?  

I look forward to the research confirmation you are quoting and hearing about your heart history.  
976897 tn?1379171202
Well I have to agree with rbrwn310. It seems that we are still basing our ideas on the very first assumption made when a post mortem recognised the cause of death as fats in the coronary arteries. Since that time, even though it has been conclusively proved to be wrong, fats have been blamed for causing CAD. I'm not saying it doesn't play a part in it, what I'm saying is it is not the cause. Let's look at what experts tell us. Cholesterol we are told is the main culprit and we should have all guns blazing in reducing levels. In studies taken across europe to compare average cholesterol levels, the UK was not found to be the highest and yet we have the highest occurence of the disease. It appears the French can munch on saturated fats all day every day, yet if a british person does this we end up with CAD. Heart disease in the UK is becoming so common that it is becoming alarming and it is affected people far younger now than it used to.
My grandparents used to eat everything cooked in solid fat (lard/suet) and they ate all the very fatty cheap cuts of meat. They didn't eat many vegetables because they were too expensive and had to cope by trying to grow their own. Fruit was a delicacy to them. They smoked unfiltered cigarettes from the age of 12 and yet both my grandmothers and grandfathers lived to be over 80 years of age. Now, along comes good old me and if Angioplasty wasn't available, I'd probably have died at the age of 46. All my life I had eaten lots of fruit/vegetable/fish and yet I'm the one who ends up sick. If Cholesterol is the cause, why do 75% of heart attack victims have normal levels of cholesterol?
There is too much evidence against cholesterol being the cause and so for me I think what we are brainwashed into believing is not fact. Virtually every major artery in my body has been scanned to check for disease, and yet it only seems that it exists in my coronary arteries. Why not in my neck? why not in my legs? why not in my arms? why not in my kidneys? liver? Why does my immune system only decide to demolish cholesterol lipids in my coronary arteries to expose the fats? If I smoked, why would the cigarette smoke only target my coronary arteries? It's all nonsense as far as I'm concerned and they should own up to the truth.  
159619 tn?1538184537
COMMUNITY LEADER
Below are some of the core studies that have been done to study the effects of cholesterol on CAD:

"The following are some cholesterol studies that have proven the importance of managing your cholesterol levels:

Coronary Primary Prevention Trial

CPPT for short, this is one of the cholesterol studies that focused on the fact that LDL cholesterol levels have to be reduced to help prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. The CPPT is among the cholesterol studies which have presented the fact that people with high cholesterol levels are more at risk when it comes to developing grave illnesses, most especially cardiovascular ones.

The CPPT is also one of the cholesterol studies that have been conducted for the duration of more than 5 years (specifically 10), to be able to see a clearer trend. In the CPPT, half of the population was given cholesterol lowering diet plans plus cholestyramine, while the rest were given the same diet plan and a placebo. Those who took cholestyramine had significantly lower LDL cholesterol and also reduced risks in developing heart attacks and coronary heart disease.

Helsinki Heart Study

The Helsinki Heart Study is one of the cholesterol studies which also analyzed all kinds of cholesterol. More than 4,000 middle aged men who had high cholesterol levels were used as samples in this study.

The treatment drug used was gemfibrozil which has shown reduction in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. HDL cholesterol levels or good cholesterol has increased. The Helsinki Heart Study is one among the many cholesterol studies that demonstrated reduced mortality rate.

Coronary Drug Project

The Coronary Drug Project may be considered as one of the most unique cholesterol studies because the population consisted of men who have survived heart attacks as compared to most of the cholesterol studies which only used people with high cholesterol levels. Those who survived heart attacks were given niacin, and have shown reduction in cholesterol levels as well as in the total mortality rate.

Many people may not have enjoyed a longer life without cholesterol studies. Cholesterol studies indeed have given us useful information on why cholesterol levels need to be managed and how they may be reduced."

I have read these studies and until I read a study that has the data to back up their claim. I am sure there are other factors involved in the development of CAD, but I will stick to the conventional thinking until it is proved otherwise. These are all intersting reads, take a look and make your own decision. There is considerable conflicting data out there, some I am unable to explain, but again I'll stick to the facts that are presented in studies like these as they have the results to prove their positions.

Jon
88793 tn?1290230777
I would like to point out..... Yes, old time people lived longer than us.  They ate butter instead of Logical (lower cholesterol margarine).  They ate all those in modern world considering bad bad not healthy food.   Why they didn't get sick so seriously?

They didn't have car.  Where ever they go, they either walk, bicycle or get a bus, train or ship (public transport).  They have a lot of exercise (walking).   The food gets burn out quickly.  Might be not enough (shortage) for the body itself to generate energy.  Many of them only able to get food filled up half the tummy (not like us over eating).  In the rural area, they need to get water in the buckets and carrying home.  Farmers without machinery, all by their hard works put in under the sun (they got vitamins D better than us) or smoke free enviroment (fresh air).  Rich people took the carriage or horses (like our cars).  At that time most of the heart disease were considered as the rich man disease.   Similar to the diabetes type II developed so well in this modern world (developed countries).

I still believe there are many alternatives can balance out our body needs.  In my case, the Verapamil damaged my liver.  After that event, my cholesterol starts raise.   I was given by so many kind of statins.  After start that for a week or so, I'll having like "heart attack" a very very bad chest pain......  (Now I realised my heart also make up by "muscle".  Statin can cause muscle pain!)  I tell myself it is not worth to try again.  Don't know which organ will attack by "damage" next?
976897 tn?1379171202
"The CPPT is also one of the cholesterol studies that have been conducted for the duration of more than 5 years (specifically 10), to be able to see a clearer trend. In the CPPT, half of the population was given cholesterol lowering diet plans plus cholestyramine, while the rest were given the same diet plan and a placebo. Those who took cholestyramine had significantly lower LDL cholesterol and also reduced risks in developing heart attacks and coronary heart disease. "

This trial was not really one that reflects the average person in a population. Over 3000 MEN (no women) were chosen for the trial and only men with hypercholesterolemia, a disorder of the Liver which affects 1 in 500. It was expected that the trial results would show a huge drop in CAD related instances but it did not. However, statin producers still took the small percentage and claimed it as revolutionary.

No trial has established a reduction in death rate.
976897 tn?1379171202
If exercise was the cure, then I should never have got atherosclerosis. I had always been very active, probably on the border of hyperactive. Working in the building trade, I would get home, eat a healthy meal, then go back out for martial arts training. I used to go for
long walks at the weekends or go for cycle rides. Exercising didn't stop my disease developing, but I believe it probably helped me to develop collaterals to save my life.
I ate healthily, lots of fruit/veg and oily fish. All a waste of time in my case. If it is supposed to work, then why didnt it with me? why doesnt it work with athletes who suddenly die from heart attack thanks to this disease. We all too often conveniently forget those exceptions to the rule but they are important. I've seen heavy smokers with the disease, light smokers and people who have never smoked. I've seen alcoholics with heart disease, those who have the odd drink and people who never drink.
If 500 people contract a disease and 480 of these are smokers, it seems we are to automatically assume it's related to smoking. But, what about the othe 20? yes we must forget them, they must be secondry smoking or something. If 500 people contract a disease and 490 are obese then being overwieght is the cause. Never mind the 10 thin people.
So with CAD if 100 people have the disease and 25 have high cholesterol, why is it claimed that cholesterol is the problem when 75 have normal levels? this is what's happening and being claimed now.
159619 tn?1538184537
COMMUNITY LEADER
Not disagreeing that there are discrepancies that are just not yet explained. My own father is an avid body builder, lived on bran, fruits, veggies and protein, worked out 7 days a week including a 20 mile bike ride until he had his bypass at age 72 due to multiple blockages. His cholesterol was over 270 and had never been checked until he was in the hospital. Mine has dropped to 155 with statins and my cardiac work ups are very good.

What you experienced is your reality, I understand that. My life is my reality, but until someone can show me data that goes against traditional thinking concerning cholesterol and it's link to CAD, I'll stick with it. Believe me, I would love to read the "magic bullet" out there, nothing I have read has the data to back up the theories yet, perhaps some day. Reading posts that shoot holes in all the studies I've read does not sway me and won't until I see some real data supporting their position.

Again, to me it's just common sense to lower one's cholesterol, can't hurt even if the studies are wrong which they are not. You will find a flaw in every study, if that what you need to do, go for it, but there is considerably more data to support the link between cholesterol and CAD than not.
Avatar universal
I have to agree with you about cholesterol not being the enemy.  Cholesterol is made by the human body.  It is used at the cellular level to replace dead or damaged cells in our tissues.  Our immune system is also not the enemy and is our last line of defense when something invades our body.  Histamines are also in this mixture of mistaken enemies.

Ask your doctor to give you a CRP blood test.  I will wager that it will show a high reading and he will not be able to tell you why.  Cholesterol is part of the problem, but injury, disease, inflamation and even attitude and stress are involved.

The amount of cholesterol eaten in your diet is a small percentage of the total.  Statins are not the magic bullet and can cause serious and even deadly side effects.  They are huge moneymakers for the drug industry and profitable for the doctors who prescribe them.  It must be very difficult for a doctor to say, "There is nothing more I can do for you-- so please take this prescription.  It may help."  All those quoted studies were funded by the drug industry and run by the doctors who are too closely involved with their use.   Think of Stomach Ulcers in the past!
159619 tn?1538184537
COMMUNITY LEADER
Again, please give your source of information before you recommend people stay away from statins. Been on them for 5 years, never and issue here, just better cholesterol numbers. I do agree there is more to it, just don't know what it is.

To everyone that would recommend that people NOT take a statin, unless you a doctor, researcher or can show me data that contradicts current thinking concerning cholesterol, you are not in a position to recommend that I avoid a medication.

Also, concerning the drug company conspiracies;

CPPT was run by the National Institutes of Health, last time I checked, they were not a drug manufacturer, instead a federal agency.

Helsinky Heart Study was performed by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, FINLAND in association with  School of Public Health, University of Tampere, FINLAND. Pretty sure Finland is a country, not a drug manufacturer.

The Coronary Drug Project was done by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), again, hardly a drug manufacturer.

None of these studies state any involvement with any company that is involved in the production of cholesterol lowering drugs.
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