Scientific Papers Prove That People With High So-Called "Bad" LDL Cholesterol Live The Longest
If we clear our minds from the cycle of never-ending falsities promoted by mainstream medicine, we come to the realization that the truth about our health lies in the exact opposite of the medical mindset. The fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers. The 'noddy-science' offered by marketing men to a generally scientifically-naive public has led many people to believe that we should replace certain food choices with specially developed products that can help 'reduce cholesterol'. Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers.
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.
There may be a link between low levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol--that is, not enough of it--and increased cancer risk, according to new research. Scientists at Tufts University looked at 201 cancer patients and 402 cancer-free patients. They found that cancer patients who never took cholesterol-lowering drugs on average had lower LDL cholesterol levels for an average of about 19 years prior to their cancer diagnosis. In other words, they were “healthier” according to the LDL demonizers in today’s medicine.
Previous studies, which looked at patients who did take cholesterol-lowering drugs, also suggested a strong link between low LDL cholesterol levels and higher cancer risk.
Steve Riechman, a researcher in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, says the study reveals that LDL is not the evil Darth Vader of health it has been made out to be in recent years and that new attitudes need to be adopted in regards to the substance. His work, with help from colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, Kent State University, the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, is published in the Journal of Gerontology.
Riechman and colleagues examined 52 adults from ages to 60 to 69 who were in generally good health but not physically active, and none of them were participating in a training program. The study showed that after fairly vigorous workouts, participants who had gained the most muscle mass also had the highest levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, “a very unexpected result and one that surprised us.
“It shows that you do need a certain amount of LDL to gain more muscle mass. There’s no doubt you need both -- the LDL and the HDL -- and the truth is, it (cholesterol) is all good. You simply can’t remove all the ‘bad’ cholesterol from your body without serious problems occurring.
The 'noddy-science' of the so-called 'functional food' manufacturers would have us believe that there is such a thing as 'bad' cholesterol and 'good' cholesterol. This is, in fact, totally untrue. The cholesterol itself, whether being transported by LDL or HDL, is exactly the same. Cholesterol is simply a necessary ingredient that is required to be regularly delivered around the body for the efficient healthy development, maintenance and functioning of our cells. The difference is in the 'transporters' (the lipoproteins HDL and LDL) and both types are essential for the human body's delivery logistics to work effectively.
Problems can occur, however, when the LDL particles are both small and their carrying capacity outweighs the transportation potential of available HDL. This can lead to more cholesterol being 'delivered' around the body with lower resources for returning excess capacity to the liver.
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.
When proponents of the cholesterol hypothesis are confronted with findings showing a bad outcome associated with low cholesterol--and there are many such observations--they usually argue that severely ill patients are often malnourished, and malnourishment is therefore said to cause low cholesterol. However, the mortality of the patients in this study was independent of their degree of nourishment; low cholesterol predicted early mortality whether the patients were malnourished or not.
Do Low Levels of LDL Cholesterol Cause Cancer?
Does cancer cause low levels of LDL cholesterol, or are lower levels of LDL cholesterol a precursor to the development of cancer? New data from the Framingham HeartStudy (FHS) offspring cohort help shed light on the question, mainly by eliminating the reverse-causality hypothesis that cancer is responsible for significantly lower serum concentrations of LDL cholesterol.
"The question we wanted to address is whether low cholesterol happens when the cancer is already there or is it there before the cancer develops," lead investigator Dr Paul Michael Lavigne (Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA) told heartwire. "Based on these data, it would suggest that lower cholesterol predated the development of cancer by quite a long time. Now, that doesn't necessarily speak to [low cholesterol] causing the cancer; it could have been related to something else altogether, but it's not supportive of the hypothesis that cancer caused the low levels of LDL cholesterol. We don't know why it predates cancer, but it would be premature to attribute it to the cancer itself."
Presenting at the American College of Cardiology 2012 Scientific Sessions, Lavigne said the association between serum cholesterol levels and cancer incidence was first documented more than 30 years ago. More recently, a 2007 meta-analysis by Drs Alawi Alsheikh-Ali and Richard Karas (Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA) showed there was a "significant and linear relationship" between LDL levels achieved and risk of new cancer cases. Another study published in 2008 by the same researchers showed a similar relationship between low LDL-cholesterol levels and incident cancer.
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.”
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.
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.