Cholesterol Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease

‘Bad cholesterol’ is not bad after all. In fact quite the opposite. The fifty-year old theory that high cholesterol causes heart disease has recently been thrown out. A group of scientists studied over 68,000 elderly people only to find shocking results. ‘Bad cholesterol’ might actually help us live longer.

Science Says Bad Cholesterol is Good

Margarine has been fast falling out of favour. And the latest science could show that butter is not just better, but brilliant. It may be possible to once again eat that 500 gram steak  or mound of cheese, guilt free. High cholesterol foods are no longer seen as a health risk.

butter & healthy fats

92 percent of people with high cholesterol live longer according to the latest peer review study. 19 of the most sound studies on cholesterol and heart disease were reviewed and the results published in the British Medical Open Journal on 4 July 2016. Researchers found elderly people with high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol had no sign of heart disease. Plus they lived longer than people with low LDL cholesterol.

The study writes, “This is the first systematic review of cohort studies where low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been analysed as a risk factor for all-cause and/or cardiovascular mortality in elderly people. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long or longer than those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis.”

Cholesterol is Vital

“Cholesterol is one of the most vital molecules in the body.” Co-author of the study cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra told Sky News, “We produce it through the liver and it’s important for things like maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, for hormone production, for brain development, and even in the immune system. The thought that we can just strip this out of the body through cholesterol lowering foods or drugs, and that it won’t have any adverse effects, really is bad science.”

Anti-aging & stem cells

Inflammation Damage Control

“What we found is there isn’t an association (between cholesterol and heart disease) and actually it may well be protective.”Malhotra points out, “Inflammation is what actually damages the coronary arteries.”

Inflammation is the immune systems reaction to foreign invaders, insulin resistance or an acidic environment. When the arterial walls are inflamed for a long period of time they can become damaged. LDL cholesterol is actually used by the body as a plaster to protect the walls. Unhealthy lifestyle habits can easily trigger arterial inflammation, such as smoking, junk food and high alcohol consumption.

Insulin Resistance: The Real Culprit

The good news is we do know, “The real precursor to many chronic diseases and that is insulin resistance,” explains Malhotra. “It is the precursor to type 2 diabetes. It is also the most important risk factor for heart disease. It’s one of the highest risk factors for high blood pressure. Poor diets, not doing enough activity, over stressed, lack of sleep, all of these things add up to insulin resistance.” The good news is insulin resistance is reversible and preventable with healthy lifestyle changes.

A fat man eating junk increasing chances of cholesterol

Where Does This Leave Statins?

“This research adds onto a body of evidence that exposes the great cholesterol con.” Malhotra continues, ”One of the problems with this unfortunately, is that there is a huge market invested interest both in cholesterol lowering food and a massive market, multi-billion dollar industry around drugs.”

Lowering cholesterol with medications is a total waste of time Professor Sherif Sultan, University of Ireland told the UK Telegraph. The authors of the study have called for a re-evaluation of current medical guidelines that promote cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins: ” Our study provides the rationale for a re-evaluation of guidelines recommending pharmacological reduction of LDL-C in the elderly as a component of cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.”

statins and cholesterol

Even though many professionals are arguing against it, this study could be a game changer and catalyst for a much needed change. We all know junk food and unhealthy lifestyles are a problem, but pointing fingers at good quality whole foods has not done anyone any favours to date. Maybe food can once again be our medicine.