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The 8 Biggest Myths about Cholesterol

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Posted Tuesday, Dec. 18th, 2012

The 8 Biggest Myths about Cholesterol

As I recently discussed on the Dr. Oz Show, the Great Cholesterol Myth has been the foundation of the boneheaded dietary advice you and I have been saddled with for the past thirty years.

This“official” dietary advice has directly contributed to the greatest epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in history.

Dr. Oz told the audience that the show was “the most important show on cholesterol I’ve ever done”.

Belief in the mythology of cholesterol has caused us to take our eye off the ball when it comes to preventing heart disease.

Belief in the Great Cholesterol Myth has caused us to neglect the real causes of heart disease while obsessively focusing on an innocuous molecule that’s essential for life and has only a minor role in heart disease.

So What is the Great Cholesterol Myth?

Here is executive summary of the eight most deceptive myths about cholesterol and heart disease.

MYTH #1: High cholesterol is the cause of heart disease.

FACT: Cholesterol is a fairly insignificant player in heart disease.

MYTH #2: High cholesterol is a good predictor of heart attacks.

FACT: High cholesterol is a lousy predictor of heart attacks. Half the people admitted to hospitals with heart disease have normal cholesterol, and plenty of people with elevated cholesterol have perfectly healthy hearts.

MYTH #3: Lowering cholesterol with statin drugs will prolong your life.

FACT: There is no data showing statins have any impact on longevity.

MYTH #4: Statin drugs are perfectly safe.

FACT: Statin drugs have significant side effects, including loss of memory and libido, muscle pain and fatigue, and approximately 65% of doctors don’t report those side effects.1

MYTH #5:Statin drugs are appropriate for men, women, children, and the elderly.

FACT: The only group in which statins have been shown to have even a modest effect is in middle-aged men who’ve already had a heart attack. If you’re not in that group, you’ve got no business on a statin drug.2

MYTH #6:Saturated fat is dangerous.

FACT: Saturated fat is mostly neutral and may even have some health benefits. Recent peer-reviewed studies have shown no association of saturated fat with heart disease.3

MYTH# 7:The higher your cholesterol, the shorter your lifespan.

FACT: In the Framingham Study, the people who actually lived the longest had the highest cholesterol.4

MYTH #8:A high-carbohydrate diet protects you from heart disease.

FACT: Diets that substitute carbohydrates for saturated fat actually increase the risk for heart disease.5

Cardiologist Stephen Sinatra and I have just co-authored The Great Cholesterol Myth, a book which blows cholesterol mythology out of the water, complete with over 200 scientific references. In it you’ll learn:

1. The real causes of heart disease (and what to do about them)…

2. The real dietary culprits in heart disease (and saturated fat isn’t one of them)…

3. Why the current cholesterol tests for “good” and “bad” cholesterol are completely out-of-date…

4. The enormous dangers of statin drugs (and why they are under-reported by doctors)…

5. A drug-free program for preventing heart disease…

For that and much, much more, check out our new book, The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease and the Statin-Free Plan that Will.

I hope you buy the book and give it to everyone you love, especially if they’re on cholesterol-lowering medication or are considering going on it. It may be the most important thing they have ever read.

Naturally yours,

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

References

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17696579

2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-430928/Statins-wont-prevent-women-getting-heart-disease-claim-doctors.html

3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20071648

4. http://chriskresser.com/cholesterol-doesnt-cause-heart-disease

5. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/5/1175.abstract?ijkey=6f0b7d9fbbf501ff2f16776c8c3745870fa45394&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

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  • Jen

    Dr. Bowden, I had a stroke 6 months ago at age 36. For unknown reasons I developed a blood clot in my carotid artery. My cholesterol was not high at the time of the stroke , but I was put on Simvistatin for life in order keep my cholesterol as low as possible to reduce the risk of another stroke. I recovered very well from the stroke…no residual effects. What are your thoughts on my taking simvistatin for life?

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