Cholesterol, Statins, & Heart Disease

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The Great Cholesterol Scam and The Dangers of Statins

Exploring the Actual Causes and Treatments of Heart Disease

Story at a Glance:

•There is a widespread belief that elevated cholesterol is the “cause” of cardiovascular disease. However, a large body of evidence shows that there is no association between the two and that lower cholesterol significantly increases one’s risk of death.

•An alternative model (which the medical industry buried) proposes that the blood clots the body uses to heal arterial damage, once healed, create the characteristic atherosclerotic lesions associated with heart disease. The evidence for this model, in turn, is much stronger than the cholesterol hypothesis and provides many important insights for treating heart disease.

•The primary approach to treating heart disease is to prescribe cholesterol lowering statin drugs (to the point, over a trillion dollars have now been spent on them). Unfortunately, the benefits of these highly toxic drugs are minuscule (e.g., at best taking them for years extends your life by a few days) and the harms are vast (statins are one of the most common pharmaceuticals that severely injure patients).

•In this article we will explore the specific injuries caused by statin drugs, the forgotten causes of cardiovascular disease, and our preferred treatments for heart and vascular diseases.

The more I study science, the more I come to see how often fundamental facts end up being changed so that a profitable industry can be created. In the case of heart disease, I very much believe that is the case and in this publication, I’ve tried to expose the erroneous information that predominates our understanding of this subject (e.g., previously I’ve discussed why our model of how the heart pumps blood in the body is incorrect and in an article that will be released in a few weeks, I will detail the major misconceptions about blood pressure management).

Within cardiology, I believe one of the most damaging falsehoods is that cholesterol causes heart disease and that taking statins (or their newer equivalents), which lower cholesterol, are the key to preventing heart disease. This is because, in addition to those “facts” being incorrect, statins are also some of the most dangerous and widely used pharmaceutical drugs on the market.

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Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Frequently, when an industry harms many people, it will create a scapegoat to get out of trouble. Once this happens, a variety of other sectors that also benefit from that scapegoat existing will jump on the bandwagon. Before long, a false belief that harms society becomes an unquestionable dogma that becomes very difficult to overturn because many corrupt parties have a vested interest in maintaining the lie.

For example, various easily addressable factors (which often exist in the first place because they benefit an industry) are responsible for the chronic diseases we face in society and our vulnerability to infectious diseases (e.g., the obese and diabetics were much more likely to catch COVID-19). However, by saying all diseases result from insufficient vaccination, it gets all those destructive industries off the hook and creates a huge market for selling vaccines and treatments for these illnesses. Thus, since there are so many vested interests behind the vaccine paradigm, it is very difficult to overturn—despite the fact the existing evidence shows vaccinations are responsible for the massive epidemic of chronic disease that is sweeping our country.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a debate emerged over what caused heart disease. On one side, John Yudkin effectively argued that the sugar being added to our food by the processed food industry was the chief culprit. On the other side, Ancel Keys (who attacked Yudkin’s work) argued that it was due to saturated fat and cholesterol.

Note: a case can also be made that the mass adoption of vegetable oils lead to this increase in heart disease. Likewise, some believe the advent of water chlorination was responsible for this increase.

Ancel Keys won, Yudkin’s work was largely dismissed, and Keys became nutritional dogma. A large part of Key’s victory was based on his study of seven countries (Italy, Greece, Former Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Finland, America, and Japan), which showed that as saturated fat consumption increased, heart disease increased in a linear fashion.

However, what many don’t know (as this study is still frequently cited) is that this result was simply a product of the countries Keys chose (e.g., one author illustrated that if Finland, Israel, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Sweden had been chosen, the opposite would have been found).

Fortunately, it gradually became recognized that Ancel Keys did not accurately report the data he used to substantiate his arguments. For example, recently an unpublished 56 month randomized study of 9,423 adults living in state mental hospitals or a nursing home (which made it possible to rigidly control their diets) that Keys was the lead investigator of was unearthed. This study (inconveniently) found that replacing half of the animal (saturated) fats they ate with vegetable oil (e.g., corn oil) lowered their cholesterol, and that for every 30 points it dropped, their risk of death increased by 22 percent (which roughly translates to each 1% drop in cholesterol raising the risk of death by 1%)—so as you can imagine, it was never published.

Note: the author who unearthed that study also discovered another (unpublished) study from the 1970s of 458 Australians, which found that replacing some of their saturated fat with vegetable oils increased their risk of dying by 17.6%

Likewise, recently, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world published internal sugar industry documents. They showed the sugar industry had used bribes to make scientists place the blame for heart disease on fat so Yudkin’s work would not threaten the sugar industry. In turn, it is now generally accepted that Yudkin was right, but nonetheless, our medical guidelines are still largely based on Key’s work.

However, despite a significant amount of data that now shows lowering cholesterol is not associated with a reduction in heart disease (e.g., this studythis studythis studythis reviewthis review, and this review) the need to lower cholesterol is still a dogma within cardiology. For example, how many of you have heard of this 1986 study which was published in the Lancet which concluded:

During 10 years of follow-up from Dec 1, 1986, to Oct 1, 1996, a total of 642 participants died. Each 1 mmol/L increase in total cholesterol corresponded to a 15% decrease in mortality (risk ratio 0–85 [95% Cl 0·79–0·91]).

Note: when people are diabetic (which leads to the liver having to process too much sugar) the liver will convert to fat and then create more cholesterol to transport some of that fat. In these instances, I would argue the actual issue is an excess of sugar rather than elevated cholesterol levels it causes.

Statins Marketing

One of the consistent patterns I’ve observed within medicine is that once a drug is identified that can “beneficially” change a number, medical practice guidelines will gradually shift to prioritizing treating that number and before long, rationals will be created that require more and more of the population to be subject to that regimen. In the case of statins, prior to their discovery, it was difficult to reliably lower cholesterol, but once they hit the market, research rapidly emerged stating that cholesterol was more and more dangerous and, hence that more and more people needed to be on statins.  …

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