'The BMJ article "Dietary fat and cardiometabolic health: evidence, controversies, and consensus for guidance" mentions in passing a critically important point - "evidence from clinical trials suggests that saturated fat may have little effect on LDL cholesterol levels in people with obesity".
Is the LDL response to saturated fat a sign... - Healthy Eating
'The Framingham Heart Study began in 1948 and involved some 6,000 people from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts who filled out detailed questionnaires about their lifestyle habits and diets. The study is credited with identifying heart disease risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise and, yes, high cholesterol.
Despite being widely publicized, the cholesterol link was weak, as researchers noted those who weighed more and had abnormally high blood cholesterol levels were slightly more at risk for future heart disease. What you don’t hear about is the fact that the more cholesterol and saturated fat people ate, the lower their cholesterol levels. In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. William Castelli, a former director of the Framingham Heart study, stated:
“In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol … We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”
Cholesterol is simply not the main perpetrator causing heart disease. Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a board certified cardiologist and a prominent expert in the field of natural cardiology, explained in a recent interview:
“Let’s face it, cholesterol is something your body needs. If you look at the MRFIT study [Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial] where they looked at 180,000 men over a period of… 13 years (1973-80); men with cholesterol of 330 had less hemorrhagic stroke than men with cholesterol less than 180. If you look at cholesterol numbers, the higher cholesterol number would give you protection from hemorrhagic stroke. (I’m not talking about ischemic stroke now but hemorrhagic stroke.)
… [W]e need cholesterol in our skin to activate vitamin D3 from sunlight. We need cholesterol to make our sex hormones… to make our adrenal hormones. We need it for lubrication. We need it for neurotransmitter function in the brain. When LDL is driven too low, it’s no wonder that a lot of patients develop memory problems or pre-Alzheimer’s, or even total global amnesia, which is really losing one’s memory. It’s very frightful and I have seen several cases.… There are so many other aspects that in my mind play a much bigger role that I put cholesterol down at the low end of the spectrum.”
Framingham's Faulty Risk Data Drives Statin Sales:
'In the world of fast-food medicine doctors utilize lab test numbers, family history, and lifestyle factors to help decide whether or not to place patients on statin drugs. For the past decade they have relied on various risk tools based on data coming from the Framingham study. A new study1 shows that up to 26% of the people being given statins based on this commonly-used criteria have absolutely no plaque in their arteries! Said another way, 5 billion in statin sales per year are flat out fraud.'
Andy, subsequent studies have eroded that link by controlling for various other factors. That's the way experimental evidence progresses (the textbook example was "evidence" of telepathy - the observed effect got smaller and smaller as the experiments got better, until it eventually disappeared).
Just out of curiosity, do you know what your cholesterol and TG numbers are? I'm planning to get mine measured just for amusement value.
Anyway ... the study that Dottie2011 quotes is simply repeating an observation that has been made in many other studies: LDL in and of itself doesn't seem to be a risk factor for anything. When an experimental result is reproducible, it's usually taken as reliable. Furthermore, finding no association is a very solid result, because you can be certain you're not observing some phantom effect due to something you've not thought of (if there is NO effect, there can't be any phantoms).
I think I'll have to post a video about how science works. It really frustrates me that the general public are being pushed around by nonsense they read in the newspapers, or at best by not being able to interpret (and critique) scientific experiments. We've got doctors handing out very dangerous drugs like they're Smarties because some idiot in power genuinely thinks that this will cure heart disease. Or possibly because it'll make him rich, but I'd like to think it's not that.
That's fine, but our perceptions can lie to us. That's why we do science. So many researchers have confirmed "no link" for LDL and heart disease risk that the only people still clinging on to the idea are the statin manufacturers (and their faithful servants in government). Feel free to google it. There's a whole raft of research on this.
Besides, as I've mentioned before, even the official research shows only a tiny benefit for cholesterol-reduction therapy. It is therefore impossible that cholesterol per se is the causative agent in heart disease. IIRC, the best cherry-picked, drug-company-sponsored research shows a 28% decrease in 'events' using statins. Compare that with the effects of getting fit, which yields something like a 300% decrease in lifetime risk, and/or stopping smoking, which has a similarly dramatic effect.
Let's be clear about this: you can get your risk of heart disease close to zero by throwing your cigarettes and the TV in the trash, and going out for a run instead of watching Britain's Got Talent (or whatever spews from the s--t pipe these days). That's independent of any other factor, including diet. As a bonus, those two things lower your risk of various cancers too. And the government are still wringing their hands and saying, oh my goodness, what can we do? I suppose we'd better prescribe more statins. Seriously, the world is going mad.
Last I heard the patents have run out on a couple of statins so you'd think they would have lost interest by now, but sometimes these things take on a life of their own.
it's getting the wrong end of the stick. Understanding the issue from a wrong end. Cholesterol is a fireman. Wherever there is inflammatory damage it seals the "burning " sites. So higher the degree of such wear n tears higher is the cholesterol levels in the blood. So interpretations are true but not the translation / understanding.
Also 95% of the cholesterol is produced by our own body and recirculted via bile. So dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on blood cholesterol.