Ignore Your Cholesterol Number

In 1856, a German scientist named Rudolf Virchow, theorized that blood cholesterol levels are associated with the development of heart disease. He proposed that

  • When blood cholesterol levels are high, cholesterol molecules lodge themselves in arterial walls.
  • Causing inflammation as white blood cells rush to the area to fix the problem.
  • Leading to arterial damage, calcification/hardening, and corresponding plaque accumulation.
  • Over time this ‘thickening of the walls’ (atherosclerosis) leads to a heart attack or stroke.

After supporting experiments on rabbits in 1913, the theory was formerly dubbed ‘the lipid hypothesis’ in 1951.  And in 1984 the National Institute of Health gathered 14 experts who, after reviewing the scientific evidence, voted unanimously that:

“Lowering elevated blood cholesterol levels will reduce the risk of heart attacks caused by coronary heart disease.”

cholesterol-heart-disease-time-magazine

By 2002, the ‘lipid hypothesis’ was no longer a theory, it was FACT!

But realistically, there’s never been reliable proof that high cholesterol levels cause heart disease, and several (courageous) MDs and scientists have stated from the outset that it’s based on  “inaccuracies, misinterpretations, exaggerations and misleading quotations in this research area.

For instance, the original trials were done on rabbits, which are herbivores that aren’t able to properly process dietary cholesterol, and the experiments added chemically prepared ‘bare’ cholesterol, which has a higher likelihood of being oxidized before consumption.

But more importantly, all reliable large scale studies since have found no association between cholesterol and heart disease.  With this graph looking at Total Cholesterol & Mortality from Cardiovascular Disease across 86 countries displaying that ‘lack of association’ quite well:

cholesterol

And when you actually look at the research, it’s clear that:

Half of the people with heart disease have low cholesterol, and half the people with high cholesterol have perfectly healthy hearts.

Which suggests that cholesterol and heart disease are not related…no matter how you try to spin it.

Stay Lean!

Coach Mike