Everybody knows that when cholesterol is found in high levels in the blood, heart disease is just around the corner. We know it because that's what we've been told. Again and again and again. Is there evidence to support this? Well, there is evidence that disagrees with this idea. Let's look.
The Framingham Study: This study spanned 40 years, beginning in 1948. It was government-sponsored and the first heart disease study of its kind. Five hundred Framingham, Massachusetts residents participated in the study. Early in the study, high cholesterol was thought to be a risk factor for heart disease, but 16 years later, the follow-up showed that half of the participants who had suffered heart attacks had LOW cholesterol. And overall, there was very little difference in the levels of cholesterol of those with and without heart attacks.
Thirty years later, another portion of the study showed there was no difference in cholesterol levels in men aged 47 and older who had died. This same study gave some more shocking evidence...Those who had lowered their cholesterol had a greater risk of death than those whose cholesterol levels had increased. Sound crazy? Here's a direct quote: "For each 1mg/dl drop in cholesterol, there was an 11 percent increase in coronary and total mortality." [Italics mine.]
Here's the sad political twist to this truth, however. In 1990 the AHA and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute used this same information and published it with a definite 'twist', (I would call it something else, actually), in Circulation:
"The results of the Framingham study indicate that a 1 percent reduction...of cholesterol [corresponds to] a 2 percent reduction in CHD [Coronary Heart Disease] risk."
This is nearly unbelievable evidence showing how facts that disprove the 'almighty' lipid hypothesis, (see last post), are twisted to appear to support it.
The International Atherosclerosis Project spanned 14 nations and autopsied 22,000 bodies in 1968. Whether the people of each region ate a lot of fatty animal foods or were more vegetarian, there was the same amount of fatty plaque blocking arteries. Even in comparing high cholesterol to low cholesterol in these corpses, the artery blockage was the same. These worldwide populations included areas where heart disease was prevalent, areas where there was little, and areas where there was none.
DID YOU KNOW that high cholesterol in women is a good thing? Again...I KNOW! In light of the information we've been fed through the years, this sounds absolutely absurd. But ALL studies that include women in regard to cholesterol and heart disease show that high levels do not make women at risk for heart disease. A workshop held at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute concluded that low cholesterol is more dangerous to women than high cholesterol! The report was given in the journal, Circulation, in 1992.
The Lancet published a study based in Paris in 1989. This study found that old women with high cholesterol win in the race of longevity. Once again, low cholesterol showed itself to be a problem. Women with low cholesterol had a death rate five times higher than those with high cholesterol.
In 2003, the British Medical Journal reported the conclusion of University of British Columbia research...Are you ready? Well, you may or may not know that statin drugs are used to lower cholesterol. This study showed that these drugs are useless in preventing heart disease in women.
Canada: According to1990 research of the Quebec Cardiovascular Study, while there is a slight, link between high cholesterol and the risk of heart disease in American men...for some reason, even this slight risk is non-existent in Canadian men. The study followed nearly 5,000 middle-aged men in good health over a span of 12 years. Unfortunately, these results were once again twisted, (because they were not the results they had hoped to find), via a lame explanation that it takes more than 12 years for the effects of high cholesterol to manifest. However, the previous Framingham study proves this explanation invalid.
Russia: You know how we are told to keep our LDL ('bad cholesterol') levels down? Sure you do. Anyone over 30 knows. Or at least has heard something about it. Circulation published the results of a study by the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in 1993. This study showed that those low levels we're shooting for are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
And you know how we've been told that there is 'good cholesterol', (HDL)? Apparently, this is supposed to make us less at risk. But this same study showed that the people with the low LDL and high HDL...which should be a good thing according to what we've been taught, were the ones with the increased risk of heart disease. In short: "Low cholesterol = Increased Risk".
So, what does U.S. Government have to say about the LDL factor? There are many reports beyond what's spoken of here that refute the lipid hypothesis. Still Diet and Health maintains that LDL is the greatest risk factor for heart disease. It really pushes the envelope by referring to cases as supporting this theory when they in fact, do not. One example of this is the use of the Framingham study. They actually say that this study supports the theory that high LDL levels are dangerous. However, that study, in reality, showed that "LDL ...is a marginal risk factor for people over 50"...and that "...women over 70 had a greater risk of heart disease if their LDL was low."
The Honolulu Heart Program: Covering 20 years of research, scientists compared cholesterol concentrations with mortality from all causes. The final conclusion of this study? "Our data accords with previous findings of increased mortality in elderly people with low serum cholesterol, and show that...the earlier that patients start to have lower cholesterol concentrations, the greater the risk of death..." These findings tell us that the earlier we start eating low-fat diets as prescribed by government agencies, the greater our risk of death from all causes.
By now, you have either decided that this information is balderdash or you have decided that maybe it's time to make some dietary changes. But, what if you're on a cholesterol-lowering drug? Arm yourself with information and talk to your doctor. Studies over more than the past 15 years, concentrating on cholesterol-lowering drugs and whether or not they are effective, reveal the following: Whether a patient was taking Lipitor, other cholesterol-lowering drugs, or nothing, the death rate was identical. Identical. IDENTICAL. Think perhaps it was a half-shod study? Think again. It covered 44 trials with nearly 10,000 patients and was apparently considered news-worthy enough to be published by the American Journal of Cardiology in 2003.
Across the world, eyebrows are being raised...the unquestionable question is coming into play...Is cholesterol really linked to heart disease? Is it's presence a precursor to coronary issues?
I think the answer is, "I think not."
So is that expensive bucket of unrefined coconut oil really a good buy?
It's a great buy.
Your body will love you for it. And while you're at it, get the lard. And the tallow. And the butter. Just get the best quality you can. Toxins are stored in the fat of animals so don't get lard from conventionally raised pork. Don't get or make tallow from the fat of conventionally raised beef. All these products need to come from animals that are raised without hormones and antibiotics. They need to be eating in real fields with real, green, pesticide-free grass. Green grass is a major component. It cleanses the animal's system and raises it's nutrient value exponentially.
Yes, eat your saturated fat. Know you're doing yourself good when you do. Throw your fat phobia out the window.
There now...One less thing to worry about...Isn't that better?
'Myth Buster' information from today's post, as well as the last post, comes mostly from that found in "Nourishing Traditions" and "Eat Fat, Lose Fat". I highly recommend them to any wanting to dig deeper.