The Cholesterol Myth: Is Lowering Cholesterol a Good Thing?

Cholesterol and Heart Disease-A Phony Issue – By Mary Enig, PhD

The official advice to lower serum cholesterol levels has brought about numerous supplements with the attached claim that consuming them will lower cholesterol. In fact, the body uses cholesterol to repair and to protect. When improvement to the health of the body brought about by good changes in lifestyle or diet results in a lowering of serum cholesterol, it can be counted as an example of the body no longer needing the extra circulating cholesterol. The repair has been accomplished.

Bad Cholesterol: A Myth and a Fraud! – By F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

In truth, the so-called “bad” cholesterol is actually far more beneficial than is appreciated. Cholesterol is an element from which many of our hormones are made. Vitamin D is made by the body from cholesterol in our skin that is exposed to sunlight. Cholesterol is used in the insulating membranes that cover our nerve systems. There is no such a thing as bad cholesterol.

The Cholesterol Myth

Having low cholesterol is well established in may studies as a factor present in some cancers, and liver disease. It is also associated with age related decline…There is much evidence for the role of cholesterol as an antioxidant…people with low blood cholesterol tend to be ones who have immune system problems and are prone to serious infections, possibly due to the fact that cholesterol is used as a sponge for bacterial toxins which would otherwise cause damage to cells.

Second Opinion – The Cholesterol Myth

Cholesterol may be ingested in animal products, but less than twenty percent of your body’s cholesterol needs will be supplied in this way. Your body then makes up the difference. If you eat less cholesterol, your body merely compensates by making more…It has also long been known that simple events, such as putting a cuff around the arm prior to taking a blood sample, or fear of the needle, can result in raised cholesterol values.

The Cholesterol Myth

According to George V. Mann, M.D., professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University, “Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are not the cause of coronary heart disease. That myth is the greatest scientific deception of this century, perhaps of any century.“…In one study, seventy men were divided into three groups which ate either 3, 7, or 14 eggs a week for five months. The total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides did not change during the study for any of the groups.

LDL Cholesterol: “Bad” Cholesterol, Or Bad Science (PDF)

While the war on cholesterol has proved to be extremely lucrative for the food and drug industries, it has delivered no benefit to public health. Cholesterol is needed for the synthesis of bile acids, which are essential for the absorption of fats, and of many hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, dihydroepiandrosterone, progesterone, and cortisol. No tightly controlled clinical trial has ever conclusively demonstrated that LDL cholesterol reductions can prevent cardiovascular disease or increase longevity.

Cholesterol Myths By Dr. Ravnskov

There is no evidence that too much animal fat and cholesterol in the diet promotes atherosclerosis or heart attacks. For instance, more than a dozen studies have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven’t eaten more fat than other people, and degree of atherosclerosis at autopsy is unrelated with the diet…many studies have shown that people whose blood cholesterol is low become just as arteriosclerotic as people whose cholesterol is high.


If we look at two major long-term studies, Framingham and Tecumseh, it is clear that those who ate the most cholesterol had exactly the same level of cholesterol in their blood as those who ate the least 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.” Dr William Castelli 1992 (Director of the Framingham study).

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs and Alzheimer’s Disease

Despite the fact that wide-spread opinion about high levels of cholesterol still remains negative, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting its beneficial role in the brain. It has also been found that patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease have lower levels of cholesterol in cerebrospinal fluid (the brain and spinal cord). (J Lipid Res 2000, 41:963-974).

The importance of cholesterol in the functioning of the brain is reflected by the fact that the human brain, making up only 2% of total body weight, contains as much as 25% of the total cholesterol pool. (Curr Opin Lipidol 2001, 12:105-112).

If the hypothesis is proved to be true it should first of all change the negative attitude towards blood high cholesterol levels in clinical practice. In particular the use of statin drugs in older subjects with neurological disorders should be revised.

Ending the Cholesterol-Heart Disease Myth

The body actually uses the lipoprotein cholesterol as a kind of bandage to cover abrasions and tears in damaged arterial walls just as it does it for any other wound. Cholesterol is nothing less than a life-saver…in Japan, the cholesterol levels have risen during recent years, yet the number of heart attacks has dropped…A more recent study from Denmark involving 20,000 men and women, in fact, demonstrated that most heart disease patients have normal cholesterol levels…The lack of evidence linking elevated cholesterol with increased risk of heart disease, however, didn’t stop the brainwashing of the masses.

The Cholesterol Myth – Dr. Barry Sears

We are led to believe that elevated cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. As a result, we have declared war on dietary cholesterol, and that has also meant a war on dietary fat. The result of that dietary approach has been an epidemic of obesity…Although these findings should have put a damper on the primacy of the cholesterol connection causing heart disease, this was not the case.

Excerpt From Thomas J. Moore’s Book Heart Failure

The men with the lowest cholesterol levels were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer as those with the highest cholesterol levels…In the journal Preventive Medicine, Hirotsuga Ueschima and two colleagues published in 1979 a study showing that in rural communities where the average blood-cholesterol levels were below 180 mg/dl the rates of stroke were two to three times higher than those in areas with higher cholesterol levels.

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Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs and Alzheimer’s Disease
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