No. Not like the pharma industry has lead doctors, media and public to believe. There are major conflicts of interests (read: money to be made) by mis- and dis-information.
In fact, studies have shown that of patients who died of heart disease, the majority had LOW CHOLESTEROL and not high cholesterol. In post autopsy findings as early as 1936, no correlation was found between heart attacks, heart disease and high cholesterol being the direct cause (Archives of Pathology 1936;22). In 1961 similar studies were made regarding cholesterol, coronary disease and atherosclerotic plaque – with also with no correlation found (Mathur et al 1961;Circulation: 23).
Autopsy findings by Polish researchers in 1962 found no correlation between high cholesterol and CAD (Coronary Artery Disease). In fact, two thirds of those who died of confirmed CAD, had normal to LOW cholesterol levels. (Marek et al 1962; American Heart Journal). Autopsy studies from the USA and Gautemala confirmed these findings as well.
There are many more studies made around the world confirming what was known since at least 1936.
To quote Dr. Ron Rosedale:
The fixation on cholesterol as a major cause of heart disease defies the last 15 years of science and deflects from real causes such as the damage (via glycation) that sugars such as glucose and fructose inflict on tissues, including the lining of arteries, causing chronic inflammation and resultant plaque…
…Cholesterol is not the major culprit in heart disease or any disease. Cholesterol has only been shown to be correlated, meaning associated, with heart disease. That would be like saying fireman cause every fire just by association. Would you want to chase off all the firemen?
Further Common Misconceptions of Cholesterol
- Cholesterol causes plaque buildup in the arteries. No, it doesn’t. The main factor that causes plaque is inflammation which is a reaction to damage of some sort in the arteries. The body’s response to such damage is scar tissue (plaque) which can build up and constrict the blood vessels. Inflammation is the culprit not cholesterol.
- Cholesterol and plaque are the same. No. This article explains what cholesterol is, and you just read a very brief explanation of plaque.
Since cholesterol helps fight against inflammation, it does not make sense to ignore the reason for that inflammation and prescribe drugs to artificially lower cholesterol.
To quote well known Danish doctor Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD:
[box style=”info”]People with high cholesterol live the longest. This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one’s brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance. Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers. Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol. Supporters of the cholesterol campaign consistently ignore his observation, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a huge number of studies finding the opposite.[/box]
Dangers of Low Cholesterol
Studies are showing that too low cholesterol is dangerous. What is alarming is that there is a correlation between low cholesterol and cancer. More than twenty studies on the relation between cholesterol levels and cancer have been published since 1972. Most have shown a correlation between low cholesterol and cancer – specifically intestinal cancer (Winawer et al 1990; JAMA: 263). Other studies have shown an increased risk in strokes and low cholesterol (Takashi Shimamoto et al 1989; Circulation: 3) (Gillman et al 1997; JAMA :278)
Low cholesterol is also associated with aggressive behaviour, suicides, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart failure.
Oh, just a reminder. The sale of statins to lower cholesterol in the US alone amounts to about $26 billion dollars yearly.
Are we getting the picture now?
There are many great sources on the internet on this information. Rather than hunting through the nonsense to find the sense, this site is a handy resource. Just copy and paste the report information without the parenthesis i.e. (Winawer et al 1990; JAMA: 263) in their search box on site to read the resource.