This Article is About
myths
massachusetts institute of technology
coronary heart disease
cholesterol levels
chronic inflammation
high cholesterol
statin drugs
heart problems
Cholesterol And Statins: Separating Myths From Facts
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Wherever you look, cholesterol has been demonized as a contributor to heart disease and chronic inflammation. Due to this, healthcare practitioners would immediately recommend lowering cholesterol as a means to staying healthy.

Unfortunately, the belief that high cholesterol is the reason for heart problems is nothing short of a myth. Cholesterol is an important substance that is responsible for many crucial functions in your body, and should not be lowered by statin drugs.

If this is the case, then what started the fallacy? It all began more than a hundred years ago due to the creation of the several theories about cholesterol:

  • The Cholesterol Theory or the Lipid Hypothesis was created by German pathologist Rudolph Virchow more than a hundred years ago. It states that cholesterol contributes to the formation of plaques in your arteries.
  • Later on in 1913, another researcher Nikolaj Nikolajewitsch Anitschkow did tests involving rabbits and fed them cholesterol. Although this experiment yielded to atherosclerotic changes, nobody questioned the fact that rabbits are herbivores and do not get any cholesterol from their diet.
  • In 1953, Dr. Ancel Keys published a paper showing the connection of dietary fat and coronary heart disease. Instead of analyzing the data from 22 countries (which was available at that time), he selectively based his research in seven studies only.

These are just some of the many experiments that became the basis for associating cholesterol with heart disease. Without questioning them, the medical community immediately accepted these "findings" and taught people to keep their levels below 150 and avoid the consumption of saturated fat.

People diagnosed with elevated cholesterol levels are often prescribed statins. While these do work in suppressing the production of cholesterol, statins side effects outweigh their benefits. There are about 900 studies proving its side effects. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology states that statins do not improve all-cause mortality and that these may contribute to the deterioration of your health.

Statin drugs can damage your health by:

  • Blocking the pathway involved in the creation of CoQ10, a coenzyme that plays a crucial role in the production of cell energy and the prevention of free radical production
  • Activating the atrogin-1 gene, which contributes to muscle atrophy. Prolonged use of statins are also known to lead to a degenerative muscle condition known as rhabdomyolysis
  • Causing nerve damage, specifically polyneuropathy, a nerve condition in the hands and feet
  • Potentially increasing your liver enzymes, causing liver dysfunction
  • Causing other problems such as acidosis, cataracts, sexual dysfunction, immune system impairment, and even increased cancer risk.

When it comes to cholesterol, one should remember that it is an important part of your body. There is no magic pill that can help you avoid heart problems. The best way to optimize your levels AND prevent heart disease is through proper diet and exercise.


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