An international panel of experts just published their findings in the British Medical Journal Open that cholesterol does not cause heart disease in men and women over 60 years of age. And trying to reduce cholesterol with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs is a complete waste of time.
Of course, these findings shouldn’t come as any great surprise…
Years ago, I wrote about another report from the Journal of the AMA that gerontologists had stopped giving statins to their patients over 70, stating they saw only harms with no benefits.
The new review of 70,000 men and women found no link between so-called “bad” cholesterol and heart disease deaths among people over 60. They also found that 92 percent of people with higher cholesterol actually lived longer. This finding is consistent with many other studies from around the globe over the years.
So, it looks like “bad” cholesterol is just plain cholesterol after all.
Statin benefits “exaggerated”
Co-author of the study Dr. Malcolm Kendrick described their findings as “robust and thoroughly reviewed.” He stated to the U.K. Telegraph, “What we found in our detailed systematic review was that older people with high…so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol lived longer and had less heart disease.”
Regarding these findings, Professor Sherif Sultan of the University of Ireland said, “Lowering cholesterol with medications is a total waste of time.” He also added that cholesterol is one of the “most vital molecules” in the body and prevents infections, cancer, muscle disorders, and other medical conditions.
The authors called for a revision of the heart disease prevention guidelines because the “benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated.”
Remember, the study is from the U.K. where understatement is a fine art. In American English, “exaggerated benefits,” translates to, “completely useless.”
That’s a startling pronouncement, especially considering the staggering number of Americans still taking these drugs. Remember, a few years back, the CDC did a study showing a whopping 26 percent of American adults over the age of 40 take a statin drug to lower their cholesterol.
We can’t count on the AHA
Unfortunately, we can’t count on the ignorant American Heart Association (AHA) to revise their guidelines.
As I reported yesterday, the AHA’s outdated, misguided dietary guidelines are as calcified as the cardiovascular systems that result from following their recommendations. The AHA appears to care more about the cold, hard cash it gets from handing out its “heart-check mark” of approval to unhealthy packaged foods like margarine than actually preventing heart disease. For the AHA, “heart check” could stand for “send us the check, and we’ll forget about the heart.”
I reviewed some of the background behind the AHA’s sell-out to big food yesterday. And as it turns out, an “expert” on the AHA’s dietary guideline review committee is a consultant for a company called Foodminds.
Foodminds works with more than 30 leading food, beverage and “nutritional” manufacturers to help them navigate the upcoming FDA Nutrition Facts label overhaul, which I reported on earlier this month. In other words, Foodminds, led by an AHA insider, basically helps the legions of lobbyists and lawyers get around consumer protection regulations.
I also came across another disturbing piece of the puzzle…
The co-chair of the AHA’s dietary recommendation review committee describes himself as a “professing six-day creationist and a member of the technical advisory board of the Institute for Creation Research.”
Many scientists are religious. Indeed, there is no conflict between science and religion. Whatever science discovers about the laws of the universe, the age of the universe, the ages of plant and animal life on earth, can never imply that there was also not creation, or a creator. In fact, the more science discovers about fundamental physics and biology, the more it seems there is an “intelligent designer” behind creation and a higher consciousness behind the cosmos.
As a physician and anthropologist, my approach to diet and nutrition stems from my understanding of human development on the Earth over time. I also draw on a huge fund of scientific evidence from many different sciences.
I wonder about this AHA “expert’s” ability to process and review the scientific evidence for his view of dietary guidelines if he really believes the Earth was literally, rather than figuratively, created in six days. Some of the artificial foods the AHA approves of may have been created in six days in a lab somewhere, but that should not define the limits of their science.
The AHA’s persistent promotion of a failed, low-fat, high-carb diet for decades stems from big food corporate interests…or perhaps even beliefs that come from well outside the scientific evidence and consensus. It makes me wonder, will the AHA ever reject the failed “dietary fat-heart myth” that they created?
If science isn’t important to the AHA, maybe they should look for someone like Archbishop Bishop James Ussher of Ireland (who had once calculated that the universe was created precisely one fine day and hour in 4004 B.C.) to chair the next AHA dietary review panel.
In the meantime, the AHA’s lack of regard for actual science doesn’t bode well for how they will handle this new revelation regarding cholesterol and statins.
But, once again, you — and your heart — would be better served by ignoring the AHA altogether.
For more details on what REAL science says about keeping your heart operating at peak performance, check out my report The Insider’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy and Statin-Free Life. You can order a copy by clicking here.
“Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review,” BMJ Open (bmjopen.bmj.com) 6/12/16
“Number of Americans Taking Statins Keeps Rising: CDC,” (www.consumer.healthdaynews.com) 12/23/2014