Cholesterol Theory Takes Another Hit

Cholesterol being the demon fat that causes heart disease is a myth that desperately needs burying. The results of a study was just announced by drug manufacturer Merck claiming that its HDL-raising cholesterol drug Tredaptive was not effective at reducing heart attack risk. It also had unforeseen side effects.

Instead of coming to the realization that cholesterol may not be the cause of heart disease, they continue on their merry way of denial. One researcher commented “This is the death knell for niacin, for sure, but it really raises questions about the whole HDL hypothesis,” said Dr. James A. de Lemos, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Of course, blame the niacin for the failure not the hypothesis. How about maybe the drug attached to niacin was the problem not the B vitamin?

Another study on statins claims that they may not work on fully 40% of patients because they are resistant to the cholesterol lowering benefits of the drug. They lay blame on the protein resistin. Problem is, around 40-50% of people who suffer heart attacks have low or normal cholesterol levels. The benefits from taking statins for people without heart disease is minimal. As Dr. Jim L. Wright states,  “There’s no lifesaving benefit to statins for people without heart disease when you look at deaths from all causes in the less biased trials.”

Bias, that is the key word. Health care should not be driven by profit. It is why the health care costs in the United State have sky rocketed over the past three decades. In 2010, cholesterol lowering drugs accounted for $35 billion in sales worldwide. According to Dr. Navid Malik of Matrix Partners, “Statins have been the fairy tale story in the industry. But heart disease is still the number one killer in the western world, so one could argue how much value for money have we really got out of their use,” Studies that continue to come out from the manufacturers of cholesterol lowering drugs are fraught with bias but they go largely unchallenged by mass media.

Drug advertising amounts to a large portion of television and magazine income. So it should come as no surprise that they rarely if ever announce negative trials even though there are many out there. If you want to get the low down on why cholesterol isn’t the problem, you must get the book from Drs. Sinatra and Bowden called The Great Cholesterol Myth.

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