More cracks develop in the theories behind cholesterol. High HDL levels may not prevent heart disease.
Many of us have found our doctor visits have been filled with tests to make sure everything is ok and that we are healthy. As many of us learned a few weeks ago, nine medical specialties admitted 48 tests or screens were not as helpful as we were lead to believe, and in fact, resulted in harm to many while preventing any real disease process in the few. This included prostate screenings and other cancer screenings people believed in because they were told these services would save lives. Unfortunately, the data and the truth are different that those who would benefit from the adminstration of these screens.
One of the most common obsessions is with cholesterol levels, one of the 18 risk factors for cardiac disease as we have been told. New information now suggests HDL’s that were supposed to be good may not be so preventative of heart disease after all. The NY Times says “People who inherit genes that give them naturally higher HDL levels throughout life have no less heart disease than those who inherit genes that give them slightly lower levels. If HDL were protective, those with genes causing higher levels should have had less heart disease. ”
What does this all mean to you, the consumer?
Unfortunately, much of the public at large have been duped into taking cholesterol meds to chase the bogey man of heart disease because it supposedly lowered risk. The problem is that these medications create problems in muscles and in the liver and must be closely monitored. Worse, we are waiting for the next shoe to drop when studies finally show these drugs have no benefit, yet, you made yourself sick taking them because you were afraid of heart disease. Based on what we know and the new drugs that fail to improve our health with the same broken theories, the fear and the medication may be worse than the what if problem that may never occur.
Two things in life that are certain are death and taxes. Of course, many of us want to live a long time. You may actually improve those odds by not taking many of these products which do more harm than good. As often suggested, making health decisions out of knowledge rather than fear and you will make better decisions. Rather obsessing about diseases, obsess about living, taking calculated risks and see the world. Mental health helps us live longer and stay active too.
Check out the NY Times article here
Doubt Cast on the ‘Good’ in ‘Good Cholesterol’
By GINA KOLATA
The name alone sounds so encouraging: HDL, the “good cholesterol.” The more of it in your blood, the lower your risk of heart disease. So bringing up HDL levels has got to be good for health.
Or so the theory went.
Now, a new study that makes use of powerful databases of genetic information has found that raising HDL levels may not make any difference to heart disease risk. People who inherit genes that give them naturally higher HDL levels throughout life have no less heart disease than those who inherit genes that give them slightly lower levels. If HDL were protective, those with genes causing higher levels should have had less heart disease.
Researchers not associated with the study, published online Wednesday in The Lancet, found the results compelling and disturbing. Companies are actively developing and testing drugs that raise HDL, although three recent studies of such treatments have failed. And patients with low HDL levels are often told to try to raise them by exercising or dieting or even by taking niacin, which raised HDL but failed to lower heart disease risk in a recent clinical trial.
Read more here