The cholesterol myth; the problem with the marketing of heart disease prevention.
Does your primary doctor understand the cholesterol problem they say you have? You may be surprised at what I will tell you next.
Science tells us that high cholesterol has little to do heart disease. On the other hand, it has a lot to do with your overall health, the health of your mind and the health of your musculoskeletal system.
There are many people living into their 90’s with high cholesterol or borderline high numbers, while eating foods high in fat for much of their lifetimes. Others, who are very athletic, and in supposedly great health have heart attacks and die. What is the common thread for heart attacks; inflammation.
What happened to cholesterol you may ask, even though the common narrative we hear is that high cholesterol means you will have a higher risk, yet, cholesterol is just one of 18 risk factors. Why do we give people dangerous drugs that will possibly cause dementia, diabetes, and affect their liver and muscles, and leave them with disease they may never have otherwise had, with the increased cost of monitoring them four times per year for a treatment that does not address the real problem?
Unfortunately, the drug companies have geniuses in their marketing departments and promise to reduce your cholesterol numbers, while their wonderful television commercials give you a 30 minute splotch of side effects with healthy active older folks. What’s wrong with this picture?
Check out this informative blog post from Dr. Eifrig regarding cholesterol treatment and the myths that surround these dangerous treatments for the “what if” disease.
Doc Eifrig: The cholesterol myth…
From Dr. David Eifrig, MD, MBA:
Your doctor is lying to you… and he doesn’t even know it.
If you are one of the 102 million Americans with high cholesterol, no doubt your doctor has told you that you are at risk of heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the U.S.
But that isn’t true. Cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease. In fact, half of all people admitted to a hospital with a heart attack have average or low cholesterol levels.
I still remember arguing with a senior resident while I was in medical school back in 2001. The traditional cholesterol model didn’t make any sense to me. How can cholesterol be bad for us when our own livers make it regularly?
To understand how this myth became engrained as medical dogma, let’s go over some of the facts about cholesterol…