Cholesterol is a fat chemical (lipid) that is made in the liver from fatty foods that we eat. A certain amount of cholesterol is present in the bloodstream. You need some cholesterol to keep healthy. Cholesterol is carried in the blood as part of particles called lipoproteins. There are different types of lipoproteins, but the most relevant to cholesterol are:
Low-density lipoproteins carrying cholesterol – LDL cholesterol. This is often referred to as bad cholesterol, as it is the one mainly involved in forming atheroma. Atheroma is the main underlying cause of various cardiovascular diseases (see below). Usually about 70% of cholesterol in the blood is LDL cholesterol, but the percentage can vary from person to person.
When I first opened my medical practice in the mid-80s, cholesterol, and the fear of having too high a level was rarely discussed unless your cholesterol level was over 330 or so.
Since the cholesterol hypothesis is false, this also means that the recommended therapieslow-fat, low-cholesterol diet, and cholesterol lowering medicationsare doing more harm than good.
Statin treatment, for example, is largely harmful, costly, and has transformed millions of people into patients whose health is being adversely impacted by the drug. As noted by Dr. Frank Lipman in the featured article:
[T]he medical profession is obsessed with lowering your cholesterol because of misguided theories about cholesterol and heart disease.
Why would we want to lower it when the research actually shows that three-quarters of people having a first heart attack have normal cholesterol levels, and when data over 30 years from the well-known Framingham Heart Study showed that in most age groups, high cholesterol wasnt …
Children with LDL cholesterol levels 130 mg/dL or greater should receive individual nutritional counseling that focuses on reducing dietary fat and cholesterol and increasing physical activity. They should be tested again after 3 to 6 months of lifestyle intervention.
Medication might be considered for kids 10 and older with LDL cholesterol levels of 190 mg/dL or higher if changes in diet and exercise haven't worked. For kids with additional risk factors, treatment may be considered at even lower levels.
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