Does Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease?

After posting the article on apples and statins, I decided to do some more research and came up with this!

Does Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease?

Reprinted with permission from: Beyond Health® News
Subscriptions: Call 800-250-3063 Website: beyondhealth.com
email: mail@beyondhealth.com Copyright 2010, Raymond Francis

The Cholesterol Myth

by Raymond Francis

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease.

The French have the highest average cholesterol in Europe, around 250, but the lowest incidence of heart disease and half the heart attacks we have here in the U.S.

In Crete, the home of the healthy Mediterranean diet, a 10-year study failed to find a single heart attack despite average cholesterol levels well over 200.

There are as many heart attacks in people with cholesterol levels over 300 as those whose levels are under 200. Half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels.

Lowering cholesterol does not improve health outcomes.

In those cases where cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins appear to have had a beneficial effect, it is because they act as weak anti-inflammatories, and inflammation does cause heart disease.

But there are much safer and more effective ways of addressing inflammation than using dangerous statin drugs.

Why then are more than 20 million Americans taking a statin drug to lower their cholesterol?

Read more Does Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease?

Which Is Better, Apples Or Statins Or Both?

Which are more healthful? Apples or Statins ?

A recent article in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) states.

If I had to choose between apples or statins then I know what I'd choose!

 

"Prescribing an apple a day to all adults aged 50 and over would prevent or delay around 8,500 vascular deaths such as heart attacks and strokes every year in the UK".

A statin is a medicine that lowers blood cholesterol levels by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase.

The researchers concluded that the 150 year old public health message:

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away",

is able to match more widespread use of modern medicine, and is likely to have less side effects.

The research recommends however that people who are already prescribed statins should continue taking them, but says that eating more apples would also be an excellent idea.

The Research

Using mathematical models a team of researchers at the University of Oxford set out to test how a 150 year old proverb might compare with the more widespread use of statins in the UK population.

They analyzed the effect on the most common causes of vascular mortality of prescribing either a statin a day to those not already taking one or an apple a day to everyone aged over 50 years in the UK.

The researchers assumed a 70% compliance rate and that overall calorie intake remained constant.

The Pros And Cons Of Statins

It’s estimated that 5.2 million people are currently eligible for statin treatment in the UK and that 17.6 million people who are not currently taking statins would be offered them if they became recommended as a primary prevention measure for everyone over 50.

They calculate that offering a daily statin to 17.6 million more adults would reduce the annual number of vascular deaths by 9,400, while offering a daily apple to 70% of the total UK population aged over 50 years (22 million people) would avert 8,500 vascular deaths.

However, the side-effects from statins mean that prescribing statins to everyone over the age of 50 is predicted to lead to over a thousand extra cases of muscle disease (myopathy) and over ten thousand extra diagnoses of diabetes.

And If You’re Thirty Years Old?

Read more Which Is Better, Apples Or Statins Or Both?