Friday, March 28, 2014

Choleserol myths and lies

Cholesterol is not the monster that it is made out to be.
Our bodies need cholesterol to survive, our bodies make cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential to life, it is essential to brain function. so, why is it that we all live in fear of  cholesterol treating it like a nasty monster that is going to somehow kill us?  We have been taught this fear by those who would benefit from selling you cholesterol lowering drugs and other products.  It is plain and simple. They cause fear so that they can sell you on the benefits of their products. These people are the monsters, not cholesterol.

                                                                                    Cartoon Frankenstein Monster" by Grant Cochrane

It all begins with a study or two. One that has really been in the fire because it essentially opened the door, is the study by Ancel Keys. Keys did a study on rabbits. It showed how cholesterol derived from animal products affected the rabbits health. There were some real troubles with this research. Rabbits are not made the same as humans. To start, they are not carnivores and their bodies are not designed to need cholesterol like humans. He also fed them pure refined cholesterol in super high mega doses. It really showed nothing useful, it was essentially bad research. It was crazy. But, he was a scientist and people didn't really question his research until later. But in the meantime, he really made a case for cholesterol being bad for human health and opened a "Pandora's box."

In another part of his research, Keys tried to make dietary correlations between countries that ate high amounts of animal products and heart disease levels. The results were really all over the board and there was no real clear correlation between heart disease, and consumption of animal products.  He was able to "Cherry pick" some of the data and show a correlation between heart disease, and animal products. Through these carefully crafted studies and lies Keys, (and some others involved) were able to get the American public to believe that eating animal products especially animal fats would raise cholesterol and damage your health.

These lies were in part due to Procter and Gamble (inventers of Crisco). They hired Ancel Key's to do this research. With Key's help they could sell this stuff as a "healthy alternative" to butter.  They were able to get the heart association on board and WOW! What a journey it has been for the American people. This was just the beginning. The American people used to fight against margarine, now they embrace it as healthy. An article that really does a great job explaining the history of margarine and its effects is;  Our heritage of health, Why have we stopped the war on margarine.  With the heart association on board it opened the way for a whole new generation of people trying to make money. Billions upon billions have been made and fortunes continue to grow, all from this simple set of lies.  

Now, enter cholesterol lowering drugs. Billions are spent to come up with a test to be able to asses the levels of cholesterol in peoples bodies. What is normal, what is high? In the beginning as the numbers were coming in, they really did not know. It became common that numbers over 300 may be considered high.  Now numbers over 200 are high and some are pushing that normal numbers should be well below 180. It is pure craziness. The more people on these drugs, the more money in their pockets. It is getting to the point that nearly everyone falls into the so called "high" category and only a small amount of people fall into the "normal" range. Think about it for a while, if only a small number of people are in the normal range, is that really normal? There are many doctors suggesting that people should take a cholesterol lowering drug, "just to be safe" and they have approved such drugs for our young people starting at age ten. Are our ten year olds really at risk for a  major heart attack?  Is it really helpful to put our children on these drugs for life?

As a society we have lowered and continue to lower cholesterol levels in hopes that it will lower the risk of heart disease, and yet heart disease has increased to staggering levels. Why? We have the wrong information! We are still are led to believe that lowering cholesterol is the best thing that we can do to lower our risk of heart disease. The companies that make the drugs would have you believe that cholesterol is the one and only risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol levels are only the smallest piece of the puzzle. There are about thirty other things that can be factored into heart disease risk, yet we have come to believe that cholesterol is the one and only risk factor.  These companies have done a great job at brainwashing us to believe that our cholesterol numbers are key, and we need their products. Many Americans have come to believe that these drugs are a lifesaver and are essential to life itself. The truth is that the cholesterol itself is essential to life as I stated in the beginning.

This is insanity.  It is pure craziness. Our young doctors have been trained to believe that nearly everyone is at risk for heart disease because of high cholesterol levels. Many of them do not even know what the other twenty plus risk factors for heart disease are. They are handing out pills by the handful thinking that they are helping keep the American people healthy and free from heart disease.  It is not working.  I have heard people say, "My cholesterol is low, I am good, I am not at risk for a heart attack." Yet they are the ones that suffer heart attacks. Still others take these drugs and endure the side effects of these nasty drugs "to be on the safe side." These people end up suffering all kinds of side effects and end up with very ill health. Their health can become really bad from the side effects of these drugs and they feel terrible; but, they endure it because "I don't want a heart attack."  It is pure insanity.

What the drug companies don't tell you is that there is really only a small percentage of the male population that the drug is really useful and helpful for. These drugs provide a good advantage for older men who have had a previous heart attack. In these cases, the cholesterol lowering drugs are helpful and probably life saving, but for the rest of us it is not so. These drugs do very, little to prevent first heart attacks in men, and women especially do not have any real advantage by taking these drugs, and yet we are convinced that these drugs are essential to good heart health. There are so many other good things you can do that will lower your risk of heart attack ten times more than these drugs without the nasty side effects, but the drug companies want you to think otherwise. They are scaring us into their drugs.

Those that would make money from these lies make sure that it is right out there in front of your face, day in and day out. Can you go a day without hearing someone talking about their cholesterol levels? How often are we hearing ads on TV, radio, or seeing it on the internet? It is everywhere. They are keeping it in the minds and hearts of the people. The know your numbers campaign is working well. My 8 year old son asked me the other day. "what's your numbers?" Then he asked, "what's my numbers?" School age children should not have to endure this. It may at some point be checked in the schools and become routine like eyesight and hearing tests. Our young people have this number constantly on their minds and we think this is somehow normal? Is our health really measured in these types of numbers that really mean nothing? 

I would urge you to think differently. I would urge you to find your own path to good health. Put this thought in your heart and mind.......
I am in charge of my body and my own health. I will through my own wisdom and understanding come to a place where I am healthy and strong. I will not be influenced by those who have only their own financial interest in mind. I will seek out and listen to those who have my best interest at heart.
If this means seeing a different doctor who does not sound like an ad for these companies be it so. Your health is worth the investment of an understanding doctor who knows his stuff. You may have to have a talk with your current doctor and ask him "Is this pill really helpful for me, or is there another alternative?" If he sounds like the ads you see on TV, it may be time to let him go for your own good health.   
Want more? Check out some of the great books on this subject you don't have to take my word for it.



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This post is shared as part of real food wednesdays


  1. Very interesting information. I have heard some of it before, like about Ancel Keys "cherry picking" the countries he featured in his study. Thanks for sharing with the Let's Get Real party.

  2. Yep. Absolutely. Thanks for sharing this at our HomeAcre Hop!

  3. "This is insanity. It is pure craziness. Our young doctors have been trained to believe that nearly everyone is at risk for heart disease because of high cholesterol levels."