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Applying Math to the Cholesterol Hypothesis of Heart Disease
Applying Math to the Cholesterol Hypothesis of Heart Disease

Applying Math to the Cholesterol Hypothesis of Heart Disease

In, “Jimmy and MONICA: A Tale From the Heart” (Fat Head Blog, September 7, 2009), Tom Naughton writes:
Jimmy’s total cholesterol is well over 300. … To make matters worse, Jimmy has a family history of heart disease.  His father had a quintuple bypass a year ago.  His brother Kevin died of heart failure at age 41.  And Jimmy was morbidly obese for much of his life. Worst of all, Jimmy lives on a diet that’s around 70% fat (much of it saturated), and he has committed the cardinal sin of refusing to accept the sacrament of statin drugs, despite many warnings from his doctor.  In other words, according to the Holy Church of Accepted Advice For Living a Long and Healthy Life, Jimmy is a condemned man, a heart attack waiting to happen. And yet when he had a heart scan recently, the amount of plaque build-up in his arteries was measured at …(drum roll, please) … Zero.  None.  Nada.  No plaque.  Despite being a walking bundle of supposed risk factors, he has no signs of heart disease whatsoever. This goes against everything we’ve been told about heart disease for the past 40-plus years. (Or, as his doctor put it when reading the test results, “That’s not possible.”)
and then goes on to put together a graph to look at the correlation between cholesterol and heart disease. The result? No correlation. (Actually, he said he found a -0.25 correlation, meaning the more cholesterol measured, the lower the risk of hear disease.) The sample is small, but there are other research studies and experiments, I believe, which show the same result. He also links to a video (1 min, 17 sec) in which Dr. Malcolm Kendrick talks about cholesterol and heart disease, showing the same data Mr. Naughton looked it, but in a different graphical format. Interesting… Update (9:30 AM):  What’s more, we need cholesterol to make vitamin D! The author of the post “Vitamin D” on the blog PaNu, Kurt G. Harris, MD, says:
Vitamin D is a prohormone or hormone precursor and not really a vitamin. Like cortisol and the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, it is derived from cholesterol molecules. It is technically a secosteroid, as it is derived from cholesterol with the “3’ ring broken open.
The cholesterol hypothesis is…a myth. Update (3:15 PM):  Mark Sisson has some good, related, graphs in his blog post “The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat.

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