In LewRockwell.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola highlights the details of a conversation between podcast host Joe Rogan and Dr. Aseem Malhotra on the overprescription of statins for heart disease. Mercola writes:
In the U.S. alone, 40 million adults take statin cholesterol-lowering medications in the mistaken belief that this will reduce their risk of heart disease.1 But lowering your cholesterol is not the panacea to heart health that you’ve been led to believe.
On “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an interventional cardiologist consultant from the U.K., speaks out about the overprescribing of statins for heart disease — and the widespread myths about cholesterol and your heart that still permeate modern medicine.2
Only Extremely High Levels Were a Problem
The Framingham Study, which began in 1948, involved 5,209 people from Massachusetts.3 It was instrumental in starting the myth that high total cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, but what many people don’t realize is the correlation only existed if cholesterol was over 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). “Very few people have total cholesterol that high,” Malhotra says.4
Further, he believes, your cholesterol levels are 80% genetics. In your body, cholesterol is necessary for maintaining cell membranes and it plays a role in the immune system and synthesizing hormones and vitamin D.
In the Framingham Study, the majority of people with cholesterol levels over 300 mg/dl had a genetic condition called familial hyperlipidemia, which leads to very high levels of cholesterol. About 1 in 250 people have this condition, according to Malhotra.5
What also wasn’t widely publicized about the Framingham Study was what occurred in people who were in their 50s, 60s and beyond. In this age range, as cholesterol dropped, mortality rate increased. “So, the association of cholesterol and heart disease is quite weak, first and foremost,” Malhotra says.6
Malhotra and colleagues conducted a study to determine if a correlation exists with lowering LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol and preventing heart attacks and strokes, and no clear correlation was found. “This is based upon randomized, controlled trial data, so this is the most robust evidence you can get,” he says.7
Read more here.
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