Finally, Science Starts to Challenge Lower Cholesterol Craziness

A new review paper has raised doubts about the cholesterol-lowering recommendations made two years ago by the U.S. government's National Cholesterol Education Program panel.

The panel advised those at risk for heart disease to attempt to reduce their LDL cholesterol to specific, very low, levels.

The new paper argues that there is insufficient evidence to support the target numbers outlined by the panel, challenging the mainstream medical belief that lower cholesterol levels are always better.

Before 2004, a 130-milligram LDL cholesterol level was considered healthy. The updated guidelines, however, recommended levels of less than 100, or even less than 70 for patients at very high risk. These targets often require multiple cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The authors of the new review of studies stated that they were unable to find research that provided evidence that achieving a specific LDL target level was important in and of itself, and that the studies attempting to do so suffered from major flaws.

Several of the scientists who helped develop the guidelines admitted that the scientific evidence supporting the less-than-70 recommendation was not very strong.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I'm glad to see that more researchers are questioning the recommendations set two years ago by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) that urge heart disease patients to reduce their LDL cholesterol levels by taking worthless statin drugs.

There is no evidence to support their low target numbers, and, what's more, the combination of two or three statin drugs that patients can be prescribed to hit those targets will invariably do far more harm than good in the long run for most who try this strategy.

Even if the lower cholesterol numbers were beneficial, one must look at the overall effect of the drug, which lowers an important liver enzyme, coenzyme Q10. Since most rarely receive this as a supplement when they are on statin drugs, many will actually have an increase in cardiac risk as a result of this drug-induced vitamin deficiency.

The NCEP standards are really just another example of how the health care field has evolved into a facade for the business of selling drugs. The pharmaceutical industry spends more than $4 billion a year to market drugs to consumers in the United States and more than $16 billion to market them to U.S. physicians. Moreover, they have come up with some of the most effective and creative marketing schemes in history.

One particularly pernicious marketing strategy they use is to create an illness where none existed before so they can offer you an expensive solution.

The drug companies were able to manipulate the NCEP committee to change the 1993 guidelines for treating those with cholesterol. With one change, unsupported by any scientific evidence -- lowering the recommended cholesterol level, as detailed in the article above -- they increased the potential market for cholesterol-lowering drugs in the United States alone by more than 36 million people.

This tripled the number of people that were considered eligible for cholesterol-lowering medications.

Rather than support the evil marketing geniuses at work selling you drugs your body and pocketbook don't need, reduce your cholesterol safely by following these simple steps:

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