Guidelines published for eating fats continue to be confusing as the basic premise was wrong. Dietary fat is associated with heart disease, but it is processed vegetable oils loaded with trans fats and damaged omega-6 fats that are producing the problem, not saturated fats.
An international team of 17 experts analyzed the results from three large reviews recently published by statin advocates. The three studies attempted to validate the current belief that statin treatment helps prevent cardiovascular disease. The international team was unable to satisfy criteria for causality and found fault in the conclusions the three studies made.6
The international team wrote there may be an association between young and middle-aged people with high total or LDL cholesterol that may potentially raise the risk of heart disease.
However, they point out an association is not the same as causation, and few previous studies have adjusted for other factors linked to heart disease such as coagulation, inflammation, infections and endothelial sensitivity. Specifically, the authors found:7
- There was no association between total cholesterol and the degree of atherosclerosis severity.
- Total cholesterol levels are generally not predictive of the risk of heart disease and may be absent or inverse in many studies.
- In many studies LDL was not associated with atherosclerosis and in a large U.S. based study of nearly 140,000 patients who suffered an acute myocardial infarction, LDL levels at the time of admission were lower than normal.
- Adults over the age of 60 with higher LDL levels generally live longer.
- Few adults who experience familial hypercholesterolemia die prematurely.
The researchers concluded that high cholesterol levels cannot be the main cause of heart disease as those with low levels have nearly the same degree of sclerosis as those with high levels, and the risk of having a heart attack is the same or higher when cholesterol levels are low.
They believe the hypothesis has been kept alive by reviewers using misleading statistics and excluding results from unsuccessful trials while ignoring numerous contradictory observations.