A few years ago, we published a review of 19 studies where the authors had measured cholesterol in more than 68,000 people and followed them for several years. At follow-up, they found that those with the highest level of “bad” LDL-cholesterol lived the longest. In one of the studies the authors even found that those with high LDL-cholesterol lived longer than those on cholesterol-lowering treatment.
Our paper was criticized by many experts in more than 100 newspapers and magazines all over the world, but none of them was able to point at a study which showed the opposite. Probably as an attempt to ignore our findings, three large reviews were published shortly afterwards by a total of 62 authors, most of whom were financially supported by the drug industry. Here, the authors claimed that the cholesterol hypothesis and the benefit of cholesterol-lowering treatment was indisputable.
In a paper published recently in the journal Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology we have analysed all their arguments in detail and documented that they had reached to their conclusions by using misleading statistics, by excluding most of the unsuccessful cholesterol-lowering trials in their calculations and by ignoring the numerous contradictory findings published by independent researchers. We have also demonstrated the many findings that contradict the cholesterol hypothesis. The most striking findings are the following:
- Almost all studies have found that people with low cholesterol become just as atherosclerotic as people with high cholesterol.
- Numerous studies have found that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for women or elderly people.
- The small benefit from the statin trials is independent on the degree of cholesterol-lowering
- Whereas the drug industry claims that serious side effects from statin treatment are extremely rare, numerous independent researchers have documented that more than 25% may suffer from side effects including muscular damage, type 2 diabetes, liver damage, hearing loss, Alzheimer, dementia, Parkinsons disease, depression, nerve damage, kidney failure or cancer.
- Very few with inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia) die from heart disease and the cause is not their high cholesterol. Furthermore, people with this abnormality are protected against cancer and infectious diseases.
- After the introduction of new regulations by health authorities in Europe and the US according to which all trial data have to be made public, no statin trial has been successful.
- Statin use is not associated with the incidence or the mortality of heart disease; neither in the US nor in Europe.
The Cochrane Collaboration is the world’s most prestigious scientific organization devoted to independent reviews of health care interventions. Recently, Peter Gøtzsche who is the director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre has been expelled from membership of the Governing Board of the Cochrane Collaboration. The move comes weeks after he and his colleagues criticized a Cochrane review of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, describing it as incomplete and biased.
Here is part of Gøtszche´s comment: “I proposed a year ago that there should be no authors of Cochrane reviews that have financial conflicts of interests with companies related to the products considered in the reviews.“ But Cochrane did nothing about it.
Here is a comment by Maryanne Demasi published in BMJ
Fortunately, Peter continues his work independently because it is paid by the Danish government. Therefore, don´t believe in the Cochrane reviews unless it is authored by Peter Gøtszche!
Familial hypercholesterolemia is beneficial!
One of the statin-advocates´ strongest arguments is that people with inherited high cholesterol die early from heart disease. A few do, that is correct, but almost all of them (including myself) live just as long as, or longer than other people. The explanation is that the few who die have also inherited high levels in the blood of various coagulation factors. You can read more about that in our paper published in the journal Medical Hypotheses.