Setting targets for ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol levels to ward off heart disease and death in those at risk might seem intuitive, but decades of research have failed to show any consistent benefit for this approach, reveals an analysis of the available data, published online in BMJ Evidence Based Medicine.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are now prescribed to millions of people around the world in line with clinical guidelines. I have never been a fan of these drugs and have been talking about my disapproval of statins since at least 2008.
In this study, researchers looked at the data to see if cholesterol-lowering drugs do what they claim to do and reduce the risk of heart disease and death. Their conclusion:
“Considering that dozens of [randomized controlled trials] of LDL-cholesterol reduction have failed to demonstrate a consistent benefit, we should question the validity of this theory.”
While I’m not surprised, I’ll be some of you are experiencing some cognitive dissonance because for decades we have been trained to believe that we need cholesterol-lowering drugs in order to live longer. As it turns out, when it comes to statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs helping us live longer, it’s more a myth than a reality.
So, will this information change prescribing patterns of cholesterol-lowering drugs by mainstream doctors?
Probably not. As the researchers noted: “In most fields of science the existence of contradictory evidence usually leads to a paradigm shift or modification of the theory in question, but in this case the contradictory evidence has been largely ignored, simply because it doesn’t fit the prevailing paradigm.”
Your doctor may not acknowledge that the only one benefitting from your statin prescription is the drug company, but now you know and can make this decision for yourself.
If you’re nervous to stop taking one of these drugs, check out these other articles I’ve written about cholesterol and health, and please feel free to contact me to discuss natural ways to lower cholesterol without drugs.