Cholesterol not so bad after all

 

What is “bad” cholesterol, anyway? Conventional medicine says HDL cholesterol is good, and LDL is bad. But scientists at Texas A&M University have found that LDL cholesterol is actually needed by the body to build new muscle—a finding that is particularly important both for kids and for the rest of us as we get older and lose muscle more rapidly. It also helps get vitamin D around our body.

Moreover, as we reported last year, people with high cholesterol live the longest. Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine found that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with high cholesterol. Many studies have found that low cholesterol is in one respect or another worse than high cholesterol. A review of nineteen large studies of more than 68,000 deaths by the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota found that low cholesterol predicted an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.

But even if you buy into the false dichotomy of good vs. bad cholesterol, the statin drugs that are routinely prescribed are extremely dangerous for people of all ages—and even more dangerous for children. Consider the evidence:

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