The Cholesterol Myths

The Cholesterol Myths    

  by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD       

The idea that too much animal fat and high cholesterol are dangerous to your heart and vessels is nothing but a myth. Here are some astonishing and frightening facts
(see below)

If you think this is written by another internet crackpot, take a look at Dr. Ravnskov’s credentials and the reviews of his book.  

Read about New Cholesterol Guidelines for converting healthy people into patients

Or read Dr. Ravnskov´s thought-provoking paper “High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis”  It was published in Quarterly Journal of Medicine and has been the-most-read article in that journal for several months. You can even choose the popular-scientific version The Benefits Of High Cholesterol, also available in Danish, Swedish and Italian

Dr. Ravnskov’s most recent publication in English 

Here are the facts! Click on the blue arrows if you want the scientific evidence!

 1  Cholesterol is not a deadly poison, but a substance vital to the cells of all mammals. There are no such things as good or bad cholesterol, but mental stress, physical activity and change of body weight may influence the level of blood cholesterol. A high cholesterol is not dangerous by itself, but may reflect an unhealthy condition, or it may be totally innocent.

 2  A high blood cholesterol is said to promote atherosclerosis and thus also coronary heart disease. But many studies have shown that people whose blood cholesterol is low become just as atherosclerotic as people whose cholesterol is high.

 3  Your body produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat. The production of cholesterol increases when you eat little cholesterol and decreases when you eat much. This explains why the ”prudent” diet cannot lower cholesterol more than on average a few per cent.

 4  There is no evidence that too much animal fat and cholesterol in the diet promotes atherosclerosis or heart attacks. For instance, more than twenty studies have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven’t eaten more fat of any kind than other people, and degree of atherosclerosis at autopsy is unrelated with the diet.

 5  The only effective way to lower cholesterol is with drugs, but neither heart mortality or total mortality have been improved with drugs the effect of which is cholesterol-lowering only. On the contrary, these drugs are dangerous to your health and may shorten your life.

 6  The new cholesterol-lowering drugs, the statins, do prevent cardio-vascular disease, but this is due to other mechanisms than cholesterol-lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer in rodents, disturb the functions of the muscles, the heart and the brain and pregnant women taking statins may give birth to children with malformations more severe than those seen after thalidomide.

 7  Many of these facts have been presented in scientific journals and books for decades but are rarely told to the public by the proponents of the diet-heart idea. 

 8  The reason why laymen, doctors and most scientists have been misled is because opposing and disagreeing results are systematically ignored or misquoted in the scientific press.  

 9   The Benefits Of High Cholesterol

Do you want to know more? Read Dr. Ravnskov’s book “The Cholesterol Myths”. This is an updated and greatly extended version of this site. In addition to the subjects mentioned above, you can read about

…the many unsuccesful cholesterol-lowering experiments,
…the meaningless animal experiments,
…familial hypercholesterolemia and why you shouldn´t bother too much about it,
…the myths about triglycerides,
…the dangers associated with an overconsumption of polyunsaturated oils,
…the illogicalities around the Mediterranean diet,
…the fallacies of Dr. Ornish´s life-style trial,      



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