Skip to comments.What’s Cholesterol Got to Do With It?
Posted on 01/27/2008 12:19:54 AM PST by neverdem
THE idea that cholesterol plays a key role in heart disease is so tightly woven into modern medical thinking that it is no longer considered open to question. This is the message that emerged all too clearly from the recent news that the drug Vytorin had fared no better in clinical trials than the statin therapy it was meant to supplant.
Vytorin is a combination of cholesterol-lowering drugs, one called Zetia and the other a statin called Zocor. Because the two drugs lower LDL cholesterol by different mechanisms, the makers of Vytorin (Merck and Schering-Plough) assumed that their double-barreled therapy would lower it more than either drug alone, which it did, and so do a better job of slowing the accumulation of fatty plaques in the arteries which it did not.
Heart disease specialists who were asked to comment on this turn of events insisted that the result implied nothing about their assumption that LDL cholesterol is dangerous, only about whether it is always medically effective to lower it.
But this interpretation is based on a longstanding conceptual error embedded in the very language we use to discuss heart disease. It confuses the cholesterol carried in the bloodstream with the particles, known as lipoproteins, that shuttle that cholesterol around. There is little doubt that certain of these lipoproteins pose dangers, but whether cholesterol itself is a critical factor is a question that the Vytorin trial has most definitely raised. Its a question that needs to be acknowledged and addressed if were going to make any more headway in preventing heart disease.
To understand the distinction between cholesterol and lipoproteins it helps to know something of the history of cholesterol research.
In the 1950s, two hypotheses competed for attention among heart disease researchers. It had been known for decades that...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
However, if people with intestinal issues use Vytorin .. they can be in for major problems .. just ask me.
My doctor finally had to take me off the stuff .. so people need to be careful.
I went on Vytorin because I happen to be one of those people who has to deal with both types of cholesterol, and it was a real struggle (even with a good diet - which I have) to keep my number under 200.
Now that's real Science!
bump for later
Been telling freepers this for years.
From the article:
Researchers involved with the Framingham Heart Study found that in men and women 50 and older, total cholesterol per se is not a risk factor for coronary heart disease at all....Indeed, what the Framingham researchers meant in 1977 when they described LDL cholesterol as a marginal risk factor is that a large proportion of people who suffer heart attacks have relatively low LDL cholesterol. ...In clinical trials, researchers have been unable to generate compelling evidence that saturated fat in the diet causes heart disease.
If you want to dig into studies, go read the "Mr. Fit study", you'll find some suppressed results there that show restricting cholesterol in the diet actually caused more heart attacks than in the control group.
There is other research linking CHD and CAD to damage done to the circulatory system by viral infections, 5 or 6 in particular.
Don’t worry about your total cholesterol number, worry about your triglycerides and HDL. The most important is your ratios.
Go here and please read this article, it is very important.
Well .. I have a very good doctor .. and he’s the kind that makes you take charge of your health. If I had refused to take a statin, he would have grumbled a little, but he would not have forced me to take them.
But .. I do know what the numbers mean and mine were bad - since I’ve been on the statin, they have really corrected and I no longer have heart palpatations. My dad died at 49 from clogged arteries. I don’t wish to join him just yet.
I realize you may be trying to help - but the key is getting people to search this stuff out for themselves. Once they know what the good numbers should be .. they’ll know whether they do or don’t need statins.
Not all doctors are pill pushers.
Check out http://www.n3inc.com/ for their RES-Q 1250 product.
It lowered my 55-y/o wife’s total cholesterol from 235 to 176 in three months.
It is a concentrated fish oil. Our cardiologist recommended it.
Now that's real Science!
Hey. it's the same logic that brought us global warming caused by man. Al Gore was not the first snake oil salesman of convenience.
True enough - If you find one that says "I don't know" to any question keep him/her, otherwise "dead doctors don't lie" is prolly applicable.
As far as the numbers go, they can vary 30 points from test to test - from the same lab and the same blood sample.
I still advise trust but verify because after all they're all practicing medicine.
Just out of curiosity, do you believe saturated fats, and/or cholesterol cause heart disease?
My cholesterial was low (still have family history) the Dr wanted to put me on Lipitor (I told him where to go). He kept saying the lower the better. I said prove it. It’s all about HOMOCYSTEINE. Take your Metanx (www.metanx.com).
Elevated H-levels could be from heliobactor pylori, CMV, chlamydia pneumoniae or similar viri. Ever been treated for an ulcer, or respiratory infections?
Worst. Tina Turner. Cover. EVER.
The literature also states the conventional wisdom is cholesterol levels should not be above 180. The literature claims this is dangerous as any reading below 200 can trigger a massive stroke or heart attack.
My husband was chewed out by his doctor last week. He’s a confirmed couch potato and his blood work came back that his blood pressure was high, he’s 40lbs over weight (5’11/220lbs), his cholesterol is 191 and his blood sugar is high. I’ve been nagging him forever to start working out with me and he refuses. Doctor told him he had no choice now. His cholesterol is below the 200 mark but is not good because his good cholesterol is only 27. I also have a high normal total at 175 but my good cholesterol is 60 and my BP normally runs 115/60 or so and I’m 53!
He walked with me yesterday but complained the whole way about it being cold. We only walked 2 miles but he said he will stick with it. Hopefully I can get him to the gym with me in a few days! I like to run so if we are at the gym we can both work at our own pace.
Interesting story, with interesting information. But, it’s from the NYT. Can we believe it?
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