If you were to ask almost anyone what causes heart disease, their answer would most likely be high cholesterol. Most people think that cholesterol is bad for them. We have conventional medicine and the pharmaceutical companies to thank for perpetuating this myth that cholesterol is the cause of coronary artery disease. Today, we want to dispel the cholesterol-heart disease myth.
There is no direct evidence that elevated cholesterol causes heart disease. In fact, over half the people that die from heart attacks have normal cholesterol. Just because cholesterol is elevated in some people with coronary artery disease doesn’t mean that it is the cause. For instance, if you always see a police officer at the scene of an accident, that doesn’t mean that he was the cause of the accident, does it? No.
Why isn’t cholesterol the cause of coronary artery disease?
The medical literature tells us that cholesterol is not the cause of plaque in coronary artery disease. In 1936, a study found no correlation between serum cholesterol levels and the amount of plaque in the coronary arteries. Later, in 1961 and 1962, two other studies showed the same findings. In 1996, a government report to congress showed that lowering cholesterol levels in patients did not increase survival. Another study in 2003 found that when you lowered cholesterol in patients using statin drugs, the plaque in the coronary arteries did not decrease or stay the same, but it actually continued to increase.
For half a century, a high level of total cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol has been considered to be the major cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, and statin treatment has been widely promoted for cardiovascular prevention. However, research published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology demonstrates that cholesterol does not cause heart disease, and statin treatment, in particular when used as primary prevention, is of doubtful benefit. (1)
There is no association between total cholesterol and degree of atherosclerosis
Does high total cholesterol cause cardiovascular disease?
If high total cholesterol was the major cause of cardiovascular disease, people with high total cholesterol should have a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The hypothesis that high total cholesterol causes cardiovascular disease was introduced in the 1960s by the authors of the Framingham Heart Study. However, in their 30-year follow-up study published in 1987, the authors reported that ‘For each 1 mg/dl drop in TC (total cholesterol) per year, there was an eleven percent increase in coronary and total mortality’. (3) During the years following the report of the Framingham Heart Study, numerous studies revealed that high total cholesterol is not associated with future cardiovascular disease.
So what is the cause of coronary artery disease?
Inflammation. Plaque in the coronary vessels is the result of chronic inflammation of the blood vessel wall. This chronic inflammation can be caused by:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Chemicals in food, water and the environment
- Heavy metals, mercury, lead and aluminum
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Hypothyroidism and low testosterone
- Hormonal imbalance in women – estrogen dominance makes women hypothyroid which leads to a state of increased inflammation
What does the body do when there is inflammation and damage to the coronary arteries?
The body develops one of two anti-inflammatory responses to heal the injury to the artery:
1. Repair with collagen, which requires proper amounts of vitamin C, D, L-Lysine and L-Proline. This is what you want to occur to keep your blood vessels healthy.
2. Repair by resorting to using fats in the blood, including lipoproteins and cholesterol. This is what you want to prevent from happening.
A Word About the Importance of Cholesterol
Did you know that our body makes cholesterol? Cholesterol…
…is needed for synthesizing and producing the hormones progesterone, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol.
…is the essential building block of every cell of your body and is critical for stabilizing every cell membrane.
…ensures that the brain functions properly and without it, it becomes difficult to focus and memory loss occurs.
…assists the liver in producing bile acids which are essential for digestion of fats and ridding the body of waste.
…has beneficial effects on the immune system.
…is needed to make vitamin D, which is essential for preventing inflammation and disease.
Watch as Dr. Hotze talks about the cholesterol myths:
What can you do NOW in order to prevent heart disease? You need to prevent the inflammation that causes it in the first place. Eat a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables along with vitamin and mineral supplementation. This will give your body what it needs to correctly repair the damage to your arteries caused by inflammation. It is also important to maintain hormonal balance. If you are ready to get on a path of health and wellness, contact us today at 281-698-8698!
1. LDL-C does not cause cardiovascular disease: a comprehensive review of the current literature
2. Human atherosclerosis in relation to the cholesterol content of the blood serum
3. Cholesterol and mortality. 30 years of follow-up from the Framingham study