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"Cholesterol." What images come to mind when you see this word? Is it positive
or negative? Is it health, or is it heart disease?
If what came to mind was negative — as something to avoid — as well as heart disease,
then the pharmaceutical companies food industries have been successful in
getting you to believe a fabricated myth!
According to George V. Mann, M.D., professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at
Vanderbilt University, "Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are not the
cause of coronary heart disease. That myth is the greatest scientific deception
of this century, perhaps of any century."
Russell L. Smith, Ph.D. is the author of the book, The Cholesterol Conspiracy.
Dr. Smith states that "Both the public and clinical physicians have simultaneously
been swamped by an ever-growing tidal wave of exaggerations, distortions and even
fabrications of the facts."
Here's the truth. Cholesterol is good! It is a necessary part of every cell in your
body and is essential in virtually all aspects of metabolism. Without it, we would
die. That?s not the impression you got from the advertisers, is it!
Cholesterol is necessary for the brain, nervous system, hormones, digestion, liver
function, heart muscle contraction, calcium metabolism and bone structure and skin.
Cholesterol forms 50 percent of the nervous system and serves as the conductor of
nerve impulses. It is so important that your body produces four to seven times as
much as you ingest and reduces its production to accommodate cholesterol intake
from the food you eat.
A deficiency of cholesterol results in obesity, emotional disturbances, fatigue,
impotency, and many more imbalances.
How the Scam Begun
In the early 1900's, experiments were done in which rabbits were given extremely
high amounts of dietary cholesterol. Their blood cholesterol rose twenty fold and
a soft plaque like disease formed on the coronary arteries. But the cholesterol
levels returned to normal and the plaque disappeared when the feeding was stopped.
This formed the basis of the theory that cholesterol caused coronary heart disease
Here are the flaws. The rabbits were given a synthetic form of cholesterol that
easily oxidized when exposed to air (which made it toxic). Rabbits also do not
metabolize cholesterol as do humans. Humans and other animals like dogs and rats do
not develop atherosclerosis-like disease as do rabbits when given dietary cholesterol.
And finally, humans do not develop soft plaque as did the rabbits; humans develop hard
plaque which does not reverse, and it is not caused by dietary cholesterol.
Eggs and Cholesterol
One of the many foods we are warned about is eggs. In one study, seventy men were
divided into three groups which ate either 3, 7, or 14 eggs a week for five months.
They all had similar cholesterol levels in the beginning. The total cholesterol,
LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides did not change during the study for any
of the groups.
An 88 year old man consumed 20 to 30 eggs a day for more than 15 years, yet maintained
normal blood cholesterol levels of 150 to 200.
Cholesterol occurs only in animal foods. Yet the consumption of animal fat since
1909 actually decreased by 10%, whereas vegetable fat increased by over 200%.
The increase of heart attacks has paralleled the increased use of margarine,
homogenized milk, and processed foods such as sugar, and worse — high fructose corn
According to Judith DeCava, in her book, Cholesterol,
Facts and Fantasies, in one study,
almost half of the patients had total cholesterol levels under 200, which is supposed to
be safe. Yet half of this group had coronary heart disease. Of the almost 1200 who did
have heart disease, one third had cholesterol levels under 200. Dr. Michael DeBakey,
the famous heart surgeon, reports that 30 percent of patients who have a coronary
bypass have "normal" cholesterol levels...
The Real Culprit
Here's what is clearly linked to heart disease: sugar. Judith DeCava states,
"John Yudkin analyzed the refined sugar consumed by men with atherosclerosis. The men
who had heart attacks ate almost twice as much sugar as those who not having heart
attacks. In fact, in persons with coronary heart disease, the degree of atherosclerosis
was proportional to the amount of refined sugar consumed." (The Lancet 1964); 2 (7349):6-8.
As further evidence of this is the fact that the consumption of fat in the Caribbean
countries is very low, but the use of sugar is very high. Cuba has one of the highest
levels of sugar use, and has a higher death rate from heart attacks in men between
ages 55 and 64 than the U.S.!
The Fox Guarding the Hen House
So what's perpetuating this campaign of misinformation? It's the money from the drug
companies who want you to buy their cholesterol reducing drugs (that have serious
side affects) and from the food industries that benefit from this scam.
Here are some examples. The American Medical Association's Executive Vice-President,
Dr. James Sammons, promised physicians in 1988 of their financial rewards by stating,
"...the AMA's campaign against cholesterol will bring both old and new patients to you
for necessary testing, counseling and care."
One researcher who later became a director of the National Institutes of Health bought
stock in a pharmaceutical company just before announcing the results of a study
favorable to the drug's effects. The editor of the AMA's publication, Circulation,
also received stock options on the same drug company.
Jane Heimlich began doing extensive research on this cholesterol issue in 1989. In
her book, What Your Doctor Won't Tell You, she concludes, "There is no question that the cholesterol program benefits three powerful groups in our society to the tune of billions of dollars. These three are the medical
profession, the pharmaceutical industry, and the food companies."