Nobody on earth knows the concentration of cholesterol in their body. Sure, everyone knows their "total cholesterol," but do you know what that even is?
I am writing about titled, Health Freedom Lost.
One important chapter is titled, Cholesterol? It is long and detailed, as is necessary to explain where standard of care medicine has gone wrong in the interpretation of "cholesterol."
Please note, this is a rough draft only. Currently this chapter is 53 pages long and only the first
“Knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery”
- Miles Davis
We have been enslaved by the cholesterol paradigm. Citizens are enslaved and doctors coerced. Doctors are not to blame in many cases. They are required to follow the standard of care. A health care professional's deviation from the "standard of care" can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Also, doctors are rated based on their execution of the standard of care. Not prescribing will sometimes lead to bad scores.
However, doctors must take some risks to help their patients. How many of you with elevated "cholesterol" who have resisted statin (cholesterol) treatment, have been chided by your doctor along these lines,
"Don't you want to protect your heart?"
"What are your children going to do when you are gone?"
These are actual statements by doctors to patients. This must stop in the face of new information on the actual value of statin drugs.
The benefit of all drugs is given in relative statistics. This information is meaningless to you. Here is a simple example to explain the difference.
This year, 3 people in America were killed by a lightning strike. Last year only two people died from lightning. Here are the statistics.
Relative statistics: 2 died last year, 3 died this year therefore the relative increase is (3-2)/2) *100 = 50% increase.
Are you worried about being struck by lightning and dying? You should not be when you consider the absolute statistics.
Absolute statistics: There are 331,000,000 Americans as of today. Therefore, your absolute risk - your real risk - of dying from a lightning strike is (3-2)/331,000,000) *100 = 0.00000003%
Compare 50% (relative risk) to 0.00000003% (real risk also known as absolute risk). This shows how dramatically irrelevant relative statistics can be. If the true risk of a lightning strike that kills you is 50% annually, the entire population of the United States would be reduced to less than 1,000 people in just 20 years!
Never base any health or life decisions based on relative risk or relative statistics. They are meaningless.
Absolute statistics are real and relevant. In medicine, absolute statistics are expressed as "numbers to treat (NNT)." This is the absolute value for the efficacy of any drug. The NTT for statins is not paltry, Figures 1 and 2.[i]
The amount of people studied to derive these NTT values is large. An entire organization has arisen based on numbers to treat as the foundation of evidence-based medicine. The organization is named theNTT. This organization is a group of physicians that have developed a framework and rating system to evaluate therapies based on their patient-important benefits and harms as well as a system to evaluate diagnostics by patient sign, symptom, lab test or study. This organization only uses the highest quality, evidence-based studies (frequently, but not always Cochrane Reviews), and accept no outside funding or advertisements. With regard to statin drug value, they conclude,1
"The CTT meta-analysis, which included 22 trials with more than 130,000 patients, showed no statistically significant mortality benefit from statins in the two low-risk groups (lower than 10% and lower than 20% 10-year risk), separately and combined. Conversely, the USPSTF, pooling data from 15 trials with more than 70,000 patients, found that 0.4% fewer patients taking a statin died than patients taking placebo (number needed to treat [NNT] = 250). Importantly, some of the trials in the USPSTF analysis included high-risk patients or patients with cardiovascular disease."
· Translation: Statins do not provide a longer life benefit in most people. Less than 1% of high-risk people live longer.
The cholesterol industry is extraordinarily powerful. Sales from statin drugs have reached US$1 trillion.[ii] The marketing budget to promote this narrative is daunting and they have made the cholesterol molecule the most demonized of all substances in the body. Because of the power behind this movement, the industry can get away with saying things that are completely unscientific by presenting their data in meaningless relative statistics. And, because of the revenue collected from the various drugs to lower cholesterol, they have the power to manipulate data, in both subtle and overt ways, through the use of randomized control trials.
· Reminder: According to the Chaired Professor from Stanford University Medical School. John Ioannidis, MD, "most published research is false.[iii]"
Manipulated published research on cholesterol is the rule, not the exception.
An example illustrates how blatantly duped we are when it comes to knowing your cholesterol numbers. Any fourth grader has adequate knowledge of math that, when given this example, scratches his or her head and says "huh?"
Your total cholesterol number is the summation of your LDL and HDL values plus 20% of your triglyceride number.
Total cholesterol = LDL + HDL + Triglycerides x 0.2
Here are three scenarios.
If you are a doctor, before reading on, please imagine the recommendations you would make in each case.
At great risk of creating confusion, here are the incorrect definitions for "cholesterol" used by doctors who practice standard of care. The correct definitions are provided after the analysis of these three scenarios. MedlinePlus provides the definitions that are universally used but are misnomers at best.[iv]
Total cholesterol - a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. It includes both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
LDL (bad) cholesterol - the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
HDL (good) cholesterol - HDL helps remove cholesterol from your arteries
Triglycerides - another form of fat in your blood that can raise your risk for heart disease, especially in women
According to the Mayo Clinic, the "healthy" values for the cholesterol numbers are as shown in Table 1.
Comparing patient 1 with patient 2
When the doctor sees the "high" total cholesterol of 245 in patient 1, red flags quickly go up. When the doctor sees the "normal" total cholesterol in patient 2, there is much less concern. However, what makes absolutely no sense, is that in patient 1 the "good" cholesterol is high and in patient 2 the good cholesterol is low.
If HDL is the "good" cholesterol, and in patient 1 the good cholesterol is nice and high, why does it make the total cholesterol score worse?
Translation: As your "good" HDL cholesterol goes up, your total cholesterol score worsens and you are much more likely to be put on a statin drug.
This is when any 4th grader says "this does not make sense." But your doctor with 20 years of education writes a statin prescription.
Now let's take a look at patient 3 with "perfect" cholesterol numbers according to the American College of cardiology.[v] This person is actually the least healthy of the three and most likely is on a statin or other cholesterol lowering drug. Total cholesterol values are seldom 150 mg/dL in healthy people. Yes, patient 3 has a fantastically low "bad" LDL value. If the focus is just on LDL and total cholesterol, the person's true health status is missed - completely.
Their "good" HDL cholesterol has tanked and the 20% of triglycerides value is high. Their actual triglycerides level is 50 x 5 = 250 mg/dL. People with a triglycerides level of 250 are diabetic or close to being so. According to the Cleveland Clinic, " A healthy number for triglycerides is below 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)."[vi] The Mayo Clinic states, "A triglyceride level of 250 mg/dL is considered high. High triglycerides can put you at greater risk for heart disease, and can also be a sign of serious conditions including type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hypothyroidism."[vii]
What? But the total cholesterol number is perfect. How can Mayo Clinic be saying that this person is at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes?
The Mayo Clinic also offers help to raise your HDL levels. "HDL cholesterol: How to boost your 'good' cholesterol."[viii] In essence, they are showing you how to raise your total cholesterol number and be put at risk of being prescribed a statin drug.
Being put on a statin is often the beginning of a vicious cycle. It becomes a statin drug merry-go-round. One of many statin merry-go-rounds is related to diabetes. Statin drugs, as you will see later in this chapter, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by at least 50% on average.
As a person trends toward diabetes, their blood glucose goes up.
As their glucose goes up, so does their triglycerides.
As their triglycerides go up, their total cholesterol number goes up.
A large portion of those on statins are on blood pressure medications.
As this cycle continues, their diabetes status worsens and they are put on insulin therapy.
Their triglycerides go up further, increasing the total cholesterol number so they are put on a higher statin dose.
Many people on statins still have an adverse event precipitated by the statin drug that contributes to the diabetic condition.
Do you know what your doctor or cardiologist does if you have a heart event of some type in this situation?
They put you on yet a higher dose of statin - if you can tolerate it, Figure 1 (see above).
Some type of procedure, a stent, angioplasty, or other invasive intervention is next. The approach is heart disease is just one thing - elevated cholesterol - nothing else. If it was just one thing, that would be wonderful. Successfully treat it in everyone and the disease goes away. Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of United States citizens.
"The enemy creates confusion."
[i] https://www.thennt.com/nnt/statins-persons-low-risk-cardiovascular-disease/, November 8, 2017. [ii] Demasi M. Statin wars: have we been misled about the evidence? A narrative review. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Jul;52(14):905-909. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098497. Epub 2018 Jan 21. Erratum in: Br J Sports Med. 2018 Oct;52(19):1282. PMID: 29353811. [iii] Ioannidis, John PA. "Why most published research findings are false." PLoS medicine 2.8 (2005): e124. [iv] https://medlineplus.gov/cholesterollevelswhatyouneedtoknow.html, October 2, 2020. [v] Grundy, Scott M., and Neil J. Stone. "2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Multisociety Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol–Secondary Prevention." JAMA cardiology 4.6 (2019): 589-591. [vi] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11117-triglycerides#:~:text=A%20healthy%20number%20for%20triglycerides,200%2D499%20mg%2FdL. April 6, 2021. [vii] Triglycerides: Why do they matter? (2020, September 29). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/triglycerides/art-20048186 [viii] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/hdl-cholesterol/art-20046388, November 10, 2020.
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