Cholesterol, Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease:
* Please note that the following information is for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always consult your Dr/GP before making any health care decisions and/or adjusting prescribed medications/dosages. *
It is akin to an indisputable fact that elevated cholesterol levels are a considerable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, is this really the case? Both clinical experience in combination with recent evidence, would suggest that it is not as simple as that. Like most measurements in the body, levels should not be viewed in isolation, but instead within the context of overall metabolic health (i.e insulin resistance, blood sugar imbalances, elevated triglycerides and the HDL to LDL ratio). Stress levels are also a significant factor to take into consideration. Research suggests that cholesterol levels can be raised between 8 and 65%, free fatty acids by up to 150% and triglycerides by up to 111%, within an hour of a ‘stressful event’! https://tinyurl.com/y5vrwawr
Please see the following high powered, high quality reviews along with an expert opinion that really questions the whole premise that reducing cholesterol – even LDL cholesterol (the so called ‘bad’ cholesterol) is a fundamental requirement to reduce the risk of future cardiovascular events.
- LDL-C (‘bad’ cholesterol) does not cause cardiovascular disease: a comprehensive review of the current literature: https://www.tandfonline.com/…/10…/17512433.2018.1519391
- Do statins really work? Who benefits? Who has the power to cover up the side effects? https://www.europeanscientist.com/…/do-statins-really…/
- Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review. This review included studies with over 68,000 participants https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010401
In respect of the so-called link between excessive saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease, please see this recent review and expert opinion:
- Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/15/1111
- Dietary saturated fat intake and risk of stroke: Systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. This review included 26 studies with over a million participants: https://www.nmcd-journal.com/…/S0939-4753(19…/fulltext
So what about the latest drugs that are now being used to drive cholesterol levels down, called PCSK9 inhibitors. Do they actually reduce the risk of having a cardiovascular event along with the risk of dying for any reason? The results of this recent meta analysis (a review of multiple studies) across both published and unpublished data would suggest otherwise: https://tinyurl.com/yxh9hh26 – with the following conclusion:
‘Our meta-analysis of clinical events registered on ClinicalTrials.gov did not show that PCSK9 inhibitors improve cardiovascular health. Evolocumab/Repatha increased the risk of all-cause mortality’.
If you are presenting with/or are concerned about cardiovascular disease/risk, you do have more control that you would first be led to believe. By employing a multifactorial personalised dietary, lifestyle and functional approach, alongside working in a safe and integrated manner with your GP/Dr, it is often possible to reduce or even stop certain prescribed medications.
Please remember that you should never under any circumstances adjust/stop any prescribed medication, without first checking with your GP/Dr.