October 24

Cholesterol levels: Are they really that important?


Is cholesterol the villain it is made out to be by the medical authorities?  Does too much cholesterol cause heart disease?  Will it shorten your life?  Should you avoid saturated fats to stay free from heart disease?

The answers to these questions are not the ones most people would anticipate.  The video below provides a different perspective.

About three months ago I got an email from a television producer in Australia informing me she was going to be in the US and would like to interview me.  I consented, and the resultant TV program was just shown last night in Oz.

It may be the first time a major television network devoted a serious show to debunking the lipid hypothesis.  As readers of the blog are all too aware, most take the opposite approach.  Let’s hope this one starts a trend.  It would be nice to have an investigative reporter go after a lot of these mainstream lipid guys.  As you will see, they look pretty uncomfortable under intensive questioning. Unlike those of us on this side of the debate, they’re not used to being badgered as to the validity of their views.


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    1. Cannot get the video to play at your site or when I received your email this AM. Is it my computer or is somethin wrong with the video. Really do want to see it. Thanks.

  1. Saw the show on TV last night here in Australia. Only a half hour show but a good summary. You came across very well Dr Eades. Poor Gary Taubes must be so sick of having to argue the same points over and over and over. I was so surprised that they actually gave this view point not only an airing, but really made it the focus of the show. I almost didn’t watch it because I thought it would be another “saturated fats are bad” beat up. Very funny to see the shoe on the other foot and the Heart Foundation having to defend itself for a change. Well it would be funny if the consequences weren’t so serious. The show is called “Catalyst” and is the main science TV show over here, so well done Dr Eades. If you google ABC catalyst you might be able to view it in the USA if they don’t have geographical blocking.
    PS, next week they are examining statins. Should be interesting.

    1. Yes, we need to spread the word in Australia. I’m trying to connect with other Australian diabetics who eat a low carb diet, but have yet to meet a single one. I would never follow the dietary advice of the Aust Heart foundation – they promote high carb eating and say that saturated fat causes heart disease. I can’t find any mention of de novo lipogenesis on their website But they probably have no idea what that means, or what initiates the conversion of carbohydrate into triglycerides. The Australian Dieticians Association is financially sponsored by the Aust Wheat and Legume Board, Kellogs, Nestle and Unilever (Flora margarine), so is it any wonder that mainstream dieticians sprout this unbelievably incorrect advice? Also, if you are a diabetic, please do not follow the advice of Diabetes Australia – it will kill you or lead to awful diabetic complications.

          1. Thanks Debra. Yes I listened to that report, and made contact with Dr Stapleton who gave me a lot of encouragement. He is the only low carbing diabetic I have come across in Australia. My child has type 1 diabetes. I would really love to meet other parents of type 1’s who use a low carb diet to manage this disease. Sadly, the other parents I have met feed their children sandwiches, cakes, lollies, ice cream, pasta etc.

          2. Suggest you read Dr.Richard Bernstein (the diabetes specialist & oldest living type 1 diabetic) book, “Diabetes Solutions” – pertinent chapters available to read online – he can guide you best.
            Dr.Richard Bernstein states –
            Dare your physician. Ask him or her if his or her lipid profile on a low-fat diet can remotely compare to mine, on a high-fat, lowcarbohydrate diet:
            • LDL—the “bad” cholesterol—63 (below 130 is considered normal)
            • HDL—the “good” cholesterol—116 (above 30 is considered normal)
            • Triglycerides—45 (below 150 is considered normal)
            • Lipoprotein(a)—undetectable (below 30 is considered normal)
            Dr.Richard Bernstein (the diabetes specialist & a type 1 diabetic) from his book, “Diabetes Solutions” pertinent chapters available to read online –
            What if I, a physician, told you, a diabetic, to eat a diet that consisted of 60 percent sugar, 20 percent protein, and 20 percent fat? More than likely, you’d think I was insane. I’d think I was insane, and I would never make this suggestion to a diabetic (nor would I even make it to a nondiabetic). But this is just the diet the ADA recommended to diabetics for decades.
            Whether you eat a piece of the nuttiest whole-grain bread, drink a Coke, or have mashed potatoes, the effect on blood glucose levels is essentially the same— blood sugar rises, fast. … our saliva can break starches into the shorter chains on contact and then convert those into pure glucose.
            With a number of important exceptions, carbohydrates, or foods derived primarily from plant sources that are starches, grains, and fruits, have the same ultimate effect on blood glucose levels that table sugar does.

          3. I agree. I know Dr. Bernstein well – in fact, I think I have a blurb on the cover – and, in my view, his is the best book on diabetes out there.

          4. Many of your readings are genetic. I have a TC of about 170 and an HDL of 41, and have had these values since I was 25. No matter how low carb I eat (or how much exercise I do), I can’t get my HDL up much past 40.
            Low carb does help me, but it doesn’t make everyone’s blood numbers perfect.

          5. Low carb should be high fat, preferably high saturated fats. Is your dietary fat ratio >65% of total calories? Protein should be <35% of total calories, preferably closer to 20%

      1. Lisa, I’m an Australian T2 who has been eating low carb (ketogenic, actually) for almost two years. There are a few of us on the Diabetes Daily forums who eat LCHF.

      2. Hi Lisa,
        Our Diabetes association in the United States isn’t any better. Fortunately, for those of us who are paying attention, we have Dr. Eades, Gary Taubes, and Dr. Perlmutter, all of whom promote low carb eating and have the scientific background to back themselves up.
        I heard about the Catalyst program from an Australian who participates in a diabetes discussion group here in the States. Perhaps you would be interested in checking us out. Many of our members low carb, as do I.
        Here’s the email addy:
        I was never able to properly control my diabetes until I discovered low carbing.
        Sincerely, Dianne

        1. From last year (links at the site): http://aussieexotics.com/forum/off-topic/meat-is-bad-good-for-you-3472.msg186012.html#msg186012
          “Yesterday a friend was asking me about diabetes because she knows I research the #### out of this stuff, well I ended up on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website, checked their dietary guidelines for diabetes management and saw they recommend apple juice/margarine/bagels/pineapple/etc for brekky, vanilla wafers/rolls/apples with lunch, and rice/angel cakes/crackers with dinner – and then I stumbled on their 2010 Annual Report (6mb PDF) and checked the financials… every one of the top contributors to research funding is a pharmaceutical company.
          I’m not even joking.
          Not just contributors to research like “oh we’d like to help cure this strange malady”, but the over-arching fund sources of all research for *some* reason happen to be the companies which sell the drugs to control it.
          Not to go full conspiracy theory (I think it’s more greed and stupidity), and I haven’t researched the Aussie Heart Foundation’s funding yet, but my last look into them makes me think there’s something similar going on.
          Think about that next time you listen to recommendations…”
          Also I think Tom Naughton (Fat Head) did a similar investigation, pretty freakin’ amazing what these scumbags get away with…

  2. I watched this last night. It confirmed everything I have been researching for the past year, since my child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. People can’t comprehend that we don’t eat grains or sugar and that we eat (healthy) fats. Diabetics in Australia are encouraged to eat vast amounts of carbohydrate, but I do the opposite of whatever mainstream diabetes experts recommend. Consequently, my son’s blood glucose control is excellent. HbA1c is 5.5 which apparently is rare amongst diabetics.

  3. Dr Eades
    What are your thoughts on LDL-P?
    Would you mind commenting on this?
    My goodness! If a new healthy looking, normal weight patient showed up with an LDL-C ~ 230 mg/dL, we are all presuming that familial hypercholesterolemia is present. At the age of 54 we would be searching for arcus senilis, a sternotomy scar or xanthomata. Although there is no premature CHD, there are certainly cholesterol issues in her family. Although we do not have a baseline LDL-P or apoB, how can one go from a perfect lipid profile to a seeming very high risk one in a very short period of time? Can CV lipid/lipoprotein-related risk be worsened by the weight loss? Or perhaps the question is – does it matter what one consumes to lose weight? Is there a danger too low carbs/high fat in some people? Or how about this absurd question – can an LDL-P of ~2600 nmol/L not be associated with atherothrombotic risk? It has been reported for years that diets high in saturated fat raise TC and LDL-C and diets with reduced saturated fat lowers them (Evidence Level IA in NCEP ATP-III). MUFA and PUFA can be neutral or lower LDL-C. MUFA may raise HDL-C. Of course we now know what any therapy does to CV outcomes likely has little if any relationship to what that therapy does to HDL-C but the story that raising LDL-C is associated with or causal of atherosclerosis is widely accepted. I, other lipidologists, and many patients themselves, are starting to see that the above lipid response to a high fat diet as not being very rare response in people who abandon carbs and replace it with saturated fat, especially in those doing extreme carb restriction to achieve nutritional ketosis.
    “Let’s get rid of the nonsense seen all over the internet that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, not a cholesterol disease. That is baloney-with the reality being that it is both. One cannot have atherosclerosis without sterols, predominantly cholesterol being in the artery wall: No cholesterol in arteries – no atherosclerosis. Plenty of folks have no systemic vascular inflammation and have atherosclerotic plaque. However clinicians have no test that measures cholesterol within the plaque – it is measured in the plasma. It is assumed, that if total or LDL-C or non-HDL-C levels are elevated the odds are good that some of that cholesterol will find its way into the arteries, and for sure there, are many studies correlating those measurements with CHD risk. Yet, we have lots of patients with very low TC and LDL-C who get horrific atherosclerosis. We now recognize that the cholesterol usually gains arterial entry as a passenger inside of an apoB-containing lipoprotein (the vast majority of which are LDLs) and the primary factor driving LDL entry into the artery is particle number (LDL-P), not particle cholesterol content (LDL-C). Because the core lipid content of each and every LDL differs (how many cholesterol molecules it traffics) it takes different numbers of LDLs to traffic a given number of cholesterol molecules: the more depleted an LDL is of cholesterol, the more particles (LDL-P) it will take to carry a given cholesterol mass (LDL-C). The usual causes of cholesterol depleted particles are that the particles are small or they are TG-rich and thus have less room to carry cholesterol molecules. Who has small LDLs or TG-rich LDL’s? – insulin resistant patients! After particle number endothelial integrity is certainly related to atherogenic particle entry: inflamed endothelia have inter-cellular gaps and express receptors that facilitate apoB-particle entry. So the worse scenario is to have both high apoB andan inflamed dysfunctional endothelium. Is it better to have no inflammation in the endothelium – of course! But make no mistake the driving force of atherogenesis is entry of apoB particles and that force is driven primarily by particle number not arterial wall inflammation.”

    1. I read this when Dr. Dayspring first published it. At this stage, I’m not ready to buy into this hypothesis wholeheartedly. And the comments section isn’t the place to do it. The subject needs a full post.
      I’m of the opinion that oxidized LDL are taken in my the macrophages in the growing plaque. It makes a sort of sense that if you have a lot of LDL particles, and a certain percentage are oxidized, then your macrophages would take up more than if you had the same percentage oxidized LDL and a smaller number of particles. But I’m still not sure it’s the whole story.

  4. Today Sangey Gupta – the chief CNN health correspondent, admitted that the nutritional advice to avoid fat was wrong, the sugar now is the main villain, at the end his message was “eat the real food”. I just can’t believe the American Public will start cooking and part with meal-replacement drinks, nutritional bars, pre-cooked boxed and frozen food. What about media sponsors – cereals manufacturers? May be they just invented new boxed “real food” without actual sugar ?

  5. Funny how uncomfortable the guy from the Heart Disaster Association seemed when asked about the evidence behind their recommendations – they KNOW there is none, yet they tell you that you must do this and must not do that.
    The bit with McGovern from the ~70’s pretty much sums up everything that’s wrong with health and nutrition – “We don’t have the time to wait for the evidence, we need to tell people what to do.”.

  6. I came across this post via a blogmail from Dr James Carlson. Maybe my question does not quite fits this item, but I do not know where to post my question. …
    One of my kids is training heavily for the Rotterdam Marathon. We live in Holland where the Low fat High carb, High Vegetable Oil is common thinking amongst the majority of Dutch people.
    My son is being told that he must eat vast quantities of carbs like pasta and use olive oil to bake his lean meat in, especially several days before his marathon his carb intake must be high, they say. People told him about atp in his muscle tissue. Their stories is something like this. Your body starts its running ability anaerobe, therefor you must eat carb, to make sure there is enough atp in your muscles to run, before your body can start running on fat. As they see it, your body does not get atp from fat metabilisme. …
    They mix up the whole thing, resulting in my son loosing seven kilo’s and really looking unhealthy thin, (aspecially his face). I tried to talk some sense into my son but I am not capable of explaining the whole thing about energy, muscle, fat, glucose in a scientific right way that would stop him to listen to his running goeroes.
    Apart from my son, I have a son in law who wants to build muscles so hard, that he started eating protein shakes and pasta, resulting in an even worser state of health. No energy, lots of migraine, big belly, and still no bodybuilder arms to show my daughter for their wedding ;).
    Please help. They do not want to listen to their mother. They keep on listening to the wrong goeroe.
    Where can I find real scientific articles for my kids.
    Thank you. (My apologizes for the bad English).

    1. I would have your son look up Tim Noakes and his conversion to HFLC nutrition. Tim Noakes was a world class distance runner from South Africa who was one of the first champions of carbohydrate loading and a high carb low fat nutrition plan for training. Over the years he experienced persistent weight gain and eventually developed type 2 diabetes. He has now switched to a low carb lifetstyle to control his diabetes, and not conincidentally has lost weight and is running as fast as he was 20 years ago. This has not been without cost as he has come under tremendous criticism from the medical and athletic establishment. It is very informative and he identifies some current elite level competitors: Paul Radcliffe is one, who are low carb.

  7. Bravo!
    I’d like to see a blog on the relation between the APOE4 gene and diet. William Davis says that people with APOE4 should be on low-fat diets, contrary to his general advice to avoid carbs, not fat.
    But about 25% of the population has the APOE4 gene. Is urging them to cut carbs and increase fat causing harm to a quarter of the population? Most people don’t know their APOE4 status.

    1. I’m aware of the theory that those who are homozygous for APOE4 should not follow low-carb diets but follow low-fat ones instead. I’m just not sure I buy it. But I say that given my low-carb bias. I really need to look into it in more depth. If you have any papers or know of any, please send the citations my way.

      1. I don’t buy it either, but like most things, there is no conclusive proof either way – that view seems to be based on nothing more than ‘high’ LDL readings. When you consider that E4s generally have lower plasma levels of K2 (a fat soluble vitamin), why would reducing fat intake help that? Then you’ve got the AD link – and if low cholesterol is correlated with dementia in general, I don’t see how low cholesterol is going to help there either. People like Stephanie Seneff have their views on E4 – http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/alzheimers_statins.html Whether she is correct, who knows? But it makes more sense to me than the low fat diet idea.

  8. Excellent show, and great contributions by you! I am also quite interested in seeing her next feature she mentioned at the very end.

  9. Thank you for posting this Dr. Eades. In the mid-80’s I was “diagnosed” with high cholesterol and put on mevacor and switched to Lipitor when it first came out. I did 40mgs a day of Lipitor until Zocor became generic and then they put me on 80mg a day of Simvistatin. I do have CAD and have had angioplasty and then last year a stent. A year and a half ago I stopped the statin because I have too much muscle, tendon pain plus neuropathy in both feet. When you stop the drug, these side effects don’t necessarily go away. Cardiologists still want me to resume Lipitor even though I achieved my best lipid results after a year without the statin, on low carb and no wheat. I am convinced that statin therapy over a long time causes significant harm to the body so the truth about cholesterol really has to be understood. I believe the culprit in CAD is inflammation and lifestyle/diet changes to lower inflammation are neccessay.

    1. Sorry to hear of your statin-related problems. There are far too many people out there in the same boat. Most of it unnecessarily induced.

  10. I almost “get” why the American government refuses to review their dietary policies due to government lobbying by the pharmaceutical, wheat, corn & soybean industries but I never understood why other countries (like UK or Australia) would also blindly follow this nonsensical trail. I guess they have also been infiltrated also.
    Thank you, Dr.Eades for being brave enough to say that the Emperor has no clothes.

  11. Just terrific to have you posting again – and you did a great job with that show! I’ve forwarded it to my husband (more info – when WILL he learn?) who still worries about his cholesterol. Just wish he’d forward it to his doc, but I don’t know that the guy would be able to watch it. . .must be hard for those who’ve held fast to the low-cholesterol line for years to now say, “oops.”

  12. Very good video and nice to see you on it Dr Eades. So what do we do about stress if that is one of the culprits in atherosclerosis ? If we’re living right, eating good saturated fat, eating very low carb, eating organically reared meat, eating lots of oily fish, doing Super Slow exercise – what do we do about stress if we are subjected to stress in our lives that is beyond our control (eg, living with autistic son) ?

    1. Stress is tough. I like mindfullness meditation. And a handful of studies has shown it to be beneficial for all kinds of things. I’ve read a few books on the subject but none that I just love. (If anyone has a recommendation for one, I would love to hear it.) You can find a fair amount of information about it on the internet – give it a look.

      1. I do meditate Dr Eades. I do everything I can, but living with someone who is incredibly stressful to live with is very difficult….if stress can cause atherosclerosis I feel that things are kind of pretty pointless heart health wise for me and others in similar or other stressful situations, that is stress beyond their control 🙁
        What does stress do actually ? Do they raise cortisol levels ? If so, how can they be reduced by other means when all the self help means have been tried ?

        1. There is meditation and there is mindfullness meditation. They are different. If you haven’t tried mindfullness meditation, I would give it a try.
          Yes, stress causes an increase in cortisol levels, which then cause a bunch of other problems.
          One thing that helps is magnesium. Take it at bedtime because it can make you a little sleepy. Most people don’t get enough magnesium, which provides a lot ore benefits than just stress relief.
          You can try valerian, kava kave, licorice root and St. John’s Wort, all of which plant-based nutritional supplements that have been shown to reduce stress. I haven’t used any of them, so I can’t vouch for their efficacy. Google them, and you can read about them at length.
          Also, you can read Emily Dean’s blog. She is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who writes often on stress. Here is a search on her blog for ‘stress.’

          1. Thanks Dr Eades – will definitley add magnesium at night time. And thanks for the links to Emily Dean’s blog – it looks very interesting.

          2. Anne,
            Have you considered taking a yoga class….there are many gentle varieties and styles which could be beneficial in reducing stress levels.

  13. I don’t often “share” a link to an article on Facebook, but this time I did because I think the topic is a critical one and I’ve been following Dr. Eades’s plan (and Gary Taubes’s counsel) for years. Be aware that if you share this to FB, that your link will show up with a huge Metabosol ad in it — making it appear that you are attempting to sell that product to your friends. What a disappointment. I won’t be linking anything from Dr. Eades’s site again, I’m sorry to say. (Nonetheless, I hope the Australian production is widely seen, especially by our politicians — and their wives — who believe they should dictate dietary practices for Americans, without having a clue what they’re talking about).

    1. I’m sorry about the ad, but I’m clueless as to how it happened. I didn’t do anything proactively to make it show up on your Facebook page. I’ll check with my tech guys to see if there is anything they did. Thanks for giving me the heads up.

    2. Dr. Eades had nothing to do with it. It was done automatically, by anyone from Google and Facebook themselves to any of hundreds of other companies.
      It’s nothing personal; it’s just how marketing is now, and it’s happening on most links you share and by most sites you visit.
      If you are *that* bothered (really? you haven’t seen this before??), you can dig though your account settings on Facebook.com and Google.com to find where you can “opt-out.”
      That will reduce (but not eliminate) automatic ads of this kind.
      You can also write your Congressman. If he’s not too busy shutting down the country, he’ll add you to his list of people who don’t like this kind of advertising (many hate it as much as you do.)

    1. These jerks, being politicians, could never be beaten by science.
      But, being politicians, they can and will be destroyed by social media.
      It’s no contest.

  14. Is nobody going to mention how cute it was that when each of the Low Carb Heroes was introduced, he was shown from a very low camera angle, usually with crossed arms and wearing a firm, no-nonsense expression? I imagined Superman capes billowing behind them….

  15. Mike, I have a concept/question, hopefully it is close enough to this topic (I’ve been waiting!) to be relevant enough to post in this thread.
    Suppose we have a natural dispersion, bell shaped, for blood pressure. And suppose 80% of folks gain higher BP when we are over-carbed (got that stat from your blog). And suppose then that those who naturally have “hypertension”are not really sick, and their mortality is not really affected by their blood pressure. If those assumptions were true, we would still see correlations that we see now with regard to hypertension.
    In other words, suppose there’s really nothing wrong with high blood pressure, because the only ones who get sick are those who have high blood pressure resulting from excess carb consumption.
    Could this conjecture be true? In other words, do you know of a contradictory fact to this conjecture?
    Also, do you know of a reference that supports the 80% figure (80% of those with hypertension “get better” with carb restriction)?
    Thanks, Paul

    1. There is hypertension of no recognizable cause called idiopathic hypertension. As far as I know – and, admittedly, I haven’t made a literature search on this – idiopathic hypertension contributes to the development of heart disease the same as non-idiopathic hypertension.
      The 80 percent figure I use comes from my own experience with patients. I’ve discovered over time and a lot of patients that about 75-80 percent of those with hypertension reduce their blood pressure very quickly after starting a low-carb diet. I’ve read in a number of articles that approximately 25 percent of hypertension is idiopathic hypertension, which accords with my own clinical experience.
      If I, myself, had hypertension that was non-responsive to a low-carb diet, I would certainly take meds – an ACE – to normalize it because I believe that constant elevated BP adds to the wear and tear on the coronary arteries. And all of us have only one set of those, and when they’re gone, so are we.

  16. I live in Australia and the TV show Catalyst is a current affairs (sort of ) science show. The ABC in Australia is a government owned network along the lines of PBS. But saying that they are very liberal in general. The show was great and part two airs next week. I was suprised and happy to see Dr Eades interviewed. The heart foundation came up as if they were gaged but they do endorse a lot of foods that I would consider junk food so here it goes. But great to see mainstream media getting on this bandwagon. Thankyou Dr Eades for participating. You might be interested in Tasmanian , Dr Gary Fettke’s No Fructose Site, a man on a mission.

  17. The CATALYST Home page for HEART OF THE MATTER series has a links to longer interviews from the main speakers in the main program video. It’s well worth listening to the full interviews as well as the main program.HEART OF THE MATTER >
    It’s also interesting to read the comments following their response on the Australian Heart Foundation Facebook page

  18. Dr Eades, I live in beautiful New Zealand and have been reading your blogs for most of this year since my husband got really sick. Your name was one of a few we came across in the course of our research. Statins were the culprit surprise, surprise! 10 months later and being on a low carb/high fat diet (as in high) – it has saved his life and lost us both about 8 kgs, though he still has ongoing peripheral neuropathy along with a few other direct effects.
    Today in New Zealand on a news programme called http://www.stuff.co.nz there was a most interesting article written by Kirsty Johnston called “Fighting Fat With Fat” – it, like your film is destined to rock the boat. It is about research being done into fat not being the problem in heart disease by Dr. Grant Schofield, Professor at Auckland University of Technology’s Human Potential Centre and Dr Caryn Zinn. They have been looking into this whole “low fat is health” lie and in the article he makes it clear he intends taking on the NZ health authorities and “big boys”!!! Good for him. He may need your help as the doctors in NZ are mostly all funded by the government and therefore must spout the official line. He will be rubbished and condemned by his colleagues but there is a big ground swell of NZers who are no longer content to be fobbed off and believe the rubbish being promoted.
    Come to New Zealand Dr Eades and do a speaking tour please! Maybe Professor Schofield could invite you.

  19. There is one statement that keeps appearing in the low-carb community/literature (and in this video):
    “80-90% cholesterol is manufactured by the body – therefore it doesn’t matter whether or not you EAT cholesterol….”
    This is not the case with me. For a decade or more my cholesterol has been mostly around 245 – 265 EXCEPT when I went on a lowfat starch-based McDougall diet during which time it was 177, 195, 156.
    My Triglycerides have ALWAYS been low throughout the high cholesterol years – around 35-45 (except during low-fat McDougall when it went to 104, 122, 106.
    I’ve been eating a varied type of diet for some time again (meat, fish, eggs, avocados, butter, veggies, fruit, grains, beans, etc) and my Cholesterol has returned to the higher range.
    So two weeks before my last blood test I decided to stop all eggs (ate 1-2 eggs a day) and guess what? My cholesterol went back down to 206 which is very low for me.
    So at least in my case eating less cholesterol seems to result in lower readings.
    I just turned 71, am slim and healthy and choose to believe the theory that the older you are the healthier higher cholesterol is. Never had high BP or overweight any way. Let’s hope I’m right.

    1. There is biological variability for just about everything. The statistic that 80-85 percent of cholesterol is synthesized by the body while the rest comes from diet is simply an average. Many people synthesize more while others synthesize less and get more from the diet.
      The evidence seems to indicate that in older people more cholesterol equates with a longer lifespan.

      1. Is it possible, that after a period of eating a lot of cholesterol-rich foods, the production of it in a body gets down-regulated, and removing eggs from a diet for two weeks will cause a temporary reduction in a total cholesterol? If that is true, probably eating a lot of eggs after long period of a plants-based diet could temporary increase TC levels until the production gets down-regulated.
        I am just speculating, of course. Thank you for blogging again, Dr.Eades, I started my LC journey at November 2007 from reading your “Protein Power” , and it was your blog I started to read first when moved into a blogosphere. I feel exited when I see your new posts, it is like meeting on old friend. It is goes without saying that all my health issues got way better or disappeared, even though I lost only 30 lb, but I was not super-overweigh to begin with.

        1. I guess your speculation could be valid. I don’t know that it’s ever been studied.
          Thanks for the kind words. It’s nice to be missed, I guess.

          1. I’ve also heard that the fastest way to lower LDL cholesterol, which contributes to total cholesterol, is to consume a lot of Omega 6, polyunsaturated fat.
            Yes, it will lower your LDL and total cholesterol numbers.
            Yes, your health will suffer from the increased inflammation that a high ratio of Omega 6 brings.
            Numbers don’t tell the entire story.

  20. How timely- thank you! I’m going to have to have the “I’m not going to take a statin” conversation with my doctor soon. I’ve been preparing to bone up, so this definitely helps.

    1. There is another program next Thursday on this same Australian show about statins. Wait for it, and you’ll learn a lot.

      1. What will be really exciting is when the 60 Minutes producing staff sees the Catalyst shows and decides to do their own version.
        (They will — the Catalyst show makes it clear that this story is a fat, juicy slow pitch hanging right over home plate, complete with hapless bureaucrats not realizing they’re being drawn into a trap.)

    1. Mike,
      Great show! It’s amazing what marketing has done to endanger the health of millions of unsuspecting people. I’m with you on this one and so glad they picked you to interview. I mentioned you and Mary Dan in my book (Dangerous Medicine, What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Can Hurt You) along with “Protein Power.” I always defer to you in regard to discussions about diet. I tried to get in touch with you for months to have you read my book, but no success. Even called your home one day and talked with Mary Dan who apparently had forgotten who I am. Oh well! Take care and congrats on a great job.
      Ken G. Knott, M.D.

      1. Thanks, Ken.
        Sorry we didn’t connect. It was totally my fault. MD did give me the message, but we were getting ready to head off somewhere, and I intended to call before we left and forgot. By the time we got back, it was out of sight, out of mind.
        I’ll email your separately.

  21. Kudos for your leadership and innovation in what has become an international crusade against nutritional misinformation based on bad science. (Or even “no” science.) One would hope that the public could be delivered from inept and totalitarian government intrusion into healthcare, including their promoting and in many cases mandating mindless conformity with a seriously flawed food pyramid, like in schools or any food service that has federal funding. It’s no wonder we have an obesity epidemic. Anyway, thank you again. Low carb diets just make so much sense, “scientifically” or not, based on human history. And the proof is anecdotal: those of us who go LC simply feel better and end up healthier. Oh that we could see all of the medical community get on board with the evidence-based science of LC sooner than predicted by one of the doctors interviewed in the video who said we may have to wait for the current leaders in the field to die off before we see change. I challenge that view as being stuck in the old world before our current information age where change can be radically accelerated if the correct information can be brought to the table, both conference and dinner.

  22. The plot thickens!
    On the (Australian) ABC news last night –
    The Australian Heart Foundation and other interested parties (I didn’t hear who else) have asked the ABC network not to air the second part of the show. Dr Demasi (the presenter) stated that she had been researching the program since 2010 and stood by what was being presented. The show will go to air.

    1. Although I don’t think I appear in this one, I was pretty heavily involved in it. I can tell you the statinators will be screaming like stuck pigs. In fact, they’re already screaming just in anticipation of the show. As soon as I get a copy, which should be soon after it has aired, I’ll put it up on this site like I did the last one.

  23. I saw this show last week, it was so fantastic to hear that people are starting to wake up. At one stage there I thought it would never be really questioned. People are excited here now people can’t wait for this weeks episode on statin drugs!

  24. Its all happening in Oz!
    * Doctors want cholesterol drugs story on ABC Catalyst program pulled
    LEADING medical specialists have gone to war with ABC Television over a Catalyst program which challenges the convention that saturated fat and cholesterol is linked to heart disease.
    The chair of the Australian Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines has asked the ABC to pull the follow up program this Thursday concerned it may encourage people not to take their anti-cholesterol drugs.
    “It’s likely that if this program goes ahead, and it does the unwarranted undermining of statins, that there will be people who didn’t have to have a heart attack and didn’t have to die from a heart attack, who will die through reducing use of statins,” the committee chair Professor Emily Banks has told the ABC.
    Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton has branded the program as “sensationalist” claiming it “gave extraordinary weight to an opinion that is a minority view”.
    “Yes I’m concerned it is based on an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal written by a registrar about his observations on his own patients,” he said.
    “Hardly a quality piece of evidence,” he said.
    Professor Paul Zimmet from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute says the program has given a platform to a few people who “pick one area and look only at the evidence that supports their view”.
    “They ignore a considerable amount of evidence and many trials linking cholesterol to heart disease,” he said.
    ‘People have to be a bit sceptical about people who take a silo approach to causation,” he said.
    The Heart Foundation said it has serious concerns about the Catalyst program and is “shocked by the disregard for the extensive evidence upon which the Heart Foundation’s recommendations are made”.
    “Australians need to be aware that the information presented by the ABC is not supported by the Heart Foundation and that there is international scientific consensus that replacing saturated fat with ‘good’ unsaturated fat, in particular polyunsaturated fat, reduces your risk of heart disease,” the Foundation says.
    Dr Hambleton says there is plenty of evidence that people aged over 60 with a family history of heart disease and with vascular disease would reduce their risk of a heart attack by taking cholesterol lowering statin medication.
    But the guidelines also recognised that they would not help someone aged 30 with high cholesterol who was thin and healthy and did plenty of exercise.
    The first part of the two part program that ran last week relied on the evidence of three doctors and a psychologist and weight loss coach all of whom are promoting books they have written.
    A spokesman for the ABC said the station would be running the Catalyst program this Thursday because “it is an important contribution to medical debate”.
    The ABC would run an advisory with the program informing people the program was not intended as medical advice and they should consult their doctor regarding their medication, he said.

    1. Wow! Statinators in a blind panic, sounds like to me. And filled with their typical obfuscations. Take this example, for instance.
      From the article:

      Dr Hambleton says there is plenty of evidence that people aged over 60 with a family history of heart disease and with vascular disease would reduce their risk of a heart attack by taking cholesterol lowering statin medication.

      Dr. Hambleton is correct, of course, but he is obfuscating. Why? Because everyone knows statins reduce the incidence of heart attacks and deaths from heart disease. No one disputes that – it’s been well demonstrated. Problem is, statins simply trade one problem for another. People don’t live any longer on statins. They die just as frequently as those not on statins. Instead of dying of heart disease, they die of cancer and a host of other disorders. Or they die from the statins themselves. These are not benign drugs. The problem with statins is that they’ve never been shown to decrease all-cause mortality. So why trade a death from heart disease for one from cancer?

  25. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/5070114
    Here is some more from the ABC health reported hosted by Dr Norman Swan, interviewing Peter Clifford who is Professor of Nutrition at the Sansom Institute at the University of South Australia and an NHMRC Principle Research Fellow.
    Norman Swan: Hello and welcome to the Health Report with me, Norman Swan.
    Today, the enormously difficult decisions that parents and paediatricians sometimes have to make about babies in intensive care units, and a way through this emotional and ethical thicket.
    And cholesterol. Over the last couple of weeks on ABC television’s Catalyst there’s been a major investigation into whether cholesterol is the coronary risk factor that we’ve been led to believe, and last Thursday whether the sign of the cross should be held up to statins, the medications which are widely used to lower LDL, the so-called bad form of cholesterol.
    There’s been a furore after the programs, with (anecdotally) a lot of confusion among people about whether it’s okay to ignore cholesterol from now on and throw away your cholesterol lowering statin pills.
    So let’s try to clear up some of this confusion, because in fact cholesterol is an important risk factor and statins, while they can be misprescribed, do save lives.
    The benefits are all about your level of risk. Peter Clifton is Professor of Nutrition at the Sansom Institute at the University of South Australia and an NHMRC Principle Research Fellow.
    Peter Clifton: Cholesterol is certainly a risk factor, as powerful a risk factor as high blood pressure, smoking, lack of physical activity, so it ranks with them relatively equally. So it’s not the be all and the end all. I guess the importance of cholesterol is that it is relatively easy to treat, so it makes it a factor that is quite easy to control.
    Norman Swan: On what basis are people questioning cholesterol then?
    Peter Clifton: That’s a good question. I guess part of the reason in the first Catalyst was the lack of really strong effects from diet interventions to lower cholesterol. There haven’t been that many done and they’ve had relatively weak effects. And big trials, like MRFIT, which was attempting to lower cholesterol, wasn’t successful. So they are using that as a basis to question the association between cholesterol levels and heart disease, whereas of course there are statin studies that came well after all of these diet studies that have to my mind shown pretty convincingly that there is a very strong association between cholesterol and heart disease, and lowering cholesterol does good.

    1. I could spend an entire post parsing Peter Clifton’s last answer. He’s obviously clueless as to what all these studies showed.

  26. Just yesterday I came across another statin-based horror story. The periodontist I know for last 12 years can’t do surgeries any longer because he took statines for not long time, and a young replacement doctor have already started to perform surgeries at his office. My doc is just under 55 yo, three years ago he was prescribed a statine drug, took it for one year and a half, developed a problem with leg muscles, drug was discontinued. The leg weaknesses didn’t go away complitely, and recently he started to notice something was getting wrong with his hands and they started to shake. He had a biopsy, and was told statines damaged his hands muscles. He is trying to get disability at the moment. Even if the cholesterol-lowering effect was desirable for a longevity, is not the price to pay for a preventive measure shouldn’t be so high as a disability, troubles moving and memory problems? No one wants to decrease the quality of his/her life to live longer.

  27. ” I guess the importance of cholesterol is that it is relatively easy to treat”
    This very smart statement comes from Dr Peter Clifford, Professor of Nutrition at the Sansom Institute at the University of South Australia and an NHMRC Principle Research Fellow! He speaks as if cholesterol was a disease!!!! Trouble is so many Drs also regard cholesterol as a disease and if it were in their power they would eradicate it altogether!
    Without cholesterol the human would be like that famed Norwegian Blue parrot – dead and extinct. Dr Clifford, being a Nutritionist, should know the basic biochemistry of the Melavonite Pathway or has he just forgotten or maybe been blinded to logic by the drug companies handouts?
    Simple answer – truncate HMG CoA Reductase (purpose of Statins) and all else that would normally flow is stopped. Goodbye to the flow on effect of vital cell isoprenoids including CoQ10 (for cell energy), Dolichols (for membrane, nerve & fetal development), Tau proteins (for normal cell cycles) and cholesterol. Cutting Cholesterol means goodbye to estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, bile acid salts for digestion to name a few. No wonder there is so much erectile dysfunction around these days – ah but the viagra drug can fix that too so no more worries and the drug companies take more $$$s to the bank. I could go on and on.
    Cholesterol is beautiful. I love cholesterol and I am so thankful I know how beneficial having a good supply of it is. It is one of the most important components of the human body and trying to lower or eradicate it ranks as one of the most stupid aims the medical field has ever undertaken.

      1. Hi Dr Eades,
        I thought the Monty Python allusion was very applicable!
        I’m working on that invitation to New Zealand too! See your reply to me – 27 October

  28. May be in a while statines would be used as a chemical therapy for starving cancer from building materials, like other poisons.

  29. Dr Eades
    Have you read this series of articles
    Thematic review series: The Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis. An interpretive history of the cholesterol controversy – Parts 1-V
    Also – do you have targets for LDL-C, Non HDL-C, ApoB, and LDL-P or do these not matter?
    If biomarkers of inflammation such as hsCRP are low are high levels of the above irrelevant?
    Do you believe that a CT scan is necessary to dtermein whether or not one has plaque?

    1. I haven’t read all the papers beginning to end. I have read a lot of stuff of Steinberg’s, so I’m pretty aware of his take on things.
      Thanks for providing these papers for me all in one place.
      This will sound like a cop out, but I don’t really look at lipid values in a vacuum. I look at the total patient. If I look at anything with a little extra scrutiny, it would be Lp(a), which isn’t on your list, LDL particle size and LDL-P.
      Re the markers of inflammation. Again, I try to look at the entire patient, not an isolated lab value.
      Given the state of the art today, if I had a patient who had bad lab values, family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, etc., I would recommend the patient get a calcium score. If it is a zero, then the patient doesn’t have a lot to worry about in terms of heart disease. If it is high, we take it from there. One thing I’ve learned from sending people for calcium scores is that apparent state of health, lipid values, and even obesity have little correlation with the outcome.
      If I did send a patient for a calcium scan, I would make sure he/she went to a facility that had an EBT, not a regular helical scanner. In my view, the latter uses way too much radiation for a scanning procedure.

        1. In 1980 the Japanese company Sankyo stopped their statin development (ML-236B or “Mevastatin) after cancer developed in lab animals. MERCK followed suit, called an “all stop” and informed the FDA. Daniel Steinberg was the NIH-director who advised MERCK in 1981 to resume development of their statin “Lovastatin.” With his support the FDA endorsed human trials at Dallas in 1982. 7 years later Lovastatin was on the shelves. Lovastatin was the first of all the currently prescribed statins and MERCK is responsible for its approval and Steinberg pushed for it. Lovastatin is more potent than ML-236B.
          Incidentally stat means “stop” and meva is the Mevalonate pathway, so statin literally means “stop mevalonate” and that is exactly what statins do!
          Steinberg and MERCK knew the dangers inherent in statins and how they block the Mevalonate pathway and the likely consequences thereafter. The scientific literature is packed with reports of cells, tissues and animals dying when exposed to a statin then rescued from death with mevalonate.
          In my opinion Steinberg has a lot to answer for.
          My understanding has been greatly enhanced by the wonderfully expansive and stunning exposé written by Dr Hannah Yoseph MD and her husband James B Yoseph called “How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol And Kill You One Cell At A Time.” Available through Amazon and published by themselves. I have quoted from this book in some of my comments here. All that is in the book is a matter of public record and is a mind blowing revelation of corruption and conspiracy for big billions within the drug companies. It is a must read.

          1. Red Rice Yeast contains lovastatin yet doctors will recommend that as a safer alternative to a statin drug even though they’re the same.
            Red yeast rice contains naturally-occurring substances called monacolins. Monocolins, particularly one called lovastatin, is believed to be converted in the body to a substance that inhibits HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that triggers cholesterol production. This is the way the popular statin drugs work.

  30. Maybe I am totally nuts. I am a nobody. I think cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease at all. I think LDL is good. I think the oxidized LDL is trying to repair the artery and then a blood clot causes the heart attack. So I think LDL is a powerful anti oxidant. If you could stabilize the plaque, and stop the clot, maybe put MORE oxidized LDL in there, maybe there wouldn’t even be a need for bypass and stents. I think the statins shut off the LDL, which is bad. I think the statins might help heal the tear in the artery, but it’s BAD that it lowers LDL.

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