Cholesterol is not your enemy
Trans-fats and sugar do more damage, particularly in young people. So an extremely conservative medical system here in Australia, allied with advertising for junk food and sugar-laden products aimed at the young, is doing great harm.
The statins for reducing cholesterol arrived here in about 1990. Before that, Atromid-S (Clofibrate) and Nicotinic acid (one of the B-group vitamins) were widely used.
Oats were also recommended, but I think they should be kept for horses. Some people just can’t tolerate high-fibre foods such as oatmeal porridge, but dieticians and doctors keep recommending them.
Nicotinic acid, in the prescribed doses, simply produced flushing of hands, feet and faces.
Another winner was Questran which was made up into a gluggy drink, tasted terrible and produced constipation.
None of these preparations were any good, so when the statins arrived doctors went crazy for them since they had a marked effect on cholesterol levels.
They also had far-reaching side-effects, particularly on muscles, producing myositis, myopathy and, occasionally, rhabdomyolysis — which could be fatal.
Our doctors, buoyed by overseas trips sponsored by the statin-makers, now started prescribing statins for people with low cholesterol, just in case there was a sudden up-surge. Cholesterol was even divided into “bad” cholesterol and “good” cholesterol.
The “baddies” were called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and the “goodies” HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
The “baddies” clogged up your arteries — with the help of platelets and cell debris — while the “goodies” scoured and cleaned them. I believe this is all fanciful thinking, produced by drug companies and sold to every cardiologist in the country.
Doctors fear of litigation renders them a very conservative bunch.
Statistically, high cholesterol and high blood-pressure may have some meaning, but exercise, good nutrition and avoiding toxins, pesticides, GMO crops, herbicides, and the constant barrage of chemical warfare, would be a good way to go.
Fortunately or unfortunately, your genetics will remain the same, and this has the greatest bearing on health or ill-health.
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About the author
Robert Gosstray is a retired pharmacist and the resident health writer for Midlifexpress. He is the author of The Pharmacist's Secrets: Drugs, lies and money.