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Why warning of the heart risks associated with high cholesterol doesn’t tell the full story

The idea that high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream puts us in mortal danger is perhaps one of the most firmly entrenched medical ‘facts’ of our time. Repeatedly, consistently and frequently we are warned that the cholesterol in our blood will bung up are arteries and increase our risk of heart disease. Another reminder […]

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Is it right for scientists to put the links between cholesterol reducing medication and cancer down to ‘chance’?

Back in July I wrote about a study (the so-called SEAS trial) in which two cholesterol agents (simvastatin and ezetimibe) taken in combination appeared to increase risk of cancer. The full results of this study were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine [1] and can be read here. Alongside this research, […]

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New evidence links low cholesterol with increased risk of cancer and death, and what are we to make of conventional cholesterol guidelines?

At the risk of repeating myself, today I’d like to share with you the results of a study which has found a link between low cholesterol levels and heightened risk of cancer. After all, it was only last Friday that I reported on a recently published study which found precisely the same thing. The study […]

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Low cholesterol levels linked with increased risk of cancer, so is cholesterol reduction safe?

When in comes to cholesterol levels, the mantra is usually ‘the lower the better’. The idea here is that the lower the level of cholesterol in our bloodstreams, the lower our risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack and stroke) and therefore, we hope, death from these conditions. But wait a minute, even if this […]

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(Some) doctors suggest that lower cholesterol levels may not be better after all

About a month ago, I reported on a study (known as the ENHANCE trial) which found that two cholesterol agents (simvastatin and ezetimibe) were no better than one (simvastatin) in terms of reducing the narrowing of arteries in the body. This blog post was based on data that had to be, it seems, forced out […]

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More ‘healthy’ eating advice from the UK Government that is unlikely to do any good at all

Here in the UK we look to the Government’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) to guide us regarding what we should be eating, and we also trust them when it comes to ensuring the food industry doesn’t offer us too much shite to eat. Or that’s the theory, anyway. In reality, I reckon the FSA does […]

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Trial results forced out of drug company support the concept that cholesterol may not ’cause’ cardiovascular disease

Last Monday’s blog featured an article which revealed evidence of ‘publication bias’ (basically, the publication of positive studies and the junking of negative ones) in the area of antidepressant therapy. Not only that, but this study revealed that many negative studies are reported by their authors in a way that makes them look positive. The […]

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Scientists appear reluctant to admit that a serious blow has been dealt to the cholesterol hypothesis

Last Friday saw the publication of an intriguing study which assessed the relationship between cholesterol levels and ‘vascular’ mortality ” namely deaths due to heart disease and stroke. This review appeared in the Lancet medical journal, and assessed data from 61 studies. In short, this piece of research found that higher levels of cholesterol were […]

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Low GI diet found to bring rapid benefits for health

The glycaemic index (GI) is a measure of the extent to which a food raises blood sugar. Generally speaking, the higher the GI, the unhealthier the food is. Lots of sugar generally means lots of insulin ” and excess of which can promote of a slew of unhealthy biochemical processes including increased fat-making and reduced […]

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When it comes to cholesterol, is lower really better?

Very few of us will not have noticed that the last couple of decades have seen a concerted effort from health agencies and health professionals to persuade us that we should be driving our cholesterol levels to lower and lower levels. When I was at medical school the upper limit of cholesterol was 6.5 mmol/l […]

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