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No Lowering of Cardiovascular Death Rates, in Spite of Intensive Lipid Treatment

 
CV-death
 

Does intensive drug treatment of cholesterol levels lower the risk of death, compared to less intensive treatment? Not according to a review of the science. The slide above was shown at the recent American College of Cardiology conference, as tweeted by a Yale cardiologist.

This is the same negative result as shown in the first hard endpoint trial of the super-hyped PCSK9 inhibitors. They did not stop any death from heart disease either, in fact the trend was in the opposite direction.

If even more drugs is not the answer, what is? Perhaps lifestyle modification to reduce metabolic risk factors like low HDL, elevated blood sugars, high blood pressure and excess weight? If so, low carb could be a good option.

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The End to Heart Disease Is Not Here

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Imagine a new injectable drug that drops cholesterol to incredibly low levels. People thought it might result in a virtual immunity from heart disease, thus pricing them at an astonishing $14,000 per patient, per year.

There was only one problem – there was no proof that the drug actually did anything good except lowering cholesterol.

The new drug evolocumab, a PCSK9 inhibitor, has still been called a huge advancement in the battle against heart disease and stroke. This exclusively because of its ability to dramatically lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol. The question is whether this truly is a revolutionary advancement for people’s health – or not?

Now we know. Continue Reading →

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BMJ Editor-in-Chief: Lessons From the Controversy Over Statins

Statin Tablet in Close Up

Are cholesterol-lowering statin drugs proven to be very safe and effective? Is it time to stop even debating this? Or is this just what the pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe?

Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, has a strong point of view:

Questions about the evidence base for statins continue to emerge from many quarters: how strong is the evidence, how large is the benefit for individuals at lowest risk of heart disease, how well did the trials record common minor side-effects, how representative were the trials of women and the elderly, what was the effect of active run-in periods and composite endpoints, how does taking a statin affect a person’s diet and exercise patterns, why is there a discrepancy between the real-life experience of muscle pain and what was reported in the trials, why have the data for harms not yet been given the same levels of scrutiny as the data for benefits, and is cholesterol a reliable surrogate endpoint to guide prevention of cardiovascular disease?

So despite Horton and Collins and colleagues wanting to shut down the discussion and award themselves the final word, the debate about statins in primary prevention is alive and kicking. It is a debate that needs to be resolved as thoughtfully, objectively, and openly as possible, and not by eminence-based narrative reviews, however extensive, based on meta-analysis of data that only Collins, his fellow trialists, and industry sponsors have seen.
– Fiona Godlee

The Lancet: Lessons from the Controversy Over Statins

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“My Doctor Urged Me to Take Statins”


4.8 out of 5 stars5 stars92%4 stars1%3 stars1%2 stars1%1 star3%76 ratings1,021 viewsDavid Diamond’s doctor told him to go on statins because of high cholesterol. But David wanted to make sure that he knew the science before starting the medication. He started reading, and quickly realized that what we think we know about cholesterol, heart disease and statins is not quite right.

With his new knowledge, he became highly interested in the field and was able to make vast improvements – without ever taking medications.

Watch a segment above (transcript). The full, longer video is available on our member site:

“My Doctor Urged Me to Take Statins!” – Dr. David Diamond

Join free for a month to get instant access to this and hundreds of other low-carb TV videos. Plus Q&A with experts and our awesome low-carb meal planner service.

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Triglycerides and Heart Disease – What’s the Connection?

Medical stethoscope with clipboard and heart on blue background

Why should we care about high triglycerides? Doctors always obsess about LDL cholesterol and barely a word is heard about triglycerides, yet high blood triglycerides strongly and independently predict cardiovascular disease, almost as powerfully as LDL. Continue Reading →

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How Carbs Affect Your Cholesterol

Selection of comptex carbohydrates sources on white background

How do carbohydrates affect your cholesterol, specifically the triglycerides?

The liver lies at the nexus of metabolism and nutrient flow, particularly carbohydrates and proteins. Situated immediately downstream from absorptive surface of the intestines, those nutrients enter the blood in the portal circulation and pass directly to the liver. The major exception is dietary fat, which is absorbed as chylomicrons directly into the lymphatic system where it empties into the bloodstream without first passing the liver. Continue Reading →

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Is High Cholesterol Dangerous on A Low-Carb Diet?


4.6 out of 5 stars5 stars77%4 stars10%3 stars9%2 stars0%1 star2%83 ratings6,875 views Audio onlyIs high cholesterol dangerous on a low-carb diet? For some people, the “bad” LDL cholesterol goes up, while other aspects improve (like the “good” HDL cholesterol). So, both good and bad changes at the same time.

What does that mean? How should situations like that be handled?

Here’s the start of my interview with the fantastic Dr. Sarah Hallberg. Watch a segment above (transcript). The full 11-minute interview, where she share her best tips, is available (with captions and transcript) with a free trial or membership:

Is High Cholesterol Dangerous on a Low-Carb Diet? – Dr. Sarah Hallberg

Start your free membership trial to watch it instantly – as well as get access to our low-carb meal planner service and over 200 other video courses, movies, interviews or other presentations. Plus Q&A with experts, etc.

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The Official Dietary Advice Continues to Fail Us

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Yes – eggs are good for you

Regardless of whether it being advice on salt, saturated fat or sugar, health authorities are failing to stay up-to-date with the latest research:

Observer: Health Authorities Continue to Fail Us

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The Breakfast Wars – Eggs vs. Oatmeal

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Which is a better breakfast option – eggs or oatmeal? This is a very good question that many breakfast eaters ask themselves every day (perhaps). A new study examined this and found some interesting results:

These results demonstrate that compared to an oatmeal breakfast, two eggs per day do not adversely affect the biomarkers associated with CVD [heart disease] risk, but increase satiety throughout the day in a young healthy population.

Another win for the low-carb option – and eggs can also be eaten in all kinds of delicious ways. Check out some of our best breakfasts with eggs below.

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#2 Low-Carb Fear: Cholesterol

LDL cholesterolDoes a low-carb diet cause high cholesterol?

Low-carb diets tend to improve the cholesterol profile by increasing levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol, and decreasing levels of harmful triglycerides. These are both good changes, associated with improved health.

Regarding the “bad” LDL cholesterol, most people experience no significant changes on low carb. However, some people can lower or (more often) increase LDL levels somewhat. Note that studies show that at least people over 60 years of age tend to live longer with higher LDL levels.

Taken together, studies show that low-carb diets generally improve risk factors for disease, including cholesterol. For a small minority of people however, cholesterol may go up abnormally high on an LCHF diet. In those situations it could be worth adapting the diet to normalize the cholesterol levels.

The bottom line: Low-carb and high-fat diets on average improve the cholesterol profile and reduce most risk factors for disease. The effect of this has been demonstrated in a 2010 study that showed a reduction in atherosclerosis after two years on a low-carb, high-fat diet.

 
Learn how to handle elevated cholesterol on low carb

Read recent news about cholesterol

More low-carb fears

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