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LDL – Lots (of) Dispute Lately

If you’re as weird as me, then you’ve no doubt often wondered why, if “cholesterol” is really as deadly as it’s made out to be (especially that “bad” form of lipids known as LDL), then why are at least half (perhaps as many as 3/4) of all heart attacks said to occur in people with “normal” cholesterol levels.

But even if you’re not as weird as me, this should trouble you a bit because we put so much emphasis – and that means an amazing amount of therapeutic intervention, which in English means drugs, drugs and more drugs – into “normalizing” cholesterol levels, which in the vast majority of cases means trying to get LDL levels down as much as possible with statins and if those aren’t enough, then a host of newer very expensive “cholesterol-lowering” medications.

But what if LDL was not the bogeyman (if that’s a term that’s still permitted) that it’s been made out to be?

At least that’s the reasoning from a recent report in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.

This study claims that there are really 3 kinds of LDL and that only one of them is problematic, which is why, one of the study’s authors says, “Our studies can explain why a correlation of total “bad” cholesterol with a risk of heart attack is poor and dangerously misleading—it’s wrong three quarters of the time”.

Ouch.

So instead of putting so many millions of people on therapies they may not need, what is really needed, if this study is to be believed, a much better way of analyzing LDL levels to see which ones really need to be lowered, and which can be safely ignored.

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