Does Cholesterol Help the Elderly Live Longer
Does cholesterol save the elderly from heart attacks? Yes. Surprise! Does cholesterol save the elderly from strokes? Yes. Surprise!Surprise! Does cholesterol save the elderly from hospitalization for infections? Yes. Surprise!Surprise!Surprise! Do people with lower cholesterol levels more often have Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative brain disorders than people with higher cholsterol levels? Yes, yes, yes!.
The elderly with high blood cholesterol levels have fewer heart attacks than those with lower cholesterol levels. The elderly with high blood cholesterol levels also have fewer strokes than those with lower cholesterol levels. The elderly with high blood cholesterol levels are also hospitalized on fewer occasions for infections than those with lower cholesterol levels.
The scientific explanations of the above low cholesterol-disease relationships are simple. If you take any of the statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels, such as Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol, Vytorin, and others, please read these explanations carefully. I describe toxicities of such drugs in companion articles of my series on cholesterol.
☞ Cholesterol is an antioxidant. It has anti-inflammatory effects.
☞ Cholesterol is essential for cellular cross-talk. It is crucial to cell membrane health.
☞ Cholesterol is the queen-mother of all steroid hormones in the body. It is the raw material for vitamin D.
☞ Cholesterol is essential for healthy cell membranes, which are crucial for fighting infections. People with higher cholesterol levels are hospitalized for fewer infectons than those with lower cholesterol levels.
From the above effects of the molecular biology of cholesterol, one would expect that people with high blood levels of healthy (non-rancid, non-oxidized) cholesterol will live the longest. That, indeed is true.
Does Cholesterol Cause Plaques in Arteries?
In late 1960s, my microscopic studies of arterial plaques removed in autopsy samples showed the presence of cholesterol crystals only in dead tissues deep in the walls of the vessels. I never saw cholesterol crystals in the inner lining tissue of arteries called intima. From these observations, I concluded that cholesterol deposits are not the cause but a consequence of tissue injury in blood vessel walls caused by excess acidity, incremental free radical activity, microclot and microplaque formation in the circulating blood, stickiness of arterial lining, and intimal injury that precedes plaque formation. Cholesterol crystals appear in the plaques much later. In 1997, I published a large number of photographs of microclots and microplaques in the circulating blood in the Journal of Integrative Medicine.
I present and discuss the basic scientific facts about cholesterol metabolism to help people integrate such knowledge—connect the dots, so to speak—with crucial clinical information at length in my video seminar entitled “Cholesterol” available at http://www.18006336226.com and by calling at 973-586-4111.
Scientific Evidence of My Position
A large number of studies validate this statement. One of these well known reports was published as far back as 1990 in the Journal of Medical Association (volume 272, 1335-1340) by Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale University. His survey showed that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol.
In 2003, Uffe Ravnskov, MD, the author of The Cholesterol Myths conducted a more extensive survey of the published reports, anaylyzed the data of eleven studies of old people, and supported the conclusion of the earlier Yale University report. His findings were published in the Quarterly Journal of Medicine (volume 96, pages 927-934).
In 2007, The Lancet, in my view the most prestigious medical journal, published a large survey of published data for over 40,000 women who were given statin drugs for primary prevention of coronary artery disease. The opening paragraph of this paper, the words of the authors, professors John Abramson of Harvard University and James Wright of University of British Columbia, are most revealing. Consider the following quote: “The last major revision of the US guidelines, in 2001, increased the number of Americans for whom statins are recommended from 13 million to 36 million, most of whom do not yet have but are estimated to be at moderately elevated risk of developing coronary heart disease. In support of statin therapy for the primary prevention of this disease in women and people over 65 years of age, the guidelines cite seven and nine randomized trials, respectively. Yet not one of the studies provides such evidence.”
In mid-1990s, Professor Jacobs and Dr. Carlos Iribarren conducted a follow-up study of 100,000 healthy people in the San Francisco area for fifteen years. They reported that those who had low cholesterol were hospitalized for infections more often than those with higher levels. Their data were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (volume 26, pages 1191–1202 (1997) and the Epidemiology and Infection (volume 121; pages, 335–347 (1998).
In 2007, higher rates of newly diagnosed cancers were observed among people with lowered LDL cholesterol levels (with the use of statin drugs). The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported a direct relationship between lowered LDL cholesterol values (volume 50, pages 409-418). Consider the following quote from that article:” In 23 statin treatment arms with 309,506 person-years of follow-up….we observed a disturbing significant inverse relationship between achieved LDL-C levels and risk of newly diagnosed cancer.”
More People Died With Statin Drug Than With the Placebo
In a celebrated 1989 study of lowering cholesterol levels with a drug, The New England Journal of Medicine reported more deaths among individuals who took the drug than in the control group treated with a placebo (volume 317, page 1237).
My message in this article: Please, please know the scientific truths about lowering the cholesterol levels and their relationships with diseases before you take statin drugs, such as Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol, Vytorin, and others. It is better that you empower yourself with authentic knowledge now than learn about cholesterol years from now and regret having wasted thousands of dollars, while suffering fatigue and liver injury for years.
Doctors prescribe cholesterol drugs according to the standards which they have to follow to protect their licenses. Those standards are set by doctors on the payroll of drug companies. Thus, the responsibility for learning the science of cholesterol and preserving your health falls on you.