Sometimes, reading medical literature is like peering through the looking glass. Because when given the exact same evidence, conclusions made by conventional researchers are often wildly different than mine.
Take this latest story for example…
A recent study found that fewer than 40 percent of patients are meeting their target LDL cholesterol levels, after being put on intense cholesterol-lowering therapies following a heart-related hospitalization.
Based on that data, what conclusion would you come to about these low efficacy rates?
- The patient isn’t really taking their medications
- The medications aren’t really doing their jobs
- Such “intense” lipid-lowering goals are absurd in the first place
You can probably guess my answer (for the record, I choose option 3). But predictably, the authors of this study settled on a concerning combo of options one and two.
The drugs don’t work
These researchers presented their study at the European Atherosclerosis Society 2018 meeting. The findings were based on results from a survey called EUROASPIRE, which included 8,000 patients from 27 different countries in Europe.
And here’s what they found:
- While 84 percent of patients took cholesterol-lowering drugs (typically statins), only 32 percent actually met their target of an LDL level below 70.
- Meanwhile, of the 60 percent of patients on “high-intensity” lipid-lowering therapy, only 36 percent met their target levels.
It’s also worth noting that fasting triglycerides were at least 150 mg/dL in more than 30 percent of these patients. A more acceptable number would be below 100. And if you cut sugar out of your diet instead of popping a pill and calling it a day, it’s really not a hard target to meet.
But, the researchers concluded these results mean that more patients require even more intensive treatment for high cholesterol.
According to the authors: “Concerted efforts are needed to use appropriate lipid-lowering therapies in combination with lifestyle interventions to achieve the evidence-based recommended LDL cholesterol target for secondary prevention.”
In other words, “More drugs for everyone!”
Cholesterol isn’t the most important heart marker
Look, you know how much I hate statins. And I’d like to remind you that when it comes to heart health, cholesterol is only one part of the story. And warnings about it are oversimplified, to say the least.
It’s not that cholesterol doesn’t matter. But ultimately, LDL cholesterol levels aren’t the most important predictive factor behind heart disease. In fact, super-low levels of this so-called “bad” cholesterol can be downright dangerous.
I’ve busted this common myth several times before — most notably in the December 2013 and November 2014 issues of my monthly newsletter Logical Health Alternatives. (Subscribers have access to all of my back issues in the archives. If you haven’t yet, you can sign up here.)
So if you want the real scoop on how to get a handle on your cholesterol, I suggest you ignore the latest drug propaganda masquerading as science and start there instead.
P.S. I’m also working on a full-length, online heart protocol that will be ready by the end of summer. Be on the lookout for more information — spots are limited, but I’ll make sure you’re first to know when it’s ready!