So much for statin therapy!
The drugs being pushed on millions to lower LDL cholesterol levels have already taken a huge hit this year with a major study proving that most people don't actually need them.
Now, a new study finds a huge flaw in one of the most basic reasons these drugs are prescribed: Researchers say they've found almost no connection between LDL levels and stroke risk.
Researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital examined data on 13,951 participants in the Copenhagen City Heart Study, and found absolutely no link between LDL levels and stroke risk in women.
For men, the link appeared only when LDL levels shot through the roof--close to 350.
The researchers called their study "difficult to explain," but there's no real mystery here: The LDL obsession was created when Big Pharma concocted drugs to lower those levels.
Since you can actually do a better job lowering cholesterol levels on your own, you don't actually needs those drugs.
But who cares about need? All you really "need" is a good sales pitch--and the drug companies came up with a great one: Lower your LDL or die.
Nothing like the fear factor to sell meds.
In reality, there are much better indicators of heart and stroke risk--and the researchers behind the new study in Annals of Neurology confirmed one of them: high triglycerides.
Statins can supposedly lower those, too, but there's a much easier way to do it: fish oil.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can dramatically slash your triglycerides--with none of the side effects of statin drugs, and plenty of extra benefits.
One of those benefits is a boost in levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, another better indicator of overall heart and stroke risk. And a new study finds one more disease HDL may help prevent: cancer.
Researchers compared data on 1,238 people with colorectal cancer--including 779 with colon cancer--to 1,238 without the disease.
They found that those with the highest levels of HDL cholesterol as well as the blood fat apolipoprotein A (try saying that five times fast) had the lowest risk of developing colon cancer.
For those followed more than two years, however, only HDL levels made a difference.
In other words, make sure your HDL is as high as you can get it--and for one great way to do it, stay tuned this weekend for the latest research on booze.