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A Skeptical View of Cholesterol Phobia Marshall E. Deutsch

AbstractIn both children and older people, mortality rate is inversely proportional to blood cholesterol level. Neither ingestion of cholesterol nor dietary fat has a detectable effect on atherosclerosis. Blood cholesterol level is only one of over a hundred so-called “risk factors” which have shown some correlation with heart disease and is far down the list with respect to degree of correlation. Consumers should require pharmaceutical companies to supply at least the same amount and quality of evidence to justify the literally billions of dollars paid for anti- cholesterol drugs as the JREF requires for its one-million-dollar prize.

In April 1991, a front-page headline in the Boston Globe announced “Cholesterol curb urged for children over 2.” Turning to the follow-up on page 4 , I looked for evidence to justify “protecting” children from this essential constituent of every cell in their bodies, particularly their rapidly growing brains which contain large amounts of cholesterol. What I found was no evidence that dietary cholesterol was disadvantageous to children, but a table showing a fairly good correlation between dietary cholesterol and saturated fat on the one hand and blood cholesterol levels in boys aged 7-9 years in six countries.