Cholesterol and Statins – Lies and misconceptions

Coach Jack talks about Statins/Cholesterol

So I have a friend that has a disorder called Familial Hypercholesterlemia or FH for short. It is a disorder where the person has genetically high LDL. Standard protocol for these people is statin. Done and done. My friend has been on them for 20 years. many of his family members have the same disorder. Many of them have had heart attacks as well. Regardless of being on statins, they still had heart attacks. Some of them have not had any health issues. My friend and his sister have not. The difference? My friend and his sister are active and eat a healthy diet low in sugar. The rest of his family is overweight, inactive and eat a terrible diet. They mostly all have type 2 diabetes as well where my friend and his sister do not.

What I want to talk about is the idea that just because they have high LDL that means they need a drug to lower it or they will have a heart attack. Like statins even show this in anyone. Lets talk about risk reduction. The famous statin ads show a 36%* reduced risk of heart attack. Notice the asterix? That means a lie has been told. This number is what is referred to as relative risk not actual risk. Here is how they got this number.
In the largest study ever done on statins this was the result.

They took a very large group of people with the highest total cholesterol and divided them into two groups. One group got statins and the other group got placebo. Now at the end of this study, they stopped at about 2 years in cause god forbid they went longer and people started knocking off from heart attacks even though they were on statins, they looked at the amount of people that didn’t die of a heart attack. Thats right. The people that didn’t die. Here it is.

Statin Group = 98.1% of people didn’t die. (still alive)

Placebo Group = 97% of people didn’t die. (yes still alive)

So the actual difference of people that died was:

No statin = 3 people in 100 died without statins

Statins = 1.9 people in 100 died when taken statins

A whopping 1 less person died because of a statin. That is not 36%. That is 1.1% so how did they get 36%?
Well they arbitrarily decided lets take the 3% that died without statins and divide by the 1.1% difference and call that the reduction in risk.

1%/3%=36%!!! Amazing!!!

What they don’t tell you is the all cause mortality rate in statin users is much higher than non statin users. So great, in the short term you save 1.1% of people from a heart attack but they die sooner from something else. One study showed that statin users had twice the incidences of breast cancer after 10 years of use.
Sure if we kill you from something else sooner you won’t die from a heart attack. I can also reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack if I send you skydiving without a parachute. 100% reduced risk of heart attack. I should patent that.

Back to FH (familial hypercholesterolaemia) and why they don’t need statins and why cholesterol is not an issue. I’ve found two different studies that showed that the lifespan was no different in people with FH than it was in people with normal cholesterol. Here is a quote from one of these articles.

“Our studies provide no evidence that familial hypercholesterolemia appreciably shortens the life of affected individuals, either male or female. On the contrary, they show that high levels of serum cholesterol are clearly compatible with survival into the seventh and eighth decades.”

One of these studies show that there was a large increase in coronary deaths starting in the mid 1930s which continued to increase into the 1980s when the study was concluded. Clearly if statins were causing these people to live longer the numbers would have been huge before the advent of statins and would have decreased drastically since the release of statins in 1987. Unfortunately that is not the case. According to the rate of heart attacks in men with FH is 85%. That is not great considering that from 1830 until 1989 only 25% of people with FH died period. Not even of heart attacks. Just all cause mortality. So if statins are so great why the huge difference and why the explosion in mortality around the 1930s?

This might paint a picture:

Average sugar consumption per century:
1800s = 22.4g per day
1900s = 112g per day
2000s = 227g per day

Is it surprising that the increased incidence of heart attacks went from nearly non existent in the 1800s to what it is today? Is this a coincidence? Even in this highly susceptible subset of people the mortality rate went from near nothing to catastrophic directly in correlation with the increase in sugar consumption.

So why was very high cholesterol not a factor up until 1930 but then all of a sudden these people need to be on statins? Is cholesterol the issue or is a diet high in carbohydrates and specifically sugar the issue? You decide. I think it is pretty clear.

Mortality over two centuries in a large pedigree with Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: A genetic and Metabolic Study


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Coach Jack

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