Cholesterol Levels and Heart Attacks

Adapted from the revised version of Dr. Fuhrman's book Cholesterol Protection for Life:

There is irrefutable evidence that high cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Make no doubt about it: lowering your LDL cholesterol below 100 offers powerful protection against heart disease. The evidence is overwhelming today that heart attacks, which kill half of all Americans, are entirely preventable. Heart disease is a condition that is preventable and reversible through aggressive nutritional intervention and cholesterol-lowering.

The latest recommendation from most medical authorities and medical organizations such as the American College of Cardiology is to lower LDL cholesterol level below 100. This is in accordance with what has been observed for years in epidemiology studies. People in countries who ate a more simple plant-based diet did not have heart attacks and those populations are always found to have much lower cholesterol levels than was thought to be acceptable in the past. For instance, the average total cholesterol in rural China was 127 and the average LDL was below 80. Heart attacks in rural China were exceedingly rare. The same thing was observed in multiple interventional and population studies, such as the Harvard Health Study; those with LDL’s below 100 were not observed to have heart attacks. Medical authorities are now finally in agreement that much lower cholesterol levels are needed to be truly protective.

It would be foolish for anyone not to maintain an LDL cholesterol below 100 or total cholesterol below 150 mg/dl. Less than 10% of the adult population in America, however, actually has cholesterol levels that meet these newest recommendations, designed for more significant reduction in cardiac deaths.1

Recent medical trials reinforce the importance of maintaining LDL levels below 100 for significant protection and have led medical authorities to recommend cholesterol-lowering drugs to the vast majority of Americans.

When resorting to medical intervention, rather than dietary modifications, other problems arise, reducing the potential reduction in mortality possible, as these individuals are at risk of serious side effects from the medication. The known side effects for various statins (the most popular and effective medications to lower cholesterol) include hepatitis, jaundice, other liver problems, gastrointestinal upsets, muscle problems and a variety of blood complications such as reduced platelet levels and anemia. Continue Reading...