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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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August 26, 2008 Canadian Medical Association Journal
Levels of LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") that are the 'health goals' promoted by the American Heart Association (AHA) may be associated with a significant increased risk of cancer and death. The AHA recommends an LDL level of 100 for prevention and 70 for high-risk patients.

In this Canadian study an LDL level of 107 was associated with a 33% increased risk of cancer and death, an LDL level of 87 was associated with a 50% increased risk. In other words, as the LDL goes lower the risk keeps getting worse. These variable AHA levels for LDL cholesterol were established by medical researchers with direct financial ties to the statin industry. Recommending these artificially low levels for LDL would require double and triple doses of statin drugs, thus dramatically increasing sales. Statin drugs have been the largest category of drug sales worldwide for quite some time.

Lowering LDL cholesterol to very low levels, which the drug Vytorin does, has been shown not to reduce cardiovascular disease. Another Vytorin study showed that doing so increased cancer risk by 64%. This new study showed that lowering LDL too low actually increases the rate of death from any cause. The data was so alarming that the researchers called for a statistical reanalysis of the data from all existing cholesterol studies, using better statistical models that actually reflect true risk. The results of this new research led the authors to conclude, "A low LDL cholesterol level is not necessarily associated with optimal clinical outcomes but is a predictor of cancer and death."

In the current study the ideal LDL cholesterol level was 126. LDL over 146 or less than 107 was associated with 33% increased risk of cancer. LDL over 164 or less than 87 was associated with a 50% increased risk. The risk keeps getting worse the higher or lower the number progresses away from the ideal of 126. LDL in the range of 108-145 had no statistically significant cancer risk, although being in the center of this range is clearly best.

You probably have not heard of this study. And the medical doctor that prescribed your statin drug probably won't mention it. Keep it in mind as you see more marketing of statin drugs to younger and younger populations. Where will it stop? When everyone says enough.


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