The Dangers Of Too Low Cholesterol Levels

| December 11, 2014

How many times has your doctor given you the cholesterol talk? You know, the one where numbers get tossed around and yours are always ‘too high’.

However, I bet you’ve never had a talk about the risks of having too low cholesterol levels… and I bet you didn’t know that where cholesterol is concerned, the lower you go, the more risky things get.

That’s because all we hear from our doctors is that a low — really low number — will “IMPROVE” your health.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When the pharmaceutical giant, Merck, funded the drug trial called IMPROVE-IT, it was hoping to improve the soiled reputation of a dangerous cholesterol drug called Vytorin.

Vytorin hit the market over 10 years ago and is a combination of Zetia (another risky Merck drug) and a cholesterol-lowering statin drug.

On its own, Zetia comes with a super-long list of side effects including depression, aggressive behaviour, memory problems, and liver damage. Add to that all the risks of a statin (like diabetes) and you’ve got a hideously dangerous drug, called Vytorin.

In the IMPROVE-IT trial participants were given either Vytorin or a statin drug, like Lipitor. When the trial finally concluded, Merck wasted no time in announcing its “miraculous” results — cholesterol levels were low. Actually they were lower than low.

In fact, cholesterol levels were so low that even the lead researcher, Cardiologist Dr. Robert Califf, was worried. He said that “many people were nervous about going this low and imagined a lot of possible toxicities.”

But for Merck the most important thing (as usual) was the fact that the trial was called a success!

However, what Merck didn’t announce was the fact that over 40 per cent of the participants in the trial stopped taking the drug — either the statin alone or the Vytorin — long before it concluded.

Is it possible that those terribly low cholesterol numbers were making the participants feel sick?

Well, considering what researchers have been saying about what can happen when your cholesterol drops too low, it could be the case.

Back in 1999, researcher Dr. David Tirschwell told a shocked group at the American Heart Association that those with cholesterol numbers under 180 were at double the risk of having a stroke than those who were in the 230 range.

Even back then, that wasn’t a brand new finding, either.

Over 30 years ago, Japanese researchers came to the same conclusion… and so did other Hawaiian researchers who did a long-term study on middle-aged men.

In fact, it appears that all sorts of diseases and conditions are linked to bargain-basement cholesterol numbers. Things like depression, suicide, heart attacks, strokes and Parkinson’s disease.

That’s probably because cholesterol plays an essential part in keeping you healthy. For one, cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant, which help your body synthesize vitamin D. It is also required for hormone production and is a building block in every cell membrane of your body.

Commenting on the results of the IMPROVE-IT study, here’s what Dr. Melissa Walton-Shirley said: “I can nearly guarantee you that instead of a one in 50 chance that this compound will help you, there is a nearly 100% chance that the Mediterranean diet and a 30-minute walk daily will drop your death rate by 50%. Plus, it will help your osteoporosis risk, lower your blood pressure, and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.”

Apart from avoiding dangerous drugs like cholesterol-lowering statins, I could not have said it any better.

Here's to keeping your heart strong and healthy

Francois Lubbe
Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth



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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


Source:

“Study finds alternative to anti-cholesterol drug” Gina Kolata, November 17, 2014 The New York Times, nytimes.com

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Category: Latest Cholesterol Research

Comments (11)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. Cecil says:

    Then why are we told we have to lower our cholesterol? It’s all getting very confusing.

  2. Adrian says:

    Why would any doctor tell you to lower the levels of something that your body needs to function properly? This is just crazy. Not your post, but the idea that cholesterol is bad for you.

  3. ANNE says:

    I wouldn’t take satins your body should be fine with plenty of exercise and good food… taking pills just fills your body with Chemicals

  4. Barbara Kavic says:

    Every cardiologist I have seen has insisted I take a Statin. I take the statin medication just to satisfy the physician and end up with severe abdominal pain, leg pain. I can’t even climb a flight of steps and my urine turns dark amber. I stop taking the statin medication before the week is up. One physician chastised me after I refused. I was so intimidated. Now, I state before each visit that I cannot take statin meds and I still get a script for a statin. I am working with diet and no meds and my cholesterol level went from 160 to 120 in three years. You would think that this would satisfy my MD, It didn’t. I still was encouraged to take a statin. I hate going to see a cardiologist for a checkup.

  5. cecilia says:

    no dr. can force you to take a drug. You are the master of your own body and mind. And it is your duty to get informed and protect them.!!!

  6. cecilia says:

    Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT has been doing research on cholesterol for over 20 yrs with thousands of people. If you read her article you will never let any doctor kill your brain and organs with statins. V
    Cholesterol is the c master hormone from which other hormones vital to body functions derive. Sorry for length, I cannot help myself, but I don’t understand why people don’t research and just don’t take that junk.

  7. Jennipher Parsons says:

    I was forced by my doctor to take zetia this article makes me refused to take any statin drug thank you for your input highly appreciated.

    • marion white says:

      I took Zetia and had an allergic reaction to it. I had what the doctor called”Angioedema” which is a swelling of the of the mouth and face.

    • Bill Pritchard says:

      It was suggested that I take statins, first, Symvastatin then Atorvastatin as I have very high Cholesterol readings, above 7, but I almost immediately had memory loss then incredibly painful bed cramps in my legs every morning. So I stopped taking them. I usually rely on exercise as I live here in an incredibly beautiful part of the world and as I’m 72 now anyway, who cares?
      If I ever feel grumpy I just take off for a walk round the hill, for just over an hour, with my border terrier pal and I feel fine!

  8. Ioulios Xifogerakas says:

    I have 350 total cholesterol what to do?…

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