Cholesterol-shmesterol

Lewis Jones’ article “Cholesterol-shmesterol” is so full of distortions I hardly know where to start. He confuses the dietary cholesterol-heart connection with the blood cholesterol-heart connection, fails to differentiate between primary prevention (in healthy people) and secondary prevention (in those who already have heart disease), and he refers to “good” and “bad” cholesterol as dodgy

New Blood Pressure Guidelines: Why Are Previously Normal BPs Now Classified as High Blood Pressure?

Under the new blood pressure guidelines, more people are classified as having high blood pressure; but the treatment emphasis is on lifestyle changes, not medications. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently released new guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure. The highlights are reported here. Previously, high blood pressure (HBP)

The Movie “Cholesterol: The Great Bluff” Is an Exercise in Denialism

The movie “Cholesterol: The Great Bluff” claims that we have been lied to: cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease and statins are harmful. It is biased and misleading. The people interviewed in the movie are denialists who don’t accept the clear evidence for the role of blood cholesterol levels and the benefits of statins. A correspondent

“New vaccine replaces statins?” Not so fast!

News reports suggest new drugs may replace statins. PSCK9 inhibitors are useful, but only along with statins in high risk patients not controlled on statins alone, or for patients who can’t tolerate statins. They’re not about to replace statins. PyMOL rendering of the structure of the PCSK9 protein. Are statins obsolete? Are new drugs more effective and

Statin Denialism

When Richard Dawkins was asked to justify his belief in the scientific method, he answered, “It works, bitches!”1 When the scientific evidence is compelling, one would have to be willfully perverse to reject it. But some people do; they reject findings that don’t fit with their ideology. We call them denialists. We have climate change

New Cholesterol Guidelines

On November 15, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released an updated guideline for the use of statins to prevent and treat atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The full report is available online. It has already generated a lot of controversy. The news media have characterized it as a “huge departure” from previous

Red Yeast Rice and Cholesterol

While much of CAM is ridiculous or implausible, herbal remedies are an exception. Plants produce pharmacologically active substances; in fact, the science of pharmacology grew out of herbalism. Some herbal remedies have not been scientifically tested, but others have been tested and are clearly effective. Nevertheless, these are seldom if ever the best choice for treatment. One

An Owner’s Manual for the Heart

In writing about science-based medicine, we give a lot of attention to medicine that is not based on good science. We use bad examples to show why science is important and how it is frequently misapplied, misinterpreted, misreported, or even wholly rejected. It’s a pleasure, for a change, to write about a straightforward example of

Setting the Record Straight about Science and Longevity

Severe calorie restriction has been shown to effectively prolong life in almost every species that has been studied so far. Science hasn’t yet shown whether it will work for humans, but preliminary evidence suggests that it might. Human calorie restrictors have lower weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Despite those indicators, Marshall Deutsch apparently thinks