Cholesterol an innocent bystander in heart disease

  • New research will not be popular in some circles
  • What is happening behind your back
  • Discover your way forward to food safety

There are hundreds of new research trials published every day.

I try to keep abreast of them, but from time to time it is great to get a prompt from one of the Good Life Letter readers about something of interest.

Such was the case this week when Jeanette alerted me to a new report from researchers at the University of South Florida(1).

In short they stated that otherwise healthy people who happened to have high levels of cholesterol do not benefit from taking statins.

Lead researcher David Diamond stated;

People who are not overweight, have low blood sugar, exercise and are on a low-carb diet typically have optimal triglycerides and HDL, and sometimes they have high LDL.

“Our findings show that the people who have this healthy combination of diet and lifestyle, as well as high LDL, showed no benefit from taking a statin.

This won’t find favour with many in the pharmaceutical companies.

But the conclusions that this report comes to should reopen the debate about the role dietary sugar has on cardio-vascular disease.

Diamond relates his own experience of being overweight like this;

I learned my problem was that I ate too many carbs – bread, potatoes and sugar.”

“I’ve been able to get my weight under control and reduce my risk of heart disease with a low-carb diet. In the process, I’ve become aware of the obsession with linking cholesterol to heart disease.

His conclusion is that cholesterol is not the cause of cardio-vascular disease, merely an innocent bystander.

It’s an increasing amount of processed sugars being added to food that ARE the problem.

The truth is that the food industry puts profit ahead of human health..


The real culprit revealed

Sugar IS the real enemy of good health, and yet some of the world’s biggest companies think nothing of loading their products with it.

A can of Coca-Cola contains 12 teaspoons of sugar, a bottle of flavoured water from This Water Co has 4 spoons of sugar added to it (and yet it is still sold as water!) and a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is nearly one quarter sugar (23.7g of sugar per 100g of ketchup).

My problem with all this is quite simple.

None of this is news.

Every single politician, health minister and leader of the NHS knows all about this scandal – yet they do nothing.

Even the recently introduced ‘Sugar Tax’ is a weak instrument of control.

The gravy train that is full of sugar

It never ceases to amaze me that our elected politicians are drawing cash from some of the most despised companies in the world.

Cigarette makers, weapons manufacturers, fracking companies and property developers can all count on support from powerful political allies.

The sort of people who will defend the rights of commercial companies to make profits – even out of someone else’s misery… just so long as they have their snouts in the trough too.

It’s the same with pharmaceutical companies and food companies.

The standard line of politicians in government is “consumption is the responsibility of the individual” and therefore they provide only ‘light touch’ legislation to affect any control.

Of course the impact of this shameful lack of action is that food, drink and retail companies pursue their interests by deploying every available tactic including marketing, branding, packaging, advertising, sports sponsorship and political lobbying.

As a result, the soaring sales of highly addictive calorie-dense snacks, ‘added value’ processed foods and sugar-suffused soft drinks continue apace.

Of course the MPs involved in providing the cloak of support for the actions of such companies don’t have the decency to come out and say that they won’t do anything because it is worth too much money to them.

No they play an entirely different game.

Take the story about alcohol pricing for instance.

A shameful situation

An investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) revealed that health officials and ministers had 130 meetings with alcohol and supermarket lobbyists while they were considering imposing a minimum price per unit of alcohol. The proposal was dropped allegedly because of a lack of “concrete evidence”.

Doctors have since rightly accused the government of “dancing to the tune of the drinks industry”.

More than just dancing, our elected leaders are doing a self benefitting tango with anyone who flashes a dollar bill towards them – our political system is fast becoming a lap dancing club for any big company who has the cash to buy their way in.

If you think that I’m being a bit strong let me offer you one more crumb of evidence that your health is NOT on anyone’s agenda.

The man who masterminded Boris Johnson’s Mayoral campaign, his leadership drive and who strategised the Conservative electoral approach last time out and also still sits behind everything happening in government today is an advisor to the Australian tobacco and drinks industry.

Plain carton cigarette packs and set pricing for alcohol are not on his (or his wealthy clients) shopping lists anytime soon…and so they will not be allowed to happen.

A way forward

This inaction by those we trust to act in our best interests leaves the perpetrators of health destruction to do their will.

One commentator Simon Capewell, professor of epidemiology at the University of Liverpool claims many government, NHS and WHO reports are subject to bias and interference from the food industry.

He claimed “denials, delays, dirty tricks and dodgy scientists disseminating distorted evidence” had been a part of the industry’s strategy, and that they had worked to protect the profit motives of those in charge.

It is time the politicians were stopped from trousering wads of cash for acting on behalf of the dishonest and deceitful food and drug companies.

Two charities are deserving of your support in this respect, both with eminent scientists backing them – Action on Sugar and Action on Salt & Health need a groundswell of public opinion to begin to make changes.

Where we get the chance we need to ensure that these topics get the airing that they need.


(1) Diamond, D.M., et al. (2022) Statin therapy is not warranted for a person with high LDL-cholesterol on a low-carbohydrate diet. Current Opinion in Endocrinology Diabetes and Obesity.