Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is Total Cholesterol of 220 the Sweetspot?

I stumbled upon this VERY eye opening graph at Skyler Tanner's blog.  What it plots is average total cholesterol vs. mortality rates in 164 countries.  The bold blue line shows age adjusted, all cause mortality rates per 100,000 citizens in those countries.  As you follow that bold blue line you see that mortality rates dip to their lowest point at approximately 220 (mg/dl) total cholesterol.  Ain't that a kick in the nuts for the cholesterol lowering business and advocates.  It appears that to focus on lowering cholesterol below 200 for "heart health" seems to increase your chances of dying of something else.

click to enlarge

The red dotted line shows mortality from cardiovascular disease.  The optimal cholesterol level in regard to this parameter appears to be 210.  In fact, cardiovascular health seems to hover between 180 and 230 total cholesterol.  Is your doctor telling you this?

Hmmmm, makes you rethink things a bit doesn't it?  In my case, I stopped buying into that low cholesterol crap years ago.  Seeing information like this just makes me want to rent a billboard and post it along highways.  I can't afford that.  For now, I will just post it on my virtual billboard for people read on the information superhighway.



MAS said...

Perfect Health Diet had a series that theorized that cholesterol has a protective effect against infectious diseases.

It almost seems like a conspiracy theory to maximize health payments for every ailment.

Chuck said...

Hmmm. You mean there may be some who perpetuate this myth to make money? I think 99.9% of people perpetuate this theory because it is easier to regurgitate than investigate. the .1% who perpetuate the cholesterol myth yet know this information should be stripped of all their assets.

Jen said...

So the top of the chart says it is total cholesterol in each country vs mortality. Fine (at least at first glance).

But on the bottom, it says it is only men. Yet again, even in something that we know men and women differ, they are using men only as a proxy for all humans.

Chuck said...


you are right. it is a sexist chart. maybe they felt women were already too smart to buy into the cholesterol myth. so they only felt they needed to convince the men?

Kyler J. said...

Maybe bodies with heart disease produce more cholesterol to fight the infection?? :/// idk

But as someone who's young and has high cholesterol, my parents are threatening to put me on medication.

I have a high fat and protein diet, eat eggs everyday and my parents go nuts.

So Now they are forcing me to eat meat on once a week!!! EeeK! And only buy high carb foods like skippy,cereal, fruits, and bread.

I try to convince them carbs are bad, eggs are healthy, but they refuse to listen.