Here’s an interesting item:
“Good” Cholesterol Not So Good After All, New Study Shows
The revelation that high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the “good cholesterol” has suffered a major blow. A meta-study involving over a hundred thousand participants used two different strategies to see if genetic mutations that increased levels of HDL also decreased risk for heart disease. In both cases the answer was a resounding no. The researchers were shocked when they saw the data. Now it’s their turn to shock HDL proponents and drug companies looking to cash in on the HDL craze.
The study, which was published recently in The Lancet, is causing quite a stir in the field. As Dr. James de Lemos, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told the New York Times, “I’d say the HDL hypothesis is on the ropes right now.” Dr. de Lemos was not involved in the study.
So what’s the story here? How is it possible that LDL/HDL dichotomy has propagated so powerfully through conventional wisdom that even the CDC refers to them as “good” and “bad” cholesterols and pharmaceutical companies like Abbot Laboratories are working hard to get in on the HDL cash cow?
Past studies have shown that much of what increases our risk for heart disease, like obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, and insulin resistance, is correlated with low HDL. It was a logical conclusion, then, that by increased HDL levels we could decrease those risks. But correlation doesn’t mean causation, and the takeaway conclusion from the current study is that decreased HDL is simply a sign of increased risk for heart disease but the level of HDL doesn’t actually affect heart disease.
Next, perhaps: LDL doesn’t cause heart disease, either.