• NICE is trying to be Nice, but it is very wrong about Cholesterol

    Today NICE (Britain's healthcare watchdog) issued draft guidance to the NHS, recommending that the threshold for patients who qualify for statins should be halved.

    This advice is based on the myth that cholesterol is bad for us.   As Professor John P. Cooke says, “Cholesterol itself is not bad.  In fact, it is essential for life.   Cholesterol is a building block for all cell membranes.  It is also the precursor for sex hormones and other steroids that our bodies manufacture.   It is only when cholesterol becomes oxidized that trouble begins.” (“The Cardiovascular Cure”, page 38).

    In “Heart Frauds” Dr Charles McGee reviews the research of cholesterol and the conclusion is that lower cholesterol equates to higher mortality.   If you refer to my previous blogs you will find extensive links to research and books exposing the cholesterol myth as well as indictment of the advice, which is seemingly being followed by NICE ("Majority of panelists (sic) on controversial new cholesterol guideline have current or recent ties to drug manufacturers." (BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 21 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6989). Apparently 8 of the 15 making the controversial recommendations have known association with the drug industry).

    On this misguided day I came across an excellent article in “Healthy Food Notes”, which is well worth reading for a quick summary of why NICE is so wrong:   Here are just two key paragraphs from the article:

    “Did you know that cholesterol levels practically do not give any relevant information about the risk of cardiovascular disease? Medical research identified number of tests and markers that specifically show the risk of cardiovascular decease long time ago. The question is, have you ever heard about these markers? They are “accidentally left out” or “constantly forgotten” by the health practitioners, which continue to point out the cholesterol levels as the key marker to determine risk in heart related problems. The pact between the pharmaceutical, food industry, government institutions and medical care providers that generates billions of USD annually is a practice which the involved parties have absolutely no interest in changing. And why should they? As long as they “have” the cholesterol to blame for almost any health condition you can think of, the medicines (statins) would continue to sell more and more, and many will continue to get richer and richer.

    “However, the number of medical experts that claim or suggest that cardiovascular diseases are caused by inflammation of the blood vessels and not by high cholesterol, increases day by day. Even the renowned US heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell revealed the cholesterol myth stating that ‘the recommendations to lower cholesterol and severely restrict fat intake are no longer scientifically or morally defensible’”.

    In past blogs I have reviewed just a few of the many potentially harmful side effects now associated with statins.   As always the answer is simple, namely good nutrition and a good L-arginine supplement.   Arginine is a natural amino acid, which turns to Arginine Derived Nitric Oxide (ADNO) in the body.   In tests ADNO has outperformed statins in regulating cholesterol (please see blogs passim).   Its effect is not just restricted to reducing LDL cholesterol, but it has positive effects boosting HDL cholesterol, resisting oxidization of cholesterol, relaxing the endothelium (normalising blood pressure), combating free radicals, boosting the immune system and much more without the risk of taking statin drugs.

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