The Life-Threatening Secret Behind Our Government’s Cholesterol “Goals”

December 3, 2004 10:02 AM

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) sounds like a good thing. They want your LDL cholesterol at 100 or lower ? or they want you on drugs. But wait until you find out who's setting these guidelines.

Before you rush to join the LDL-lowering "group think" ? and pump more money into the pharmaceutical machine ? take a few moments to read this. You may need it at your next doctor's visit when he pulls out the prescription pad.
What the NCEP is Recommending

Imagine you've struggled for years to lower your cholesterol and you've succeeded. Your LDL is down to 115 using food choices and exercise. Even if you still have several risk factors ? hypertension, diabetes, cigarette smoking, high triglycerides, obesity, or low HDL (high density lipoprotein)1, you're well on your way to better heart health.

But if your doctor is getting his guidelines from the NCEP, don't expect a pat on the back. They'll advise cutting LDL another 30 or 40 percent no matter what your levels are now.

"If you have someone start at an LDL level of 115, don't just give a small dose of statin to get it to 99. Give a dose for a 30 or 40 percent reduction,"2 says one of the docs on the NCEP in their report.
But Who is the NCEP?

Our government supports the NCEP and receives it cholesterol guidelines from this group of medical doctors. This appears appropriate until you discover that:
  • Companies selling cholesterol lowering drugs paid eight of the nine influential doctors in this group!
  • One doctor moonlights for 10 drug manufacturers while holding a senior government position.
  • Two of the doctors hold sizable stocks in drug companies.
  • One serves on a drug company board.
  • Two went to work for drug companies shortly after setting the guidelines.3
The recommendations make no mention of government failures to warn us of drug company errors in the past. Take for example Bayer's Baycol. Approved by the FDA, only to be removed from the market in a hail of lawsuits, after 31 people died from muscle breakdown, which overwhelmed the kidneys and ended in kidney failure.4 And the problem is not behind us. The newly approved cholesterol drug Crestor also has killed in this way.

But here's the real deal:
The Natural Solution

Fighting heart disease isn't glamorous. It requires a commitment to your health ? not a $20 copay at the prescription counter.

But you can do it with high protein, low carb natural foods and effective exercise. Whether you have high cholesterol or not, you'll be taking care of ALL of your risk factors ? not just the one that pads the drug companies' bottom line.

You can find detailed natural approaches to heart health in my new book, "The Doctor's Heart Cure" available at DragonDoor.com

Al Sears, MD

1 Family Practice News, August 1, 2004
2 New York Times, Health Official Urge Sharply Lower Cholesterol Levels by Gina Kolata, July 12, 2004
3 Www.mercola.com/2004/nov/6/cholesterol_guidelines.htm.
4 New York Times, Seeking a Fuller Picture of Statins by David Tuller, July 20, 2004