Saturday, October 26, 2019

Up with Cholesterol

Thomas Lifson brings us the good news (via Maggie’s Farm). The government funded and government extolled nutritionist scolds, the ones who tell us what to eat and what not to eat, have been proven wrong again. 

As you know they have been beating the drums against cholesterol for ages now, making us all—or, many of us—afraid to ingest even a morsel of bacon. As it happens, they are wrong. High cholesterol does not increase your chances of dying young. It seems to do just the opposite.

As of yet we do not know what happens to those who follow the government’s dietary guidelines and end up suffering from cholesterol deficiency syndrome.

Lifson reports:

Yet another bit of diet advice from "experts" is turning out to be an exploding cigar. High cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, has been demonized for allegedly bringing on heart attack deaths. But an intriguing analysis of data published at seems to show that total mortality risk is decreased by high cholesterol levels, even LDL cholesterol. 

Why should this be so? Lifson continues, based on the Medium article:

There are a number of possible explanations for the data:

Cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis.3

Cholesterol may protect against cancer.4

A strong association was found between low cholesterol and violence. Odds ratio of violence for cholesterol of <180 15.49.="" a="" dl="" href="" mg="" nbsp="" target="_blank" was="">5

It feels strange to think that chowing down on steak will make you less violent, but such is the data. At the least, the chemicals in a good rib eye apparently function as an anti-depressant:

Poeple feasting on bacon and eggs or Kobe beef are unlikely to kill themselves or anyone else, all right. More often, they feel like a nap, I can report based on rigorous testing of myself.

What’s really bad for you is: margarine, especially the kind that contain trans fats:

Coming on top of the news that eggs are good for you, and so is butter, while the trans fats in margarine make it unhealthy, this suggests that nutrition experts cannot be trusted, for they don't know nearly as much as they pretend to know — with implications not just for global warming, but for the populist movement in general, rebelling against the educated professional and academic classes that form the ruling classes of the advanced economies.

Lifson concludes that since America has a stockpile of pork bellies, we should keep them for ourselves. Why not distribute them to the homeless in America’s most woke cities? Better that than selling them to China:

Perhaps it is time to re-label America's huge stockpile of refrigerated pork bellies, the biggest in 48 years, as the "strategic bacon reserve" and limit exports to China, where an outbreak of swine flu has devastated pork production.

An excellent thought.


trigger warning said...

Unfortunately, it is, practically speaking, virtually impossible to conduct a methodologically meaningful large scale study in nutrition. Combine that with widespread academic statistical illiteracy, exacerbated by the availability of cheap point and click software for sophisticated statistical analysis, pressure to publish, and a cataract of Federal dollars supporting data mining, and you get a mess. Since the problem of statistical illiteracy is not going to be solved in this century, a good start for journal review boards to require all such studies use all-cause mortality, as the study you reference did.

I believe that a Federal program, focused on the West Coast and Northeast, offering free bacon to drug-addled, "unwilling to work", and/or insane homeless would largely solve the homeless problem for the remaining 80% of the nation. As well as encourage mendicants to self-relocate and seek a better life within the nation's most ostentatiously tolerant, charitable, and wealthy enclaves.

Having said all that, butter, bacon, pork manteca, and prime beef will remain part of my diet no matter what the digital datamancers might conjure up from the bowels of Statistica™ tomorrow.

Sam L. said...

I'm with tw on this. Bacon: It's DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-LISH!!

Illuninati said...

Not so fast. One size doesn't fit all. It all depends on whether you are at high risk for heart attack or ischemic stroke or not.

Lowering LDL cholesterol is life saving for people who are at high risk for stroke or heart attacks. The evidence is very strong since clinicians are now able to bring the LDL down to very low levels with medications, and the lower it is, the more lives they save. But, there is a definite downside to low LDL since it helps to stabilize small blood vessels and helps to prevent hemorrhagic strokes.

Eating cholesterol in eggs does not necessarily result in high cholesterol, however there are some studies which show that there is a dose related risk of vascular disease and how many eggs one eats.