is a false belief held with conviction despite incontrovertible
evidence to the contrary. LRC readers are certainly familiar with
many delusions popularly held in the field of economics and the
fact that these myths persist because they serve the interests of
those who benefit from big government and ever-expanding government
The same is
true in the field of medical science where one of the most widely
accepted myths involves cholesterol and its purported role in causing
There is a
closely related set of theories known as the Cholesterol Theory,
the Lipid Hypothesis, and the Diet-Heart Theory. They postulate
that cholesterol is the chief culprit in the causation of atherosclerosis
(also called arteriosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries").
It is the complications of atherosclerosis that lead to disability
and premature death from heart attacks and strokes. These theories
also maintain that a diet too high in fats and cholesterol is often
responsible for the premature development of atherosclerosis.
The truth is
that these theories are scientifically bankrupt and cholesterol
has nothing to do with the development of atherosclerosis or its
subsequent complications. Unfortunately such a vested interest has
grown up around these theories that their critics are almost never
heard. The overwhelming volume of propaganda put out by the pharmaceutical
industry and those segments of the medical profession and some of
the self-interested institutions has created a national mania on
the subject of cholesterol.
of my book, The
Cholesterol Delusion, is to inform that sizeable portion
of the population that are told their cholesterol is too high that
they are being sold a bill of goods. The initial chapters describe
the processes of atherosclerosis and heart disease in plain language
that can be easily understood by those without a medical or technical
background. The book then traces the development of the cholesterol
theory from its origin showing that each step in its evolution was
based on inaccurate data, faulty scientific analysis, and, in some
instances, scientific fraud.
readers who wish to examine these issues in more detail, the Appendices
contain reprints of the two major studies said to have established
the truth of the cholesterol theory. Each of these is followed by
a point-by-point refutation.
have been told that their cholesterol is too high will learn why
the information they have been given is simply untrue. Those taking
prescription drugs to lower their cholesterol are especially urged
to read and understand the information presented in this book.
Curtis [send him mail]
is a cardiologist in practice for thirty years in Long Beach, California.