Why the State Hates Cholesterol
by Chris Masterjohn
is found in every cell of the body. This fascinating molecule, found
in rich abundance in the tastiest of foods, is the most critical
component of mental function surely one reason the State
has waged its historical role on this vilified yet truly magnificent
molecule, independent thought being the primary threat to its existence.
story of the government’s war on cholesterol follows and
an argument for why cholesterol is your best weapon against the
The Anti-Cholesterol Interventionist
1953, Ancel Keys kicked off the anti-cholesterol campaign, under
the spell of which American health discourse has persisted ever
since. Keys charted a graph of six countries’ death rates from coronary
heart disease (CHD) against their respective available amounts of
dietary fat, and showed that each country fell neatly on a line
demonstrating that the more fat that was available, the more deaths
from heart disease that followed.
Ancel Keys was not, first and foremost, an opponent of fat. Keys
was, first and foremost, a proponent of the Interventionist State.
Keys’ 1953 paper argued that the US Public Health Service was too
narrow in scope, and should be expanded to the prevention of all
diseases not merely occupational and infectious diseases.
wrote that, even though "direct evidence on the effect of the
diet on human arteriosclerosis is very little and likely to remain
so for some time," the strength and money of the public sphere
should be mobilized. It was not the conservative principles of the
scientific method that motivated him, but the rush to lay at the
feet of Government any problem in sight to solve with the
competence of a drunken elephant.
proponents of State Intervention will not stop even at burning
books when the cholesterol hypothesis is threatened. You may
have thought this phenomenon belonged only to history and futuristic
dystopias, but Dr. Uffe Ravnskov’s The
Cholesterol Myths, has provoked the wardens of Dogma to
such a degree that it was literally set on fire on national television
in Finland by its opponents!
Scientific Bankruptcy of the Anti-Cholesterol Campaign
since Keys’ landmark paper, the anti-cholesterol campaign only gained
strength over time, until the point where its claims were repeated
so many times they would almost appear to be true. Yet there was
a fundamental flaw in Keys’ chart: while he included six countries,
there were sixteen that he didn’t include, for which
data was available at the time.
his masterpiece refutation of the anti-cholesterol dogma, The
Cholesterol Myths, Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, adds
in the other data points. Once they are included, the relationship
falls to dust. Countries with similar levels of available fat have
widely varying rates of deaths due to CHD. For example, Mexico and
Finland have about the same availability of dietary fat, yet Finland
is only second to the U.S. for heart disease mortality, and Mexico,
with about 30 times less CHD mortality, has the lowest rate
of all 22 countries.
Keys was infatuated with the "Mediterranean Diet" and
the lack of significant heart disease in Italy, it is surprising
that he didn’t take pause at the findings of George Mann and other
researchers who found the Masai, a Kenyan cattle-herding tribe,
to be free of heart disease, despite a diet consisting almost entirely
of meat, blood, and milk, whose parties sometimes consist of eating
four to six pounds of meat per person. Yet to Keys it was "abundantly
clear" that the mission of the Public Health Service could
and should be expanded to cut the reins on America’s consumption
of the greatest threats to science that the State poses is its monopoly
of credibility. Scientific principles are inherently anti-authoritarian.
A hypothesis must be judged on its merits, not by the identity of
its author. Yet the idea of a central, all-encompassing, "public"
institution, representing some sort of mythical synthesis of all
humanity, gives an authoritative stamp upon the scientific opinions
of a State agency.
Myths, Dr. Ravnskov traces the entire history of the cholesterol
hypothesis and refutes each of its claims. He shows how most of
the "evidence" in favor of this hypothesis can be traced
back to claims in reviews which cite other reviews or studies that
do not lend any support to the claim. All too often, authors of
studies will make claims in the abstract (summary) that their study
does not support, simply to conform to the prevailing orthodoxy.
Then, other researchers will cite the claims in the abstract, rather
than the findings of the study itself.
State, of course, with its monopoly of credibility given to it and
its associated Institutes, marks its stamp of approval on the cholesterol
hypothesis like a drunken elephant stomps its feet, unaware of what
it tramples upon. The most outrageous misrepresentation of a study
that Dr. Ravnskov demonstrates must be that of the Framingham study,
where this point is amply demonstrated.
of the most famous, largest, and often-cited studies in support
of the cholesterol hypothesis is one that took place in Framingham
in the 1950s. One of the findings of the Framingham study was that
when cholesterol decreased on its own, every 1 mg/dL decrease
in cholesterol was met with an 11% increase in heart disease
risk. Yet a joint statement of the American Heart Association and
the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in their review, The
Cholesterol Facts, wrote, "The results of the Framingham
study indicate that a 1% reduction . . . of cholesterol [corresponds
to a] 2% reduction in CHD risk." That’s right they wrote
the precise opposite of the relationship that was found!
the credibility of the National Institutes and organizations like
the AHA, which is an outgrowth of the government-enforced AMA cartel,
cannot be stopped. Countless journalists, doctors, and authors have
doubtlessly referenced this authoritative review, while few would
be willing to dig up the original publication at a university library.
Strong Arm of the Tax Dollar
World War II, the scope of government’s influence in science began
to expand through the creation of another layer of bureaucracy known
as the peer-review system. Yet the result brings to question how
beneficial government funding of science really is. Dr. Gilbert
Ling (PhD), in his critique of the peer-review
system, points out that at the time large-scale peer-review
began to develop, the dominant paradigm held that the progress of
science was smooth and continuous, progressing in small increments,
while later scholarship corrected this view, showing that scientific
progress occurs in sporadic leaps.
may object that leaving funding to the private sphere would leave
out public health concerns as well as general academic knowledge,
while private interests and technologies would be over-emphasized.
Yet let us, for a moment, compare the field of computers with that
of medicine and the dietary sciences. Computer technology has progressed
at light speeds, such that its products become outdated or obsolete
within a few years of going to market, as evidence by the rapid
price deflation that this industry has experienced.
the other hand, with 52 years of the cholesterol hypothesis and
countless billions of wasted research dollars, we have yet to be
able to achieve what the penniless cattle-herders of Kenya can do
merely with possession of a cow for food achieve freedom
from heart disease.
own theory of cell physiology, the association-induction hypothesis,
which holds that the water in a cell exists in "polarized multi-layers"
that behave like the water in Jello, was the basis for the invention
of the MRI, a medical success. The opposing orthodoxy, which holds
that cells are a sac of liquid water, has not demonstrated any such
success. Yet Ling’s research has been continually persecuted and
he has been deprived of funding and facilities for his unorthodox
views. The massive amounts of money the government throws towards
scientific research merely penalizes those with successful theories!
Alexei Koudinov (MD, PhD) has been a tireless struggler against
corruption in Alzheimer’s research. Dr. Koudinov, in his "Written
Evidence to UK Parliamentary inquiry on Scientific Publications,"
has accused several major scientific journals of covering up the
financial conflicts of interest of several major promoters of the
"amyloid hypothesis" of Alzheimer’s disease, who are involved
with pharmaceutical companies.
amyloid hypothesis holds that a protein fragment called "beta-amyloid"
accumulates in the brain to form plaques that cause Alzheimer’s.
The amyloid hypothesis ignores the fact that beta-amyloid is an
essential brain protein, and its proponents frequently disregard
scientific reasoning in order to support it. (For a thorough discussion
of this, please see my article, "Myth:
Cholesterol Causes Alzheimer’s Disease.") Yet several of
those Dr. Koudinov accuses of corruption have served on the National
Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, and the
Food and Drug Administration.
the result of "public" institutions like the State and
its mongrel agencies reflects the reality that there is no such
thing as "public," a meaningless abstraction. These institutions
are composed of their human members, who have their own ideological
biases and financial self-interests.
does this affect researchers in the field? One junior researcher
wrote to Dr. Koudinov:
agree whole-heartedly with your letter to Science concerning
Alzheimer's disease and the amyloid beta protein. It is amazing
how this field has been led down the "amyloid hypothesis" trail
to the exclusion of other viable hypotheses. If you don't go along
with the amyloid dogma, you have difficulty publishing and extreme
difficulty being funded. The anti-intellectual, anti-science mentality
displayed by many in this field has slowed progress to a crawl.
This is a shame."
researchers feel a pressure to conform to a favored hypothesis,
they will pursue only certain avenues and ideas, and will frequently
sugar up their abstracts, introductions, and conclusions to fit
the standard orthodoxy, even when the finding is precisely opposite
to that orthodoxy. As Dr. Ravnskov has shown in The
Cholesterol Myths, this phenomenon has been the primary
force driving the bankrupt cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease.
increased amount of money that is available due to government intervention
is actually an illusion. The monopoly on credibility and monetary
resources that the State possesses is like a canal that funnels
these huge amounts of tax dollars into the toilet of unviable hypotheses,
upheld by human ideological stubbornness and private interests,
leading into a common septic tank where it shares lodging with countless
billions of tax dollars funneled in from other government pursuits.
Intervention: The Results
results of the last half-century’s public health recommendations
have been dismal. Honest farming industries have been hurt, our
diets have been turned from rich and enjoyable cuisines to bland
and tasteless fake food, and we have become guilty when we eat the
things we like.
demonization of the egg yolk for its rich cholesterol content has
caused many people to abandon eggs as a highly nutritious and healthful
staple, and others to discard the yolk in favor of consuming the
white. If you don’t know what an egg white omelet tastes like, consider
yourself blissfully ignorant.
I demonstrate in my article, The
Incredible, Edible Egg Yolk, the absurdity of discarding egg
yolks from a health perspective is shown by the fact that the yolk
contains nearly all the nutrition in an egg. Egg whites serve almost
no nutritional purpose, contrary to their companion super-food,
the yolk. And one must consider the health consequences of being
chronically deprived of tasteful food.
Ravnskov describes the beginnings of the anti-cholesterol campaign
in Sweden, which occurred much more recently than in the U.S. When
those with high cholesterol levels were notified that they were
supposedly at risk for a heart attack, many patients reported shock
and fright. One reacted as if she was "almost paralyzed."
He cites a Gallup poll showing that 56% of Americans worry about
fat and cholesterol, 45% think that the food they like is not good
for them, and 36% feel guilty when they eat food they like.
fruits of the State’s war on cholesterol have not been the abolition
of heart disease, but the sowing of seeds of self-doubt and guilt.
What better way to subdue a population, than to have its members
constantly feeling like they cannot live up to the noble standards
of their Government?
War on Cholesterol Is a War on the People
is the war on cholesterol of such benefit to the government, despite
being bankrupt as a scientific theory? The State relies on a submissive
population one in which the individuals do not think for
themselves, and preferably do not think at all.
is no surprise then, that a molecule that plays such a central role
in the brain would become the primary target of government. The
brain makes up only 2% of the body’s weight, yet it consists of
a full 25% of the body’s cholesterol! The importance
of cholesterol to mental function is enormous. Cholesterol was
discovered in 2001 to be the limiting factor in the formation of
synapses, which are the connections between neurons, or nerve cells.
A more recent study found that extracting some of the cholesterol
from the cell membrane of a neuron causes a loss of functioning
of signaling proteins that tell the neurons what direction to grow
in, so they can make the proper type of connections. And, Dr. Iwo
J. Bohr has hypothesized that a
contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease is a deficiency of cholesterol
in the membranes of brain cells.
Business Bed Buddies – Agricultural Subsidies
doesn’t stop here. Big Government’s notorious love affair with Big
Business has intimate ties to the cholesterol hypothesis. Big Government
prefers Big Business over small businesses because larger businesses
are fewer in number. How can a population largely consisting of
independent self-managers be harnessed into sufficient submissiveness
to bow down to the State? Conversely, a small number of large businesses
can enter into co-management of the society, as government enforces
their cartels and monopolies, and transfers wealth into their hands.
grain and soy industries are much more conglomerated than the beef
industry. More importantly, animal products have a long history
of providing independent sustenance to even poor people. In early
19th century rural New England, for example, even the
poorer people tended to own a small piece of land with one or two
cows that provided meat and milk products. A small mixed farm can
provide a full dietary range at a smaller size than could a grain-based
farm. A garden, pasture, and animals can co-exist closely, whereas
grains would be ridiculously inefficient to harvest unless they
were planted as a large, consolidated crop. Additionally, hunting
animals allows for the independent procurement of food.
health recommendations capable of making a monolithic shift in the
food supply toward wheat, corn, and soybeans result in an overall
decrease in the independence of the population.
the State-created cartel of subsidy receivers is heavily biased
in favor of grain products. According to
this breakdown, between 1995 and 2003, $8.5 billion in U.S.
subsidies went to growers of plant-based food crops, while only
$5.5 million went to animal products, which means that over 99%
of agricultural food subsidies go to plant products. The largest
10% of subsidized farms received 72% of subsidies, but a
full 60% were not subsidized at all. As Brian Riedl points
out, the $360,000 per year cap on farm subsidies is easy for
large farms to pull loopholes through: Tyler Farms of Arkansas collected
almost $32 million in farm subsidies between 1996 and 2001 by dividing
its farm into 66 individual "corporations."
only has the cholesterol hypothesis helped consolidate the government’s
ties to the agricultural industry through a shift in the diet away
from animal foods and towards plant foods, but doubtlessly the massive
level of soy subsidies soy is the fifth most subsidized crop
has contributed to a surplus to be disposed of, whose result
has been the manufacturing of a massive myth that this odd-tasting,
highly estrogenic bean is a "health food."
Business Bed Buddies – The Pharmaceutical Companies
that the newest class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, has
become a bonanza of profits for Big Pharma, new cholesterol guidelines
are promoted, and new junk theories about cholesterol’s relationship
to various diseases are being manufactured, to maximize the profit-potential
of these drugs by classifying nearly every member of society as
a candidate for drug therapy.
far behind are the ugly claws of the State ready to abuse the population
to enhance these profiteers. According to this
in drinking water is a topic to raise the hackles of those doubting
its dental benefits and resenting its addition to the public water
supply. Meanwhile the water additive plot thickens as doctors in
England debate whether drinking water might be used to administer
cholesterol-lowering drugs to the public in an effort to reduce
incidents of cardiovascular disease, the biggest cause of death
in the United Kingdom."
your fluoridated and chlorinated municipal water supply wasn’t toxic
enough, you may just be a victim of theft in the coming future:
the unwilling robbery of cholesterol from your cells, and an extra
hit in the wallet to finance the addition of expensive drugs to
your water. Thanks to private enterprise, bottled water will (hopefully)
still be available.
is telling that the doctor cited in this article as advocating water-treatment
with statins was named "Dr. John Reckless."
most preposterous new cholesterol theory blames Alzheimer’s disease
on high brain cholesterol. In my article, Myth:
Cholesterol Causes Alzheimer’s Disease, I quote a researcher
who was ecstatic that his group was able to reduce normal levels
of brain cholesterol in Alzheimer’s patients by over 20%!
The theory, of course, has no basis in science whatsoever. As the
above article discusses, cholesterol appears to be protective against
Alzheimer’s, and the only diet that, based on a sound scientific
foundation, shows promise to Alzheimer’s treatment is the super-high-fat
ketogenic diet, which was first used to successfully treat epilepsy
at the famed Mayo clinic in the 1920s.
II of this article, I demonstrate how a deficiency of DHA, a
nutrient found exclusively in animal products (with the exception
of some forms of algae), especially cholesterol-rich egg yolks (from
chickens raised on pasture), has been demonstrated to play a causal
role in Alzheimer’s, as well as insulin resistance, which could
be brought on by a diet excessively high in carbohydrates
derived from plant foods.
more (fake) reason for the government to take your money and put
statins in your water to return the favor.
what a grand coincidence that a massive increase in the demand for
pharmaceuticals means a massive increase in the demand for Federal
prescription drug benefits.
We Can’t Just Do Nothing!
the State profits from the cholesterol hypothesis simply because
it offers the State one more massive campaign in which it can engage.
The State, were it to stand idly by and do nothing, would deteriorate.
If the State wasn’t active, for what purpose would it exist? And
if there is nothing to fix, as a mere matter of self-sustenance,
it must create a problem to solve. The State’s philosophy is "If
it ain’t broke break it!"
quantity of money that has been poured into researching the cholesterol
hypothesis and public health campaigns to hook the public on an
unsatisfying, bland, and tasteless diet piles the drunken elephant
that thieves that money over its head. The State derives its sustenance
from taxing and spending, like it is the one form of human relationship
who was born with a terminal birth defect, requiring an insatiable
appetite to fuel its exponential growth and eventual death
is especially true in a democracy, where the frequency with which
a political leader must prove her- or himself, through restless
legislative activity, is increased to a level that induces continuous
expansion. You do not get elected in a democracy by making promises
to ride the waves and wait for a problem to arise.
Is Your Best Weapon Against the State
State makes war on cholesterol because it is your best defense against
empowers independent thought by strengthening mental capabilities
oneself of the notion that cholesterol causes heart disease
increases financial independence from pharmaceutical companies
and the State, through whom the pharmaceutical companies
receive their wealth redistribution
animal foods are more conducive to a more numerous farming population,
where small and community-centered can still mean successful
a fulfilling, rich, and tasteful diet without dropping down
in guilt before the State encourages ones emotional independence
truth, to be anti-cholesterol is to be pro-State; to be anti-State
that, dear reader, is to be pro-cholesterol.
Masterjohn [send him mail]
is the editor of Cholesterol-and-Health.com,
a website devoted to extolling the benefits of cholesterol.
© 2005 LewRockwell.com