High cholesterol associated with longer life

Highly educated "experts" rule today's advanced societies, but their advice on how the rest of us should live — often enforced by government coercion — is increasingly exposed as premature at best and mistaken, incomplete, ignorant, or fraudulent at worst.

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 Medium.com seems to show that total mortality risk is reduced by high cholesterol levels, even LDL cholesterol.  As author P.D. Mangan writes:

[F]rom a public health standpoint, it seems a mistake to focus on changing something that lowers the risk of death from one cause only to raise that risk from another.

Here is one of the key charts showing that people with high cholesterol levels live longer than those with low levels.  This one is from Japan:

Here is one from the Netherlands:

And one from Finland:

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 mg/dl was 15.49. 5

Several studies have found an association between low cholesterol and suicide. For instance, one study found that those in the lowest quartile (fourth) of cholesterol concentration had more than 6 times the risk of suicide as those in the highest quartile.6

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.


Breakfast at Dover Air Force Base.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia.

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.

Woody Allen's 1973 movie Sleeper seems to have prophetically anticipated the humiliation of the nutrition experts:

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.

Highly educated "experts" rule today's advanced societies, but their advice on how the rest of us should live — often enforced by government coercion — is increasingly exposed as premature at best and mistaken, incomplete, ignorant, or fraudulent at worst.

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 Medium.com seems to show that total mortality risk is reduced by high cholesterol levels, even LDL cholesterol.  As author P.D. Mangan writes:

[F]rom a public health standpoint, it seems a mistake to focus on changing something that lowers the risk of death from one cause only to raise that risk from another.

Here is one of the key charts showing that people with high cholesterol levels live longer than those with low levels.  This one is from Japan:

Here is one from the Netherlands:

And one from Finland:

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 mg/dl was 15.49. 5

Several studies have found an association between low cholesterol and suicide. For instance, one study found that those in the lowest quartile (fourth) of cholesterol concentration had more than 6 times the risk of suicide as those in the highest quartile.6

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.


Breakfast at Dover Air Force Base.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia.

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.

Woody Allen's 1973 movie Sleeper seems to have prophetically anticipated the humiliation of the nutrition experts:

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.