Cholesterol is a killer — or is it?

Margaret Cook in The New Statesman:

Identify the enemy, label and demonise him. A reputation destroyed is mon-umentally difficult to rehabilitate. We are not talking politics here; we are talk-ing nutrition. Cholesterol, as everyone knows – or believes – is a killer. A high blood cholesterol is an ominous finding, and in many information sources on the internet you will find advice (usually Bupa-sponsored) about how to lower it through dietary changes and medication. The implication is that you will thereby lower your risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular event, and your chances of dying from the same.

The evidence for this, however, consists of a bunch of plausible theories, some political zealotry, a few dizzying leaps of faith over the gaps that were too expensive to check, and a lot of propaganda. There is plenty of evidence to show that cholesterol is not a heart poison as portrayed, but somehow this does not percolate into the public’s perception.

More here.