View Full Version : How Shoddy Hypothesis Ignores Already Established Science - Cholesterol

27th August 2012, 11:57 PM
There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs and saturated fat to protect your heart. While it's true that fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, this is not necessarily something that will harm you. Cholesterol is in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of memories and is vital for your neurological function.

Besides asking seniors to recollect their past egg consumption with any amount of accuracy, there are other major problems with this study. Mark Sisson posted a humorous and accurate take on it on his blog, stating:5

"Those who ate the most eggs also smoked the most and were the most diabetic. To their credit, the authors tried to control for those factors, plus several others. Although they tried to control for sex, blood lipids, blood pressure, smoking, body weight index, and presence of diabetes, the study's authors didn't couldn't account for all potentially confounding variables. In their own words, 'more research should be done to take in possible confounders such as exercise and waist circumference.'

Hmm. 'Possible' confounders, eh?

Exercise reduces inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis6
Exercise even reduces markers of atherosclerosis in pre-pubertal obese children!7
Exercise reduces thickness of the carotid arterial wall8
It doesn't get much clearer than that. Exercise is a massively confounding variable that the authors failed to take into account.

What about waist circumference?

A high waist circumference predicts atherosclerosis of the carotid artery.9
Or how about stress, which also wasn't considered?

Perceived daily psychological demands the amount of crap you perceive to be heaped on your plate are associated with progression of carotid arterial plaque.10
Yeah, it's not like the size of a person's waist, whether or not they move of their own volition or sit in an easy chair all day, and how much stress they endure have any impact on their risk of developing atherosclerosis. Those things may be linked, and I'm sure the authors would have loved to include them in their analysis, but there just wasn't enough space on the questionnaire. Besides, it's not like a little physical activity and mediation could even undo the damage wrought by 4.68 sinful egg yolks per week. Why, that's nearly a half dozen!" [Emphasis mine]

Study's Data Show Egg Consumption Actually Promotes Health

Another interesting analysis has been made by Ned Kock, who specializes in nonlinear variance-based structural equation modeling. Using a model to test for the "moderating effect," he demonstrates how the egg consumption data from the featured study actually shows that egg consumption promotes health.11

By looking into the effect that the number of eggs consumed per week had on the association between LDL cholesterol and plaque formation, the data shows that the highest amount of plaque is associated with the lowest LDL cholesterol levels... This is interesting, to say the least, since egg yolks are "supposed to" raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels thereby causing plaque buildup.

He writes:

"What is happening here? Maybe egg consumption above a certain level shifts the size of the LDL particles from small to large, making them harmless. (Saturated fat consumption, in the context of a nutritious diet in lean individuals, seems to have a similar effect.) Maybe eggs contain nutrients that promote overall health, leading LDL particles to "behave" and do what they are supposed to do. Maybe it is a combination of these and other effects."

source - Dr Mercola