It is important to keep off statin drugs so we need an updated thread on this. Credit goes to Chris Kresser, aka The Healthy Skeptic, for the following. These are my notes taken during a recent interview by Jimmy Moore.
Myth #1: "Eating high cholesterol leads to high blood cholesterol levels."
False for 7/10 people, because the liver tightly regulates levels, making more or less, and cholesterol eaten is not always passed into blood. For the 3/10 whose blood cholesterol does go up with saturated fat intake, it raises the large buoyant type of LDL, which is benign. Small dense LDL is the fraction that gives LDL its bad name (bc they're more likely to oxidize), large buoyant LDL particles just bop along through blood stream without causing harm.
Myth #2: "High blood cholesterol levels leads to heart disease."
If this were true, then the prediction would prevail amongst all peoples, over all ages, both sexes, etc. But it's not true for populations such as women, the French, aboriginals, etc. Men over 65 have 10x higher rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than men under 45, yet low cholesterol is a greater risk for CVD in men over 65. It makes no sense to say high cholesterol is a risk at 45, then the opposite if over 65. Women on average have higher cholesterol levels, but 300% less CVD.
Cholesterol is the spackle that repairs damage, it's a precursor to sex hormones, and it's used in brain for synapse formation [in other words: it's very important stuff to have around!].
Eating less saturated fat and more refined carbohydrates does three bad things: (1) it reduces HDL - the good cholesterol, (2) it increases triglycerides, and (3) it increases small dense LDL. Replacing refined carbs with sat fat does the opposite on all three fronts.
END OF NOTES, see The Healthy Skeptic blog for refs and more info, or Chris Masterjohn's blog called The Daily Lipid.
I've read before about cholesterol being the spackle (or more like the deliverer of spackle) that repairs damage done to blood vessel lining (I think on Dr. Eades' blog). It was explained that, years ago, the white coats kept finding cholesterol at blood vessel legion sites, so it was concluded that the cholesterol must be causing the legions, but now we know that it is in response to the legions. However, this knowledge came after the standard of physician care had adopted a cholesterol-lowering approach and a multi-BILLION dollar statin drug industry had blossomed.
Lots of books (see The Cholesterol Con) and web pages out there, just google "real cholesterol story" and see for yourself.
If you go in for a lipid blood test, get the VAP panel that gives the breakdown of LDL into Pattern A (large buoyant) and Pattern B (small dense).