If you’ve read Don’t Die Early, you know the book explains in great detail the failings of the Lipid Hypothesis, the dangerously inaccurate model that proclaims that having “too much cholesterol” causes heart disease. Don’t Die Early explains that the real factors that combine to form heart disease are glycation (elevated blood sugar), inflammation, oxidation, and damagingly small LDL particles. These four factors are overwhelmingly more relevant to one’s risk of heart disease than simply measuring total cholesterol, or even measuring the quantity of LDL (the wrongly labeled “bad cholesterol”).
Examining these four factors, however, begs the question do they all contribute equally to heart disease? In other words, can one or more of these factors be less of a worry if others are in check?
I’ve posed this question to a number of forward-thinking cardiologists and studied the work of various researchers and the answer is a definite “maybe.” And the “maybe” points at lipids.