We constantly hear about cholesterol, there is an abundance of information about cholesterol diets, remedies, medication… and a number of myths have spread about what to do and what not to do, what is good and what is bad. Totally false myths. Here are five of these false myths about cholesterol and its treatment.
False myths about cholesterol and its treatment
- Bad cholesterol, or LDL, can be controlled with red wine. FALSE.
Moderate red wine intake is associated with an average 5-10% increase in HDL-cholesterol, or good cholesterol, but has little effect on LDL.
- Once I have controlled my cholesterol levels with medication, I can stop taking it. FALSE.
If the cholesterol level reaches a level that requires pharmacological treatment, it is because the body’s ability to compensate is overwhelmed and there is a genetic predisposition, which does not change with medication, so that when it is discontinued, the cholesterol level will rise again.
- I can control my cholesterol level, even above 250 mg/dl of total cholesterol, by doing physical exercise. FALSE.
Physical exercise can help improve HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, but has less impact on total cholesterol and LDL-c, especially above 250 mg/dl total, which translates into a high probability of familial hypercholesterolemia.
- Cholesterol medication is bad. It damages my liver in the long run. FALSE.
As with any drug, those indicated to lower cholesterol levels have side effects, especially in the first few months, which require closer monitoring. After that, the likelihood of liver damage decreases.
- If the drugs fail to control my cholesterol level, there is no treatment option. FALSE.
For this group of patients and for those who do not tolerate the drugs, there is therapeutic apheresis, which achieves periodic control of cholesterol levels.