There are so many doctors rattling off that you inherit high cholesterol, but is high cholesterol really programmed into your genes or is it behavior? I personally welcome sane articles such as the one quoted below, by responsible scientists. There is a lot of buzz surrounding DNA sequencing to determine whether you are at risk for certain problems, such as cancers, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. However, these researchers say for the most part, most people are at average risk.

They say that the real determinant is their lifestyle and behavior. For example, not becoming obese totally reduces your risk for developing diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Heredity is only a small part of the equation. What you do with it is what really determines your health future.

Their comment about cholesterol is that using genetics to determine whether to take statins before one is ill is nonsensical. When they are saying that statins reduce risk by 20%, that’s based on an improvement from a 1.5% mortality to a 1.2% mortality. Yes, a 0.3% improvement. Is it really worth taking a statin if it takes 300 people being treated to save one life. What about all the side effects showing up in a huge percentage, leading to a decrease in the quality of life?

In heart disease, one pressing problem is how to decide which young and middle-aged adults would benefit from cholesterol-lowering statins to reduce the risk of a first heart attack, said Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, a genetics researcher who is director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. The drugs reduce the risk by 20 percent, but if your risk is low to start with, a 20 percent reduction does not mean much.

So, in answer to the question: Is high cholesterol programmed into your genes or is it behavior? The overwhelming factor is behavior. In a word, you can’t throw the “it’s hopeless” card down, because it isn’t. Not only that, the unbridled prescribing of statins has got to be curtailed, especially to healthy people. Too many people are already losing their memories…..

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