The cholesterol joke on us has been going on for too long and the drug company honchos were laughing their way to their banks, happy that they could fool even the best brains when it comes to health and drugs. Their bank balance will have to come down now. The US agricultural science report, which gives guidelines to people about diet, has put out a 553-page document saying that cholesterol is your best friend and not an enemy. It says that if your cholesterol is high, your liver is at its peak health!
Even then, our company employed doctors still practise the old cholesterol policy. This week, the Open British Medical Journal
has an interesting study which shows that lowering cholesterol in people above the age of 50 is not only not beneficial but it might be dangerous. “High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (i.e., that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long as, or longer than, those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis. Moreover, our study provides the rationale for a re-evaluation of guidelines recommending pharmacological reduction of LDL-C in the elderly as a component of cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.” “Lowering cholesterol with medications is a total waste of time,” writes Professor Sherif Sultan (University of Ireland), one of the co-authors. A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered ‘bad’ cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Interestingly “Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92% of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer.”
Antibody-based Drug for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system, particularly the brain and spinal cord. It is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults. The disease is considered auto-immune. The cells of the immune system, particularly the lymphocytes, bring about the destruction of the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects the extensions (axons) of the neurons. This demyelisation, which marks the beginning of axon degeneration, disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses. Lesions, in the form of ‘plaques’, are dispersed over the brain and spinal cord. The causes vary greatly from one individual to another.
Over the years, attempts to treat this with drugs had not met with much success. A group study, directed by Fabian Docagne and published in Brain, paves the way for a new strategy to control the disease. They are trying to get antibody-based drugs to help the lymphocytes to avoid harming one’s own system (auto-immunity). This will be another of those funny reductionist chemical drug theories which is doomed fail, like all so far. But they have to do research to keep their till moving!
Could Chicken Protect against Malaria?
Malaria is a dangerous disease in the tropics, even in India. The biggest load is borne by sub-Saharan Africa, though. A recent research study, co-authored by Rickard Ignell (of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and colleagues, has been published in the Malaria Journal. They have been trying to see if any odour repels the mosquito of the anopheles species. They stumbled on chicken odour strongly repelling them from attacking chickens. All other animal blood is attractive to mosquitoes, although not as much as human blood. The researchers are trying to do more work of this by trying chicken odour to avoid mosquito bites. If that attempt succeeds, we will get very cheap methods to eradicate malaria, eventually.