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Nutrition Past and Future

A Quick Note on Cancer, Cholesterol, and Reverse Causation

If you have watched my video addressing the relationship between cholesterol and cancer, you know that I have attributed any observations of low cholesterol among cancer patients to reverse causation. In apparent contradiction of this view are the recently announced results of a study lead by Dr Paul Lavigne which calls into doubt the reverse causation hypothesis. I am not aware of any other study which has shown a relationship to exist between low LDL and cancer over such a long time span (18.7 years). In contrast, a 1987 study based on NHANES data documented a similar association extending only six years prior to cancer diagnosis. Therefore, this paper will surely reignite debate over the reverse causation hypothesis. As of this writing, this story has yet to be exploited by the cholesterol confusionists to promote dietary saturated fat. Nevertheless, I would like to offer a few words of caution to those who might misinterpet this news.

Here are a few considerations which should temper any overheated conclusions based on this announcement:

The confusionist blogosphere is usually quick to make too much of anomalous and unexpected findings. You shouldn't fall into the same trap.

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