National Cholesterol Education Month is a perfect time to sell some drugs!

Tomorrow begins National Cholesterol Education Month. And I’m sure you can already imagine where this is going.

National Cholesterol Education Month (NCEM) is sponsored by the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute, which is one of the National Institutes of Health, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Whew! That’s a bureaucracy-lover’s all-you-can-eat buffet.

On the NECM web page you can access National Cholesterol Education Program pamphlets, recipes, a heart disease risk calculator tool, and a nine-panel document titled “High Blood Cholesterol – What You Need to Know.”

The document is designed to be printed and posted on bulletin boards in offices, doctors’ waiting rooms, community centers, etc. And as you might guess, cholesterol is demonized right from the first sentence. No mention of the fact that your body couldn’t function without cholesterol.

But, you know, why muddy the picture when you’ve got drugs to sell?

After reading panel after panel detailing the horrors of high cholesterol, you’ll eventually come to this note: “The statin drugs are very effective in lowering LDL levels and are safe for most people.”

That’s our tax dollars at work, friends – shilling for the drug companies!

Is niacin mentioned? Not once. Policosanol? Nope. Omega-3 fatty acids? Ditto. How about a mention of a recent Harvard study that shows walnut intake can “significantly reduce cholesterol levels”?

Don’t be silly! You don’t need any of those things when you’ve signed on for a lifetime of statin use.

In recognition of National Cholesterol Education Month, if you’d like to share some eye-opening cholesterol details with friends, send them this recent e-Alert link: “Muscled Out” (8/18/09). They’ll find several facts that NHBLI officials would probably prefer we not include in our cholesterol education.

“National Cholesterol Education Month” National Heart Blood and Lung Institute,