How Do We Know that Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease?

NutritionFacts .org
NutritionFacts .org
22 Feb 2020

What would happen if you randomized babies at birth to a lifetime of low cholesterol levels? Nature did it for us! In this video I introduce the concept of Mendelian randomization.

Subscribe to Dr. Greger’s free nutrition newsletter at and get a free excerpt from his latest NYT Bestseller HOW NOT TO DIE. (All proceeds Dr. Greger receives from the sales of his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements go to support the 501c3 nonprofit that runs

If you don’t know your cholesterol, you should get it checked—maybe even starting in childhood. See my last video, Should All Children Have their Cholesterol Checked? (

What if you do get tested and your doctors tells you not to worry because your cholesterol’s “normal.” Having a normal cholesterol in the society where it’s normal to drop dead of heart attack (the #1 killer of men and women!) r is not necessarily a good thing. See my video When Low Risk Means High Risk (

Check out Optimal Cholesterol Level ( to find out where you should be.

OK, but what if your doctor tells you that your LDL is large and fluffy? See my video Does Cholesterol Size Matter? (

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at You’ll also find a transcript of the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

Image credit: Marty Gabel via flickr. Image has been modified.
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