Trick Question: How Do You Lower Cholesterol?

The other day, I received a request from a writer working on a story about how to lower cholesterol “naturally”. His questions are reprinted below, together with my answer.

  1. What are your thoughts on taking supplements as part of a cholesterol-lowering plan?
  2. Which ones do you like, and why?
  3. Are they safe? What are the risks?
  4. How do supplements fit in with traditional cholesterol-lowering methods like statin drugs, diet, and exercise?

Sounds reasonable, right?

Here’s my answer:


Dear Writer,

I’m delighted to help you with your story, which, It appears, is about using supplements to lower cholesterol.

I am a firm believer that lowering cholesterol is the least important thing you can do for heart health.

In fact, I am the author of a book called, “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease and the Statin-Free Plan that Will”.

So I wonder if I’m the right person to be interviewed about how to lower your cholesterol since I’m on a mission to correct the impression that lowering cholesterol matters a whit.

As I said on the Dr. Oz show, trying to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to reduce calories by taking the lettuce off your whopper.

If you want to talk about supplements for heart health, I’m your man. If you want to talk about strategies to prevent heart disease, I’m your man.

But if you want to talk about how to lower your cholesterol, or what supplements to use as part of a “cholesterol-lowering plan”, I’m probably not your guy.

To me, that’s like asking a general in the armed forces, “What’s the best way to invade Portugal so we can stop Al-Queda?”

Al-Queda isn’t in Portugal, so invading Portugal won’t help us fight terrorism.

And cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, so lowering it won’t help us fight heart disease..


Jonny Bowden


The writer replied: Let me rethink my slant on the article. I’ll get back to you on that.

Well, at least that’s some progress!