Often, we talk about lowering the level of our LDL or “bad” cholesterol to stay healthy. But we seldom think about how low can it go? Research has been done to find out whether using a combination of drugs to lower LDL cholesterol to “ultra-low” would provide greater benefits than a modest decrease in the level of bad cholesterol.
What Was The Study?
A manufacturer-funded study, called FOURIER, had enrolled over 27,000 people. These people were already taking statin drugs to lower their high level of LDL cholesterol. Half of these people were given injections of evolocumab, a certain drug. The other half were given a placebo, which is a non-active injection.
Evolocumab is a PCSK9 inhibitor, and it works by replicating a genetic variation that is favorable for conditions that would lead to a large reduction in the level of LDL cholesterol.
What Did The Study Find?
Another fact found was that evolocumab reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases, especially heart stroke and heart attack by almost 15 percent. So, it was proved that out of every 67 people treated with the drug, one person would be an exception. Also, there was no proven reduction in the risk of death in those 2 years of the study.
How Low Can LDL Cholesterol Go?
It was found that with the use of statins that lower cholesterol level, there was a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases when the LDL cholesterol level went low. However, doctors couldn’t come to a definite conclusion how low can the “bad” cholesterol go so that there would still be a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
What Were The Limitations?
So, instead of relying on overpriced drugs to lower LDL cholesterol, health experts suggested in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol by taking natural remedies and prevent them as much as possible through healthy living.