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The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics

The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (or THINCS) is a group of scientists, physicians, and other academicians from around the world who dispute the widely accepted lipid hypothesis of atherosclerosis. THINCS was founded in January 2003, and its founder and current spokesman is Uffe Ravnskov.

Additional recommended knowledge


Cholesterol controversy

Since the 1950s, the lipid hypothesis (also known as the "Diet-Heart Idea"), which posits that saturated fat and high cholesterol play a role in the causation of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, has gained increasing acceptance and support from members of the medical and scientific communities. Currently, based on an accumulation of evidence, there is scientific consensus that the lipid hypothesis has been validated as correct.[1][2][3]

For example, in 1984, a National Institutes of Health consensus development conference found that:

It has been established beyond a reasonable doubt that lowering definitely elevated blood cholesterol levels (specifically, blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) will reduce the risk of heart attacks caused by coronary heart disease.[3]

The success of cholesterol-lowering medication such as statins in preventing heart attacks has been seen as further verification and proof that the lipid hypothesis is correct.[1]

THINCS members dispute this scientific consensus and assert that the lipid hypothesis is not adequately proven by the scientific evidence. They point to a significant number of scientific studies which they claim are either inconclusive or have directly contradicted it.

The THINCS website states:

For decades, enormous human and financial resources have been wasted on the cholesterol campaign, more promising research areas have been neglected, producers and manufacturers of animal food all over the world have suffered economically, and millions of healthy people have been frightened and badgered into eating a tedious and flavorless diet or into taking potentially dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives. As the scientific evidence in support of the cholesterol campaign is non-existent, we consider it important to stop it as soon as possible.

While various members of THINCS have different hypotheses of their own on the causes of heart disease, they are all united in rejecting the lipid hypothesis, which they claim has repeatedly failed to be validated by scientific testing and research.[4]


  1. ^ a b Steinberg D (2006). "Thematic review series: the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. An interpretive history of the cholesterol controversy, part V: the discovery of the statins and the end of the controversy". J. Lipid Res. 47 (7): 1339-51. PMID 16585781.
  2. ^ Brook J, Rifkind B (1989). "Cholesterol and coronary heart disease prevention--a transatlantic consensus". Eur. Heart J. 10 (8): 702-11. PMID 2676536.
  3. ^ a b (1985) "Consensus conference. Lowering blood cholesterol to prevent heart disease". JAMA 253 (14): 2080-6. PMID 3974099.
  4. ^, main page. Accessed: 21 January 2007.

Further reading

  • Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease (2000), ISBN 0-96708-970-0, ISBN-13: 978-0967089706.
  • Malcolm Kendrick , MD, The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It (2007), ISBN 1-84454-360-9, ISBN-13: 978-1844543601.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_International_Network_of_Cholesterol_Skeptics". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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