- Adriano dos Santos
LDL Cholesterol - Correlation vs. Causation
I woke up today thinking about how confusing the facts about high fat intake and metabolic health are for all of us. The science vs influencers can be conflicting and it is difficult to discern what is actually the truth.
Eating saturated fats causes high LDL cholesterol? LDL cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular diseases? What a paradox! It got me thinking about causation versus correlation. 🤔💭
Many of us say that correlation isn’t causation, or that correlation doesn’t prove causation. I share the same thoughts as @marksissonprimal. He said that an association between two variables cannot prove that one causes the other. But what does the lack of correlation imply? “Lack of correlation usually means a lack of causation”, and I couldn’t agree enough with that thought. ☝️
➡️It is very common to see a correlation in one study, but not in other studies on similar subject. That suggests that causation is possible, but other factors may determine the causal relationship.
@marksissonprimal also said:”If high LDL always causes heart disease, you will always see a correlation, but you don’t. Sometimes it links up, sometimes it doesn’t. It suggests that something else is related. Either there are confounding variables that correlate to LDL but are the actual cause of the heart disease, or other variables that must be present for LDL to cause heart disease.” I share the same views on LDL cholesterol and the importance of having a functional cardiovascular biomarker test which measures other metrics, since it only gives us one fraction of the story. 🧩
➡️So, if you are told that your LDL cholesterol levels are too high, please visit a functional medicine doctor to investigate it better, and there is no reason for you to panic immediately. 😌