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Oct 4, 2022

What does the body of evidence say on the topic of cholesterol? Plus: we look at the claim that a multivitamin can preserve your cognitive functions as you age, and we cover that study that allegedly shows aluminum in vaccines causes asthma!


Block 1:

(3:04) Cholesterol: what cholesterol is, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, how fat is digested, HDL cholesterol


Block 2:

(10:44) Cholesterol: triglycerides, how LDL is calculated, do you need to fast before a blood test, attempts at increasing HDL, how to lower LDL


Block 3:

(22:38) Cocoa extract or multivitamin for preserving cognition (and a digression on cocoa vs cacao)


Block 4:

(39:13) Aluminum in vaccines and a reported link to asthma



* Theme music: “Fall of the Ocean Queen“ by Joseph Hackl.

* Assistant researcher: Nicholas Koziris


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1) Systematic review and meta-analysis on reducing LDL cholesterol:


2) Safety of lowering LDL cholesterol in patients starting with very low levels:


3) HPS2-THRIVE trial on niacin + laropiprant:


4) AIM-HIGH trial on niacin:


5) CETP inhibitor torcetrapib increases mortality:


6) Meta-analysis of the data on boosting HDL levels:


7) The COSMOS-Mind paper:


8) Our episode on chocolate:


9) The original COSMOS papers: &


10) The USPS statement on vitamin supplements:


11) Cochrane reviews on vitamins and cognition: &


12) Helen Branswell’s STAT News coverage of the aluminum-asthma paper:


13) The aluminum-asthma paper:


14) Our episode on asthma:



Time machine:


1) Our episode on fat:


2) Our episode on dementia: