There seems to be a lot of confusion about the meaning of the term “lipid hypothesis” in pop science books, blogs, and other places.
What is The Lipid Hypothesis?
The Lipid Hypothesis is the postulate, based on Framingham (8) and similarly derived data, that reducing the level of plasma cholesterol in an individual or in a population group will lead to a reduction in the risk of suffering a new event of coronary heart disease. It is a premise based on the undisputed fact that people with higher plasma cholesterol levels have more and earlier coronary heart disease than do others with lower cholesterol levels; but the premise has not yet been proved true to the satisfaction of epidemiologists and biostatisticians or of the medical community at large. The Lipid Hypothesis, then, is simply an inference derived from accepted facts (Figure 1); though the hypothesis has been put to the test repeatedly in the past two decades, completely satisfactory evidence has not yet been advanced either pro or con.