Professional Child Abuse

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Professional Child Abuse

July 13th 2008 -
The July 1, 2008 issue of Pediatrics carried the latest statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding cholesterol in children. The committee recommendations include screening children's cholesterol levels beginning at age 2 and administering cholesterol lowering medications in children as young as 8 years of age.

The report focused on the so-called "obesity epidemic" that was created to a great extent simply by redefining the term "obesity". (See my previous update and my article Ideal Weight.)

Lost upon the committee were the following facts:

1) Elevated cholesterol levels are not the cause of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis results when the lining of arteries become inflamed and LDL cholesterol is damaged (oxidized).

2) Approximately 2 out of every 3 adults who choose to lower their cholesterol will die sooner as a result of doing so.

3) Cholesterol is manufactured by the body to:
•Support proper brain function
•Maintain healthy cell membranes
•Aid in the manufacture of vitamin D
•Manufacture hormones
•Protect itself from invading organisms
•Process fat soluble vitamins
•Maintain the health of nerve cells
What will the future hold for a child who is unable to establish sound brain function, manufacture adequate amounts of vitamin D, and manufacture optimum amounts adrenal and sex hormones? How will the child survive when his or her immune system is compromised? How will development procede without the ability to process fat soluble vitamins?

4) Cholesterol lowering statin drugs block the production of coenzyme Q10, which is needed for muscle health, including heart health. When coenzyme Q10 levels fall, the incidence of cancer increases as well.

It is a sad day indeed when a specialty society that was founded to protect and serve the health of children endorses a course of action that is virtually guaranteed to leave children dead or seriously disabled before they reach adulthood.

Dale Peterson, M.D.