(NaturalNews) A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that children with high cholesterol may not need drug treatments to bring them back to normal, healthy levels. Children who tested with high cholesterol levels initially in the study eventually had their levels taper off, indicating that the process may occur naturally over time, without the need for drugs.
Researchers explained that cholesterol levels can vary from day to day anyway, and that testing is most accurate when done numerous times. There are "bad" cholesterol days and "good" cholesterol days, and researchers believe that tests showing extremely high levels may be indicative of a bad cholesterol day, and not necessarily high cholesterol levels in general.
"Both in kids and in adults there is quite a bit of variability over time," explained David Freedman from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "People with very, very high cholesterol are likely to be those that are having a bad cholesterol day. My paper emphasizes that you probably need at least two or three measurements to screen out kids who are just having a bad day,"
In other words, prescribing children cholesterol medication without doing multiple tests a few months apart may be a mistake, because children who test high on one day might test far lower on another. And children who do have high general levels may experience a drop over time naturally, without the need for drug administration.
The study, which involved more than 6,800 children from Bogalusa, Louisiana, found that after four years, cholesterol levels in children who initially tested high dropped below threshold levels 60 percent of the time.
But even for children whose levels did not drop, experts are unsure whether drug treatment is at all appropriate or helpful for children. Simple exercise and a healthy diet may be enough to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.