11-21-11, 12:59 PM #1
The cholesterol debate
I just got my cholesterol rechecked after a year, and surprise, surprise, it went up. Well, I didn't change my diet at all, the only thing I have been doing is taking fish/krill oil. Nevertheless my total Cholesterol went up by 40+ points, not what really expected...
Anyhow I am researching the subject, because I don't really want to take Lipitor, as my doctor advised. Side effects and such... Seemingly, Red Yeast Rice has similar lowering cholesterol effect, without harmful side effects, not to mention cheaper.
During my cholesterol research I have ran into this guy who says that most of the thing we know about cholesterol is BS. Now when your book is publicly burnt on live TV (as his was in Finnland) you know you have touched a nerve.
He basicly denies the Lipid hypothesis:
His book's shortened version is here:
I would like to start a debate/conversation about his opinion, keeping an open mind. If you have personal experience, you are a chemist or just plain smart, don't hesitate to chime in...
Here are mostly positive reviews of his book, basicly a conversation starter:
P.S.: Correlation doesn't imply causation!!
Last edited by Syzygys; 11-21-11 at 01:05 PM.
11-21-11, 01:18 PM #2
"The man, who, more than any other, is responsible for the creation of the diet heart hypothesis fully agrees. To quote Ancel Keys, from a paper in 1956:
‘In the adult man the serum cholesterol level is essentially independent of the cholesterol intake over the whole range of human diets.’
What did Ancel Keys think, more recently, about the connection between cholesterol in the diet, and cholesterol in the blood?
"There's no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood. And we've known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn't matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit." Ancel Keys, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota 1997."
" The longest, most prestigious and widely quoted long-term study on CHD, the Framingham study, clearly shows that those who eat the most saturated fat have the lowest cholesterol levels."
Now this might be because the body actually makes 3-4 times more cholesterol, than what we eat. So when we eat a lot, the body turns down the cholesterol making and vica versa...
Another interesting link, a podcast:
The second part explains why the individual stats, or total cholesterol, isn't really good as indicators of heart disease.
Videos from the same guy:
Last edited by Syzygys; 11-21-11 at 01:38 PM.
11-21-11, 07:24 PM #3
I remember reading somewhere once that talking fish oil can raise cholesterol in some people.
Garlic is supposed to work wonders...
11-21-11, 07:28 PM #4
As we age, it becomes harder to get needed rest. That is stressful on the body, and stress causes bad/good cholesterol ratio to rise.
11-21-11, 07:30 PM #5
11-21-11, 08:32 PM #6
11-21-11, 09:34 PM #7
What little I know is that plant-based fats are less block-like in molecular shape, so they tend to form arterial plaques way less easily.
That and fiber carries away cholesterol.
The researchers found that at the end of six months on the assigned diets, the LDL-C cholesterol levels of those on the special cholesterol-lowing diet who received 7 counseling sessions (intensive group) were reduced by an average of 13.8 percent, the LDL-C cholesterol levels of those on the special diet who received two counseling sessions (routine group) were reduced by an average of 13.1 percent, and the LDL-C cholesterol levels of those in the control group were reduced by 3.0 percent.
A 1999 meta-analysis of five studies comparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian mortality rates in Western countries found the mortality rate due to ischemic heart disease 26 percent lower among vegans compared to regular meat eaters, but 34 percent lower among lacto-ovo vegetarians (vegetarians who eat dairy products and eggs) and pescetarians (those who eat fish but no other meat).
So maybe a little fish or dairy's good for you.
11-21-11, 09:46 PM #8
I must admit I had never heard of two different types of LDL. I have heard for years that a high ratio of HDL as compared to LDL was good. But one of these links claims that, due to there being two types of LDL, this may be a little simplistic.
11-21-11, 10:01 PM #9
Honestly...it may not be that simple...vegetarians tend to be skinnier, on the whole.
Well, fat puts out chemicals that increases inflammation throughout the body. Including in the arteries and the heart itself, I believe...
So, it may not be the diet per se, but the fact that there's a reduced caloric intake (more bulk) that makes a veggie (hopefully) skinnier. So you have less body fat, and less arterial inflammation. Without the inflammation you have smoother arterial walls, and the cholesterol just greases on through.
11-21-11, 10:11 PM #10
Fat is high in calories... So, as the song says, a little is enough, as far as weight gain goes. (Although I have known some fairly heavy vegetarians.)
My current understanding is that different types of fat produce different types of cholesterol. So you want to be cognizant of what types of fat you ingest. This may need some refining in light of two types of LDL. (Fat free is definitely not good. The body needs fat.)
But I figure everything in moderation is a fairly safe rule of thumb
11-21-11, 10:13 PM #11
Pasta, beans, peanut butter...mmm....yeah, I figured out going vegan was not a magic bullet as far as weight loss goes...OTOH I put on weight like nobody's business.
11-21-11, 10:48 PM #12
I suspect it has a lot more to do with genetics and personal metabolism then we like to admit. So there is no one size fits all solution.
But, seeing as how one side of my family has a history of heart disease, it is a subject I'm interested in.
11-21-11, 11:18 PM #13
Here is a related issue, the clogged up arteries and how to clean them up:
"Over 30 years ago, two ophthalmologists observed that a combination tablet called “Iodo-niacin” (iodide 120 milligrams, niacin 15 milligrams) taken for several months could actually reverse atherosclerotic clogging of arteries. They proved this effect by taking pictures of clogged arteries in the backs of the eyes (“retinal photomicrographs”) before and after treatment. The published photographs showed a significant lessening of the cholesterol-laden artery clogging in the “after” pictures.
Amazingly enough, no follow-up study has ever been published (probably because niacin and iodide aren’t patentable). Despite this, the published pictures speak clearly for themselves. They recommend 4 to 6 drops of SSKI and niacin-containing B-complex daily (along with many other things) for anyone with significant cholesterol-related atherosclerotic clogging.""
So basicly people with clogged up arteries and high blood pressure should just take the over the counter, dirt cheap niacin, with a little iodide and they would have normal blood pressure in a few months with clear arteries...
Of course your doctor won't tell you this...
Last edited by Syzygys; 11-21-11 at 11:23 PM.
11-22-11, 06:51 AM #14
Apparently, the real culprit in atherosclerotic plaque buildup is generalized inflammation. This causes low density lipoproteins to be deposited on blood vessel walls where they form plaques. I believe that the test for this generalized inflammation is the C - reactive protein test.
A common - sense balanced diet, regular serious exercise and getting enough rest have proven to be beneficial in dealing with this problem.
11-22-11, 07:29 AM #15
11-22-11, 08:21 AM #16
Now going back to the diet thingy. If cholesterol intake by food has nothing to do with the cholesterol level in the blood, than diet should have no effect whatsoever. But it seems that there is some kind of correlation although not very clear. Some people's cholesterol increases while/after dieting or doesn't show any effect....
11-22-11, 09:51 AM #17
11-22-11, 03:58 PM #18
here is what I don't get: How does an active lifestyle effect cholesterol levels? Maybe if the person is fat and I assume his blood veins are already smaller I can see the advantage of an active lifestyle, but what about a skinny person? Why does it matter if he works out or not???
Or maybe it has something to do with releasing cholesterol from the fat? Well, a skinny person doesn't have much fat to start with....
11-23-11, 09:46 AM #19
Related video in 2 parts:
"I have high cholesterol and I don't care"
It mentions the "French Paradox" in part 2. Actually, if you don't believe in the established guidelines, it is not a paradox at all. The French drinks the most red wine and eats lots of cheese (supposedly bad for cholesterol) nevertheless their heart disease numbers are low....
The summary of the video: It is the high carb diet that causes heart disease, not the high cholesterol one...
Video about the dangers of statins:
Last edited by Syzygys; 11-23-11 at 10:00 AM.
11-23-11, 10:10 AM #20
Humans might be well-adapted to cheese or maybe it just happened by chance that it could be good for health. My grandma lived relatively long, was overweight, and ate cheese. My mom ain't doing so bad, and she eats it too. I recall reading something about a recent study showing healthy effects from cheese.
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