The cholesterol myth

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Re: The cholesterol myth

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:54 pm

marc108 wrote:for example: higher cholesterol could be indicative of higher meat consumption, which would give you more b12 and maybe the b12 is actually whats improving their psych scores. it could be that they have some genetic abnormality and the low cholesterol is just a symptom of that... kind of how the smoke alarm isnt actually a fire, just an indicator of the fire. it could be that when you spread this study out to 10,000 people instead of 20, this association disappears. its hard to know... i'm not saying its baseless, i'm just saying that assuming causal mechanisms in the way those blogs are is just bad science.

this was also a huge issue during some initial testing of vitamin supplements. for ex: we noticed people with high levels of blood vitamin A had less lung cancer. so the assumption was made that it was the vitamin A decreasing cancer... when the vitamin A is isolated and given to people, lung cancer actually increases! turns out that vitamin A is just an indicator for who's consuming more fruits and vegetables, and its the higher intake of fruits and veggies that actually is correlated with less lung cancer... through some unknown mechanism.


Interesting comment, it is definitely something to consider. Thank you very much.


another quote:
But cholesterol has many health benefits. Recent research revealed, for instance, that cholesterol plays a key role in regulating protein pathways involved in cell signaling and may also regulate other cellular processes.1

It’s already known that cholesterol plays a critical role within your cell membranes, but this new research suggests cholesterol also interacts with proteins inside your cells, adding even more importance.

Your body is composed of trillions of cells that need to interact with each other. Cholesterol is one of the molecules that allow for these interactions to take place. For example, cholesterol is the precursor to bile acids, so without sufficient amounts of cholesterol, your digestive system can be adversely affected.

It also plays an essential role in your brain, which contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body. It is critical for synapse formation, i.e. the connections between your neurons, which allow you to think, learn new things, and form memories.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/artic ... _DNL_art_2



If Cholesterol plays essential role in the brain, then it is likely that too little of it can have negative affects on the mood.
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Re: The cholesterol myth

Postby Roland » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:47 pm

Is anyone here familiar with nutritionfacts.org? It is run by Dr. Michael Greger who studies day and night all the latest peer reviewed studies on nutrition and summarizes the information in short videos usually around 2-3 minutes. He has posted videos daily for years. It's a great public service. Here is the section on cholesterol with links:

A plant-based diet high in fiber appears to lower bad cholesterol (see here, here, here, here). The new USDA Dietary Guidelines (see also here, here, here, here) even recommend a more plant-based diet to lower cholesterol intake. Dr. Ornish has long promoted such a diet for its health benefits. Unfortunately, many doctors may not be aware of this essential life-saving information.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs, on the other hand, have been found to have some attendant health risks. The current standard for the optimal level of cholesterol may not be low enough; 75% of heart attack patients were in the optimal range (see also here, here). Recent data suggests that cholesterol levels can never be too low.

High cholesterol has been linked to the following: heart disease, lower back pain, erectile dysfunction in men (watermelon may be a helpful treatment for this problem), sexual dysfunction in women, and gallstones. Foods that appear to increase cholesterol include: meat (see also here, here), eggs & chicken (see also here, here, here, here, here, here), brains, fast food, coconut milk, coconut oil, cow’s milk, and coffee (although a paper filter will remove the compounds that raise cholesterol).

Foods that have been linked to lower cholesterol include: Ceylon cinnamon , kale, beans (see also here), Indian gooseberries (see also here), dried apples, red yeast rice (which contains the drug Lovastatin), alkaline water (which can be made by simply adding baking soda to tap water), avocadoes (see also here), nuts, almonds, oatmeal, flax seeds (see also here, here), kiwis, green tea, raisins, soy, and cocoa. Bowel movements, both in terms of food mass transit time and size, may be relevant to cholesterol levels because this is how cholesterol is flushed out of the body. Cholesterol-free sources of vitamin B-12 are fortified plant foods and supplements.


Source: cholesterol

The following are relevant links from the above summary to this discussion:

IOM did not set ULs for trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol because any intake level above 0% of energy increased LDL cholesterol concentration...


Source: eggs and chicken

All tissues are capable of synthesizing enough cholesterol to meet their metabolic and structural needs. Consequently, there is no evidence for a biological requirement for dietary cholesterol.


Source: here

This is from Michael Greger M.D. from the comments of the following video:

The point the researchers were trying to make in their review is that it's not the rise in cholesterol that accompanies the consumption of dietary cholesterol that is the primary problem. They note that you'd only expect a bump of 10% in our cholesterol level eating eggs. It's the oxidative, pro-inflammatory effects on the endothelium (the "life jacket" lining of our arteries) that is the primary reason we need to try to avoid eating cholesterol. Unfortunately these effects are more difficult to accurately measure.


Source: here

Eating a single egg a day (not sure if it has to do with the cholesterol) is said to only be safe for consumption by Dr David Spence if you have a terminal illness.

Source: here

Eating one egg a day shortens lives.

Source: here

Eggs and brains have the highest concentration of cholesterol.

Source: brains
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Re: The cholesterol myth

Postby Alex123 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:43 pm

Roland wrote:High cholesterol has been linked to the following:


Is high cholesterol the cause or sign of some other underlying problem that actually does the damage?

Imagine a strong wind that bends trees and blows various objects. Is bending of the trees the cause of wind or vice versa? How does bending of the trees (which don't touch the roof) affect the motion of trash on the street?

As for diet, of course plants do not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is contained in animal tissue and is required for animals, not plants.

Excessive sugar consumption, trans fats, highly processed food, contamination in water, food, air is to blame. Eating healthy and organic meats is not to blame.

Eating one egg a day shortens lives.


And I've read about a 88 year old that ate 25 eggs per day for like 15 years with NO problem. He was tested and nothing unusual. So much for "don't eat eggs".

Normal Plasma Cholesterol in an 88-Year-Old Man Who Eats 25 Eggs a Day — Mechanisms of Adaptation
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Re: The cholesterol myth

Postby danieLion » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:36 am

Roland,
"Links" prove nothing (cholesterol is linked to x, y, z, etc...). Be sure you're not committing the correlation implies causation version of the cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Social Engineers like Ancel Keys have been committing this fallacy for years. We know it as the "lifestyle" thesis: that your life habits determine what diseases you'll get and how long you'll live. This thesis is entirely incompatible with the fact that quality of life continues to improve, along with longevity. We're so much healthier than we use to be--despite being sedentary, eating fast food, smoking, etc...--that we now have a lot of time on our hands. We've used that time to create woes for ourselves that aren't real woes.

Epidemiology (along with trends like climate change 'science', not to mention statistics per se) is not very scientific.
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Re: The cholesterol myth

Postby Roland » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:47 pm

Alex123 wrote:Is high cholesterol the cause or sign of some other underlying problem that actually does the damage?


It seems like an underlying problem and/or unhealthy decisions are the culprits which can manifest in part as high cholesterol.

Alex123 wrote:As for diet, of course plants do not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is contained in animal tissue and is required for animals, not plants.


I apologize. I was not intending to imply that people here do not know these basic things. I was simply including the whole of the summary because it seemed incomplete if I didn't. Perhaps I should have left out most of it. It would have been more efficient to include fewer links.

danieLion,
Very good and important points. I'm not necessarily trying to prove anything. Because of this post, I've delved much deeper into a subject I would not have gone so far into researching. I posted those links primarily to see what others thought of them and what you've said parallels my thoughts.

But I ask, in general, is it not an inference that because one 88 year old man ate 20 to 30 eggs for more than 15 years has normal plasma cholesterol even though the study says he has "decreased efficiency in cholesterol absorption" and that "he compensated further, primarily by doubling the usual rate of bile-acid synthesis."

The decrease in the efficiency of cholesterol absorption to only 18 percent of the unusually large intake played an important part in maintaining a normal plasma cholesterol level. Approximately 10,622 of the 12,953 μmol of cholesterol ingested each day passed through the patient's gastrointestinal tract to be excreted in the feces. Although he still absorbed 2331 μmol of cholesterol per day (2032 and 941 μmol per day more than the mean amount absorbed by the normal subjects during the low- and high-cholesterol diets, respectively), he compensated further, primarily by doubling the usual rate of bile-acid synthesis.


and also that

The efficiency of cholesterol absorption ... is usually 50 to 60 percent in humans over a wide range of dietary intake.


that anyone or everyone else who also eats 20-30 eggs per day for more than 15 years would also have normal plasma cholesterol?

I think the evidence is fairly strong in stating that dietary cholesterol does not effect cholesterol levels. I've noticed in my own diet that if I am ingesting dietary cholesterol or not, my levels are fine either way.
"No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley."

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Re: The cholesterol myth

Postby marc108 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:10 am

Roland wrote:...



good post. im a big fan of Dr Ornish, personally & professionally. I do consume eggs though.

I think the evidence is fairly strong in stating that dietary cholesterol does not effect cholesterol levels. I've noticed in my own diet that if I am ingesting dietary cholesterol or not, my levels are fine either way.


same here


ps. that website is great :thumbsup:
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