Cholesterol

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Cholesterol

Post by Rig D on Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:39 am

I'm interested in current thoughts and articles that relate to cholesterol levels and overall health. A long time back over on MDA there was a graph showing the effect of various things on overall death rates. This featured cholesterol levels plotted against all cause mortality and showed all cause mortality to be lowest for those individuals with cholesterol levels around 220.

From what I've seen and read on this topic, my current understanding and thoughts are:
1. The current medical desire to drive cholesterol down as low as possible is misguided. There isn't really much evidence that high cholesterol is a major function in cardio-vascular disease.
2. Cholesterol is a required substance in human metabolism and is used by all cells in one way or another. It is manufactured in the body pretty much as needed and used for multiple purposes including making hormones and cell structure, your dietary intake doesn't make much, if any, difference in your cholesterol levels, your body self-regulates it.
3. Your brain is by far the largest user of cholesterol, it makes up a good bit of the brain's mass
4. Driving the cholesterol level down significantly with the use of statin drugs will likely make you susceptible to a variety of other problems.

I'm age 70 and my total cholesterol has ranged from 230 - 250 over the last 3 years. My MD is definitely on the statin train, and I have consistently refused to take them. My primary concern is the potential of using statins to lower cholesterol will make me become more susceptible to brain degenerative things like Alzheimers or Parkinsons.  I'd much rather drop dead from a heart attack than just fade away into a long, progressively worse mental fog or degenerate into a near vegetative state.

I saw this article this morning and found it quite interesting: Cholesterol and aging
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Narrowminded on Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:56 pm

Rig, don’t have time right now to read that article, but I totally agree with you.

Cholesterol or at least the total number was not a factor in my brothers heart attack several years ago. He never had a reading over 200, yet when he had his heart attack, the widow maker was 99% occluded, another was 95 and one 65. They put him on statins.

I actually need to go get a check up. Overdue I guess. I guess. Put it off because, I will be like and refuse statins if I hit a number that thinks they are required. I have no idea where I currently am.
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by OnTheBayou on Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:26 am

I think by now TC is known to be an inadequate measure of health. Certainly huge out of bounds levels, including extremely low, are matters of concern. The TC is, as we all know, made of various components, which the ratios therein are what is more important.

I believe the goal a few decades ago was 220, then it got lowered. I skimmed the article, thanks, and I think it's important to look at subject age and all causes, which this did. What is good at 52 may not be at 72.

There are two other guidelines that some have observed could be wrong. One is sodium levels, survivability in a hospital stay. The other is weight in extreme stress hospital visits like major surgery. Those with more fat reserves survive better. (OTOH, how many were in for cardiac surgery because of lifestyle/weight issues?






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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Rig D on Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:12 pm

Well, at least I have the "more fat reserves" issue well covered. Smile Smile
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by OnTheBayou on Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:19 pm

Rig D wrote:Well, at least I have the "more fat reserves" issue well covered. Smile Smile

Very Happy Yeah. On the uptick since last summer, as in towards plus 30 pounds. This vacation isn't helping, although Kirsten and I are leaning towards good food and low(ish) carbs most of the time. When back to Reality this weekend, we'll do our best.

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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Narrowminded on Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:27 pm

OTB dietary factors were huge in my brother´s heart attack. The man still eats poorly.

Definitely the total number is of least concern, unless of course it is way out of bounds.
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by ONTARIO on Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:20 pm

Something we see here, in Canada, that drives me nuts is that there are more and more doctors prescribing statins to diabetics and "pre-diabetics". One, the "pre-diabetic" diagnois makes me crazy. You're either diabetic or you're not. Anyway, I digress....there was apparently a study done that showed that those with diabetes are predisposed to cardiovascular problems due to even normal cholesterol levels due to their diabetes diagnosis. So, there is a swack load of people with diabetes on statins who have normal cholesterol levels. Of course, those same people are being told to eat the standard diabetic diet that, as you know, closely resembles the SAD diet (it's actually based on the Canada Food Guide that says they should have 8 servings of grains per day). Furthermore, as we also know, the same grains they suggest raise cholesterol levels hence keeping people in the viscous circle of inflammation, high blood sugar, then high cholesterol, etc etc etc....

I sincerely wish there was more prevalent research that medical doctors would actually embrace that shows that cholesterol is not really the problem. But it seems doctors here, anyway, are still stuck on the fact that fat is bad, grains are good.

My cholesterol is very moderately high. So, according to my MD I should be worried about what I eat. But then he doesn't take into account that my blood sugar is near perfect. There's too much tunnel vision in the medical world, IMO.

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Re: Cholesterol

Post by sharperhawk on Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:03 pm

Here is a review of research on how aging interacts with atherosclerosis.

LDL biochemical modifications: a link between atherosclerosis and aging
Abstract

Atherosclerosis is an aging disease in which increasing age is a risk factor. Modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a well-known risk marker for cardiovascular disease. High-plasma LDL concentrations and modifications, such as oxidation, glycosylation, carbamylation and glycoxidation, have been shown to be proatherogenic experimentally in vitro and in vivo. Atherosclerosis results from alterations to LDL in the arterial wall by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Evidence suggests that common risk factors for atherosclerosis raise the likelihood that free ROS are produced from endothelial cells and other cells. Furthermore, oxidative stress is an important factor in the induction of endothelial senescence. Thus, endothelial damage and cellular senescence are well-established markers for atherosclerosis. This review examines LDL modifications and discusses the mechanisms of the pathology of atherosclerosis due to aging, including endothelial damage and oxidative stress, and the link between aging and atherosclerosis.
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by OnTheBayou on Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:39 am

My previous doctor used the term "pre diabetic," which I took to mean, minor interventions with good results. My current doctor uses diabetic, despite same interventions and results. Frankly, it's just semantics.

It is this doctor that also told me that diabetics are at increased risk for CVD. But I have to wonder if that is controlled for things like weight and exercise.

I'm counting on genetics to get me through. Only one uncle with some cardiac problem but never and event. Otherwise, up and down the generations, or sideways into each, no problems.

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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Rig D on Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:23 am

Interesting article linked above, I kept my on-line dictionary close at hand to interpret some of the terminology.

In the Conclusions, I read it as essentially saying that getting older is associated with cardio-vascular disease (CVD) and the major thing is that the vascular cells lose their ability to properly regenerate. It then calls for more studies on why this happens and specifically calls for more studies on LDL structural changes (which is discussed in some depth in the article) and the effect of these changes.

The new thing to me was the discussion on nitric oxide synthase, it says "Some of the beneficial properties of NO include vasodilatation, promotion of endothelial cell survival, and inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, which might protect against atherosclerosis. Several studies have reported a decrease in nitric oxide activity with aging."
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Paysan on Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:41 pm

I think it was Dr. Mercola who ran an article explaining the differences between. nitrates and nitrites. One can kill and one can cure, but when it changes form from one to another that it gets confusing. Oh well, one large nitro patch per night keeps me humming, but if that's not enough, I've got my nitro spray as well. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Cholesterol

Post by mudhenny on Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:46 pm

The whole cholesterol/statin situation drives me nuts. Whenever I find out someone is taking statins, or thinking of taking them, or eating a "plant based" low fat diet because of concern about lipoprotein levels, I give them an earful. There are many things you can do that will improve your levels without taking statins, and without the dreadful side effects--such as taking a walk everyday, dropping sugar from your diet, lowering carbs, raising Omega 3 to Omega 6 fat ratio, etc...Heck they are not even sure how statins work!

IMO it is much more important to lower triglycerides (which can be easily done by lowering carbs) and CRP, and raising HDL (with good fats). Cholesterol is much too important for synthesis of brain and nervous system components, hormones, cell membranes, etc...that nothing good can come of restricting it.

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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Lovebird on Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:11 am

http://www.nourishbalancethrive.com/podcasts/nourish-balance-thrive/why-cholesterol-levels-have-no-effect-cardiovascul/

Why Cholesterol Levels Have No Effect on Cardiovascular Disease - dr. Malcolm Kendrick
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Rig D on Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:42 pm

Very good interview. It is long, about 2 hrs. Kendrick has some good common sense things he recommends. While he doesn't have a specific "to do list", I took away the following things (pretty much what the host euphemistically calls the "Kendrick Protocol":

Increasing your body's ability to synthesize nitric oxide is very important in preventing CVD. This is the main benefit that statins bring, the lowering of cholesterol is a side effect. Also, moderate consumption of alcohol does this
Get your sunshine.
Take Vit C and Magnesium.
Maintain good social interactions w family/friends.
Manage stress
Potassium is good, should get enough from diet
Salt: OK, Don't go low salt. Body will try to compensate and .releases things that will damage your blood vessels.

Kendrick goes on a great semi-rant about the current practice of peer reviewed journals. This at the end, around 1 hr 45 min.
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Lovebird on Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:55 am

Rig D wrote:Very good interview. It is long, about 2 hrs. Kendrick has some good common sense things he recommends. While he doesn't have a specific "to do list", I took away the following things (pretty much what the host euphemistically calls the "Kendrick Protocol":

Increasing your body's ability to synthesize nitric oxide is very important in preventing CVD. This is the main benefit that statins bring, the lowering of cholesterol is a side effect. Also, moderate consumption of alcohol does this
Get your sunshine.
Take Vit C and Magnesium.
Maintain good social interactions w family/friends.
Manage stress
Potassium is good, should get enough from diet
Salt: OK, Don't go low salt. Body will try to compensate and .releases things that will damage your blood vessels.

Kendrick goes on a great semi-rant about the current practice of peer reviewed journals. This at the end, around 1 hr 45 min.

Nice summary. Smile Thank you. Only thing you seem to have missed is the K2.

Sunshine/relaxation/exercise (movement + play Wink )/mindfulness/social support... Blue Zones.

MK takes vitamin D in the winter, as it's endothelial protecting and vitamin C year-round just because.

"You got to remember, if you lower your salt intake, your body system triggers in to keep your blood pressure up, and the trigger is a thing called the renin-angiotensin system. And you know what's really damaging to your endothelium? Renin-angiotensin. Yes."

https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2018/01/27/what-causes-heart-disease-part-forty-five/ vitamins & supplements
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I'm baaaaaaack............

Post by OnTheBayou on Fri May 11, 2018 11:06 am

In a manner of speaking. I had my left knee replaced April 30th and I've done relatively little interacting with peeps where I have to, like, you know, think. Read, sleep, some Youtube brain dead laughter.

Doesn't mean I haven't checked these forums now and then. Just no energy to follow through. Reread this one and it seems like a good place to not only make further comment, but I have new experiences.

I posted my lipid panel a month plus ago, outstanding as usual. In fact, perhaps scary low on LDL (below range) and as a result, TC.

So, I'm in post-TKR recovery for four nights. Most people are 1-2, huge amounts of pain, everything looks and measured normal. Anyway, many times a 24 hr period, checking vitals, etc. Including blood sugar by the clock, not by food (not much!) intake. Several times about 133 a couple of hours after eating; ideally would have been lower. "Do you want insulin?" WTF? Some of those RN's were beyond stupid, I'm very sorry to say. "No," of course.

So here's the (in development) weird thing: My last A1c was .1 out of perfect range, oops, now I'm diabetic! You know that black/white thinking. And when the nurses were checking my BS four, five times a day I was often hearing things like 88. The other day my FBG was 145!!!

As my meals have definitely not been LC except sporadically for a long time, no logical way I'm experiencing Dawn Phenomena.

As I promised myself, I am no Back on The Chain Gang post-surgery. Recording all my food. 1600-1700 kc/day so far. I wanted to record my exercise but there is no entry for Hobbling with Walker.

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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Rig D on Fri May 11, 2018 11:31 am

OTB, I'm close behind you on the left knee replacement. Not sure yet when it will happen, but expect some time in July, depends on the CT scan and how long Conformis takes to make my new knee.

Hope your recovery goes smoothly. I replaced my right knee last year. It is so much better now, but I have a little bit of inflexibility that remains one cal yr post surgery. FWIW it took about 6 mos to feel "normal" in that knee, and nine or so before I felt 100%. Work hard on the flexibility exercises you have, it will pay off.
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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Paysan on Fri May 11, 2018 1:53 pm

Hang in there, OTB and Rig D: Pain makes stress, stress raises cortisol, cortisol raises cholesterol and blood sugars. My hubby is due for a hip replacement within a few weeks (no date from surgeon yet), and his pain levels are causing his under-control blood sugar levels to climb. Whether or not he regains his mobility is a moot question, as his knees are likely kaput as well. Not to mention his one hip is as old as the other one. Rolling Eyes
But as you guys are significantly younger than he is, I hope you have many more years of flexible exercise ahead.

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Re: Cholesterol

Post by Narrowminded on Sat May 12, 2018 8:44 pm

OTB hang in there. Definite truth to surgery messing with all the other systems. Give it some time.

Here’s hoping a quick and rather painless recovery going forward.
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It's a nuanced issue we are still learning but here's best info to date

Post by SWSL on Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:21 pm

I have been listening to some top lipidologists recently and here is one who is very well respected and fairly easy to understood as it's a complex topic.

Interview w Dr. Ronald Krauss


And here, Rhonda Patrick explains the theory she's developed around this:


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Re: Cholesterol

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