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    Cholesterol: No longer a concern

    There was good news for those of us who love eggs, especially for breakfast. In a newly released report (http://www.health.gov/dietaryguideli...ntific-report/) the dietary, heart, and other experts all agreed that your cholesterol level does not matter that much after all. I suppose it is a sad day for all who have been obsessed with keeping their cholesterol levels down over perhaps decades. It does not surprise me. As a researcher I am aware of the soft, often preliminary dietary research that is turned into a media frenzy. What has finally been gleaned from the research is that in reality only about 15% of the cholesterol in our bloodstream comes from what we eat. There are other dietary priorities that can have a much greater impact on our health such as eating enough fruit and veggies. You can find details of this finding by Googling a few key words like cholesterol and concern.

    Do not get carried away. A lot of the foods with high levels of cholesterol also have a high calorie count from the fats they contain. With the obesity epidemic and all the health and functional ramifications for those of us with SCIs calorie counting is still in. But you can relax and keep your window blinds up when you scramble your eggs in the morning. lol

    Addendum: A note of caution here. This finding does not mean that blood levels of cholesterol do not matter. Levels in the blood are still risk factors and should continue to be monitored by your physician. Treatment with medications may still be indicated. The reported findings only relate to dietary control. There is little to be gained from attempts to control cholesterol blood levels with dietary controls. In fact, the report indicated that people often substitute starchy food and sugars for the meats, eggs and other things they eliminated from their diet. The end result is a person who is worse off.
    Last edited by SCIfor55+yrs.; 28 Feb 2015, 2:15 PM. Reason: Add paragraph
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

    #2
    That said, 60 Years Post, NL has always watched our cholesterol intake, everything in moderation. In scrambled or boiled eggs, she throws out an egg yolk or two and adds an egg white or two, I (we) don't know the difference anymore.

    All the best,
    GJ

    Comment


      #3
      My previous internist told me my cholesterol was borderline high, and I needed to make dietary changes to reduce it. She told me to not eat red meat. I'm a vegetarian. No eggs, again veggie. Said to eat low fat dairy products, I already did. Eat healthy nuts, I already do for protein... But afterwards I decided to go ahead and try to be even more strict about low fat and fat free food choices. My cholesterol went UP.

      I also have gastroparesis, and don't eat very much at all. I've read about cholesterol being raised in anorexics due to malnutrition. I also read some stuff that may or may not be true, that said low fat milk is worse for your cholesterol because in many cases they completely remove the fat (taken down to skim milk) and then add fat back in to whatever percentage from dried milk, where the fat has been somewhat changed. So I went the other direction, decided fuck this and started drinking whole milk. Tried to find whole fat greek yogurt, and minimum ate 2% greek yogurt. Full fat cheese. Stopped using crap like nonstick sprays and started using copious amounts of olive oil and real butter with no concern.

      Every. single. bad. cholesterol. number went down. My good cholesterol went up. My current internist first replied "I think everything we thought we knew about cholesterol was wrong" but once confronted with the exact differences in numbers, he was pretty shocked and impressed. I can post the number differences if anyone is interested.

      I don't know if this would work for others, I definitely think most americans consume WAY too much fat. But too little fat isn't healthy for you either. I grew up eating low fat and fat free foods because of my moms dietary obsessions. I continued eating those foods, it did take some time for me to adjust to taste changes. But between numbers getting worse when I actually worked at lowering fat, and then everything recovering to within normal ranges when I went the other direction its pretty clear what the cause was in my case.
      Last edited by ~Lin; 28 Feb 2015, 1:07 AM.
      Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

      I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

      Comment


        #4
        You may have heard this joke before, but it some how seems appropriate here!

        The couple had reached age 85 and had been married for 60 years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies.
        Though not young, they both were in very good health, largely due to the wife's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.
        One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven. They reached the Pearly Gates and St. Peter escorted them inside.
        He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet.
        They gasped in astonishment when Peter said, "Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now."
        The old man asked Peter how much this was going to cost. "Why, nothing," Peter replied. "Remember, this is your reward in Heaven."
        The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth. "What are the greens fees?" grumbled the old man.
        "This is Heaven," St. Peter replied. "You can play for free, every day."
        Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic desserts to free flowing beverages.
        "Don't even ask," said St. Peter. "This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy."
        The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife. "Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods and the decaffeinated tea?" he asked.
        "That's the best part," St. Peter replied. "You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven."
        The old man pushed, "No gym to work out at?"
        "Not unless you want to," was the answer.
        "No testing my sugar or blood pressure?"
        "Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself."
        The old man glared at his wife and said, "You and your damn bran muffins. We could have been here 10 or more years ago!"

        All the best,
        GJ



        Comment


          #5
          There is some very interesting reading regarding cholesterol at www.spacedoc.com. There have been many studies done showing NO causal relationship between cholesterol in the blood and heart disease.

          Comment


            #6
            I'm waiting for bacon to declared a health food.
            Tom

            "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by TomRL View Post
              I'm waiting for bacon to declared a health food.
              Butter is now back on the healthy list as well as eggs. So I now scramble my eggs with a little butter. lol Seriously,my wife and I have never banned those things. That they are unhealthy does not set well with people who grew up on a farm. I am counting calories these days because my ability to burn them has plummeted the past couple of years.
              You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
              http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

              See my personal webpage @
              http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
                I am counting calories these days because my ability to burn them has plummeted the past couple of years.
                I think this is the approach that has caused the most problems with regard to obesity and heart disease in the past few decades. Overall calories matter far more than whether those calories are from fat, carbohydrates or protein.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've long felt that butter was better than margerine. But I went without both, for example dry grilling a grilled cheese. Then I decided to fuck that, and like I said I now liberally use olive oil and butter. I also may start trying to work coconut oil in somewhere. I do a lot of cooking and baking from scratch, and I use the light olive oil (flavor wise) in my baked goods instead of canola. Have no issues liberally applying my real (not all brands are real, studies are out there about the huge fake EVOO issue) extra virgin olive oil and butter to foods.
                  Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                  I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
                    There is some very interesting reading regarding cholesterol at www.spacedoc.com. There have been many studies done showing NO causal relationship between cholesterol in the blood and heart disease.
                    The vast preponderance of evidence shows that there is CERTAINLY a link between blood cholesterol levels (I assume this is what you are talking about) and heart disease. For a comprehensive and relatively concise review of current literature (as of 2013) see:

                    J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Aug 12;64(6):601-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.06.1159.2013 ACC/AHA guideline recommends fixed-dose strategies instead of targeted goals to lower blood cholesterol.

                    Smith SC Jr1, Grundy SM2.


                    I humbly suggest that the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology might know slightly more than a family physician who retired a quarter century ago.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      And in reply: from http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/6/397

                      ‘The more LDL there is in the blood, the more rapidly atherosclerosis develops.’ This 1984 statement by the Nobel Award winners Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein1 has dominated research on atherosclerosis since then. As shown here, this hypothesis appears to be falsified by the fact that degree of atherosclerosis, and atherosclerotic growth, were independent on the concentration or the change of LDL‐cholesterol in almost all studies. The role of LDL‐cholesterol for atherosclerosis growth has been exaggerated, a finding with consequences for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. For instance, as the statins exert their beneficial influence on the cardiovascular system by several mechanisms, it may be wiser to search for the lowest effective dose instead of the dose with maximal effect on LDL‐cholesterol. Neither should an elevated LDL‐cholesterol be the primary target in cardiovascular prevention, as recently claimed by the American National Cholesterol Education Program, and researchers should direct more attention to other hypotheses.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        From the same article you posted (a dubious one in my opinion, a single author paper from one of the half dozen writers listed on the first website you linked to):

                        "If LDL‐cholesterol and ΔLDL‐cholesterol do not correlate with degree of atherosclerosis or with atherosclerosis growth, why does a high cholesterol predict cardiovascular disease? The answer may be that cardiovascular disease is not synonymous with atherosclerosis. A high LDL or total cholesterol may be secondary to uncontrolled factors that promote cardiovascular disease in other ways and cause hypercholesterolaemia at the same time."

                        High LDL cholesterol is linked to heart disease. Lowering LDL cholesterol decreases heart disease. Even the article you linked to agreed with that.

                        Certainly we are learning more about the intricacies of the different types of cholesterol and trying to learn better ways of treating them, but regardless of the mechanisms, no one is debating that high cholesterol leads to heart disease and can be prevented by statins (and exercise, healthy diets, etc, etc)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Okay, here's another... http://www.ahjonline.com/article/S00...717-5/abstract

                          They reviewed cholesterol values for 136,905 patients admitted to 541 hospitals with coronary artery disease. They statistics showed:

                          Conclusions

                          In a large cohort of patients hospitalized with CAD, almost half have admission LDL levels <100 mg/dL. More than half the patients have admission HDL levels <40 mg/dL, whereas <10% have HDL ≥60 mg/dL. These findings may provide further support for recent guideline revisions with even lower LDL goals and for developing effective treatments to raise HDL.
                          ...which the big pharma funded researchers chose to interpret as meaning that LDL level targets should be lowered to <100mg/dl, instead of realizing that LDL levels HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP to risk for heart attack.

                          There is another study of autopsied patients (I'm looking for the reference) that found that the vast majority of people who actually died from a heart attack had little or no arterial scarring.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            And yet another... http://www.ahjonline.com/article/S00...495-0/fulltext

                            I'm not going to copy the pertinent sections here but I found the part titled "Chlamydia and atherosclerosis" of particular interest. Vanderbilt University has investigated the part that the Chlamydia Pneumonia bacteria may play in SOME cases of multiple sclerosis and has developed a "combined antibiotic protocol" for treating the infection. For what its worth, I'm following that protocol and I can report the it has halted progression of my SPMS.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
                              ...which the big pharma funded researchers chose to interpret as meaning that LDL level targets should be lowered to <100mg/dl, instead of realizing that LDL levels HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP to risk for heart attack.
                              I'm not sure why you would post an article that came to the conclusion which is opposite of the opinion you hold. They seem to believe quite strongly that the evidence suggests a lower LDL means less CAD. Perhaps you could explain your reasoning that "LDL levels have no relationship to risk for heart attack", because I personally didn't see anything in that article to suggest that (and in fact they concluded the opposite).



                              Originally posted by willingtocope View Post
                              And yet another... http://www.ahjonline.com/article/S00...495-0/fulltext

                              I'm not going to copy the pertinent sections here but I found the part titled "Chlamydia and atherosclerosis" of particular interest. Vanderbilt University has investigated the part that the Chlamydia Pneumonia bacteria may play in SOME cases of multiple sclerosis and has developed a "combined antibiotic protocol" for treating the infection. For what its worth, I'm following that protocol and I can report the it has halted progression of my SPMS.
                              From the infectious article you posted.

                              "On the basis of these findings, these authors postulated that viral infection may induce metabolic changes in the vessel wall, including altering cholesterol ester activity, stimulating increasing uptake of LDL-bound cholesterol, and decreasing lipolytic activity of certain cells."

                              The article does suggest that there is an inflammatory factor involved in formation of atherosclerosis (which is well known in the medical community), however it does not suggest that this component contributes to more mortality than hypercholesterolemia. And besides, we don't have a safe way to just lower inflammation in general. We do however, have a very safe and effective way of lowering LDL and thereby improving mortality with statins.

                              Your cardiologist isn't getting paid to prescribe them, he's prescribing them because they work, and there is a large mountain of evidence to support this.


                              I'm happy to hear that your MS is doing well, and I hope it continues that way.

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