‘Super-Sticky’ Cholesterol and Diabetics

About a month ago, a new study warning about the dangers of  “super-sticky cholesterol” made a bit of a splash in the media.  I ignored it at the time, but thought about it today when I received an email from a Fat Head viewer who’s raising a diabetic child.  We’ll come back to that in a minute.

The study, in case you missed it, produced headlines like this:

Super-Sticky ‘Ultra-Bad’ Cholesterol Revealed in People at High Risk of Heart Disease

When I was in journalism school, we were taught that many people don’t read much more than the headline and the first few paragraphs of a news story.  That’s why student journalists are taught to write in reverse-pyramid style:  get the important ideas in those first few paragraphs, then expand on the details.  Here are the first few paragraphs of a Science Daily article about the study:

Scientists from the University of Warwick have discovered why a newly found form of cholesterol seems to be ‘ultra-bad’, leading to increased risk of heart disease. The discovery could lead to new treatments to prevent heart disease particularly in people with type 2 diabetes and the elderly.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), found that ‘ultra-bad’ cholesterol, called MGmin-low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is more common in people with type 2 diabetes and the elderly, appears to be ‘stickier’ than normal LDL. This makes it more likely to attach to the walls of arteries. When LDL attaches to artery walls it helps form the dangerous ‘fatty’ plaques’ that cause coronary heart disease (CHD).

CHD is the condition behind heart attacks, claiming 88,000 lives in the UK every year (1).

If you stop there, the takeaway message is that evil ol’ cholesterol also comes in an especially evil form that’s even more likely to cause heart disease.  Yikes!   Better go on a low-fat diet and get your cholesterol down, maybe even take a statin just to be safe.  You have to read further to spot the true villain:

The researchers made the discovery by creating human MGmin-LDL in the laboratory, then studying its characteristics and interactions with other important molecules in the body.

They found that MGmin-LDL is created by the addition of sugar groups to ‘normal’ LDL — a process called glycation — making LDL smaller and denser. By changing its shape, the sugar groups expose new regions on the surface of the LDL. These exposed regions are more likely to stick to artery walls, helping to build fatty plaques. As fatty plaques grow they narrow arteries — reducing blood flow — and they can eventually rupture, triggering a blood clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.

What turns cholesterol into “sticky” cholesterol?  Sugar.

In 1976 a prominent researcher named Peter Cleave told the McGovern committee that if anything in our diets causes heart disease, it’s probably sugar.  McGovern sided with the researchers who blamed dietary fat, perhaps because he couldn’t imagine how sugar could produce fatty streaks in our arteries.  This study describes a plausible (and likely, in my opinion) mechanism:  high blood sugar produces small, dense LDL through glycation.

Glycation is what happens when sugars bind to proteins.  I’ve heard various descriptions, but the one that stuck with me (pun intended) is that glycation “caramelizes” your tissues.  The Wikipedia entry on glycation gives a good description of why you want to avoid being caramelized:

Endogenous (inside the body) glycations occur mainly in the bloodstream to a small proportion of the absorbed simple sugars: glucose, fructose, and galactose. It appears that fructose and galactose have approximately ten times the glycation activity of glucose, the primary body fuel. Glycation is the first step in the evolution of these molecules through a complex series of very slow reactions in the body … all lead to advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs).

Some AGEs are benign, but others are more reactive than the sugars they are derived from, and are implicated in many age-related chronic diseases such as: cardiovascular diseases (the endothelium, fibrinogen, and collagen are damaged), Alzheimer’s disease (amyloid proteins are side-products of the reactions progressing to AGEs), cancer (acrylamide and other side-products are released), peripheral neuropathy (the myelin is attacked), and other sensory losses such as deafness (due to demyelination).

Quite a horror show, eh?  As the article in Science Daily notes, pharmaceutical companies may use this information to develop drugs that help prevent heart disease by reducing glucose levels.

Yes, yes, I know … you’re probably sitting there, dangerously close to banging your head on your desk, wondering why doctors don’t just tell people to stop jacking up their blood sugar with too many carbohydrates.  Well, heck, they can’t do that because everybody just knows we need those carbohydrates –- which brings me back to the email I received today:

————————————————————-

Our son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a year ago this August. Doctors told us that we should feed him whatever he wanted, even after I pushed to speak with their staff nutritionist and nailed her about their suggested carb intake. Their response to our concerns was, “He needs to grow healthier and stronger and the only way to do this is to feed him more carbs and give him more insulin injections.”

This would be to any Fat Head unsatisfactory as best. Three months after beginning our son’s insulin regimen, we noticed he began to show signs of symptoms he had never had before.  The doctors again explained that he was fine in their opinion and his symptoms (while major and included loss of sight, balance, headaches, ear aches, and loss of cognitive function) were nothing more then simple effects of his disease and we would have to manage by continuing with their recommended treatment plan:  injections and carb counting.

We did some research — as good Fat Head parents tend to — and found that the insulin prescribed for our two year old son was only approved by the FDA for children age six and over. We stopped use and contacted his doctor’s office. After two days all our son’s symptoms vanished and he began to function normally again. When we confronted the doctor about this issue they claimed that this drug is being used world-wide among the same age group as our son and it wasn’t uncommon or irregular.

Then about two weeks ago we found Fat Head. I have been doing research to that (fat) end for months, but I was missing the key component that Fat Head was able to deliver:  Fat.  In all the information I’ve pored over, it is always the same story.  Stay away from sugar, carbs, processed foods, etc.  But no one said anything about adding animal fat.

Just as a kind of experimental joke my husband and I took the information in Fat Head literally and began to cut out two-thirds of the carbs from our family diet. In only two days our son’s sugar levels went from spiking randomly at 480-600 and fell to 140-160. Our daughter also began to show signs of improved health — which for us meant more trips to the time-out chair. Having more energy evidently means more Fat Head mischief. You might want to make that a disclaimer for unsuspecting parents *wink* … just a thought.

————————————————————-

Most doctors still believe high-fat diets cause heart disease, and diabetics are three times more likely to eventually develop heart disease.  Put those together, and you get the standard advice for diabetics:  go on a low-fat diet with plenty of complex carbohydrates, then take insulin to control your blood sugar.  Following that advice, this poor kid was getting glucose spikes of 600.  That’s major glycation territory.

Ignoring the standard advice, the same kid dropped his glucose to almost-normal levels.  Given more time on a low-carb / high-fat diet, he may even reach normal levels.  I certainly hope so.

Cholesterol isn’t the villain; “super-sticky cholesterol” resulting from too many carbohydrates is.  And by recommending low-fat / high-carbohydrate diets, doctors are putting diabetics and other people prone to heart disease in a sticky situation indeed.


If you enjoy my posts, please consider a small donation to the Fat Head Kids GoFundMe campaign.
Share

110 thoughts on “‘Super-Sticky’ Cholesterol and Diabetics

  1. Marilyn

    I had a friend who used to say, “Cheer up; things could get worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.” That pretty much describes this whole cholesterol thing. Just about the time one thinks things can’t possibly get any worse — any sillier — they do. I’ve lost track of how many times the “latest wisdom” on cholesterol has changed. How can the cholesterol experts take themselves seriously? How can anyone possibly imagine that the latest “latest word” on the subject is going to last any longer than any of the previous pronouncements? If all this didn’t have such an effect on people’s lives, it would be amusing to sit and watch it go by.

    In Dr. Kendrick’s book, he has a very amusing section about the Lipid Hypothesis keeps changing over time.

  2. Firebird

    “I don’t put the blame fully on the docs though. They just push the line that Big Pharma gives them.”

    Sure you can…for the reason stated — pushing the line that Big Pharma gives them. It violates their Hippocratic Oath to “first, do no harm”. They have the option in their practice to do what is best for their patients, and if that includes ditching the medicine and prescribing a restructured diet of low carbs and high fat, then that is what they should be doing. Their interest should be the patient, not the pharm rep.

  3. gollum

    There we go again with the fructose. With all that terror, I will probably require a double helping of my evening “handful” of fruits.

    I don’t think whole fruits are the problem.

  4. Peter Ballerstedt

    US per capita consumption of “caloric sweeteners” is reported to be 142 lbs (64.5 kg) per year. That’s almost 6.25 oz (173 g) PER DAY!!! If you need a visual for that amount, it’s a little more than 43 sugar cubes.

    But I’m sure that’s not a problem … Move along. Nothing to see here …

    … just keep repeating, “It’s all caused by dietary fat.”

  5. Scott

    If fructose and galactose have ten times the glycation potential of glucose, then would it follow that eating potatoes and rice would be ten times less detrimental than eating fruit or other foods with equivalent amounts of fructose?

    My wife and I are carb-addicts who have seen the light, but it is difficult for her to completely eliminate all forms of starch. We have modified her diet to include lots of fat and protein with a small portion of carbs (~50 grams) coming from rice or potatoes.

    Would you agree that potatoes and rice are a better option than an equivalent amount of fruit to keep her happy?

    Excess fructose seems to cause a lot of what we now call metabolic syndrome. If you eat a whole fruit, it’s not that much fructose, so I don’t see the need to avoid good foods like strawberries and blueberries. I would stay away from fruit juices and (of course) sugars. As for the potatoes and rice, I’d suggest checking how they affect her glucose levels an hour after eating.

  6. Lynda

    Sorry, still reeling from Anastasia’s post about pre-diabetics. I’m just venting… seriously? Potatoes, rice, white bread and crackers? Has the world gone crazy? Why do I feel like the only soldier marching out of step?

    You’re not alone, but we’re facing a much larger army at this point.

  7. Mike

    I think the general guidance for diabetics is fraught with bad information. I was told if I’m under 180 after a meal that I’m doing ‘great’. I was also told to only eat 4 ounces of meat, a ton of veggies and whole grains at any given meal.

    The Dr. Bernstein diabetes book is a must for every diabetic and even non-diabetic. I have had no trouble keeping my blood sugar under 120 since reading it. And after most meals I am under 100.

    I have found through self experimentation potatoes or rice for me will spike my blood sugar worse than any other food. Even worse than ice cream. I have not checked regular pop as since my diagnosis I have sworn it off.

    Geez, I can’t believe they’re telling people under 180 is fine. Well, now I think about it, I can believe it … but SHEESH!

  8. NotA Lipophobe

    Tell the parents of the diabetic boy to read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution by Richard K. Bernstein. He’s on the right track by keeping insulin spikes to a minimum, and his book is for both Type I and Type II diabetes.

  9. Alexandra

    @Scott I was like your wife… for me the secret was getting rid of it all… no more starches at all. My only carbs now are salad veggies, a bit of dressing, occasional berries, and the carbs in full fat dairy like cheese and whipping cream. Once the starches and sugars are gone, if she is like me, she won’t miss them or crave them anymore. I stay at 10-20 grams per day. It has been a long while now and I have had a cookie or whatever every now and again without getting that desire to finish the whole box like I used to but I am careful about it. For me when it come to most carbs…none is much easier than some. It is worth it.

    My best wishes to the parents of the diabetic little guy.. you are doing the right thing!

  10. Marilyn

    I just ran an errand in my car and public radio was on. There was an informercial about some huge hospital (in Pennsylvania, I think) with 17,000 employees. They’ve started a program (voluntary at the moment) of hassling employees to adopt “healthier habits” — exercising, and following their doctors’ orders. (Not sure how those two things constitute a healthy lifestyle, but who am I to question?) They claimed they had already saved huge amounts of money on medical costs and they’ve been so successful, they’re going to go national with the program. All I could think was “good grief”!

    Oh, no …

  11. Peggy Cihocki

    Dr. Bernstein is type I diabetic himself, so it is especially apropos for that, though I believe it is good for anyone with diabetes. I bought it for my son.

  12. Marilyn

    I had a friend who used to say, “Cheer up; things could get worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.” That pretty much describes this whole cholesterol thing. Just about the time one thinks things can’t possibly get any worse — any sillier — they do. I’ve lost track of how many times the “latest wisdom” on cholesterol has changed. How can the cholesterol experts take themselves seriously? How can anyone possibly imagine that the latest “latest word” on the subject is going to last any longer than any of the previous pronouncements? If all this didn’t have such an effect on people’s lives, it would be amusing to sit and watch it go by.

    In Dr. Kendrick’s book, he has a very amusing section about the Lipid Hypothesis keeps changing over time.

  13. Lynda

    Sorry, still reeling from Anastasia’s post about pre-diabetics. I’m just venting… seriously? Potatoes, rice, white bread and crackers? Has the world gone crazy? Why do I feel like the only soldier marching out of step?

    You’re not alone, but we’re facing a much larger army at this point.

  14. Jay

    Not really on topic, but I had some questions regarding lecithin, and beans in particular. doing some research has proven to give me some conflicting information, which I’d like to clear up. I know that the lecithin in eggs is obviously not harmfull, and is the essential ingreditent in mayo that makes it emulsify (ignoring the emulfying properties of muster, that is). Why then is the lecithin in beans troublesome, and soy in particular? For that matter, we have taken to running red kidney beans through a tabletop grain mill (lovely thing. Grandfather originally bought it to mill his own cornmeal) in order to produce a lower carb flour. However recently I noticed you mentioning in responce to another comment on another post that soaking your beans was essential for neutralizing the lecithin…I’m sorry if this is all rambling. Part of the issue at hand is also trying to find whey protien that does not contain soy lecithin. After noticing that my weightloss had stopped, I determined the only change was adding whey protien and the kidney bean flour, the flour only being used for frying chicken (which tasted excellent BTW). So for now I am avoiding the lecithin all together, save for eggs and other meat products, but I’d liek to understand what the difference between good and bad lecithin is.

    Lecithin is a fatty substance. We soak beans to neutralize the lectins, which are proteins that can provoke autoimmune reactions if they seep into the bloodstream. Similar spelling, but two different substances.

  15. Firebird

    Speaking of cholesterol, I completed a stress test yesterday at the cardiologist’s and got back the results today. Nothing wrong with my heart. No blockages or clogs, just a couple of little bumps they associate with aging. Nothing that needs treatment. Can’t wait for the follow up appt. to ask this cardiologist how I have no heart disease with my cholesterol sitting at 336.

    You’ll be labeled “genetically gifted.”

  16. Anastasia

    @Peggy and Tom. I have since contacted Dr Joanna McMillan and it does seem that the geniuses at the Today show got it wrong. I have asked that she puts out a public correction since many diabetics are hanging on her every word. It seems that what she was really recommending for diabetics… wait for it… wholegrain bread, brown rice, quinoa and legumes. Riiight, that makes it ok then. Low-nicotine cigarettes, anyone?

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

  17. Mike

    I think the general guidance for diabetics is fraught with bad information. I was told if I’m under 180 after a meal that I’m doing ‘great’. I was also told to only eat 4 ounces of meat, a ton of veggies and whole grains at any given meal.

    The Dr. Bernstein diabetes book is a must for every diabetic and even non-diabetic. I have had no trouble keeping my blood sugar under 120 since reading it. And after most meals I am under 100.

    I have found through self experimentation potatoes or rice for me will spike my blood sugar worse than any other food. Even worse than ice cream. I have not checked regular pop as since my diagnosis I have sworn it off.

    Geez, I can’t believe they’re telling people under 180 is fine. Well, now I think about it, I can believe it … but SHEESH!

  18. Marilyn

    I just ran an errand in my car and public radio was on. There was an informercial about some huge hospital (in Pennsylvania, I think) with 17,000 employees. They’ve started a program (voluntary at the moment) of hassling employees to adopt “healthier habits” — exercising, and following their doctors’ orders. (Not sure how those two things constitute a healthy lifestyle, but who am I to question?) They claimed they had already saved huge amounts of money on medical costs and they’ve been so successful, they’re going to go national with the program. All I could think was “good grief”!

    Oh, no …

  19. Peggy Cihocki

    Dr. Bernstein is type I diabetic himself, so it is especially apropos for that, though I believe it is good for anyone with diabetes. I bought it for my son.

  20. Jay

    Not really on topic, but I had some questions regarding lecithin, and beans in particular. doing some research has proven to give me some conflicting information, which I’d like to clear up. I know that the lecithin in eggs is obviously not harmfull, and is the essential ingreditent in mayo that makes it emulsify (ignoring the emulfying properties of muster, that is). Why then is the lecithin in beans troublesome, and soy in particular? For that matter, we have taken to running red kidney beans through a tabletop grain mill (lovely thing. Grandfather originally bought it to mill his own cornmeal) in order to produce a lower carb flour. However recently I noticed you mentioning in responce to another comment on another post that soaking your beans was essential for neutralizing the lecithin…I’m sorry if this is all rambling. Part of the issue at hand is also trying to find whey protien that does not contain soy lecithin. After noticing that my weightloss had stopped, I determined the only change was adding whey protien and the kidney bean flour, the flour only being used for frying chicken (which tasted excellent BTW). So for now I am avoiding the lecithin all together, save for eggs and other meat products, but I’d liek to understand what the difference between good and bad lecithin is.

    Lecithin is a fatty substance. We soak beans to neutralize the lectins, which are proteins that can provoke autoimmune reactions if they seep into the bloodstream. Similar spelling, but two different substances.

  21. Firebird

    Speaking of cholesterol, I completed a stress test yesterday at the cardiologist’s and got back the results today. Nothing wrong with my heart. No blockages or clogs, just a couple of little bumps they associate with aging. Nothing that needs treatment. Can’t wait for the follow up appt. to ask this cardiologist how I have no heart disease with my cholesterol sitting at 336.

    You’ll be labeled “genetically gifted.”

  22. Anastasia

    @Peggy and Tom. I have since contacted Dr Joanna McMillan and it does seem that the geniuses at the Today show got it wrong. I have asked that she puts out a public correction since many diabetics are hanging on her every word. It seems that what she was really recommending for diabetics… wait for it… wholegrain bread, brown rice, quinoa and legumes. Riiight, that makes it ok then. Low-nicotine cigarettes, anyone?

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

  23. Stacie

    I call the Lipid Hypothesis the “Morphing Hypothesis.” I have lost track of how many times it has changed. Probably next week they will discover another type of lipoprotein hitherto unknown to man. I really, really hope it does not take another decade for the ship to finally sink.

    I hope they call it “Really Super Sticky Bad Mutha@#$% (and we mean that like in ‘Shaft’) Cholesterol.” Then we can at least be amused as they waste another decade.

  24. Stacie

    I call the Lipid Hypothesis the “Morphing Hypothesis.” I have lost track of how many times it has changed. Probably next week they will discover another type of lipoprotein hitherto unknown to man. I really, really hope it does not take another decade for the ship to finally sink.

    I hope they call it “Really Super Sticky Bad Mutha@#$% (and we mean that like in ‘Shaft’) Cholesterol.” Then we can at least be amused as they waste another decade.

  25. susan

    @Firebird. Maybe you’ll be labeled genetically gifted. Or maybe you’ll have an experience similar to mine.

    Last November, I had one of those stress tests, complete with ultrasound, treadmill, dye, the works. I had spent the night in the ER after some worrying symptoms. The next morning, after the test, the cardiologist told me my arteries were “great” and whatever had caused the problem, it wasn’t my heart.

    When I followed up with my PCP, I expected a positive report and less of his usual statin pushing. Instead, he proceeded to tell me that the results were almost meaningless. I could have up to 70% blockage, according to him, and still get the same results.

    I’ve dubbed him Dr. Buzz-Kill.

  26. Debbie

    @Scott – just the anecdotal evidence of one. But I’m a T2 diabetic trying to use diet to help control my blood sugars. I actually found that if I *increased* my carbs and ADDED a small potato (we’re talking the size of a ping-pong ball, not those monsters they serve in restaurants), a la Dr. Kwasinewski, I actually get BETTER blood sugar control than I do if eating just meat, fat, and green veggies. So take that as a data point of one. “My body, my science experiment” as we used to say in the old usenet days of low carb. 🙂

  27. susan

    @Firebird. Maybe you’ll be labeled genetically gifted. Or maybe you’ll have an experience similar to mine.

    Last November, I had one of those stress tests, complete with ultrasound, treadmill, dye, the works. I had spent the night in the ER after some worrying symptoms. The next morning, after the test, the cardiologist told me my arteries were “great” and whatever had caused the problem, it wasn’t my heart.

    When I followed up with my PCP, I expected a positive report and less of his usual statin pushing. Instead, he proceeded to tell me that the results were almost meaningless. I could have up to 70% blockage, according to him, and still get the same results.

    I’ve dubbed him Dr. Buzz-Kill.

  28. Peggy Cihocki

    @Jay, if you want low carb flour that does not have lectins (I don’t think, anyway) to coat chicken with, bake with, etc., try coconut flour or almond flour (or some combination of both.) I have made coconut shrimp with no wheat flour–just coconut flour, beaten eggs, and shredded unsweetened coconut–fried in coconut oil, of course. You could probably do the same with other meats and sea food and fry them in lard, tallow, coconut or palm oil according to taste. I imagine almond flour would go great with sea food–but then coconut flour does, too! For baking, you can’t just substitute almond or coconut flour for regular in recipes–no gluten. Check on line for recipes. Coconut flour requires a lot of eggs (a good thing!). Almond flour less, but more than with regular flour. I (occasionally) make killer brownies with about 5 g carb each using almond flour, Erythritol and Stevia. Even my daughter and her boy friend, who don’t eat low carb (sigh), love ’em. Coconut flour is available at any health food store (Whole Foods, etc.) and on line. You can make almond flour yourself the same way you made bean flour–grind up whole almonds in a food processor.

  29. Tracey

    My husband is a type 1, and controls his levels pretty darn well by limiting his carbs, especially the refined ones. His GP doc says he’s incredibly healthy using all markers and if it wasn’t for the T1 he’s be in the top 3% of the population. His docs at the diabetes clinic tell him he needs to eat lots more carbs because his sugars are ‘too well controlled’ and he ‘won’t know if he’s going hypo’.

    Bang head on desk.

    His sugars are too well controlled?!! I’m stepping away from my desk before I cause myself brain damage.

  30. Debbie

    @Scott – just the anecdotal evidence of one. But I’m a T2 diabetic trying to use diet to help control my blood sugars. I actually found that if I *increased* my carbs and ADDED a small potato (we’re talking the size of a ping-pong ball, not those monsters they serve in restaurants), a la Dr. Kwasinewski, I actually get BETTER blood sugar control than I do if eating just meat, fat, and green veggies. So take that as a data point of one. “My body, my science experiment” as we used to say in the old usenet days of low carb. 🙂

  31. Firebird

    @ Susan, that’s pretty much the same test I took. My elbow is still bruised from the IV needle I carried in it all day. Sadly, my PCP is an osteopathic doctor, and he uses ~zero~ amount of that training.

  32. kat

    “his sugars are ‘too well controlled’ ”

    wow , they didn’t even try to hide their agenda there, did they? (sarcasm)

    I’m still trying to figure out what they could possibly mean by that.

  33. Peggy Cihocki

    @Jay, if you want low carb flour that does not have lectins (I don’t think, anyway) to coat chicken with, bake with, etc., try coconut flour or almond flour (or some combination of both.) I have made coconut shrimp with no wheat flour–just coconut flour, beaten eggs, and shredded unsweetened coconut–fried in coconut oil, of course. You could probably do the same with other meats and sea food and fry them in lard, tallow, coconut or palm oil according to taste. I imagine almond flour would go great with sea food–but then coconut flour does, too! For baking, you can’t just substitute almond or coconut flour for regular in recipes–no gluten. Check on line for recipes. Coconut flour requires a lot of eggs (a good thing!). Almond flour less, but more than with regular flour. I (occasionally) make killer brownies with about 5 g carb each using almond flour, Erythritol and Stevia. Even my daughter and her boy friend, who don’t eat low carb (sigh), love ’em. Coconut flour is available at any health food store (Whole Foods, etc.) and on line. You can make almond flour yourself the same way you made bean flour–grind up whole almonds in a food processor.

  34. Tracey

    My husband is a type 1, and controls his levels pretty darn well by limiting his carbs, especially the refined ones. His GP doc says he’s incredibly healthy using all markers and if it wasn’t for the T1 he’s be in the top 3% of the population. His docs at the diabetes clinic tell him he needs to eat lots more carbs because his sugars are ‘too well controlled’ and he ‘won’t know if he’s going hypo’.

    Bang head on desk.

    His sugars are too well controlled?!! I’m stepping away from my desk before I cause myself brain damage.

  35. Dana

    You’re actually glycating the lipoprotein, not the cholesterol. I don’t know if it’s *possible* to glycate cholesterol. It’s a waxy alcohol. I suppose maybe, but this sort of study does nothing to clarify the issue because once again they are being lazy and equating the carrier lipoprotein with the actual cholesterol molecule.

    I don’t know why people have been freaking out about cholesterol all this time and not lipoproteins, actually, come to think of it, *except* as can be explained by that intellectual laziness. I’m kind of tired of it, too. I was in the Army a few years and one of the things they teach their NCO candidates is “The first step in solving a problem is to identify the problem.” Hardly any surprise that we’ve failed to solve the problems of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease when we still haven’t properly *identified* any of those problems.

    Bingo. We’re shooting at the wrong target.

  36. Firebird

    @ Susan, that’s pretty much the same test I took. My elbow is still bruised from the IV needle I carried in it all day. Sadly, my PCP is an osteopathic doctor, and he uses ~zero~ amount of that training.

  37. Dana

    Oh, and, people are asking questions about fructose. Know what I learned in reading WAPF and Paleo blogs? Choline deficiency is strongly linked with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which in turn is strongly linked with metabolic syndrome and diabetes. They did some studies with rats and the ones that got enough choline in their diets ate lots of fructose and developed little to no fatty liver. The ones who were choline-deficient? Oh, it took about no time at all.

    By the way, just because your liver enzymes are normal doesn’t mean you don’t have fatty liver. It can only be accurately diagnosed with an MRI.

    Choline supplementation is not recommended; the stuff in the supplement pills is linked with cancer, I think I heard. Best dietary sources of choline: beef liver and egg yolks. Two of the most demonized foods just about not allowed in the American diet today.

    I can’t stand liver and I don’t eat enough eggs in a day; it’d take four or five to get my daily requirement, and given the government’s past track record with nutrient RDIs, I bet my actual need is higher than that. So I just got done ordering freeze-dried grass-fed Argentinian beef capsules from Swanson’s to see if that helps at all. It’s less than four bucks a bottle for I think 100 count or so. Not that liver’s typically an expensive food anyway. That’s the sad part.

    I eat a lot of eggs. I’m no fan of the taste of liver, but my wife wisely put some in a pot of chili and I couldn’t tell it was there.

  38. Zubious

    It’s awesome to hear a success story like this. And also to show how out-of-date our medical system is. Not to mention how many doctors don’t use their own heads but follow the verbatim of their textbooks.

    But perhaps that part of the topic is a little too complicated to fully get into….

    I’m pleased when people do research and figure it out, but they shouldn’t have to.

  39. kat

    “his sugars are ‘too well controlled’ ”

    wow , they didn’t even try to hide their agenda there, did they? (sarcasm)

    I’m still trying to figure out what they could possibly mean by that.

  40. Dana

    You’re actually glycating the lipoprotein, not the cholesterol. I don’t know if it’s *possible* to glycate cholesterol. It’s a waxy alcohol. I suppose maybe, but this sort of study does nothing to clarify the issue because once again they are being lazy and equating the carrier lipoprotein with the actual cholesterol molecule.

    I don’t know why people have been freaking out about cholesterol all this time and not lipoproteins, actually, come to think of it, *except* as can be explained by that intellectual laziness. I’m kind of tired of it, too. I was in the Army a few years and one of the things they teach their NCO candidates is “The first step in solving a problem is to identify the problem.” Hardly any surprise that we’ve failed to solve the problems of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease when we still haven’t properly *identified* any of those problems.

    Bingo. We’re shooting at the wrong target.

  41. Dana

    Oh, and, people are asking questions about fructose. Know what I learned in reading WAPF and Paleo blogs? Choline deficiency is strongly linked with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which in turn is strongly linked with metabolic syndrome and diabetes. They did some studies with rats and the ones that got enough choline in their diets ate lots of fructose and developed little to no fatty liver. The ones who were choline-deficient? Oh, it took about no time at all.

    By the way, just because your liver enzymes are normal doesn’t mean you don’t have fatty liver. It can only be accurately diagnosed with an MRI.

    Choline supplementation is not recommended; the stuff in the supplement pills is linked with cancer, I think I heard. Best dietary sources of choline: beef liver and egg yolks. Two of the most demonized foods just about not allowed in the American diet today.

    I can’t stand liver and I don’t eat enough eggs in a day; it’d take four or five to get my daily requirement, and given the government’s past track record with nutrient RDIs, I bet my actual need is higher than that. So I just got done ordering freeze-dried grass-fed Argentinian beef capsules from Swanson’s to see if that helps at all. It’s less than four bucks a bottle for I think 100 count or so. Not that liver’s typically an expensive food anyway. That’s the sad part.

    I eat a lot of eggs. I’m no fan of the taste of liver, but my wife wisely put some in a pot of chili and I couldn’t tell it was there.

  42. Zubious

    It’s awesome to hear a success story like this. And also to show how out-of-date our medical system is. Not to mention how many doctors don’t use their own heads but follow the verbatim of their textbooks.

    But perhaps that part of the topic is a little too complicated to fully get into….

    I’m pleased when people do research and figure it out, but they shouldn’t have to.

  43. Isabel

    Dana- Wow, I had never heard of choline before you mentioned it here and I looked it up. I’ve made an effort to make liver for my family at least every other week, but I think I will increase it to once a week. We eat lots of eggs, so hopefully we are getting enough. It would be interesting to find more data on the relationship between choline and brain development (ADHD, Autism and Alzheimers) as well as liver disease.

  44. Sarah

    My 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 19 months old. I remember the nutritionist that they had meet with us in the hospital told us that we needed to keep her daily carb intake at 100 or less. I can’t believe that horrible advice that was given to this woman. Especially at such an overwhelming time for her and her family.

    You were lucky. When mom’s fasting glucose began drifting up, her doctor sent her to a nutritionist, who of course preached the virtues of a high-carbohydrate diet.

  45. Stacie

    There are two things that I have been saying for years that I will never eat: liver and lima beans. They are just disgusting. However, I have had to eat some of my words. I do eat liver now. I buy my raw milk(yummy), fresh eggs, and liver at a local dairy farm. The liver is calf liver, and is much better than what you would buy in a store. The smell isn’t even as bad. I cook bacon and onions with the liver. I am not saying I like it, but I can tolerate it and I love how good it is for us. Even the grass fed ground beef that I buy there tastes much better than regular store bought. Next week they will be making ice cream, can’t wait. Oh, if my husband’s cardiologist only knew what I feed him, he would have a heart attack. I still cannot come to terms with the fact that most in the medical field are just so fundamentally wrong when it comes to health, disease, and nutrition. If we fatheads have been able to learn and educate ourselves,(without years of medical school) what, really is the problem?? Why are some doctors(the ones on our side) able to comprehend the truth and treat patients accordingly, while the vast majority are still in the Dark Ages?

    Most doctors are taught next to nothing about nutrition in medical school. They’re taught how to diagnose illness and prescribe drugs. As one doctor said in an interview, their belief that dietary fat causes heart diseases comes mostly from reading media articles, just like everyone else.

  46. Isabel

    Dana- Wow, I had never heard of choline before you mentioned it here and I looked it up. I’ve made an effort to make liver for my family at least every other week, but I think I will increase it to once a week. We eat lots of eggs, so hopefully we are getting enough. It would be interesting to find more data on the relationship between choline and brain development (ADHD, Autism and Alzheimers) as well as liver disease.

Comments are closed.