Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Hidden Heart Disease Truth

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease, however, oxidized cholesterol does cause major problems within the body.  When inflammatory pathways are elevated, cholesterol molecules are oxidized, triglycerides are formed & blood vessels are damaged. 

Increasing evidence has revealed that the concentration and size of the LDL particles more powerfully relates to the degree of atherosclerosis progression than the concentration of cholesterol contained within all the LDL particles. 
Pattern A:  Large buoyant LDL particles.  These larger particles carry a high volume of the antioxidant Vitamin E, which helps to fend off free radicals.  They pose only a very small chance of being oxidized while traveling through the circulatory system.

Pattern A lab findings:                                                             LDL:                Anywhere from low-normal-high                      HDL:               Normal
Triglycerides:   Normal

Regardless of where the LDL value is this is a very healthy blood lipid panel.
Pattern B:  Small, dense LDL particles.  The particles carry less
 fat-soluble antioxidants such as Vitamin E.  This increases the likelihood of oxidation by free radicals  Due to their lesser size, they also pose a major threat of slipping into the endothelial wall and being oxidized, causing arterial damage.

Pattern B lab findings: 

LDL:                Anywhere from low-normal-high
HDL:                Low
Triglycerides:    High

Regardless of where the LDL value is this is a very dangerous blood lipid panel 
What Causes Pattern B:            From a nutritional perspective there are 2 major causes:
1  Fats that Kill:  Trans-fats common to processed foods and high omega 6 fats (vegetable oils and grain-fed meat) cause a rampant increase in prostaglandin E2 and inflammatory mediators that cause massive amounts of free radicals and tissue damage.

Fats that Heal:  Saturated fats common to coconut oil & grass-fed animal products have been shown to increase HDL and enhance Pattern A lipoprotein function.  Additionally, good fats such as EPA/DHA within fish/krill oil and Omega 9 fats common to olive oil, avocados, and almonds play a significant role in lipoprotein function.

2.  Sugar, Grains, & High Fructose Corn Syrup:
Sugar:  Causes a very quick increase in blood sugar.  When blood sugar rises qucikly; the pancreas pumps out massive amounts of insulin very quickly.  High circulating insulin increases triglyceride and cholesterol formation, while additionally promoting inflammatory pathways. 
Grains:  Cause a slower release of sugar into the blood stream.  This causes a slower but more prolonged increase in insulin.  The longer insulin remains elevated in our bloodstream, the longer our bodies "fat production and storage" pathways will be at work.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: (HFCS):  Immediately stimulates lipogenesis (fat generation) by turning into activated glycerol (G-3-P), which provides the backbone for triglyceride formation: 

          Triglyceride = 1 Glycerol + 3 Free Fatty Acids. 
Additionally, the fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products, toxins, and free radicals.  These free radicals steal anti-oxidants from our system and damage tissues in a process called glycation.  Additionally, fructose metabolism creates large amount of uric acid, which inhibits endothelial nitric oxide synthase, inhibiting nitric oxide production and driving up blood pressure.  High uric acid is also the cause of gout.

HFCS = Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, & Gout.
Dr. David's Action Steps:1.       Minimize Grains & Sugars and avoid HFCS
2.       Load up on nutrient dense vegetables and good fats
3.       Eat grass-fed meat sources and free range eggs.
4.      Get regular exercise; Primarily high intensity, short time  period burst/surge style training.
5.       Come out to my Heart Disease Solutions workshop to learn the top 10 foods & 5 greatest supplements for stabilizing blood pressure, decreasing inflammation, & enhancing heart function.