Heart disease, saturated fat, cholesterol, new opinions


Hi everyone, all right today I want to take a minute and talk to you about an article that I just recently came across. This one is from the British Medical Journal, and it's titled, "Saturated Fat Does not Clog the Arteries. Coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions".

          Now, to most of my patients, that's not a big surprise, but it's nice to see it actually written openly in something a prestigious as the British Medical Journal. So, when we look at this, I'm gonna go through a couple of quotes from this, this is from ... Oh gosh, now I'm going to butcher their names, Haseem Malotra, Rita Redburg, and Pascal Meyer. So if you want to look it up, this is November 24th, 2017 in the British Medical Journal.

        Okay. So, as we look through this: To spite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong.

        They say that the way this works inside the vessels is much more like building a pimple, than clogging a pipe. I know, it's lovely at lunch time to talk about, pimples and heart disease. But, that's a more accurate representation of what actually goes on. Interestingly enough, they go on to say: A meta analysis of different studies show no association at all between saturated fat consumption and all cause mortality, which is any reason someone would die. Right? People just don't die more when they eat more fat.

      Number two, coronary heart disease, no association with that. No association with coronary heart disease mortality. So, if you already have coronary heart disease for some other reason, are you more likely to die from it if you have a saturated fat consumption? Number four is ischemic stroke, which is not the bleeding stroke but more the clot or thrombotic stroke, and type 2 diabetes, in healthy adults.

        So, your saturated fat intake, everything else being considered equal, your saturated fat intake doesn't increase your risk of any of those things we just talked about, which is opposite of what we've been told for longer than I've been alive.

                             They talk about prevention. They talk about looking at cholesterol numbers. Let's talk about the cholesterol numbers for a minute. They went back and reanalyzed data from the Sydney Diet heart study and the Minnesota coronary experiment. So, they went back and pulled data, things that were not previously published and reevaluated the data to look at a couple of things.

        What they found was replacing saturated fat with linoleic acid, contained in vegetable oils, kind of like canola oil, increase the mortality risk despite significant reductions in LDL cholesterol. Meaning when they took saturated fat out of these peoples diets and replaced it with a vegetable oil that was linoleic acid, more people died, even though their LDL and total cholesterol numbers went up.

        That would indicate that there's less of a link between those cholesterol numbers and risk of death. But it's nice to see it actually published. Again, this is stuff a lot of us have already known. Let's see what else they said.

       They say that a better marker from your regular annual bloodwork, if you're gonna look at cholesterol panel one there, instead of looking at your LDL, you should go back and look at your total cholesterol to HDL ratio. That a high cholesterol to HDL ratio, meaning you have more total cholesterol relative to your HDL. Right? Then it's the ratio. So, your total cholesterol can be relatively high, but if your HDL is high enough that the ratio's good, your risk of problems is minimal anyway.

        Likewise, your total cholesterol could be low, but if your HDL is too low, that that ratio is still considered high, favoring the total cholesterol, you could have a problem.

       A high total cholesterol to HDL ratio is also an important surrogate marker for insulin resistance. Here's another question that they don't answer in this article. If your total cholesterol to HDL ratio is a decent marker for your risk for heart disease, and your total cholesterol to HDL ratio is a surrogate marker for insulin resistance, is insulin resistance really the problem? Is the cholesterol just an indicator of a problem and maybe insulin resistance is really the problem, or is the cholesterol really the causative agent here?

      That, they don't go into. I and lots of other functional medicine practitioners would probably make the argument that it's a marker for insulin resistance and insulin resistance is actually the problem with the heart disease.

       A high total cholesterol to HDL ratio drops rapidly with dietary changes such as replace refined carbohydrate with healthy, high fat foods. Well, that's also gonna change insulin resistance pretty quickly. So again, are we just watch insulin resistance, or is that actually a marker for heart disease risk?

        One of the other things they mentioned when they were talking about other risk factors, they talk about thirty minutes of moderate activity a day more than three times a week improves your insulin sensitivity dramatically. So if you have that high total cholesterol to HDL ratio, and you want to improve your insulin sensitivity, walking briskly, thirty minutes a day, more than three times a week makes a significant difference.

      Interestingly enough, they talked about environmental stress. Most of us immediately think about day to day paying the bills, going to work, car breaking down, kids failing classes, whatever the day to day stress that we have. But they mentioned that childhood trauma, which could be anything from parents getting a divorce to some of abuse situation, to being lost in the park, some significant childhood trauma, could lead to a decrease in life expectancy of up to 20 years. That's a huge decrease in life expectancy for childhood trauma.

        Now, I'm not saying childhood trauma is a minimal issue, I'm not trying to minimize it, but I would not have expected that you'd see a 20 year difference in life expectancy for people that have childhood trauma.

        Interestingly enough, my perspective outside of the research study, we know that with fibromyalgia cases, true fibromyalgia cases, right? Fibromyalgia is a central sensitivity issue. It's not trigger points and problems in the muscle, but you send a normal signal here and it gets amplified on the way to the brain and it's a lot louder when it gets to the brain.

        One of the common factors in almost everybody that has true fibromyalgia, and you can get this out David Brady's book. I think it's the Fibrofix ... Fibrocure, I think it's Fibrofix, but David M. Brady. One of the hallmarks of that is that there's childhood trauma involved in that, and it changes the way the brain works and it set you up for that central sensitivity problem later on in life, and that kind of triad of irritable bowel, and asthma, and central sensitivity with the pain, that's the hallmark of true fibromyalgia. So it just interesting to see that it shows up in places like fibromyalgia, it shows up in shortened life expectancy, and then environmental stress raising your risk of cardiovascular problems.

       But, the main take away of this is that what functional medicine practitioners, natural practitioners, dieticians, and nutritionist have been saying for years, is that cholesterol is likely not the problem, but that refined carbohydrates and over processed foods, and lack of movement are more the problems.

        So it's nice to see major journal like the British medical Journal saying it outright. They even have pretty pictures in their article that you can see down there. If you wanna get it, I already said British Journal, November 24th, 2017. Saturated Fat Does Not Clog the Arteries, is the main part of the title, then it goes on from there.

       So, easy enough to get your hands on, but it came across my desk, I thought it was talking about and so there it is.

        If you have any questions feel free to type them below the video, I'll be happy to come in and answer them. If you have enough questions, I might just make a whole other video about it. But, just understand that the better you keep your blood sugar under control, the lower your insulin levels are on a regular basis. You can test fasting insulin with your annual physical panel. We do it annually on all of our patients, but you can certainly do it at your regular doctor's office. Just ask for a fasting insulin test. They can run it right along with all your other tests.

         It's a very early marker of not being able to handle blood sugar properly. Know that getting the refined carbohydrates, the overt sugars, the overly processed foods, get those out of your diet, stick to the wholesome natural, as they were intended to be type of foods, and you will likely do a lot better, then you also have to move. I call it old mom advice, it's eat your fruits and vegetables, get outside, move around, and you'll be healthier. She wasn't wrong. Anyway, that's the article, look it up if you want to. Just wanted to share that with you today. Share your thoughts back with me, and until I see you next time, eat for your health, train for performance, and live the life you love today. Thanks.


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