Ready for the car
A friend recommended a fantastic article series to me regarding cholesterol in Hunter-Gatherer populations. Here is the last article in the series: Serum Cholesterol Among Hunter-Gatherers: Conclusion. Basically, those populations with low total cholesterol were suffering from parasites, which lowered their cholesterol substantially below 200. The other three articles are found under the “Recent Posts” heading on the right hand side.
These articles reinforced to me that our societal understanding of cholesterol and the need to lower it at all costs remains dangerous. I have learned that a better indicator of cholesterol and health is the size of the LDL particle. If the particle size is small, then the chance of heart disease increases. A person can have great cholesterol numbers by western medicine standards – low LDL, low triglycerides, high HDL and less than 200 total cholesterol and still be a significant risk of a cardiac event if the LDL particle size is small. Apparently, we want great big fluffy LDL particles instead of the small ones that can build up and become blockages. Note that if your triglycerides are high, then you probably have small LDL particles.
The test for particle size is called NMR lipoprofile. You can do an internet search on the test and on LDL particle size in general to determine what, if anything, this means for you. I haven’t posted any links about this, because so many of the articles default to statins as a treatment if your LDL-p is not in the acceptable range. I would rather focus on dealing with what is causing the LDL particles to be small and remove the causes. Note that the NMR test is expensive, so make sure your insurance covers it if it is interesting to you.