Skip to comments.Breakthrough in Lowering Bad Cholesterol
Posted on 01/14/2008 9:15:24 AM PST by kellynla
Researchers at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, have found a way to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and fatty acids that end up in the blood from food the body metabolizes, a key discovery that could lead to new drugs to treat and reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease related to obesity.
In a series of recently published articles,* Dr. Richard Lehner and his colleagues report they successfully decreased the level of LDL (low-density lipids) the so-called bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood of mice and hamsters by manipulating a particular enzyme.
Its well-known that eating too much fat and sugar and too little exercise will make you fat, and that obesity often leads to diabetes and heart disease. Lehners group studied the mechanisms behind this.
We established the proof of principle of how these metabolic pathways work, he says. We discovered the activity of an enzyme that releases fatty acids from fat cells and the liver into the blood and how to inhibit this from happening.
Drugs called statins are used to lower LDL levels in patients, but do not treat obesity. What makes the U of A researchers findings noteworthy is their discovery of how to inhibit LDL and triglycerides, which are another form of fat in the blood and a leading risk in obesity-related Type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease.
Lehner is director of the Group on Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids in the U of As Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. The research is being supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Lehner is also a senior scholar for the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.
There is a substantial pharmacological interest in the enzymes that control TG (triglycerides fatty acids) and cholesterol metabolism in tissues, he says.
This unique discovery is an important scientific breakthrough, but one that requires further testing, he notes.
He also notes that a pill would not be a magic bullet. People still need to make the right lifestyle choices by exercising and eating properly, he says.
*Journal of Lipid Research (December 2007); Journal of Biological Chemistry (November 2007, March 2007)
I’ve got high cholesterol, first caught when I was 28. Exercise and diet weren’t enough. Although I applaud this medical breakthrough I am concerned about any solution that will, to some effect, encourage people to exercise even less than they do now.
Why bother? They just absolutely showed the known cause and the known cure. - Eat less and exercise.
If the high levels are not affected, then it is not from overeating and a lack of exercise.
The real problem is high levels being normal in that most cholesterol is manufactured by the body and the excess is then reabsorbed in the intestine.
Current lowering drugs prevent or disturb the reabsorbing, thus lowering cholesterol levels in general.
Now, finding a drug that could modify the body’s manufacture of cholesterol would be a real asset, and not just making your stupid lifestyle choices risk free.
Its kind of like spending trillions to medicate and treat a totally 100% preventable disease like AIDS.
I wonder if this enzyme can be found in the compounds used in chelation therapy.
For another viewpoint on treating heart disease, read Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling’s essay on the subject.
The “depth charge” against high cholesterol is a substance called “guar gum”, a common food additive that prevents clumping in powdery food items.
It is a water soluble fiber that can be bought as a powder over the internet. It tends to strongly bind with bile to prevent its re-uptake by the small intestines. One of the primary components of bile is cholesterol.
Guar gum is mixed with a non-water soluble fiber like Metamucil, and consumed with a cholagogue like olives, that cause bile to be secreted into the intestines in quantity.
Consuming this twice a week will radically lower cholesterol levels. After a few weeks of this, then Omega-3 (not 6) fish oil is consumed in quantity for a few more weeks. This raises the level of good cholesterol into a better balance with the bad, which is also medically important.
Eliminating a large quantity of bile also has the added benefit that bile tends to concentrate heavy metals and other toxins, which would otherwise also recycle with the bile.
Another bile excreting solution are coffee enemas, but that is well detailed elsewhere on the Internet.
Try Niacin, it has dropped my LDL cholesterol 25 points the first month, taking 1000 mg/day.
My doctor now wants me to take 2000-2500 mg /day and come back in three months. Try Natures Bounty or Lifefitness flush free 500 mg tablets.
Exercise and watching what I eat would not reduce my cholesteral enough.
Also, taking fish/flax Omega 3/6/9 capsules made my HDL go up about 7 %.
You’re right. This silly drug-based focus on cholesterol is duping millions out of hard earned dollars. Choresterol has little or nothing to do with heart disease. Linus Pauling found the cure to heart disease, and nobody has listened to his valuable research.
How much guar gum, fiber, and olives? Thanks for the tip.
“People still need to make the right lifestyle choices by exercising and eating properly, he says.”
Darn, there’s always a catch.
That’s a lot of niacin. Have you found the “flush-free” to be worthy of the name? Is it basically time-release?
Lots of people are.
Try two things, in sequence (either order)
1) 100-200 mg of Coenzyme Q10 per day.
2) 200-400 mg of SAM-e per day.
I was bullied into taking stains and found the same thing.
For me, as long as I add fat to my food, eat 4-6 oz of protein at each meal, and eat less than 80 grams of carbohydrates a day, I am fine.
My trouble started when my wife demanded I stop eating like the cave troll that I am and go to the low fat, high carb diet of death the FDA recommends.
A year and a half of that I was a walking, but fat and wheezing and perpetually exhausted, dead man.
Now I once again eat meat, dripping with fat, brightly colored fruit and veggies and Amstel Light. ( 5 grams of carbs per beer.)
No potatos, bread, pasta, rice or other sugars, masquerading as food.
Also, fish oil before every meal. If you take it five minutes before you eat, you don’t burp up fish oil all day.
Meant to add that if I don’t take Co-Q10 I wake up in the night repeatedly with bad pains; Co-Q10 removes at least 80% of it and this is a common finding. I take SAM-e also, for other reasons, but some people have found it to be useful for this also.
I was in the same boat. Did some research and found that statins are poison. It’s been a year since I stopped the statin and I feel like a new man.
Niacin can be dangerous. I would advise people to take this only under a doctor’s guidance, or at least after some careful research. Not only that, but there are some pretty uncomfortable side effects.
People need to be careful when they take ANY substance, particularly if they are on other meds.
Have you read “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes? He basically recommends what you’re doing. It’s SO counterintuitive - even to physicians. But there’s quite a bit of (biased) science behind it. That last statement makes more sense if you’ve read the book.
I know I feel great eating lots of protein, lots of fat, and little to no carbs, except my Amstel. Granted, I’m 36 and really active with a clean bill of health.
Still, stay away from the carbs and load up on good fats and protein.
I have always exercised and try to eat right everyday.
However, my LDL continued to go up with age.
I am now 44.
Yes, it is alot of Niacin.
I started with 1000 mg/day for the first month.
I have yet to experience any hot flashes or flushing.
I always buy the “flush free” available at Walgreens and CVS pharmacys.
I am not a doctor and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
ABSOLUTELY speak to your doctor before doing anything.
Everyone is different and may have an adverse reaction to Niacin.
So far I have not had any side affects from Niacin. Therefore, I suggested it as an alternative to statins.
Statins also have side affects especially on you liver.
Reduce the dosage. That’s what I did
I bet those were the most objective websites on the net. LOL
I take a few days off every so often-from taking the medicine. Results don’t seem to be affected.
Never read that book. Just the way I like to eat.
I considered going to that Michelob Ultra, even lower carb count, but that’s what you pee after you drink an Amstel.
I love Amstel.
I’m 54. Weigh just four pounds more than when I played sports in college. But then I was always starving in college.
For that you need to experiment a bit and find what’s right for you.
The last third of the small intestines, the ileum (not to be confused with ilium bone), is where bile is reabsorbed. If bile is not reabsorbed there, it has a laxative effect in the lower intestines. Typically a person uses about a liter of diluted bile a day to neutralize their stomach acid, and most of it is reabsorbed, then concentrated in the gall bladder.
Taking a non-water soluble fiber like Metamucil seems to improve the effect of Guar Gum.
Cholagogues stimulate the release of bile into the lower duodenum. I’ve found that olives and olive oil are very good for this, but other things include radish, which is also very good, licorice, sesame, and dandelion, but almost all bitter tasting herbs, and oily nuts are cholagogues.
Walnuts especially, are seen as uniquely cholesterol reducing, as their oil also helps raise good cholesterol levels.
Omega-3 fish oil is complementary to lowering HDL levels, and large quantities can be consumed throughout the day for this purpose, after a cholesterol flush.
When a person with high cholesterol first consumes guar gum, it is not unusual for them to have a laxative reaction, and produce a liquidy, yellow, and very nasty and bilious BM. There is no doubt that you have flushed out a LOT of bile when this happens.
Afterwards, it can take several days for the body to produce its normal level of bile. So it is important during this time to watch for excess stomach acid. To avoid acidosis, a small amount of cider vinegar can be consumed. While initially an acid itself, when digested, the potash in the vinegar tends to raise pH to offset too much acid.
Again, a mention of coffee enemas that also cause a release of bile into the intestines, sometimes with a noticeable “gurgle”. If this was done while the Guar Gum is already in the small intestines, it might heighten the effect by producing more bile for it to bind with. The actual details for such a process are available in detail elsewhere.
Well, you’re eating the right way...at least according to Gary Taubes. By the way, he’s the guy who wrote the fairly well known article for the NY Times called “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” - relating to low-fat diets being “wrong”, etc. He’s not a fly-by-night diet guru or anything.
PS: Mmmmmm, Amstel. Love it, too.
“He also notes that a pill would not be a magic bullet. People still need to make the right lifestyle choices by exercising and eating properly, he says.”
Why didn’t they just put this at the beginning and skip the rest?
BTW, for many people it isn’t fat that is the problem. It’s carbs.
Another “miracle cure” that we’ll never hear about again.
This doesn’t work for everyone. some people have genetic propensity towards super high cholesterol levels. My grandmother had normal to low cholesterol level all of her life until she was nearly 70. It shot up without any change in diet or exercise patterns to over 300. She can’t tolerate statins and she follows a diet designed by a nutritionist. It is still over 200. This would be a godsend for her.
This only works on dietary fats, not on cholesterol produced by the body.
Would not do one thing for Gramms.
This is a common side effect of Statins. My wife had to stop taking them because of acute pain in her legs. The Big Pharms like to blow that off as a minor side effect. My wife would beg to differ. She switched to the flush free Niacin and had great results at 1000mg/day. You should also take CoQ10 (ubiquinol @100mg should do) if you are taking Statins, because they lower the levels of CoQ10 in the body and it is required for proper heart muscle function. Another little things the Big Pharms don’t tell you.
Why bother? Cholesterol has never killed anyone.
My doc just increased the dosage on my statin Rx, so I’m keeping this info in reserve just in case. I don’t start the new dose til next month.
My cholesterol is low. I think there’s is a protective affect from thyroid supplementation but the mechanism is yet to be understood.
“I bet those were the most objective websites on the net. LOL”
There is plenty of crap out on the net to make you “LOL” for sure.
There is also plenty of very good medical research available for a thinking person to evaluate.
If you think that statin drugs are safe you are sadly mistaken.
If you are overweight and trying to lose weight, wouldn't you WANT fatty acids to be released from fat cells? How else are you ever going to get rid of the fat?