Home' Nova West : November 2009 Contents FEATURE HEALTH
cholesterol levels measured at the doctor's
office and in most studies are blood
cholesterol levels and are representative of
liver function 10.
Cholesterol is a symptom of an
underlying health problem. It predicts less
than 35 per cent of cardiovascular disease.
In fact, most heart attack and stroke events
occur in individuals without elevated
cholesterol and 20 per cent occur in
people without any traditional risk factors.
Cholesterol is the messenger... telling us
there is stress on the liver; it delivers the
news but is not the killer it is made out
to be. A significantly better predictor is
the concentration of Omega 3 oils in the
blood: the higher the concentrations,
the lower the risk, with Omega 3
concentrations predicting up to 95 per
cent of CVD, compared to 35 per cent
prediction rates from cholesterol readings.
So why scare the public about cholesterol?
The answer is simple: there is no money to
be made in prescribing Omega 3 oils.
Another marker of inflammation in the
body -- and a major risk factor for heart
disease -- is C-reactive protein (CRP), a
better predictor of CVD than cholesterol.
However, it is just a marker and, like
cholesterol, it is not the cause of CVD 11.
Along with other signaling molecules,
insulin controls the production of fats
such as cholesterol and triglycerides. It
also controls the packaging of cholesterol
and triglycerides into LDL (low-density
lipoproteins), VLDL (very low-density
lipoproteins), HDL (high-density
lipoproteins) and other lipoproteins.
Glucagon (a hormone secreted by the
pancreas) inhibits the enzyme and
insulin activates the enzyme. To control
cholesterol production, you want to
increase glucagon and decrease insulin.
When we eat sugar or processed
carbohydrates, we produce more insulin
hormone, which stimulates more
HMG-CoA reductase enzyme and, as a
consequence, more cholesterol and
triglycerides are produced. People with
Type 2 diabetes have elevated fasting
insulin as well as elevated cholesterol. In
fact, elevated fasting insulin is a better
predictor of cardiovascular disease than
cholesterol. Glucagon, when present in
the bloodstream, lowers insulin levels.
Glucagon is released every time you eat
There is also strong evidence that
stress increases a person's inflammatory
markers and cholesterol 12,13,14. One
possibility may be that stress encourages
the body to produce more energy in the
form of metabolic fuels -- fatty acids and
glucose. These substances require the liver
to produce and secrete more LDL, which
is the principal carrier of cholesterol in
the blood 12. Both adrenaline and cortisol
trigger the production of cholesterol.
Cortisol also has the effect of releasing
sugar into the blood.
'To control cholesterol production, you want to
increase glucagon and decrease insulin.'
continued page 30
© NOVA NOVEMBER 2009 19
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