By: Kennedy Shelley
If cholesterol wasn’t confusing enough, scientists now want to create a new category.
What we commonly refer to as cholesterol is not really fat, but a measure of the proteins we can count in the blood which transport fat. These are lipoprotein carriers.
When you get your blood test done, you are currently given four numbers:
HDL – The good cholesterol
LDL – The bad cholesterol
Total – A number made up of HDL, LDL, and remnant
Triglycerides – The really ugly cholesterol
But scientists from Denmark have confused this murky discussion by suggesting that the non-categorized, remnant cholesterol may pose a cardiovascular health hazard.
WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL ANYWAY?
Cholesterol is not fat, it’s actually the waxy lipoprotein carrier that transports fats to every cell of your body. It is produced and regulated by the liver.
It is the majority of your brain and controls all your hormones. It is the chemical building block of every cell. In other words, you can’t live without it.
The reason why doctors have been concerned about cholesterol is they noticed that people with heart disease have plaque formations which are made up of LDL cholesterol.
These plaques become a problem when they get out of the bloodstream and wedged between the wall of the arteries. When these are “hot” and break free they become a danger blocking arteries. If it blocks an artery in your heart you can have a heart attack, or one in your brain, you can have a stroke.
The question is what allows the HDL to get next to the arterial wall? Is it simply too much LDL or is it inflammation in the system that breaks down the lining making the arteries brittle and full of holes on the inside?
Big pharma sells billions of dollars worth of statin drugs hoping that the lower LDL will reduce the number of plaques.
There are currently no drugs that can affect the other cholesterol levels.
The danger posed by triglycerides is that this form of cholesterol is known to harden the arteries.
When triglyceride levels are very high, it can inflame the pancreas.
It is a major marker of pre-type 2 diabetes.
Lowering sugar, processed carbs, lowering weight and getting more exercise is vital to lowering triglycerides because there are no drugs which can lower these levels. It can only be done through lifestyle change.
(To learn more about triglycerides and your health see this article in Freedom Health News.)
WHAT ABOUT THE REMNANT?
The Danish study raises the question of remnant cholesterol.
They have felt that it was every bit as dangerous as LDL, and they think there is more of that than they previously thought.
The study was presented in the journal Atherosclerosis.
What is it? Well, it’s made up of other cholesterol particles. Like triglycerides, these seem to be inflammatory markers.
The best way to keep it down is to keep your weight down.
What was surprising to the Danes was there seems to be more remnant cholesterol than they thought.
You may be hearing more about this down the road.
But for right now there is more heat than light because we have not been tracking remnant cholesterol.
Scientist have been telling us that high LDL means that we are going to have a heart attack, but autopsies of people with heart attacks show that half of them had low or normal LDL levels.
In other words, LDL is not the best marker of cardiovascular risk.
So, when the Danish scientists try to equate remnant with LDL it is not particularly worrisome.
We will continue to monitor developments in remnant cholesterol to see if it develops into a biomarker you need to be concerned about.