The Cholesterol Paradox, Part 3 – LDL in Heart Disease & Pulmonary Hypertension

There is more to LDL than meets the eye… While it is true that LDL is an established marker of cardiovascular disease risk, we need to be clear just how and why exactly this is so. First things first. LDL is a means for delivering cholesterol to tissues that need it (and all cells need cholesterol to survive). Cholesterol (and thus LDL) is necessary for life: it is involved in hormone synthesis (including sex hormones), cell wall synthesis and maintenance, and the synthesis of vitamin D and bile acids. Additionally, it is involved in the process of repairing cellular injury. Now

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The Cholesterol Paradox, Part 2

This is part of a series of posts where I share and dissect information about cholesterol, the science behind cholesterol, and common fallacies surrounding cholesterol. Most of these posts are going to be short… where I just share bits of information that I’ve archived or that I’ve recently found, and some thoughts surrounding them. For Part I of this series, click here. For this post, I want to reflect on a quote from Metabolic Regulation: A Human Perspective by Keith N. Frayn (my emphasis added): “Perhaps surprisingly, the amount of cholesterol in the diet is not a major factor affecting the blood cholesterol

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Can Diet Help Improve Pulmonary Hypertension? An Insight from Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research

While reading a recent paper titled “Endothelial dysfunction in inflammatory bowel diseases: Pathogenesis, assessment and implications” I experienced a feeling a remarkable familiarity… I felt as if I was reading a paper about endothelial dysfunction in Pulmonary Hypertension. It appears that endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction in both inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and pulmonary hypertension (PH) are quite similar: the same mechanisms of dysfunction abound, the same proinflammatory molecules are released. There is proliferation, smooth muscle cell tone activation, platelet aggregation, hypoxia, eNOS downregulation, imbalance between vasodilators and vasoconstrictors, etc.  Even though this kind of makes sense (that pathology in a

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Lectins, Tissue Transglutaminase, & PH

As per this talk by Robb Wolf at UCSF (at ~1 hour in), non-Western Huntington’s disease carriers don’t seem to express the disease. Since Huntington’s Disease is a rare genetic neurodegenerative disease, this is intriguing and suggests that the expression of the disease may be epigenetic. As he points out a few minutes later, tissue transglutaminase has been implicated in Huntington’s Disease. What does this have to do with epigenetics and PH? Tissue transglutaminase is an enzyme that is responsible for modifying most of the body’s proteins. A key tenant of the “Paleo Diet” and similar metabolic/nutritional therapies is that consumption

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Dr. Rhonda Patrick On Cell Metabolism, Cancer, And More…

I recently listened to this podcast between Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution and one of my favorite nutrition researchers, and Dr. Rhonda Patrick, founder of Found My Fitness and yet another one of my favorite researchers. It was a great discussion about a wide variety of topics mostly revolving around cell metabolism. I’ve included a summary of the key points discussed below. Summary & Key Points: For healthy cellular function and healthy aging in general, you need metabolic flexibility Once a cell acquires so much damage to the genome, it becomes glycolytic The act of becoming glycolytic does not cause

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Why “Starving Cancer” May Not Be So Bogus Of An Idea After All

It is well known that cancer cells switch their metabolism from a normal utilization of glucose and fats (glucose and fatty acid oxidation) to an abnormal, less efficient but more rapid, utilization of glucose. This abnormal utilization is referred to as glycolysis. When oxygen is not available, this is the pathway that is triggered.1 Glycolysis in itself doesn’t cause cancer per se, but it is a necessary consequence (i.e. necessary for cancer to develop). For example, our immune cells, red blood cells, cells lining the gut, and fast twitch muscle fibers, are all glycolytic, and they aren’t cancerous. They are

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On Walking

“You’ve got brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” –Dr. Seuss Every person who is worth imitating has at least one of two things in common… they walk and/or and they meditate. There are absolutely some other qualities, which are (and should be) “imitate-able”, but these are two that are relatively simple and quickly adaptable. At first glance, walking seems like something that is just a waste of time. Of all the forms of physical exercise, it would appear that walking is the one with the least amount of visible

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Living Paleo: 2 Years and Counting…

I’ve been on The Paleo Diet for 2 years now and I’ve never felt better in my life. I’ve noticed significant improvements in my overall mood, energy levels, and mental focus. Aside from that, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. What’s more is that these changes took place relatively soon after I started eating Paleo, and while they occurred quickly, they’ve also been developing over time. For those who don’t know, The Paleo Diet (in short) advocates consuming protein, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats, and avoiding carbs and sugars (bread, pasta, flour, rice, candy, etc.). The reasoning

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