Good cholesterol or HDL (high density lipoprotein) has been considered to be protective for the heart because it is the protein that balances and protects us from the dangers of bad cholesterol or LDL (low density lipoprotein). So experts in the field have told us.
Remember that LDL is the protein that carries cholesterol around the body and allows it to be deposited in various tissues including our arteries. Build up enough cholesterol plaque in an artery and it can become unstable and break off and cause a total blockage starving tissue supplied by that artery of vital oxygen. If this happens in the heart it’s jammer time. Rosie O’Donnell being the most recent evidence of this scary experience http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/rosie-odonnell-heart-attack_n_1812992.html.
Now an article in the Journal of the American Heart Association throws us another cholesterol curveball. In an article in the April issue http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/1/2/jah3-e000232.full, Dr. Frank Sachs a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health warns that all HDL particles are not the same and that some with a surface protein known as Apo C-III can actually cause blockages and heart attacks.
Apo C-III is a pro-inflammatory protein that resides on the surface of LDL and is thought to be a major component of LDL’s harmful properties. HDL particles without Apo C-III are anti-inflammatory, platelet inhibiting and protective. Added to this is that Apo C-III free HDL also promotes the good effects of nitric oxide which allows our arterial walls to dilate and increase blood flow.
As you who follow my blog will know I remain very cautious about blaming cholesterol for too much that goes wrong in our bodies. This study only adds to my skepticism. We should focus on a lot more than cholesterol because, after all, about 50% of those who have heart attacks and strokes have reasonable levels of cholesterol and cholesterol is a vital fat that our cell walls must contain and without which we cannot produce sex hormones.
My approach is to rely less on the actual cholesterol numbers and ensure a clean and preventative approach to cardiovascular health.
Here’s how you too can do this in 5 simple steps:
1. Eat real organic food and avoid processed food.
2. Avoid sugars and fructose laden food (fruit is OK).
3. Exercise and sweat regularly.
4. Sleep well.
5. Get your worries and problems off your chest.
*** Minding your Body (heart included); Embodying your Mind ***