Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Really Sticky Smoking Gun

Well, here's something interesting!  A game-changer, perhaps?  Researchers have known for quite awhile awhile that total cholesterol doesn't really mean much as far as heart disease is concerned.  Then they fingered LDL.  But, it turned out that LDL isn't all bad either.  There are different kinds of LDL, and some are good.
In this study, researchers "discovered" a really bad kind of LDL.  It is a super-sticky kind implicated in heart disease.  So, you are probably wondering, what is this "ultra-bad" LDL?  It is an LDL with a sugar attached to it.  Now if you are already a diabetic, your doctor has probably already been measuring something called HbA1c, which is a fancy name for a blood molecule with a sugar attached to it.  Sugar attaches to all sorts of things in our bodies.  It's really bad stuff!  That's why our bodies have been designed to remove excess sugar and provide gate-keepers to keep excess amounts out of our cells.
Try this at home with your cat.  Get a bunch of packing peanuts, rub them, and then call your cat over.  He'll walk by, the peanuts will attach themselves, and then your cat will start to walk and act funny.  Same with LDL apparently.  When the glucose attaches to the LDL, the LDL changes shape and starts to act funny.  Eventually, if enough of these "ultra-bad" LDL's are made, it can lead to heart disease.
The researchers are probably positively giddy that they now might have a new use for a drug called metformin.  It is currently used for diabetics and people with PCOS.  It reduces blood sugar.  Although, people who are regular readers of this here blog probably already know that unless your metabolism is really messed up, you can just reduce your amount of blood sugar by just reducing the amount of sugar and carbs you eat.
Here's an article written for the populace:
Here's the original preliminary abstract:  Even reading the abstract is a slog, so again, here are the notes:
1.  We got a bunch of human LDL
2.  We modified it in a test tube just like what happens in your body
3.  Basically, we attached a sugar to an LDL
4.  Not good!  The LDL particle was smaller, stuck to stuff and to itself more
5.  We think we have discovered why diabetics have a higher risk of heart disease and also why metformin reduces heart disease risk.
Now, if you are a real glutton for punishment, you might want to visit this blog by Petro Dobromylskyj:  If and when you can get through this blog post, scroll down to the blog list on the right for similar posts.  This will give you more information than you will want to know about LDL.  Here's another especially interesting post on modification of LDL.  Notice the date this was posted.  Researchers have known about this for a long time, but the media and the dietitians haven't kept up.  Petro Dobromylskyj follows a low carb, lower-protein and high fat diet (and he also has a most adorable kitty!)

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