Archive for the ‘Cholesterol’ Category

Dried Apples Raise HDL

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The Behavioral Medicine Report reports that after 6 months of eating 75 g of dried apples per day, women 45 to 65 years old had a 23% decrease in LDL (bad) and a 4% increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. The people eating the apples also lost about 3 lbs on average and had lower levels of inflammatory markers.

The apple regimen was compared to dried prunes which apparently didn’t fare so well. The prune lobby must be livid.

Link to abstract. (Thanks, Michael!)

People occasionally write me asking how to increase their HDL. It looks like dried apples might be the way to go! Exercise and nuts are also likely to help.

In other strange HDL news, I randomly heard from two, unconnected people today whose HDL cholesterol levels were higher than their LDL levels. I had never heard of that before and then I got two in one day.

Thanks to Anne for sending me the apple story link!

New Blog: QuasiVegan

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

QuasiVegan, written by Christina Arasmo, is a new blog discussing failure to thrive in vegans. Christina is not a health professional, but I have been very impressed with what she has written.

In particular, I am intrigued by what she has been saying about low cholesterol possibly being the cause of many of the health problems ex-vegans have experienced. I have considered this in the past, but given that cholesterol levels of around 100 mg/dl are supposedly commonplace in Asian countries, I have figured it probably was not such a problem for most people to have a low cholesterol level.

Early studies on blood cholesterol and mortality showed a U shaped-curve, indicating that very low blood cholesterol was associated with increased mortality. But this was thought to be due to undiagnosed disease causing low cholesterol levels and not that low cholesterol levels were causing the disease.

Meta-analyses such as this indicate that the lower the blood cholesterol, the better.

That said, I have often wondered that perhaps a cholesterol of 150 to 170 mg/dl might be ideal (for people without heart disease) and have told otherwise healthy people who have written me worried because their cholesterol was not under 150 mg/dl that they should not worry about getting it that low.

I would love to find out if the problems are caused by low cholesterol because in most cases there is a very easy and fun solution to that problem – eat more fat.

Looks like another topic to add to the queue of research reviews I need to do.

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