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cholesterol debate...Please help

Hey guys,

Can you guys give me a hand with a question my friend asked me the other day?
This was taken verbatim from an MSN converation:

I had eggs this morning
I did not know that eggs were the highest cholesterol food you can eat.
they use eggs as the benchmark for cholesterol
that sucks
I like eggs

Kieran says:
don’t worry, the “cholesterol” found in eggs won’t ever make it into your bloodstream
It, along with every other food, is broken down in your stomach.
cholesterol in your food = cholesterol in your blood is an old, outdated theory

Friend says:
Then why do they correlate a high C diet with increase in Arteriosclerosis
That is a certainty
I would have to disagree with you on this point
Who’s to say that this new theory is correct
In fact, Liz, my assist., had a blood test done and had just eaten an egg sandwich prior to the test and the Dr. said her cholesterol was off the chart. She redid the test the next day and her levels were normal again.

Kieran says:
Ok, I will investigate and get back to you…

So what’s the deal. Is he mistaken? If so, why and how can I prove it to him that he is wrong.
Also, he eats lots of eggs, so I told him to get some bloodwork done, to see if it affected him.

Help, I hate being wrong.

Is it not a diet with a high ratio of saturated fat that is the concern for heart disease?

Egg yolks are high in saturated fat which is what he should be concerned about.

no, eggs are not going to cause problems. “high cholesterol” is very questionable, anyway.

people used to eat eggs, cook with lard, eat pot roast, use butter, etc. for many years, yet heart disease started when consumption of these products decreased and consumption of sugar and vegetable oils increased.

both of you offer good points, but I don’t think they are substantial enough to combat the position of my soy eating vegitarian friend…gasp

I suggest this:

The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov.

As George Mann said “The myth that dietary cholesterol is in any way related to increased risks of cardiovascular disease is perhaps the greatest hoax of the century, perhaps of any century”


i’d second that book recommendation.

Your comemnt "don’t worry, the “cholesterol” found in eggs won’t ever make it into your bloodstream "
is wrong, what actually effect it has is variable related to otehr factors (genes, SAFA levels amongst others) for the average healthy person the actual cholesterol intake is minor in teh big picture.

Now, if you like a good laugh, go get the book that Zulu recommends. If you ever watn to see somebody get their head up their ass in a completely entertaining way, thats the one.

cycomiko knows all about heads up asses.

he thinks white bread and sausage are equal in nutritional value.

Protein Power does a good job at explaining this in easy to understand terms…refer your friend to that book as well.

sometimes you just have to do what you know to be correct and let the rest of the world do their thing.

Morg thinks the Food pyramid recommends donuts and poptarts as staple foods.

Morg your a tard now, you were a tard as NeilG, when are you going to recommend chrons patients off their meds?

It is my understanding that the body produces cholesterol when an individual’s diet is high in saturated fat. Also, cholesterol can be introduced directly into the blood stream through diet (gees, meat, dairy, etc.) Also, obesity, exercise, smoking and hormonal fluctuations can all influence blood cholesterol levels.

I have a condition called hypercholesterolemia, which means that my body manufatures abnormally high levels of cholesterol and cannot be controlled through lifestyle changes.

Ok…that was supposed to be eggs. I shouldn’t be allowed to post before my second cup of coffee.


Actually, I have never read even one post by morg stating that poptarts and donuts are “staple foods” as you have stated.

I have read many posts where morg states that those types of things along with the typical cereal product is in fact junk food. I agree with this.

Also, while it is your right, I don’t think your name calling serves this forum very well.

The typical understanding is yes, that saturated fat is more of a direct indicitor of cholesterol levels, than say dietary cholesterol.

However, if I recall correctly, Cass had (the resident Lipid Guru) had a comment saying that this wasn’t necessarily the case. I’ll have to ask her.

your body uses cholesterol as a repair mechanism. if you don’t eat enough of it, your body will make it’s own. if you eat a big meal of cholesterol food, your body is going to process it, and then take it where it’s needed or store it or eliminate it. so… yes, after eating a couple eggs your blood levels are up. that doesn’t mean your blood vessled are going to clog up or anything (plaque in arteries has been found to be trans fats and unsaturated fats in some recent studies). it just means cholesterol is being shuttled to where it’s needed. same thing happens when your body is under stress. your brain sends out signals and your body reacts. ok, so back to the real topic at hand. doctors don’t order blood work right before a meal becuase they know it’s not an accurate indicator of your blood levels.

so, eating a shitload of cholesterol might cause some of it to be desposited in your blood for a short time, till your body can store it or get rid of it (convert it into something else). but, if your body doens’t need a lot of it, then the levels will go back down. eating eggs is probably one of the most healthiest things you can do for your body. don’t stop. please. eat more.

if your cholesterol levels are up, then you have other problems, like something in your body is not working right. i’m not a doc, i don’t know all the causes of high cholesterol. but i know stress is one. of course, high is a subjective number (dictated by those who want to sell drugs), i would say over 300 or so is high and you might wonder why your body is trying to heal itself all the time. other than that, i wouldn’t worry a smidge.

i have a ton of web pages with references to back up pretty much everything i say. send me a PM if you want some. and yes, that book is good, but it’s written for the layperson. if you don’t believe him, go look up the references and read for yourself. until you do, you can’t argue that he’s wrong.

I saw these things. I prefer to eat soy as it’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Soy is SOOOOO good, I love to rub it all over my face and take baths in it…mmmmmmmm.

I saw something on tv last night where there was some sort of food festival and all these people were eating foods made from soy and were saying how good it tastes and that they couldn’t tell it wasn’t beef. All I could do was feel sorry for them.

Cesk Fysiol. 2003 Feb;52(1):34-41.

[Lipid metabolism in atherogenesis]

Bobkova D, Poledne R.

Laborator pro vyzkum aterosklerozy, Centrum experimentalniho vyzkumu chorob srdce a cev, IKEM, Praha.

Lipoprotein (LP) metabolism plays a pivotal role in atherogenesis. Breakdown of triglyceride (TG) rich lipoproteins, both of exogenous–chylomicrones and endogenous–very low density lipoproteiny (VLDL) produces remnant lipoproteins after repeated action of lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Atherogenity of remnant lipoprotein has been proved. Also atheroprotective high density lipoproteins (HDL) are produced from surface of TG rich lipoproteins during their lipolysis. Protective role of HDL particles in atherogenesis is manifested by reverse cholesterol transport from all extrahepatic cells to the liver including cells of the arterial wall. Plasma concentration of atherogenic low density lipoproteins (LPL) is regulated by the production rate of VLDL in the liver on the one hand and their utilization by selective LDL receptors (mainly in the liver) on the other hand. Number of functioning LDL receptors is regulated genetically (gene for own LDL receptor and gene for both ligands–apoprotein B and apoprotein E) and also by environmental factors. Diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in dietary fibres increases number of LDL receptors and consequently decreases LDL cholesterol concentration. Monocytes entering arterial wall when intravasal and then subendothelial concentration of LDL is increased absorb LDL and predominantly oxidized LDL by scavenger receptors. During this repeated process they are changed to macrophages, residual macrophages and foam cells. Production of foam cells represents a starting point in atherogenesis but their high presence is typical also for advanced vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions, which are prone to rupture producing clinical complication–myocardial infarction and stroke.

J Nutr. 1998 Feb;128(2 Suppl):444S-448S.

Dietary fatty acids and the regulation of plasma low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations.

Dietschy JM.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 75235-8887, USA.

Epidemiologic studies over the past 25 years have shown that the level of dietary fat intake is positively correlated with the average serum cholesterol value and mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD). A number of different investigators demonstrated that in addition to total fat, the fatty acid composition of diets influenced serum total cholesterol (TC) in humans. In general, saturated fatty acids were found to elevate the serum cholesterol concentration, and unsaturated fatty acids were found to decrease this value. The lipoprotein fraction most affected was the level of cholesterol carried in low density lipoprotein (LDL-C). It has now been demonstrated that the steady-state level of LDL-C is predominantly dictated by metabolic events in the liver. As the amount of dietary cholesterol entering the body is increased, there is expansion of the sterol pool in the liver cell and down regulation of LDL receptors (LDLR) that are primarily responsible for clearing LDL-C from the blood stream. When dietary cholesterol intake is kept constant, however, long-chain saturated fatty acids further suppress hepatic LDLR activity, whereas several unsaturated fatty acids have the opposite effect. These regulatory events depend upon the availability of the various fatty acids to shift intracellular cholesterol between a regulatory and storage pool of cholesterol, and this effect is mediated by the enzyme acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT).

[quote]Actually, I have never read even one post by morg stating that poptarts and donuts are “staple foods” as you have stated. [/quopte]Not exactly, Neil has said this is what the USDA recommends in its food pyramid (a graphic representation of its nutrition guidelines, which is based on the staple foods of americans)

And thunder, I think cass was doing her research on a specific fatty acid level and cholesterol production rather than fatty acid intake and blood levels, its been awhile since i have seen the description. The effects of safa on cholesterol also flows down to which particular genotype you are, africans respond differently to europeans (and different european groups respond differently) And certain areas in africa respond differently as well, altho raskanov seems to focus on them even tho they are a genetically rare item

great post seminole chick!!! You hit the nail right on the head. The body compensates for lack of cholesterol in the diet by making its own and shuts down production when it is present in the diet (in simplified terms). If diet cholesterol were a true indicator of blood cholesterol levels, than many bodybuilders and athletes would have sky rocketing cholesterol levels

And if I can add my 2 cents, high cholesterol levels (specifically LDL’s) are highly correlated with the amount of trans fatty acids in the diet. And whats even more shocking, Joel Marion wrote an article stating that all those foods which claim to be low in cholesterol actually had the highest rates of trans fatty acids!!! How messed up is that??

thanks guys, this is exactly what I was looking for

[quote]The body compensates for lack of cholesterol in the diet by making its own and shuts down production when it is present in the diet (in simplified terms). [/quote]Depends on genetics, its not quite this simple for some people (and not just familial hypercholesterolemics.[quote]If diet cholesterol were a true indicator of blood cholesterol levels, than many bodybuilders and athletes would have sky rocketing cholesterol levels [/quote]Have you seen any data on bodybuilders/athletes. You also have to take steroids/prohomones out of the mix because they can also influence it. Exercise will also increase HDL.

[quote]And if I can add my 2 cents, high cholesterol levels (specifically LDL’s) are highly correlated with the amount of trans fatty acids in the diet.[/quote]Trans raise LDL at a similar rate to specific saturates, but it has the added disadvantage of lowering HDL (Where as saturates generally raise HDL)