High cholesterol is seen as the kiss of death…..
If your LDL level has crept up, a little – IT MUST BE BROUGHT DOWN, because you are a heart attack waiting to happen. A high cholesterol level, is often linked to metabolic syndrome, the metabolic anomalies, are increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
So, a high LDL count, is probably not a sign of good health, but researchers from the University of Warwick are putting high cholesterol, in perspective. The team identified three things which are far better indicators that you have A SERIOUS problem.
Metabolic syndrome exposed
Cholesterol seems to get a lot of attention, but five health problems are typically linked to metabolic syndrome.
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
- High sugar levels
- High weight, specifically around the belly, and finally,
- High cholesterol
To qualify for a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, you usually need to be able to tick off at least three of them, which is not too difficult, because insulin resistance coupled, with chronic inflammation, underpins the bad body chemistry at the route of all of these metabolic troubles.
NOTE : It is worth pointing out, you do not have to be overweight to have metabolic syndrome – something which is not always appreciated by “the skinny”. And being overweight does not, automatically mean you have metabolic syndrome either, but the odds are pretty high, and get higher with each passing year that you are heavier than you should be.
Pinpointing the BIG THREE
So which of the five health problems REALLY matter, if any ?
The Warwick team picked apart the health happenings of 3078 people with a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.
The big THREE turned out to be
- Central obesity i.e. a big tummy – this is a sign of INSULIN RESISTANCE
- High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) and
- High blood pressure
But the real ticket to pinpointing troubled hearts ……. coronary artery calcium.
Hearts turning to stone
This was the finding of a big study known as the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA).
In the study, the team measured a whole bunch of things in 1330 people, considered to be at intermediate risk of having a heart attack.
Among the things they measured were
- The CAC score – this is the amount of calcium hiding inside the main heart artery
- Ankle-brachial index
- Brachial flow mediated dilation
- Carotid intima thickness
- C-reactive protein and
- Family history of heart disease
The people included in the study were WATCHED, for 7 years.
The CAC score ended up being most helpful, in predicting who would have a heart attack.
Patching the damage is going awry
The cells lining the blood vessels need help, getting “patched”.
Cholesterol is one part of the patch, but seriously damaged cells need more than a patch, they need to be replaced. And a special breed of vascular stem cells step up to the party, replacing the damaged beyond repair endothelial cells.
The trouble on occasion, the stem cells can get a little mixed up – morphing into a bone cell, instead of a vascular smooth muscle cell. Are these the cells that are gathering the calcium ? Inadvertently turning the heart, into bone ?
Avoid damaging the cells surrounding your blood vessel
Swallowing pills to FIX your cholesterol, is not FIXING the trouble and might be creating NEW troubles.
The key to FIXING the trouble, is to limit the damage to the cells that line the blood vessels.
A good place to start, is to get the 7 Big Spoons™ sorted, because they will help minimize the damage to those precious cells…..
|Vitamin D gets the blood vessels bending it like Beckam||Mother nature can handle salt||If you have a little greyhound in you beware of white coat syndrome|
Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below