March 12, 2010
Why E. coli and salmonella
hate LDL cholesterol
You've probably heard all the information about how bad LDL (low density or "bad" cholesterol) is for you. If you show up at your doctor's office with an LDL level of 100 or more, he immediately pulls out the statin drug prescription pad. LDL has this image of public enemy #1.
But it's my belief that God made everything in balance. LDL is there for good reason. And possibly elevated levels are serving a protective role that no one has heretofore considered. In fact, we already know that people with high levels of LDL have better outcomes from severe Gram-negative bacterial infections. Gram-negative organisms produce some real nasty and hard to treat infections. These organisms include salmonella, E. coli, pseudomonas, and others. An animal study suggests how this happens.
In the study, researchers infected mice with salmonella. Each of the mice had different levels of LDL cholesterol. The researchers divided the mice into groups of 20 animals or more and assessed their daily survival rate over 21 days. There was a striking difference. The mice with high levels (seven times normal) of "bad" LDL had only a 5% death rate from this bad germ. The mice with "normal" LDL all died. The mice with the high LDL also had 99-99.9% fewer organisms in their vital organs.
The researchers found that the protection came from LDL's ability to prevent the bacteria from attaching to and invading host cells. This prevented the bug's ability to invade.
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There's a moral to this story. There is no "bad" natural chemical or cholesterol in your body if God puts it there. Quite possibly, if you have high LDL, your body might know that it's under bacterial stress. If so, it could be making more LDL in its wisdom to thwart invaders.
Forcibly lowering the LDL with a statin might correct a number. Your short-sighted doctor might be happy that you will be the one in 8,000 who doesn't get a heart attack due to statin treatment. But perhaps you will wind up dead from septic shock. After all, we do know that the overall mortality is not helped by statins, though people are guzzling them down by the bazillions. I'd prefer to keep the cash in my pocket rather than buy one risk for another.
Oxidized LDL is another thing. LDL oxidation is a key step in the progression of vascular disease. If your LDL is a little high, you can protect it. Consider taking vitamin E (Carlson's or Unique E, 800 IU daily) together with a good broad spectrum multiple vitamin/mineral supplement. And eat as many Living Foods as you can.
Finally, I've told you in the past about the power of phytochemicals to adjust your lipids. These are not sledgehammers. They are provided by nature. One such phytochemical rich nutrient is ginger. In a recent study, patients who took ginger capsules (3 grams daily) had significant reductions in LDL and triglycerides. And they had a rise in "good" HDL cholesterol compared to placebo. Ginger happens to have extraordinary antibacterial properties. This is clear evidence that the remedies God provides help your body correct itself with balance and strength.
Yours for better health and medical freedom,
Ref: Arch Med Sci 2007; 3; Saudi Med J, 2008; 29(9).