How to Reduce Cholesterol Oxidation

How to Reduce Cholesterol Oxidation
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Chicken, fish, and egg powder in processed foods present greater risk from cholesterol oxidation byproducts, but there are things you can do to reduce exposure.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“A significant body of evidence indicates that oxidized cholesterol [may be] one of the main triggers of [Alzheimer’s disease].” But, that’s not all. Cholesterol oxidation products “are associated with the initiation and progression of [multiple] major chronic diseases,” including heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure. And, they’re produced when animal products are heated. All forms of cooking can do it, since you can get “maximum cholesterol oxidation” at only about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. But, is there some type of cooking that’s worse than others? Well, if you look at foal meat, which is like baby horse meat, higher levels of oxidation in general were found in microwaved meat.

And, indeed, microwaving chicken or beef appears to produce about twice as much cholesterol oxidation as frying. Whereas, if you look at bacon, raw bacon wasn’t found to have any oxidized cholesterol—it has cholesterol, like all animal products, but it’s not oxidized until you cook it. Grilling seems to be the safest the first time around, but then, when you put it back in the fridge and reheat it later using the same method, the oxidized cholesterol levels all shoot up.

It’s not just heat, though. Although levels in raw meats are usually low, “concentrations tend to increase dramatically after exposure to pro-oxidation agents, such as light.” What are you supposed to do, crawl inside the pig and eat the bacon from the inside? No, you could wrap the meat in red plastic wrap. Clear plastic wrap doesn’t seem to work, but the red blocks some of the light waves and can “delay…cholesterol oxidation.” This was for “horse meat slices.” The problem is worse with “sliced meat products,” because more of the meat is exposed to air and light. Same problem with ground meat; it’s just so much more exposed.

Unless you keep meat in some kind of vacuum pack, even in a dark refrigerator, the oxygen exposure alone can shoot up oxidation levels. Or, in the freezer. Yeah, cooking raw fish can boost levels from 8 to 18, but after a few months, frozen fish—even raw—starts out about ten times higher and just goes up from there.

And, in terms of which meat is the worst, microwaved or fried, chicken was twice as bad as beef. The reason, it seems, has to do with the “polyunsaturated fat…content of the muscle,” which goes fish, then poultry, then pork, then beef, then lamb. So, white meat is more susceptible to cholesterol oxidation. Yes, red meat has more saturated fat, but fish and chicken tend to build up more oxidized cholesterol. So, “chicken and roasted salmon…have been shown to generate greater amounts of [cholesterol oxidation products] than other [types of meat].” Surprisingly, though, “the highest increase of [oxidized cholesterol in salmon] was found through steaming—mainly just because it’s exposed to heat longer. Cholesterol oxidation “increased after each cooking procedure…[but] steaming increased the total amount by more than 1000%.”

There are two ways chicken meat may pull ahead, though. One is if you feed the chickens rancid fat in the first place. And, unfortunately, all sorts of substandard stuff ends up at the rendering plants to be turned into animal feed. And also irradiation. When chicken meat is irradiated to improve its food safety from an infectious disease standpoint, it may diminish food safety from a chronic disease standpoint. But, hey; it’s better than dying from salmonella.

In terms of dairy, in my last video, I talked about the potential dangers of ghee, which made me wonder about UHT milk, which stands for ultra-high temperature processing, to make little half-and-half no-refrigeration-needed coffee creamers. That does seem to boost oxidized cholesterol levels by about 50%—worse than just regular pasteurization, though, interestingly, if you can find goat milk half-and-half, that would be safer.

Same problem with eggs. Egg powder in processed foods is good for shelf life, but may not be so good for human life. So, that’s like packaged food with eggs in it, like pasta, many baked goods, mayonnaise. So, even people who stay away from egg eggs, may still be unwittingly exposed through processed foods, if they don’t read the label.

If it’s all about oxidation, why not just add “synthetic or natural antioxidants” to the animal products themselves? They’ve certainly tried; like, what about adding lemon balm tea to hamburger patties? It didn’t work, but that’s likely because they couldn’t add enough without affecting the taste. What about adding cherries—they’re red—they would blend right in. And, it worked! Two different types of tart cherries significantly reduced the cholesterol oxidation, but meat with a cherry on top seems a little out of place. How about just good old garlic and onions? Here’s the amount of oxidized cholesterol in a plain pork chop, significantly reduced by adding onion or garlic—though, interestingly, in chicken, cholesterol oxidation was helped by sage, but not garlic. In fact, garlic may even accelerate fat oxidation.

So, “there are several measures that can be taken to reduce cholesterol oxidation in foods: reducing the total cholesterol content [in food] by not cooking food with cholesterol-containing fat” [like butter or lard]; maybe we can “feed…animals…antioxidants before, or add them afterwards; use as low a temperature to cook as possible; use some kind of opaque vacuum packing, or something. But, if you take a step back, only foods that start out with cholesterol can end up with oxidized cholesterol. So, the primary method, in terms of reducing cholesterol oxidation in foods, may be to “reduce the total cholesterol content of the food”—not just by avoiding adding extra with butter, but instead, centering one’s diet around whole plant foods, which don’t have any cholesterol to get oxidized in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“A significant body of evidence indicates that oxidized cholesterol [may be] one of the main triggers of [Alzheimer’s disease].” But, that’s not all. Cholesterol oxidation products “are associated with the initiation and progression of [multiple] major chronic diseases,” including heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure. And, they’re produced when animal products are heated. All forms of cooking can do it, since you can get “maximum cholesterol oxidation” at only about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. But, is there some type of cooking that’s worse than others? Well, if you look at foal meat, which is like baby horse meat, higher levels of oxidation in general were found in microwaved meat.

And, indeed, microwaving chicken or beef appears to produce about twice as much cholesterol oxidation as frying. Whereas, if you look at bacon, raw bacon wasn’t found to have any oxidized cholesterol—it has cholesterol, like all animal products, but it’s not oxidized until you cook it. Grilling seems to be the safest the first time around, but then, when you put it back in the fridge and reheat it later using the same method, the oxidized cholesterol levels all shoot up.

It’s not just heat, though. Although levels in raw meats are usually low, “concentrations tend to increase dramatically after exposure to pro-oxidation agents, such as light.” What are you supposed to do, crawl inside the pig and eat the bacon from the inside? No, you could wrap the meat in red plastic wrap. Clear plastic wrap doesn’t seem to work, but the red blocks some of the light waves and can “delay…cholesterol oxidation.” This was for “horse meat slices.” The problem is worse with “sliced meat products,” because more of the meat is exposed to air and light. Same problem with ground meat; it’s just so much more exposed.

Unless you keep meat in some kind of vacuum pack, even in a dark refrigerator, the oxygen exposure alone can shoot up oxidation levels. Or, in the freezer. Yeah, cooking raw fish can boost levels from 8 to 18, but after a few months, frozen fish—even raw—starts out about ten times higher and just goes up from there.

And, in terms of which meat is the worst, microwaved or fried, chicken was twice as bad as beef. The reason, it seems, has to do with the “polyunsaturated fat…content of the muscle,” which goes fish, then poultry, then pork, then beef, then lamb. So, white meat is more susceptible to cholesterol oxidation. Yes, red meat has more saturated fat, but fish and chicken tend to build up more oxidized cholesterol. So, “chicken and roasted salmon…have been shown to generate greater amounts of [cholesterol oxidation products] than other [types of meat].” Surprisingly, though, “the highest increase of [oxidized cholesterol in salmon] was found through steaming—mainly just because it’s exposed to heat longer. Cholesterol oxidation “increased after each cooking procedure…[but] steaming increased the total amount by more than 1000%.”

There are two ways chicken meat may pull ahead, though. One is if you feed the chickens rancid fat in the first place. And, unfortunately, all sorts of substandard stuff ends up at the rendering plants to be turned into animal feed. And also irradiation. When chicken meat is irradiated to improve its food safety from an infectious disease standpoint, it may diminish food safety from a chronic disease standpoint. But, hey; it’s better than dying from salmonella.

In terms of dairy, in my last video, I talked about the potential dangers of ghee, which made me wonder about UHT milk, which stands for ultra-high temperature processing, to make little half-and-half no-refrigeration-needed coffee creamers. That does seem to boost oxidized cholesterol levels by about 50%—worse than just regular pasteurization, though, interestingly, if you can find goat milk half-and-half, that would be safer.

Same problem with eggs. Egg powder in processed foods is good for shelf life, but may not be so good for human life. So, that’s like packaged food with eggs in it, like pasta, many baked goods, mayonnaise. So, even people who stay away from egg eggs, may still be unwittingly exposed through processed foods, if they don’t read the label.

If it’s all about oxidation, why not just add “synthetic or natural antioxidants” to the animal products themselves? They’ve certainly tried; like, what about adding lemon balm tea to hamburger patties? It didn’t work, but that’s likely because they couldn’t add enough without affecting the taste. What about adding cherries—they’re red—they would blend right in. And, it worked! Two different types of tart cherries significantly reduced the cholesterol oxidation, but meat with a cherry on top seems a little out of place. How about just good old garlic and onions? Here’s the amount of oxidized cholesterol in a plain pork chop, significantly reduced by adding onion or garlic—though, interestingly, in chicken, cholesterol oxidation was helped by sage, but not garlic. In fact, garlic may even accelerate fat oxidation.

So, “there are several measures that can be taken to reduce cholesterol oxidation in foods: reducing the total cholesterol content [in food] by not cooking food with cholesterol-containing fat” [like butter or lard]; maybe we can “feed…animals…antioxidants before, or add them afterwards; use as low a temperature to cook as possible; use some kind of opaque vacuum packing, or something. But, if you take a step back, only foods that start out with cholesterol can end up with oxidized cholesterol. So, the primary method, in terms of reducing cholesterol oxidation in foods, may be to “reduce the total cholesterol content of the food”—not just by avoiding adding extra with butter, but instead, centering one’s diet around whole plant foods, which don’t have any cholesterol to get oxidized in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

One of the main triggers of Alzheimer’s disease? In case you missed my previous video, here it is: Oxidized Cholesterol as a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease.

This reminds me of my video Reducing Cancer Risk in Meat-Eaters, about lowering exposure to cooked-meat carcinogens called heterocyclic amines.

Other than cholesterol oxidation, are microwaves a good idea? See my two videos: Are Microwaves Safe? and The Effects of Radiation Leaking from Microwave Ovens.

Is unoxidized cholesterol a problem, too? See, for example, Cholesterol Crystals May Tear Through Our Artery Lining.

So what’s the Optimal Cholesterol Level? Check out the video!

Is it just the small dense cholesterol particles? I got a video on that too! Does Cholesterol Size Matter?

Want to see through egg-industry propaganda? Check out How the Egg Board Designs Misleading Studies.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

190 responses to “How to Reduce Cholesterol Oxidation

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  1. There is a tiny minority of people out there that eat raw meat as a staple for their diets. They claim that you get plenty of nutrients in organ meats which are destroyed by cooking and I imagine that the lack of cooking reduces the amount of oxidized cholesterol in their diet as well. It’s true that liver is rich in B vitamins, true vitamin A, and other minerals, but does that come at the cost of higher consumption of animal protein? I can’t find anything in the literature about raw meat consumption other than increased risk of food-borne illness.

    1. Even if you avoid oxidized cholesterol, the problem with raw meat is that it still confers all the toxicity associated with: 1) excess protein that can cause such things as kidney disease; 2) excess sulfur containing amino acids that can promote cancer; 3) unoxidized cholesterol that causes heart attacks and 4) excess fat that causes diabetes and other illnesses.

      Dr. Ben

      1. But there’s a lot more negatives than just those that you’ve listed. Raw flesh contains harmful bacteria that can be extremely dangerous. Our bodies are not designed to digest animal flesh and so our bodies are not able to properly digest animal flesh and it putrifies – I would imagine raw would be even harder to break down. Animal protein in general raises IGF1 hormones which can cause as well as proliferate cancer. Animal flesh contains heavy metals which our bodies actually absorb as opposed to that which is found in plants (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cadmium-and-cancer-plant-vs-animal-foods/), in fact, the liver is particularly riddled with heavy metals. Animal flesh is very acidic. Animals contain actual hormones that can disrupt our own (see Dr. Greger’s article: https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/09/13/estrogen-animal-products/)… It’s really a seemingly never-ending and in fact growing, list.

        I believe the reason there isn’t much about raw meat consumption in humans is because it’s long been known (as in our ancient ancestors, come to think of it) that it’s immediately unsafe to eat raw animal flesh (unless you’re an animal designed to do so) so I don’t think they anticipated people would be insane enough to make that a thing.

        If a vat of toxic waste contained every essential b vitamin, it wouldn’t make it a good source. As Dr. Greger always says, food is a package deal. Anyways, they could try to do a long term study on people who claim to get all their nutrients from raw flesh, but somehow I can’t imagine that working out…

        1. Check out the infectious disease chapter in Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die” for some of the insight on the bacteria in raw animal products.

  2. boiling shrimp and other fish is only 212 degrees. Still an issue?

    And Japanese eat raw fish, good amount. So do Hawaiins, Pacific Islanders throughout the world.
    Caught on boat, eaten soon after, never frozen.

    1. The shrimp and fish alone are an issue for a plethora of reasons which you can learn about in countless other videos here and in Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die.” While raw might not have the oxidized cholesterol issue (but then I don’t know how ingested cholesterol in general acts in the human body), it comes with its own list of health concerns including dangerous bacteria and migratory worms!! I’ll stick to vegan sushi, all the health benefits and none of the cruelty, lack of sustainability, or health risks including these little fellas… https://nutritionfacts.org/video/migratory-skin-worms-from-sushi/

    2. Hi, Yolo. Boiling might produce less oxidized cholesterol, but any heating will produce it. It is a function of time, temperature, surface area exposed to air, and the amount of cholesterol present at the start. There are many hazards related to eating raw fish, including environmental pollutants and food borne pathogens. In addition, most people do not have access to the cleanest, freshest fish. I hope that helps!

  3. When telling people about the benefits of a whole foods plant based diet, and how I was able to drastically lower my serum cholesterol levels, the most common response I hear is, “it’s not cholesterol that’s, bad it’s oxidized cholesterol that’s the problem.” I always say that it’s difficult to oxidize cholesterol if it’s not being eaten, but it generally falls on deaf ears.

    It good to have this researched based video along with Wednesday’s install to use as teach tool to let others know just how bad a bad diet can be. Thank you for information.

    1. Animals in nature eat raw cholesterol,,,,they eat raw meat.
      And the herbivore eat lots of bugs, worms, and other insects full
      of cholesterol, as these bugs and worms literally live on the fresh
      greens, roots, and other plants being consumed. None of that
      is oxidized cholesterol, and it is actually normal. Humans at one
      point ate food that was crawling with cholesterol. Our bodies are
      obviously designed to process it (it’s normal), just not in cooked forms.
      And just like the other animals in nature, they likely should never
      eat cooked prey.
      .

      1. Yeah, you’re totally right vegmu, bunnies should never eat cooked prey, they should stick to eating raw flesh, er, wait that’s right, they’re herbivores.. kind of like us! Not all animals are designed to consume flesh, and humans are one of them, sorry. Our ancestors did not evolve on eating raw flesh with perhaps the exception of a few bugs here and there, probably those just existing on the plants they were eating more than anything, instead they evolved on plants. In the later years of our evolution and humans did start consuming animals, they cooked them. But if you want to try surviving on raw animal flesh, let us know how it goes… blood reports, maybe some before and after shots, etc. Would be super curious.

        1. Oh my god, raw meat is not better! Sure, for a tiger, or a lion, or a bear (had to), but not for us cuddly little herbivores. I urge those talking about raw flesh to read Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die” and check out his chapter on infectious disease. In fact it is so dangerous that butchers and their families are predisposed to disease!

          1. We as humans are actually not herbivores or omnivorous and certainly not carnivorous , but we are designed as frugivorous or fruit- eating creature ( the fruit of a plant could be a perfect fruit or a grain , a seed , a bean , etc ) as demonstrated in the book ” Holy Science” page 63 , by the correct analysis of the digestive system, organs of sense and teeth structure in humans, in comparison with those of the omnivorous, herbivorous and carnivorous animals.

    1. Eating a healthy WFPD diet has a number of benefits in addition to increasing longevity including reducing the pain and disability caused by chronic diseases, reducing health care costs, and in my opinion providing better tasting food. All at no extra charge. What a great deal!!

      1. Well let’s not fail to mention physical appearance, gentlemen! As Hippocrates stated “let food be thy medicine,” I say “let food be they makeup!”

    1. According to World’s Healthiest Foods (whfoods.com), raw egg whites have something in them called avidin which can cause biotin deficiency. Avidin not only binds to the biotin found in the eggs, but also any biotin from foods eaten with the eggs. Though when it comes to raw or undercooked eggs, there are more immediate concerns I believe addressed in Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die” in his infectious disease chapter, and I believe there’s also some information about that on this site. I also thought I remembered learning that eggs can interfere with folate absorption but I can’t be sure because I can’t think of the source so it’s possible I’m remembering wrong.
      Animal protein in general is bad for us, in one of the simplest ways, it raises IGF1 hormones which causes, spreads, and proliferates cancer.

  4. Great video. How about a follow-up on using WFPB diet to reverse damage caused by COP? Are there other means of reversing damage like matcha tea, amla, blueberries?

    1. Hi, Howard Jachter. Thanks for your comment. The first advantage to a WFPB lifestyle would be that you are no longer exposing your body to exogenous cholesterol, oxidized or otherwise. I don’t know if it has been determined that antioxidant-rich foods such as matcha, amla, and blueberries could reverse COP-induced damage, but they do have benefits, and are unlikely to hurt. I hope that helps!

  5. I liked this video because it addressed some of my concerns with the previous one. For instance, there was a distinction made between chicken breast meat and the oily parts.

    Was surprised to learn the breast meat contained more oxidized cholesterol after cooking. All good information to file in the knowledge base.

  6. How does this compare to the cholesterol oxidation that happens in the stomach? Comparably small, comparably similar, or comparably large?

      1. Here is a reference that looks interesting that may help to answer my question about how cooking oxidation compares to the in-vivo oxidation of cholesterol, however, I can’t access any graphs.

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464612001466

        “Gorelik and others (2013) also observed increased ox-LDL in healthy volunteers following a turkey meal. The formation of ox-LDL was found to be
        completely prevented when the meal was combined with red wine polyphenols,which was also accompanied by lower plasma MDA. Consumption
        of red wine (including the ethanol) also prevented the formation of cholesterol oxidation products following consumption of a cheeseburger (Natella and others 2011).”

        Originally read from here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1541-4337.12248

        1. Plants contain phytosterols which are like a plant form of cholesterol, our bodies do not absorb them though. I believe they’re contained in very tiny amounts, too.
          As for cooking coconut oil, Dr. Greger actually has a video specific to that topic so I would check it out.

        1. Jon and Geofery:
          Plants do have cholesterol, the same cholesterol we have. Here’s reference: Behrman, E. J.; Gopalan, V. J. Chem. Ed. 2005, 82, 1791-1793. (I have a PDF of the paper, but sorry NF.org doesn’t allow me to attach it.)

          1. Interesting read George.

            To summarize the paper : While cholesterol averages perhaps 50 mgkg total lipid in plants, it can be as high as 5 gkg (or more) in animals.

            So when talking chemistry, we can not say that there is no cholesterol in plants, and we can not say that there is rarely cholesterol in plants.
            What we can say is plants contain little cholesterol. I know to little of chemistry to know if it would be called a trace element. (In analytical chemistry, a trace element is one whose average concentration is less than 100 parts per million (ppm) measured in atomic count or less than 100 micrograms per gram).

            Nutritionally speaking though, it still seems reasonable enough to say that plant foods indeed, do not contain cholesterol, as animal foods contain more then 1000 times the amount found in plant cells.

            1. Apparently 50 milligram/kilogram = 50 microgram/gram, so yes, the cholesterol found in plants is in trace amounts.

              So I still think it’s save to say that as a rule, there is no cholesterol (nihil) in plant foods.

            2. I agree with your take, Netogate. I also appreciate George and TG providing this information because I too had always heard there simply was none.

      1. Coconut oil contains 14 mg of cholesterol per kilogram of oil.
        In practical terms, by weight, a McDonals Big Mac contains 26 times as much cholesterol as pure coconut oil and bacon grease contains 68 times as much.

        ‘Cholesterol and Plants’ Journal of Chemical Education Vol. 82 No. 12 December 2005

        1. Hi,

          Coconut oil does not have colesterol. Actually, colesterol can only be found in animals food.

          Yared, Health Support Volunteer

          1. It is an unequivocal scientific fact that plants contain cholesterol, thats been known for well over half a century.
            Check the above cited scientific paper, or any of the ten thousand others that say the same ;-)

            Plants do contain far less than animals.

              1. Well I think the problem is that most of the more immediate information the public has access to says as much. Personally I agree with Netogate’s takeaway but I appreciate learning the real science which is something I highly appreciate about this website and its many commenters.

  7. Additionally, I have been watching my cholesterol levels for several years now. My GP always does the more advanced cholesterol tests, even though she’s had to argue with the insurance company a few times to get them to do this more expensive test! It shows the size of the cholesterol particles and if they are fluffy or not so much. My cholesterol was getting significantly better until I started eating Wegman’s Organic Olive Oil and Himalayan Sea Salt Popcorn for a “dessert” in the evenings. Wow! Within 3 weeks, I had a blood test and my Triglycerides and my Cholesterol went up and it showed that I must have been unwittingly eating something filled with transfats (OH, NO!!) Yup, you guessed it: The only change in my diet and supplements was that I began eating store bought organic popcorn that was cooked in OLIVE OIL!!! DUH!! I definitely should have known better, because Olive Oil is a low-temp. oil that TURNS TO TRANSFAT when you overheat it (and popcorn will not pop if you “cook” it at a low temp)! Well, live and learn! No more Wegman’s pre-popped popcorn, not unless they change the recipe to either avocado oil or coconut oil!! Yeah, dummy me, and I should have known better, too….

    1. Olive oil does not turn to trans fat when you overheat it. I would encourage you stop commenting on this site forever.

    2. JES: Anthony is right; olive oil, or any oil, isn’t converted to trans fats when heated. When an unsaturated fat is heated, it gets oxidized.

      1. I pop my own oil free in a lidded pot (shaking regularly), then I add a small amount of extra virgin olive oil after it’s popped and whatever seasoning (typically either nutritional yeast or turmeric and garlic powder).

        I don’t believe this person’s testimonial though. They seemed to be promoting a product earlier and apparently in another place on this site.

  8. UHT milk is the ‘default’ milk here in Europe. Supermarkets may have a whole aisle of UHT milk products compared to a very small amount of fresh milk in the fridge with the yogurt, butter and cheese. Another reason to be glad I’m not consuming dairy.

    1. UTH milk always freaked me out. I used to be a big consumer of just about anything dairy, but even I couldn’t stomach that stuff. That & the stuff that came in a tube.

  9. Laughing my head off, you just said a mouthful and a half.

    Glad I only have to pay attention to birthday cake and holiday baked goods for this subject.

    I am going to have to make vegan cupcakes for my birthday this year and see if people will eat them.

    Hard to follow that video. This topic is more complicated than Vitamin B-12.

    (Which I think I personally solved for myself this morning. I am going to be taking my Cyano once a week with a Methyl, which I will also only take once a week, until I feel like getting the genetic testing. I have more than one friend with the Methylation problems, so I feel like I should hedge my bets, but I think if I make sure there is enough of a Methyl Donor just on B-12 day, that should work, right?)

  10. I have only recently joined the site and trying to catch up on the videos. it is a lot of information!.

    I am trying to reduce my animal protein intake and boost vegetables and fruit consumption, which is not easy after 60 years eating animal protein in every meal. I started replacing cow and lamb with fish and chicken because I was under the assumption white meat was less harmful than red meat. I thought this was the scale from the worst to least harmful offenders: lamb, cow, pork, chicken and fish. I do not eat raw meat of any kind. Meat is either stewed or baked; mostly reheated in the microwave oven at dinner time.

    It seems this video turned the scale upside down, is that correct? I am sorry for the stupid question but the language and concepts seemed difficult for a lay person to follow. Should I revert the scale and do away with my microwave oven?

    1. I think the gist of this video is that in order to truly reduce our intake of oxidised cholesterol the best thing to do is to greatly reduce/eliminate animal products in general. You really want to be aiming for a totally (whole foods) vegan diet, or close to it, for optimum health. You should probably be trying to replace meat and dairy products with healthy starches and legumes like potatoes, sweet potaoes, corn, whole grains, oats, beans, peas, lentils, brown bread, rice and then eating some fruits and vegetables as well: https://www.forksoverknives.com/what-to-eat/#gs.ux6rwwk

    2. Carolina

      You appear to be heading in the right direction. At least, Harvard thinks so
      https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate-vs-usda-myplate/

      The World Health Organization reviewed all the evidence and concluded that processed meats are carcinogenic and red meat is probably carcinogenic. The cholesterol issue however is primarily related to cardiovascular disease. So, people like you who eat animal foods are between a rock and a hard place.

      Current mainstream nutritional and dietary advice appears to be that we should eat mostly plants and consume oily fish two or three times a week. I would suggest the smaller oily fish like sardines/pilchards since these are less likely to accumulate biotoxins.
      https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/recommendations/wholegrains-veg-fruit-beans
      https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/fish-and-omega-3-fatty-acids

      I used to eat this way but then stopped eating fish for ethical and environmental reasons. Instead, I now take an algal omega 3 supplement and vegan multivitamin. It’s just whole plant foods now with some wholegrain bread and 100% peanut and other nut butters (no added oil, no added sugar, salt etc)

      In the 7th Day Adventist mortality study, meat eaters had the highest mortality rates while “vegan” males had the lowest mortality rates. Among women, “pesco-vegetarians” had the lowest mortality rates. This would suggest that not not eating meat at all is probably the most powerful dietary change you can make
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/

      Harvard estimates that about one third of all premature deaths could be avoided if we all gave up eating meat. According to the lead researcher, that may even be an underestimate

      “that’s all deaths, not just cancer deaths. That’s probably an underestimate as well as that doesn’t take into account the fact that obesity is important and we control for obesity.”
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/04/26/third-early-deaths-could-prevented-everyone-giving-meat-harvard/

      Note that there are plenty of diet plans and recipes on the internet to help people move to a healthier diet eg
      http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome/mealplan/week-1

    3. Carolina,

      I just walked through the process of becoming Vegan and heading toward Whole Food Plant Based and information, like this video and the How Not To Die series is what helped.

      You have asked a tricky question.

      Chicken, for instance, is highly linked to Cancer. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/chicken/ I gave you a link to a blog entry, but Dr. Greger has a lot of videos on each of these topics.

      I feel like there are certain stellar topics on this site and the Year in Review Videos are things, which you should do.

      I have learned so much and I can’t even handle that I can’t download everything I have learned into you.

      I also can’t handle that the best videos on the topics, might be buried down a few levels with titles, which don’t give it away.

      You mentioned protein, and I know that is what you are used to eating and that if you transition, I know you will have to find other filling things to eat, but one of the topics Dr. Greger has done is that vegans don’t have to worry about Protein. Nobody, except for people who are eating too little, will be low in Protein.

      Vegetables have a lot of protein. Pritikin said that it is very difficult to have Protein Deficiency, as long as you aren’t starving to death.

      Start with the Year in Review vidoes. They are longer, but give an over-view and they are easier to negotiate than searching by topic. I am going to say that I actually find Dr. Greger’s YouTube videos easier to negotiate, because of how they are organized. Go to YouTube and type in Dr. Greger and chicken or Dr. Greger and fish or Dr. Greger and Cancer. Once one comes up, you can get into a topic and video after video on that topic will play.

      This site does have the information and you can look at the topics section and what my hint is that when you are on one of the topics, it will have links to related topics and sometimes that can bring you into fabulous series.

      I go back and forth between the YouTube Channel and here. This is where I comment and I do search by topic here, but I feel like some of the series are so brilliant that they needed a special section and I think the “popular video” is supposed to be that, but, it isn’t perfected yet.

    4. Hi, Caroline Hssi. Congratulations on making the choice to switch to a healthier lifestyle. While microwaving animal products may dramatically increase their oxidized cholesterol content, it may be fine to reheat vegetables in the microwave. I don’t have a microwave for aesthetic reasons, because I don’t like the way it affects the texture of some foods. I prefer to heat food the old-fashioned way, but that is just me. The order of animal products from least to most harmful depends on what is being measured. If saturated fat is being measured, then the scale may come up one way. If the arsenic content is being measured, it will come out another way. If the oxidized cholesterol content is being measured, it will come out yet another way. All animal products have harmful effects. It is best to eliminate them entirely. One way to do that is to switch from making them the center of the meal to making them side dishes or condiments. If fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes make up most of your meals, with a bit of nuts and seeds, and maybe some animal products on the side, then it is an easy transition from there to eliminating the animal products completely. I hope that helps!

  11. Hi Dr. Greger,

    Do you know the book „ The end of Alzheimer „ by Dale Bredesen? Ans thought about the proposed ketogenic diet for prevention of Alzheimer…Greetings, Paddy

    1. iA keto diet is likely to promote Alzheimer’s not prevent it – unless it is VERY low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated fat. And even then, there is no real evidence that high fat diets prevent Alzheimer’s – this hypothesis is all based on a shaky chain of reasoning. And current dietary fads.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107296/

      Perhaps I am too cynical but Bredesen appears to be yet another doctor chasing big buck by writing books proposing magical solutions to big problems, His evidence is very weak and a number of his opinions appear to be contrary to the known science … however fashionable they may be.

      Just my opinion

      1. Paddy,
        One thing to keep in mind is that what ketos are now calling the ketogenic diet has changed radically over the years. Most of them are now calling for eating almost entirely whole food plant based diets. Most will encourage eating some meat, but nothing like Atkins. Also, fasting has become a much more important aspect of the diet, and more thoughtful keto advocates like Bredesen emplhasize that a ketogenic diet is possible and possibly healthier if one goes vegan. Many do the “only small omega 3 fish” routine. I think his work is very thoughtful and careful. He talks about 36 aspects of the approach, so it is not only diet, and not a lot of meat.

        1. Intresting but on the other hand, I was a bit taken aback by this story from a week or two ago that reports that fasting may raise diabetes risk and increase the production of free radicals.
          https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/20/fasting-diets-raise-risk-of-diabetes

          This might tie in with some theories about diabetes being a response to or defence against starvation/famine as the body preferentially shifts eg inslin/glucose to the brain and away from muscles and other organs. Even Hyman seems to believe that:

          “When calories are scarce metabolism slows down and muscle is lost. As a result the blood sugar imbalances that drive the process of insulin resistance and lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes worsens, and soon people are caught in a recurrent pattern of bingeing on nutrient-poor calories once resources are again available.”
          http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/09/17/not-having-enough-food-causes-obesity-and-diabetes/

          Or perhaps it is a caloric homeostasis mechanism which reacts to both underfeeding and overfeeding in genetically susceptible individuals.

      2. Tom,

        I respect your opinion.

        I will say though, he is doing such a comprehensive concept, that I am not surprised that he is getting results.

        The avoid starches and use oil part is what I question.

        Getting rid of molds and heavy metals and balancing nutrition and getting exercise and sleep and watching blood sugar / insulin, etc. A lot of what he is doing seems reasonable. I don’t think he even claims to be finished finding factors yet.

        I am wondering if his scooping up everybody’s research will affect research money overall and may shortcut figuring out the details of which of the 60-something things really works.

        Feels like I would hate him if I was an Alzheimer’s researcher and he was using a concept I was testing out.

        Nobody else has said that they think that way.

        It just bugged me that he is calling his eat meat as a condiment diet “Keto” because I know people are ridiculously confused by “Keto” already and people who are doing the high fat, high meat version of “Keto” are the ones I am worried about, because his concepts pull everyone out of things like this and Dr. Barnard’s work.

        I am not going to be trying to use oil.

        And I am actually just starting to use potatoes. Haven’t started yet, but I will be. I already did a year without things like that and the only way I am going to understand it is to start with this as a baseline and add things like that in for a while and see what happens. If I suddenly start writing things in gobbly-gook sentences, could you say, “Hey, I think you are getting worse, could you cut back on the potatoes?”

        For the past few weeks, I have been testing Fiji Water and I added in Zinc and I am not having hallucinations anymore. Not sure which did it, but I am grateful. Fiji water is a 12 week thing, but if the two-week studies are accurate, I have probably dropped the Aluminum in my brain by something like 40% and maybe that helps with hallucinations. Or fixing the Copper Zinc ratio.

        I was too impatient to wait 12 weeks before adding in the Zinc, but I did wait a few weeks, before trying anything else.

        1. Maybe, at the end of the 12 weeks with the Fiji Water, I can come off the Zinc and see if things get worse again?

          I like understanding it, but I also just wanted to get rid of the Hallucinations.

        2. is there clinical and legitimate research showing that FIJI water does in fact
          remove aluminum from brain?

          And is it zinc orotate you use? Taken with or without food? Any adverse
          reactions to the zinc? I do wonder what foods you think created the excess
          copper, reduced zinc issue in the first place. Interesting.

          Thanks. Lizzy

          1. Lizzy,

            I don’t think the studies are all the way up there yet, but there are studies and I am just it for 12 weeks and there were two studies, which mentioned it, but I am not finding them quickly, sorry.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20378957

            Before I started walking toward WFPB, I was eating a lot of cheese and baked goods and those are big sources of Aluminum.

              1. JJ,

                I think there are mixed viewpoints on every single thing, and somebody is probably right.

                I am going to lead you away from what I am doing.

                I am trying something, because I have been having hallucinations and I had copper and iron in one of my supplements, which I had stopped taking, but I couldn’t do the math without a lab test.

                I am going to recommend lab work, before supplementing zinc.

                It is something, which could be toxic at high doses and could cause copper deficiency at high doses.

                I am doing this right now, and when I finish the bottle, I will be stopping for several weeks.

                Unless the hallucinations come back, this is probably going to be an occasional supplement.

                I just heard Dr. Bredesen say not to take supplements with copper or iron and that Alzheimer’s patient often have that out of balance and I would rather you have labs done.

                I might eventually get labs, but I am doing this solo right now, for practical purposes.

                Dr. Bredesen said that he had a challenging time having patients talk about anything and it is because people with cognitive impairment get diagnosed and lose the opportunity for things like long term care insurance and lose their driver’s license and lose the right to make decisions for themselves medically or legally. He said that a woman killed herself, because of that type of thing. I am not suicidal and am not currently afraid of becoming suicidal, but I would not be good at having people take over my life and take away my rights at this moment. I would not be good at that at all.

            1. Lizzy,

              This is where I started in the silica direction. From John McDougall’s Newsletter. https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2017nl/jun/alzheimers.htm
              He explained the history of where they know aluminum is one of the factors in Alzheimer’s and gave a list of things to get rid of and I will say that I was slow at getting rid of the personal products and I always used aluminum foils and didn’t read my labels and know that it is even in water, somehow, and I did get something to purify my water, but I am not so sure I have finished getting rid of all the sources of Aluminum.

              “Desferrioxamine (DFO), a chelating agent with a high affinity for aluminum, was first reported in 1991 to remove this toxic metal from the body tissues and to slow the progression of AD in patients. The treatment was twice a day injections of 125 mg of DFO for five days a week. Over two years of observation, the rate of decline in the clinical state of 48 patients was twice as rapid in the “no-treatment” group compared with the “DFO-treated” group. Research continues today using a variety of agents that remove metals from the body as a way to slow and stop the progression of AD.

              A simple, inexpensive approach of drinking silicon-rich waters is now being promoted as a way of enhancing the elimination of aluminum from the body, along with the hopes of helping people prevent and treat AD. Researchers asked patients with Alzheimer’s to drink a liter (about 34 ounces) of a silicon-rich mineral water each day for 12 weeks. This “special water” increased the removal of aluminum via the kidneys into the urine and clinical improvement was seen in 3 of the 15 patients with AD. These silicon-rich beverages are easily found in stores and via the Internet.”

              (Note, when I first read clinical improvement was seen in 3 of the 15, I got confused. That is 3 of the 15, removing the Aluminum improved the Alzheimer’s symptoms. The water improved the Aluminum in more than 3 people.)

              I might do it for longer than 12 weeks, maybe 16 to 20 weeks or something. It is too expensive to do forever, but if 12 weeks gets 70 to 90% out, I will go longer, in case I am one of the ones who it only gets 70% out. I need a mathematician to tell me how many weeks I should go, because my mind knows there is a mathematical answer, but either way, I got rid of all of my toiletries and haven’t gotten rid of my aluminum foil. John McDougall uses parchment paper between the food and the foil and I have to buy parchment paper.

    2. Paddy Jung,

      I listened to Dr. Bredesen talking and he has a whole list of things he does for Alzheimer’s, and part of it is limiting meat intake. He uses the word Keto, in his diet, but it is nothing at all like the Keto Diet all of my friends and family turned to. I think he used the word “meat as a condiment” if I remember properly. The people I know who are doing Keto are doing diets so meat heavy that I hated that he used the word “Keto” and is closer to almost Vegan Keto.

      What I am going to say is that he took every theory about Alzheimer’s that is out there and scooped them all up and he is having people try something like 60 things to improve risk factors. (I think it started with 30 things and doubled.) It was a few weeks ago, so I am not remembering the exact numbers, but I am doing a lot of the things he promoted, but I was already doing most of them when other researchers promoted the same things.

      He is using intermittent fasting, to help manage insulin.

      He is using improving the Copper / Zinc ratio.

      He is supplementing to improve Homocysteine.

      He is using get rid of Aluminum in food and Heavy Metal Toxicity. I am drinking 1 liter of Fiji Water per day to lower Aluminum levels and I am not eating sliced cheese or baked goods, which were my main sources in my diet.

      He is using improve saturated fats and blood sugar, and improving blood flow to the brain.

      He is using getting exercise and getting sleep and avoiding stress.

      Honestly, there wasn’t anything he said that I hadn’t already heard everywhere.

      The only thing he is doing, which I do not do is avoiding starch and taking oils.

      I did try oil, back at the beginning and didn’t find it effective for me, but, also I threw it up, so it was worse than ineffective.

      Also, unless you get rid of starch and really count your calories and do intermittent fasting, you will gain weight taking oil.

      I was trying to lose weight, and oil doesn’t register on your stretch receptors, so you will tend to be hungrier.

      I tried no breads or pasta or rice or potatoes last year and now I am eating those and not using oils at all.

      Oil is a controversial subject and you are going to have to listen to both sides and make your own mind up.

      That being said, I have undone early onset Alzheimer’s almost all the way, just taking care of Aluminum, Homocysteine, the Copper/Zinc Ratio, Exercise, lowering saturated fats, supplementing Omega 3, and I am working on sleep.

      What will work for people depends on what is causing the problem.

      If you aren’t supplementing B12 properly or eating enough foods with B6, going Keto isn’t going to help you.

      Going Keto isn’t going to correct your Aluminum or other heavy metal intake.

      And, Dr. Barnard is the one I trust more for Diabetes and insulin.

      Dr. Barnard has a diet to take the fat out of the Pancreas and then, the Pancreas functions normally again.

      The meat-heavy Keto diets don’t accomplish that and I already said that Bredesen is not in favor of a meat heavy Keto.

      He has people take oil. Not just use it in cooking. He has them take it as medicine. I understand where that started as a concept, but it is something I am not comfortable with.

      1. From Dr. Greger talking about oils: “… oils have also been shown to have deleterious results on endothelial function: a significant and constant decrease in endothelial function three hours after each meal, independent of the type of oil or whether the oil was fresh or deep fried. Olive oil might be better than omega-6-rich oils or saturated fats, but may still show adverse effects.

        I think of oil as the table sugar of the fat kingdom. Similar to how manufacturers take healthy foods like beets and throw out all their nutrition to make sugar, they take wholesome corn and scorch-earth it down to corn oil. Like sugar, corn oil calories may be worse than just empty.

        As even extra-virgin olive oil may impair our arteries’ ability to relax and dilate normally, its use should be curtailed. Cooking without oil is surprisingly easy.”

      2. Hi Deb,

        Thanks for this awesome answer! I am also incomfortable with this ketoflex diet…and his statements (Interview) that he wants people eat high fat diets and that he sees persons with a lower blood cholesterol (lower than 150 mg/dL) at risk for Alzheimer.

        Greetings, Paddy

        1. Paddy

          This is another reason why I have reservations about both Bredesen’s knowledge and his judgement.

          Yes, Alzheimer’s risk in older people is associated with lower cholesterol.. However, the Alzheimer’s Disease process itself seems to cause cholesterol to decline often many years before a diagnosis is made

          ‘“RESULTS:
          Cholesterol levels in men with dementia and, in particular, those with Alzheimer disease had declined at least 15 years before the diagnosis and remained lower than cholesterol levels in men without dementia throughout that period. The difference in slopes was robust to adjustment for potential confounding factors, including vascular risk factors, weight change, alcohol intake, and use of lipid-lowering agents.
          CONCLUSION:
          A decline in serum total cholesterol levels may be associated with early stages in the development of dementia.”
          http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/793179

          In other words, Alzheimer’s appears to cause low cholesterol – not the other way around as Bredesen appears to think. In fact, high cholesterol may itself be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2814023/

          And high fat diets themselves may also be a risk factior Alzheimer’s eg

          ‘In both studies, relative risks for incident dementia were calculated for various dietary factors. In both, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intakes correlated with the risk of developing dementia’
          https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/56/11/M675/591139

          1. Tom,

            Thanks for the links.

            I am so behind in my understanding that I am really just starting with Dr. Greger’s videos versus things I heard from the opposite perspective.

            Even before I learn anything at all I know it is a complex topic and we live in a society where, for each complex topic, people tend to polarize and argue without understanding.

            I already have the soy police and methyl version of B-12 police and gluten free police and all types of other topics.

            Plant Based London just did it with Dr. Greger. They don’t understand B-12 and rather than say: Here are two perspectives on it. They said, “Dr. Greger is wrong.” and he has been so wonderful to them. I already know it, because I see his image and hear his voice on so many of their topics. I don’t even know whether they would be anywhere near what they are without him giving his information so freely and they grew up in a society where we throw people under buses for entertainment.

            I think maybe it comes from the whole concept of debating, where people try to win a debate, and make the other person look dumb, rather than try to clarify and help each other understand things.

            I can say that it has been refreshing listening to John Robbins and Dean Ornish and a few other people, including Dr. Greger and having them not do that process.

            I appreciate that you have given me ways to investigate cholesterol further.

          2. Thanks for this.
            It would have been interesting to see what the hazards ratios would have been had they had a sizable group with cholesterol under 150, and used that as the reference instead.

      3. Fair enough Deb. It is just that he is recommending a high fat diet wnd high fat diets are actually associated with increased risk for Alzheimer’s. Plus he recommends keeping cholesterol levels high when high cholesterol has been identified as a factor that increases cholesterol risk. The evidence for his claims was basically 10 case studies of people who may not even have had Alzheimer’s in the first place. Additionally, he has monetised the whole process not just through selljing a highly sensational mass market book but by selling trademarked clinical services either directly or through franchised physician operated clinics.

        Combining advice to adopt a keto diet, undertake fasting and be happy about keeping your cholesterol high hits all the current health fad buttons even though there is little hard evidence of their effectiveness. Sour old cynics like me think that looks exactly like a very clever marketing strategy designed to attract headlnes, target the huge keto/low carb/paleo market and of course draw in the desperate who will pretty much try anything to address Alzheimer’s – especially if it is being promoted by a man in a white coat. I remain very wary of his claims.

        1. Sorry. – the second line text “as a factor that increases cholesterol risk” should read “as a factor that increases ALZHEIMER’S risk”

        2. Yes, I agree that him latching onto Keto and intermittent fasting did have that same kind of response within me, like he just took a whole bunch of popular concepts and ran with them.

          Some of his things frustrated me mentally, because I was tracking Dr. Greger and Dr. Barnard who is promoting very low oil and that is what I am trying to do.

          Bredesen did give me a whole list of other things to try and I keep having improvement, but, Tom, I don’t know for sure that I have Alzheimer’s either. My relative did have it diagnosed and died of it.

          I failed the Peanut Butter test and did have such a serious mental breakdown and when one of the woman who Dr. Bredesen worked with spoke, she said that she was having conversations with people who knew serious detail about her life and she didn’t know them, but afterwards, it all came back and she can remember their relationship and can remember not remembering. I had things like that, where now I can remember things in ridiculous detail about things I couldn’t remember happening – almost an amnesia for a few years, followed by hyper memory of every little thing. There are so many things like that, which I experienced and one of the women who was interviewed, I felt like I could have said so many of her sentences.

          I could also have said, Dr. Hyman’s sentences where he said that “He remembered the day his brain shattered.” and I think I used that exact word, Sometimes I would calmly tell people that my brain exploded and I think they were pretty sure it was metaphorical. Sometimes I used the word, “insanity” and I am deeply disturbed wondering how many people are in mental institutions, because of cholesterol.

          Nobody believed me. At some levels.

          They all ran away at others.

          And I seriously struggled to speak.

          Things have normalized so much, except for my sense of time. I just was up all night long and it is 7 in the morning. Time is so tricky.

          1. Thanks Deb.

            I am no expert but your symptoms don’t seem consistent with Alzheimer’s to me. They could be caused by a range of conditions – even possibly mini-strokes caused by eg high fat/keto diets. And lack of sleep can cause hallucinations.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2660156/

            The other thing is prescription medications. They can produce symptoms that miimic Alzheimer’s and produce mental health symptoms etc. I recall various pilot projects in Australia that had pharmacists review the drug regimes of various aged care home residents. In a significant proportion of cases, just reducing the number of unnecessary abd/or inappropriate meds for patients resulted in supposed Alzheimer’s patients being rediagnosed as not having Alzheimer’s. Apparently the same thing has been observed in Canada too. They believe that up to one in five dementa cases may in reality actually be tghe effects of prescription drug use.
            http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/prescription-drugs-adverse-reaction-dementia-false-diagnosis-alzheimer-s-1.3622696

            I don’t know if you take prescription meds but I found a short list of classes of prescription and over-the-counter medications that can cause hallucinations and other psychological effects.
            https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/drug-psychosis/

            But I am no doctor – what do your doctors say?

            1. LOL!

              Yes, I am aware of lack of sleep could be the cause of that problem, except that it has gotten better either by silica water, zinc or placebo effect.

              You aren’t going to understand this, but I didn’t go to a doctor, because I just watched my relatives go through the doctor process about it and you spend a fortune and lose a whole lot of rights, but don’t gain anything at all. Meds for it do diddley squat. Just made the situation worse.

              Once you get that diagnosis, you lose even the right to say if you want to live or die or be in or out of a facility. You lose every right.

              My grandmother only had dementia and it was semi-serious. She couldn’t look at a picture of a horse and she thought that whatever was happening on the television was really happening in the room, but she wanted to live and didn’t want to be on Morphine and they kept saying, “She has dementia and doesn’t know what she wants” and for the whole year, my grandmother consistently said the same sentences about what she wanted, but she didn’t have a right to want to live and I don’t trust doctors all that much, but if something real comes out, I will go.

              I did take the Peanut Butter test and failed it.

              And I am doing the list of Dr. Bredesen, except the oil thing. I will stick with Dr. Greger and Dr. Barnard about it for now.

              I am improving.

              If I could sleep, it might actually get seriously better.

              That is still going to be last, but sleep is on my list.

              1. Well, my understanding is that as a patient – even a dementia patient – you still have every legal right to refuse treatment and have your wishes respected. Doctors and anyone else who force patients to undergo treatments would be committing an offence perhaps even criminal assault.

                That would only change if a legal process tio declare a personally mentally incompetent to make decisions was approved by a court. At least, that is the case in Australia and the UK. I don’t know about the US – I imagine the specifics vary from state to state – but believe the same principle applies.
                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1079581/

                I’d strongly urge you to consult a doctor. You don’t have to accept their advice but they may be able to identify your symptoms and suggest options. Or prescrible diagnostic tests. As I say, I don’t think your symptoms are those of Alzheimer’s although vascular dementia might be a possibility. You may even have had a stroke.

                I really think that seeing a doctor would be a good idea. Or you could seek an opinion online if you don’t trust your local physicians eg
                https://questiondoctors.com/

  12. All good stuff, but too restrictive. You don’t have to be a vegan to have a healthy diet. I eat 2 pasture raised eggs daily which are high in omega-3 PUFA, eat cheeses that have been aged and are high in vitamin K-2 and also contains healthy gut bacteria, swig two small helpings of full fat, plain Kefir that is full of healthy gut bacteria, eat three servings per week of natto for vitamin K-2 and healthy gut bacteria, have miso soup five days a week for vitamin K-2 and healthy gut bacteria, eat wild Alaskan sockeye salmon baked, at 375 degrees F, in EVOO, lemon juice and Italian herbs, and two sardines packed in water which I transfer to an oil and lemon juice mixture 3 days a week. I feed my healthy gut bacteria by putting a heaping tablespoon of potato starch in my hibiscus and mint tea that I drink when I am at the gym. I am very concerned about getting enough omega-3 from fish because, when I was a vegan, I almost died from sudden death syndrome. For years as a vegan, I suffered from significant heart arrhythmia’s. As soon as I started eating oily fish and supplementing with fish oil they went away. My six year average hs CRP result is <0.2 mg/L and my oxidized LDL is 44u/L considered low risk. I am not too concerned about cholesterol, especially since research seems to indicate that people over 60 with the highest levels of cholesterol have the lowest all cause mortality and those with the lowest cholesterol have the highest cause mortality. IMO, cholesterol is only dangerous if you have an inflammatory lifestyle, which I do not. No sugar, very low in carbs, high in fiber (eat a lot of leafy green vegetables), high in healthy oils, high in fermented foods, and high in fruits and vegetables.

    1. I forgot to mention, my most recent body fat percent (per total body scan December 2017) is 10.5%. Less than 2% of people my age (78) have that low body fat percent.

    2. Sorry but I think you have been misled by cranks and people selling fad diets and related products and services.

      People over sixty are more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, experience cancer, heart attacks and other major illnesses and traumas, and undergo surgery. All these things cause cholesterol to decline.

      Most otherwise healthy older people in Westernised societies have high cholesterol. Why do older people have declining cholesterol? It’s not usually because they have adopted a healthy diet and lifestyle, it’s more usually because they have early stage disease states. Cholesterol levels can start to decline more than 15 years before a formal diagnosis of cancer or Alzheimer’s for exaqmplke. That is why older people with higher cholesterol levels have lower mortality. Disease and injury are associated with both increased mortality risk and declining choolesterol levels.

    3. So why do you follow Dr Greger? Why are you on this site if you do the EXACT opposite of pretty much everything Dr Greger teaches. I find these comments so suspicious.

    4. It’s important to recognize that the findings of lower cholesterol being associated with greater mortality on older people may be research that is tainted by reverse causality–cancer and other diseases lower your cholesterol, so it may be that the disease is the cause of both the low cholesterol and dying, rather than low cholesterol causing the death/poor health outcomes.

  13. Ronald: you wrote,
    “……research seems to indicate that people over 60 with the highest levels of cholesterol have the lowest all cause mortality and those with the lowest cholesterol have the highest cause mortality.”
    Do you happen to have the reference for this research? Thanks.

    1. I think I remember Greger mentioning something about this in a video, but I can’t find the video. It may be because older people who are sick will have low cholesterol naturally and die from their illness.

        1. Chronic diseases, infections & injury can cause cholesterol to decline. TG might have a few other sources for you on the subject.

          1. Hi Nancy

            I did a ‘copy and paste’ dump of some notes and links on this topic into a post yesterday.

            However, it is apparently still “awaiting moderation” – too many weblinks I suspect.

      1. XP1

        WFPB Nancy mentioned that I might have some references regarding this point.

        I did put a list together of articles from the professional literature documenting the cholesterol lowering effects of various diseases and traumas (including heart attacks and surgery) a while ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t really organised it very well or kept it up to date but if people are interested here is a copy and paste of it. There may well be some repetition here and I am not sure if it contains a reference to the article recording declines in cholesterol in cancer patients commencing 17 years or so before a formal cancer diagnosis.

        http://mefanet.upol.cz/BP/2008/2/181.pdf
        http://www.criticalcare.theclinics.com/article/S0749-0704(05)00097-7/abstract
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC374382/d
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26233997
        http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/146/7/558.full.pdf
        http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/9/2396.full
        http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/9/2365.full
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607822
        If low cholesterol caused cancer, statin drugs which lower cholesterol would be associated with higher rates of cancer. They aren’t.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607822
        As for your remarks about cholesterol… “It’s the cholesterol, Stupid!”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012294/

        “RESULTS:
        Cholesterol levels in men with dementia and, in particular, those with Alzheimer disease had declined at least 15 years before the diagnosis and remained lower than cholesterol levels in men without dementia throughout that period. The difference in slopes was robust to adjustment for potential confounding factors, including vascular risk factors, weight change, alcohol intake, and use of lipid-lowering agents.
        CONCLUSION:
        A decline in serum total cholesterol levels may be associated with early stages in the development of dementia.”
        http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/793179
        “The only thing we can be confident about wrt cholesterol is that people with LOW total serum cholesterol (below 140) have higher mortality rates from all causes. This has been shown in many observational studies around the world.?”
        ALCOHOLISM http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2001.tb02315.x/abstract;jsessionid=3F486E4FA729E8B8F5A869B21DA86F52.f03t03
        ALZHEIMERS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17210816
        INFECTIONS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK326741/
        CANCER http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/9/2396.full
        http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/9/2365.full
        TRAUMA “Hypocholesterolemia is an important observation following trauma. In a study of critically ill trauma patients, mean cholesterol levels were significantly lower (119 ± 44 mg/dl) than expected values (201 ± 17 mg/dl). In patients who died, final cholesterol levels fell by 33% versus a 28% increase in survivors. Cholesterol levels were also adversely affected by infection or organ system dysfunction.”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC374382/
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607822
        HEART ATTACKS
        http://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(16)35525-8/pdf–
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26233997
        HEPATITIS
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712309/

        Trauma and disease lower cholesterol not vice versa
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049588901205
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC374382/
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26233997
        http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/146/7/558.full.pdf
        http://www.criticalcare.theclinics.com/article/S0749-0704(05)00097-7/abstract

  14. Thanks for your video “How to Reduce Cholesterol Oxidation” relating to cooking meat. I am vegan, and I am still concerned about sautéeing vegetables in oil. Mostly olive oil. Does heating the oil cause oxidation? What about using oil in salad dressing and other sauces?

    1. There is a big movement in learning to cook without oil. Google it.

      There are various ways to succeed and there are salad dressing recipes without oils.

      I haven’t tried them, but they are there.

      1. I went vegan 12 years ago and I havent consumed oil in any form for 11 years, its certainly possible [and easy].
        I still eat bread, even, I just have to make it myself ;)

    2. Dr. Greger recommends against the use of oil because the whole food is always better, but also because oil is isolated fat and has a negative impact on arterial function. There have been studies that showed women who were consuming extra virgin olive oil and vinegar based salad dressings had a boost in arterial function, but this turned out to be due to the antioxidants found in the vinegar (I believe it was balsamic/red wine vinegar). So now I’m going to express my personal takeaway from this, I am NOT stating anything as fact nor am I making any recommendations but just simply sharing my own thinking and experience… To me the above (the referenced “salad study”) indicates that paring heart healthy foods that boost arterial function are able to negate any otherwise potential ill effects of modest amounts of “healthy” oils (not hydrogenated oils and I avoid coconut oil and palm oil as a rule). I personally find this true in both my own experience and my own observations. I theorize (and I am no authority here, it’s just my own thinking) that if you add modest amounts of oil to something with high fiber, high antioxidants, etc., that it sort of emulates a whole food containing the fat in a modest amount of oil, at least more so than to just consume straight oil or pairing oil with meat, eggs, or a junk food like potato chips.
      So what I do is look at oil as a yellow light food and use it conscientiously when I do use it. I’m also careful to choose authentic extra virgin olive oil (I trust Bragg’s, they actually own their own farm or whatever, but I’ve also gotten from family farms) but I choose to never heat it because of its smoke point. I recently purchased a bottle of authentic avocado oil to have on hand for the rare occasions I will want to use oil in baking or cooking anything due to its high smoke point. So what I plan on doing if I want to caramelize onions or something, is to just use the smallest amount possible and basically just lightly grease the pan with it to get the effect but while using hardly any oil. But the rest of the time I just water sauté and I find that very satisfying and easy to do. For salad dressings I often use ground up (in a cheap coffee grinder) cashews or seeds or a mixture, sometimes adding nutritional yeast, and toss that in with some red wine vinegar and it makes a creamy dressing with no oil. Other times I just want a basic oil and vinegar dressing but I use very little oil. For baking, I’ve found that mashed avocado is really good at replacing butter and oil!! I was very pleased with the results. And in other dishes, like this black bean thing I make, I found that adding avocado gives it that little bit of fatty flavor that you would get from oil. Nuts and seeds are also very versatile and good oil replacers… You can make creamy dressings out of them, alfredo sauce (this is amazing… http://thevegan8.com/2013/12/28/vegan-garlic-alfredo-sauce/), creamy soups, sour cream, etc.

      I’m only sharing this because personally, I would not be happy having no oil hummus or no oil on my popcorn, etc. as a rule, only, for the rest of my life and I dont think that doing so is the only way to have optimal health, so I like to avoid it as much as I can (which I find easy and enjoyable) and use it conscientiously when I do.

    1. Sorry about the initial link – I posted it there by accident. It is not particularly relevant to your post. Just ignore it.

  15. The fact that this chemical reaction happens, even “after the meat is death” is some powerful stuff to consider.

    Keep oxidation in your body in check by providing anti-oxidants from food or from foods that sponsor endogenous anti-oxidant defense mechanisms.

  16. I am wondering about the effect of heat on nuts (roasted is so much tastier than raw to me), and also on olive oil and avocado oil. Since olive oil and avocado oil contain higher levels of MUFA, wouldn’t they be less likely to oxidize? How best can we protect them from oxidation – wrapped in foil and refrigerated? If these oils are used for flavor in salad dressings or on toast rather than used in high heat cooking, wouldn’t we be able to get the benefits from these sources of sterols?

    Secondly, although I believe that a whole plant food based diet is likely to be the healthiest with respect to antioxidant, fiber and low sugar intake, strict adherence doesn’t seem to square with the well-known longevity diets (Blue Zones, Mediterranean) where consumption of small amounts of high quality meats, mostly fish, appear to be a part of the longevity promoting lifestyle.

    1. Whole food plant based (WFPB) diets can include small amounts of animal food

      “A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.”
      https://www.forksoverknives.com/whole-food-plant-based-diet/#gs.8FuSVUE

      in other words they are plant based not necveessarily exclusively plants. there is still debate about which is the healthiest version of WFPB. However, if you eat a 100% plant WFPB diet, Dr Greger recommends taking some supplements
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      Note however that the US NIH recommends that everybody over 50 should also take a B12 supplement or eat B12 fortified foods.
      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/

    2. But Janice, they also believed that olive oil was beneficial to heart health due to the Mediterranean diet, but it turned out that it was the beans and other plant foods. The Okinawans are a much better example of good health and their diet consist primarily of plant foods with either 2% or 1% of their diet consisting of animals. Longer lived than they are, are the Seventh-day Adventist vegetarians of California who eat no meat whatsoever and largely consist of vegans – others have commented here that they had found the vegans among them to be the healthiest and/or longest lived.
      There’s really no “high quality meat” when it comes to human consumption of it because we’re simply not designed to consume it and when we do so anyway, it comes with all kinds of detrimental effects… It’s kind of like trying to put the wrong fuel in a particular engine, so you wouldn’t say “a high quality wrong fuel.”

      It’s true that avocado oil has a high smoke point compared to other oils. Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil do not have very high smoke points. You can read my thoughts on oil consumption a few comments up if you’re interested.

      I personally do not believe that heat does anything or at least anything relevantly harmful to plants high in fat such as nuts or soy. Studies show that better health is correlated with nut consumption and I don’t believe they had specifically followed those eating solely raw nuts, in fact, I believe most people eat primarily toasted nuts and nut butters. The same with soy… better health is associated with soy consumption and who is eating raw soy?
      Even in finding AGE’s in roasted nuts or other high fat plant foods, no one would convince me that ingesting the healthy, cooked plant food would have any ill effect on health unless they did an actual study on the effects of consumption of said healthy, cooked foods. And of course, it would have to be a well designed study. I believe if it were the case that those things were harmful, that my experience would be entirely different than it has been as well as my observations as well as the health of the world at large.
      Also, a lot of people will say there’s high or even “extremely high” glycotoxins in toasted nuts, etc. But if you actually compare them to those found in meat, the numbers pale in comparison, at least on the charts I have seen. Here is a good video that I find gives some good perspective especially when you get the numbers of AGE’s in the roasted plant foods found to have the highest levels and compare them to the chart in the video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-a-sugary-grave/
      Mind you, I am NOT trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m only sharing my thoughts and beliefs on this subject.

      1. Also, so often they’ll find a mutual compound in plant and animal sources and find that it acts differently in the body depending on the source. I also believe that if we picked apart any food (even the healthiest of foods) and broke them down into all their isolated compounds, we could find something negative in anything, from blueberries to broccoli sprouts. I think the study of the actual ingestion of these things are what speak loudest or clearly enough in the first place, personally. Just look at the avocado petri dish study compared to the later human study.

    3. Janice,
      Thank you for your questions. Regarding roasted nuts, the concern is the Advanced Glycated Endproducts that result from high heat. Although roasted nuts are likely better than no nuts. The concern with using extracted oils is that most of the phytonutrients are attached to the fibers so you miss out on the health benefits by using the oils.

      Your second question regarding the diets in the Blue Zones. I think the key point is their high plant consumption (and other lifestyle factors) is the factor that promotes health. The small amount of animal products was not enough to show up detrimental effects because of the predominance of whole plant foods, not that the animal products added any health benefits.See the following link for more information on the Blue Zones. https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/01/17/what-do-all-the-blue-zones-have-in-common/

  17. Thank you TG, Deb and all the others who have addressed this video issue. I do eat a lot more whole plant foods than dairy and meat now. I have been reducing my meat and dairy comsumption the past few months but cheese is like an addiction. I have the utmost respect and admiration for all of you who have become vegans when adults.

    I do apprecaite Dr. Greger’s work and all your great comments.

    1. Carolina,

      I was in the cheese addiction category last November.

      Dr. Barnard’s work on “The Cheese Trap” helped me understand it and helped me to psychologically not want to be manipulated into addiction.

      One of the things, which helped me is that there are pretty good cheese replacements. Funny thing is, I replaced the cheese for about 3 months, then I moved to Nutritional Yeast instead of cheese replacements most of the time.

      I don’t know what they will sell where you are.

      I like the So Delicious Mozzarella and Cheddar Jack style – Whole Foods sells that. I like the Follow Your Heart Mozzarella Style Slices, which other grocery stores sell and I liked Go Veggie Vegan, but my local grocery stores have that so occasionally that I ended up accidentally buying their lactose free and stopped losing weight.. I hated Daiya, because it had an artificial flavor. I had a piece of Vegan Pizza at Whole Foods and they used Daiya and I said, “I am so bummed. The crust is delicious. The sauce is very good. Can I just have it without the cheese” and I looked up and people do just use Nutritional Yeast, but I did a casserole with So Delicious and had people say, “Wow, Vegan cheese isn’t bad.” And I didn’t say, “It depends on the brand and please don’t start with Daiya.”

      1. There are some good transition foods.

        It is better to keep them in your mind as transition foods, because they are still processed and it is better to find recipes with unprocessed foods.

        I still get Morning Star Original Chickn patties and their Breakfast Sausage sometimes, though not as often as I did at the start.

        I also liked Vegan bologna and Vegan cheese with Veganaise for a while for an easy lunch.

        The flavors were so close to the real thing that there wasn’t as much transition.

        I have also used the Vegan Bacon for a Vegan BLT. I don’t think I would eat Vegan Bacon the way people eat Bacon, but it made a good BLT.

        I have used the grounds in many of my old recipes, but I really am collecting as many new recipes as possible and that is how you transition.

        It doesn’t have to be complicated.

        I made a batch of Beans and Rice and Greens and Tomatoes and another batch of Miso Soup one week and put them bowls in my Anchor Hawking glass bowls in the freezer at work. This weekend, I am probably going to do 4 main courses and have them prepared for me at both home and work.

        It seems like doing main courses in larger batches on the weekend and putting most of it in the freezer works so well for me.

        1. I have two multicookers, so I can do chili in one and rice in the other and then do a lentil pasta on the stove all at the same time.

          I also do a lot of wraps. I love wraps, because that is where I get most of my vegetables all in one packed together form.

          I tried to transition from wraps to salad, but I haven’t mastered salad dressings and I find that salad, I end up with five bites in a row of kale or cabbage with nothing on it and wraps, I slather some salsa on the wrap and sometimes guacamole and put in some cherry tomatoes and get plenty of moisture and it is never just a bite of dry lettuce.

    2. Carolina, I was a vegetarian most of my life but upon learning about the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries, I went vegan. Cheese was definitely the hardest part for me too! But once actually giving it up, it really wasn’t such a big deal and eventually it seemed silly that it ever seemed so unimaginable to live a life without cheese. There are lots of amazing cheese replacers out there, some you can buy and they range from healthy, healthy-ish, to total junk food. Buying things like Amy’s vegan mac ‘n cheese helped wean me off initially (I wasn’t WFPB at the time). There’s chao cheese for cheese slices and Miyoko’s Creamery makes AMAZING nut cheeses. But there are also a lot of whole foods recipes for cheese replacements, and they are amazing!! Nutritional yeast is in and of itself an awesome cheese replacer. I used to make taco salads and sprinkle on cheese, now I sprinkle on nutritional yeast… it gives it that same cheesy flavor. You can also use it to make cheese sauces and nacho cheese, etc… there are a ton of recipes out there for that kind of stuff. One of my favorites in particular is this vegan alfredo recipe, it’s honestly the best alfredo I have ever had in my life even prior to being vegan: http://thevegan8.com/2013/12/28/vegan-garlic-alfredo-sauce/
      I was also huge on parmesan and I love Italian food, but I find that cashews and nutritional yeast (and a small amount of salt to taste) ground in a coffee grinder makes an AMAZING parmesan replacer! You can also use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds… I actually usually combine cashews with sunflower seeds and pumpkin if I have them.

  18. I’m confused.
    I firmly believe that, outside of famine, keeping meat consumption to a very low level and avoiding processed meat entirely is healthy. I’m personally a whole foods vegan. But I didnt see any evidence put forth that exogenously sourced oxidized cholesterol is a major causative factor for alzheimer’s disease.
    Sure, hydroxycholesterols have been shown to freely cross the BBB and have been shown to be involved in the development of AD. But isnt the vast majority produced endogenously? The previous video alluded to that. The cholesterol in the brain is made in the brain and must be oxidized to move out of the brain, so excessive brain cholesterol production or excessive brain oxidation of cholesterol is involved in the development of AD. This could easily trump any OxC consumed in the diet, by orders of magnitude.
    So isnt the more important question how to prevent excess de novo cholesterol production in the brain to begin with? [Or, perhaps, prevent run-away cholesterol clearance from the brain].
    Is there solid evidence that a WFPB diet reduces or eliminates the brains over-production of cholesterol?

    And as a tangent, is it possible that hydroxycholesterols could be reduced back to cholesterol in the brain? By that mechanism, brain cholesterol stores could conceivably increase due to OxC from outside of the brain and this cholesterol would eventually have to be re-oxidized, perhaps in a big flood triggered by whatever causes alzheimer’s disease.

    1. I have to admit that I have never studied cholesterol. I have heard bickering about it, but it seems like one of the concepts, which we are waiting for research to square up. That makes it hard for doctors. They have to choose between researchers and dance between conflicting information. I just started looking it up, but I found this article and this is already enough to chew on for a while.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415182507.htm

      Researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that a single mechanism may underlie the damaging effect of cholesterol on the brain and on blood vessels.

      High levels of blood cholesterol increase the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease, but it has been unclear exactly how cholesterol damages the brain to promote Alzheimer’s disease and blood vessels to promote atherosclerosis.

      Using insights gained from studying two much rarer disorders, Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease, researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Department of Neurology of the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that cholesterol wreaks havoc on the orderly process of cell division, leading to defective daughter cells throughout the body.

      In the new study published this week in the on-line journal PLOS ONE, Antoneta Granic, PhD, and Huntington Potter, PhD, show that cholesterol, particularly in the LDL form, called ‘bad cholesterol’, causes cells in both humans and mice to divide incorrectly and distribute their already-duplicated chromosomes unequally to the next generation. The result is an accumulation of defective daughter cells with the wrong number of chromosomes and therefore the wrong number of genes. Instead of the correct two copies of each chromosome, and thus two copies of each gene, some cells acquired three copies and some only one.

      Granic and Potter’s study of the effects of cholesterol on cell division included a prominent finding of cells carrying three copies of the chromosome (#21 in humans and #16 in mice) that encodes the amyloid peptide that is the key component of the neurotoxic amyloid filaments that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer patients.

      Human trisomy 21 cells are significant because people with Down syndrome have trisomy 21 in all of their cells from the moment of conception, and they all develop the brain pathology and many develop the dementia of Alzheimer’s disease by age 50. Earlier studies by Granic, Potter and others have shown that as many as 10% of cells in an Alzheimer patient, including neurons in the brain, have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two. Thus, Alzheimer’s disease is, in some ways, a form of acquired Down syndrome. Furthermore, mutant genes that cause inherited Alzheimer’s disease cause the same defect in chromosome segregation as does cholesterol, thus indicating the presence of a common cell division problem in both familial and ‘sporadic’ (non-familial) Alzheimer’s disease.

      The new research also found trisomy 21 neurons in the brains of children with what, until now, was thought to be an unrelated neurodegenerative disease (Niemann Pick type C), caused by a mutation affecting cholesterol physiology. This result suggests that neurodegeneration itself might be linked to chromosome missegregation.

      Such a model is supported by the finding of Thomas Arendt, MD, and colleagues at the University of Leipzig that 90% of the neuronal cell death observed at autopsy in Alzheimer patients is due to the creation and selective loss of neurons with the wrong number of chromosomes.

      Identifying the specific problem caused by cholesterol will lead to completely new approaches to therapy for many human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and possibly cancer, all of which show signs of defective cell division. Granic and Potter already have found a potentially simple approach to preventing cholesterol from causing cells to distribute their chromosomes unequally into their new daughter cells. Specifically, when cells in culture were first treated with ethanol, the subsequent exposure to bad cholesterol was without effect on cell division: Each daughter cell received the correct number of chromosomes.

    2. That belief isn’t necessarily correct……………

      “no direct causal relationship has been established between AD and the dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism. Thus, although some experimental evidence indicates that alterations in cholesterol metabolism in the brain might contribute to the pathogenesis of AD (Kojro et al., 2001; Simons et al., 1998), it is not clear whether the modification of cholesterol homeostasis in AD brains is a cause or consequence of the disease.”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3484857/

      My understanding is that long term consumption of high fat, high sugar diets impair the blood brain barrier (BBB) allowing cholesterol and other elements from outside the brain to enter the brain (and vice versa). The brain is not an entirely separate system. These diets are typical in Westernised societies.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4023063/

      WFPB diets on the other hand are low in fats and refined sugars. They are also high in fibre and are less likely to compromise the BBB.

      There is also plenty of evidence that dietary cholesterol raises plasma cholesterol in most people although this is attenuated whose baseline cholesterol is already high. There is some evidence too that combined dietary cholesterol and dietary saturated fat are particularly effective in raising oplasma cholesterol levels eg
      ‘In both studies, relative risks for incident dementia were calculated for various dietary factors. In both, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intakes correlated with the risk of developing dementia’
      https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/56/11/M675/591139

      The problem really is that nobody really knows for sure what causes Alzheimer’s. There may even be multiple mechanisms at work. However, there is substantial evidence from human observational studies and animal experimental studies that dietary factors including saturated fat and cholesterol consumption affect brain fuinction and Alzheimer’s risk.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4023063/

      1. Ge, I am having a bad weekend – too much travelling and too little sleeo.

        The statement “There is some evidence too that combined dietary cholesterol and dietary saturated fat are particularly effective in raising plasma cholesterol levels” was incomplete. I should have added “and both appear to increase dementia risk”

    3. Hi I’m a health support volunteer with nutritionfacts.org. Thanks for your great question. I think a lot of the research on cholesterol and AD is relatively new. Right now I think they have found correlation between blood cholesterol levels and AD and the cause is still being studied. We know we can lower blood cholesterol levels with a whole foods plant based diet- which I am so glad to hear you embrace. Here is a little more info you might be interested in:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/alzheimers-and-atherosclerosis-of-the-brain/
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26391039
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4473000/
      NurseKelly

  19. You ask great questions Kal. re: Is there solid evidence that a WFPB diet reduces or eliminates the brain’s over-production of cholesterol ? I would like to know too because so far a WFPB strictly adhered to diet has not reduced my liver’s over-production of cholesterol.

    1. Sally, I am interested.

      Are you low fat, no oil with WFPB?

      Are you supplementing with Omega 3?

      Are you eating 9 or 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and eating Whole grain (which is a tricky subject, because labels lie, but…to the best of your knowledge)

      Do you drink caffeine? Caffeine can increase cholesterol levels by nearly 10%.

      In those who eat a plant-based diet, a high potassium/manganese ratio can bump up blood cholesterol.

      Extremely low levels of sodium can also contribute to an increased LDL.

      Have you tried Dr. Greger’s prescription videos:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/03/24/four-brazil-nuts-once-a-month/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-benefits-of-kale-and-cabbage-for-cholesterol/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avocados-lower-small-dense-ldl-cholesterol/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/amla-vs-drugs-for-cholesterol-inflammation-and-blood-thinning/

      It is a mystery.

  20. I haven’t tried Amla yet, but….

    The Kale and Cabbage are things I eat very frequently, almost daily.

    The Avocado is more bi-weekly for me right now.

    I have the 4 Brazil nuts, when I remember.

    If anybody eats Amla, do they have a good flavor to hide it in?

    I need to find a training wheel flavor.

    1. LOL, ” training wheel flavor”. Yes, I think you may indeed need a training wheel flavor to disguise the pucker power of amla . I have only tried the dried, ground to a powder amla, not the frozen whole fruit. I made a shot glass of amla, inulin, another fiber, tumeric, and a bit of cinnamon, soy milk to mix and just downed it all at once.

      Thank you so much for your reply Deb! And yes I am strict wfpb – my diet is great. The problem is hormones and menopause which caused a large jump in my cholesterol levels. I didnt know about the potassium/manganese ratio though.. i will be sure to check that out.

      You have written a good summary there Deb, an excellent resource for those like me that might need to tweak their diet to lower cholesterol. Thank you !

      1. Good Luck Sally!

        That has to be frustrating.

        I will look up the whole hormonal thing, because I am post-menopausal by about a year. Sounds like it would be something good to know.

        I found an article on this site and Dr. Greger said make sure to check for sources like chocolate or any hidden oils.

        But also to get thyroid function tested, too. A low-functioning thyroid can contribute to high cholesterol.

        (I do infrared light therapy to support my thyroid. It seems to have helped it function better. Based on a Russian Study where many people got off their thyroid meds and the rest cut it in half.)

        I didn’t find Dr. Greger’s link to ground Flaxseed and Cholesterol, but I think there is one.

  21. I think this video and the last one is very enlightening! It could be a big part of these skyrocketing conditions. the fact that all fast foods and frozen prepared foods are cooked first or partly cooked and frozen and later reheated and also they often contain ingredients that have already been processed before–would increase this danger! decades ago food was mostly prepared fresh. The fully prepared and then frozen and reheated products have just been in heavy use a few decades.

    1. Temcat,

      The movement to keep foods shelf stable and the wide variety of food additives use for both packaging and processing is increasing and your correct we have added a number of new ingredients to the mix. Take a look at the perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to keep the wrappers of greasy foods such as pizza, burgers and more. They do migrate to your food and only one (C8) has been phased out….when supplies run out. (https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/packagingfcs/notifications/ucm308462.htm)

      Clearly choosing fresh is always the best approach followed by the least plastic or canned products as possible. Interestingly the use of the ultra-pasteurization (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-high-temperature_processing) has been in common use since the 70’s.

      The lining of cans with BPA and other epoxy resins has been common practice since the 60’s. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331) It would be interesting, if possible, to see if there is a statistical correlation with disease specifics secondary to food processing. Too bad there are too many variables….. but by inference it seems to be obvious.

      Obviously there is another side to the food processing considerations as availably and the relative safety of mass food production is an important aspect for us all. Most of us have no garden ready foods full time.

      With that said, it’s summer time (in the US) and the fresh farmers markets, CSA’s and other availability for many of us is very easy and often times cost effective.

      Dr. Alan Kadish Health Support volunteer for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com

      1. Dr. Kadish,

        You always come in and give a pleasant, useful answer.

        Thank you for that.

        Are the boxed things, like beans and tomatoes, better, for sure, do we know?

        Or the bulk containers, which everybody’s hands have been in?

        Or should I stay with the bags of things?

        1. If I use those bulk bins, does it at least help my gut bacteria, or something?

          I can’t figure out the mental math of them.

          1. Nope, I just relooked at the thing Dr. McDougall posted and it is 70% as the optimistic number after 12 weeks, so I might go longer.

  22. Hello,

    I am a diabetic and I am entering the whole-foods plant-based diet, but one thing that is bothering me is that I cannot eat sufficient servings of beans and whole grains without having my blood sugar levels rise (although slowly) to levels that are the top acceptable (140-150). Is there anyway you can help me?

    1. That’s interesting. Beans and whole grains are usually recommended for diabetics because they are low GI and multiple studies have shown that they help people to better manage blood sugar levels. Do you eat anything else with your beans and whole grains that might affect your blood sugar? Even coffee can affect your readings.
      https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-and-caffeine#1

      And what type of grain do you eat? Some whole grain breads tend to spike blood sugar more than pastaor white rice for example.

      As far as beans are concerned, dried beans (or no salt canned beans) are recommended.
      http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/diabetes-superfoods.html

      However, some beans and grains are lower GI than others. You could therefore choose the lowest GI options.
      http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/suppl/2008/09/18/dc08-1239.DC1/TableA1_1.pdf

      Perhaps one of the dietitians here can recommend something but the only thing that occurs to me is to avoid big meals and to eat smaller meals more often instead.

    2. Bernardo,

      Are you Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic?

      If you are Type 2, have you lowered your saturated fats?

      Dr. Barnard said that people often spike a little for the first few weeks, then, once the fat is out of their Pancreas, blood sugar tends to normalize.

      I don’t know how long you have been WFPB, but are you also low oil is the question I have.

    3. Bernardo,

      Good experimenting.

      My clinical experience has shown me often times that you may be able to tolerate some or all of the foods (beans/grains) mentioned with modifications. Please experiment by using small portions of different grains and beans to start. You might find that the use of non-gluten vs other grains makes a major difference as well as the food format. Think in terms of steel cut oats vs instant oatmeal or refried beans vs just cooked beans.

      You might also find that it will take some time to change the microbiome (gut bacteria) and slow small portion sizes with a WFPB diet will make a difference in a few weeks. This too might affect your blood sugar, so please be patient and keep moving forward with the experiments, speaking of which, as a second experiment please try a mixed meal of high fiber (to slow down the digestion) veggies mixed with either the beans or grains.

      Using a soup, stir fly or stew many be the key to better glycemic control. My only consistent experience with diabetics is that potatoes seem to be one of the almost all the time, no goes, because of the blood sugar spikes.

      Look forward to hearing that your diet has increased in variety, safely,

      Dr. Alan Kadish Health Support volunteer for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com

  23. Cholesterol oxidation products. Should we be concerned about phytosterol oxidation products? How to limit absorption of COPs and POPs in digestion? How to limit production of COPs and POPs in our body? How to limit production of POPs in our plant foods? Are current food storage and preparation methods for nuts, seeds and oils OK? Should better methods be made available to consumers? While I’m typing, I’d like to ask some other questions.

    Would freeze drying sprouts retain nutrients and make them food safe? Could we use a brew of plant based derivatives and micro organisms to kill pathogenic organisms while not affecting the sprouting process in seeds (eg thyme oil extract, broccoli sprout extract, commensal organisms, phytase starter, bacteriophages). Has anyone prepared soy by soaking in a phytase starter, cooking it, fermenting it first with natto culture for a few days, then with a tempeh culture for a few more days, and finally with a miso culture? Would that make the soy less goitrogenic? Should we avoid GM legumes (lentils, peas and dried beans) and are GM refined products (oils, sugars, starches, lecithin) OK?

    1. Good questions about the sprouting! I would like to know that. I would also like to know if freezing the actual sprouts (just simply sticking them in the freezer so they last longer) effects their sulforaphone in any way (yes I know sulforaphane isn’t actually in them but rather produced).

      I don’t believe soy actually has a negative impact on thyroid… anyone have any more info on this? I thought that was myth or mostly myth much like crucifers being “bad for thyroid” when in reality it was just a matter of whether you were getting sufficient iodine in your diet as the crucifers could block some of the absorption.

      Good question about the GM legumes. I know Dr. Greger says (as the evidence shows) that while organic is best, the benefits of eating conventionally grown plant foods far outweighs the negatives of not eating them, so I would imagine that he’d say to get non-gmo or even better, organic, if possible but to not avoid eating them if you can’t.
      Personally I think the research on long term effects (and even short term for that matter) of eating GMO foods is at its very best, extremely limited due to Monsanto and others who have such a huge influence on making sure of just that, but I still believe that eating gm plant foods including legumes is better than not eating those foods.

    2. Hi Arthur,

      I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thanks so much for your questions. They are interesting, and show a thinking-outside-the-box mentality. Great!

      Overall, very minimal research has been done on the topic of phytosterol oxidation products (POPs), and a small minority of that research was done on humans. To start, approximately 2-5% of phytosterols are absorbed versus about 60% of cholesterol. Although it is not known whether these percentages remain true for the oxidized versions, the rate of absorption of POPs is likely much lower than that of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs). Secondly, it appears that even some of the phytosterols we absorb are oxidized endogenously (meaning inside the body). Some POPs, such as campestenone, appear to potentially have a beneficial effect, but this is by no means conclusive. Next, some studies in rats have estimated that even at the same dose, POPs have five times less toxicity compared with COPs. Lastly, research is inconclusive as to whether POPs are pro-atherogenic, although it is becoming more emergent that POPs do not lower cholesterol as substantially as phytosterols.

      The oxidation of phytosterols into POPs is based on a wide variety of factors, including heat duration and intensity, water content of the food matrix, degree of saturation of the phytosterol, exposure to oxygen, etc. To minimize the intake of POPs, minimizing heat and long storage periods for phytosterol-rich foods may be the most practical solutions at this point. Additionally, it appears that foods like oils, foods with added phytosterols (margarine spreads, etc.) french fries, and potato chips are highest in POPs, so avoiding those foods may reduce exposure.

      I hope this helps to answer your question, although much of the above research mentioned is inconclusive and done in animal models.

      1. Thank you. The take away message is avoid or limit the cooking of fats, and don’t let nuts, seeds and oils spoil. A different issue I have is with some nuts and seeds. They don’t keep well if they’re out of their shell. I don’t know if it’s mold but they get musty before I can eat them all. Specifically sunflower seed kernels. I stored them in the refrigerator and within a few weeks I felt unwell eating them. Even outside the refrigerator they go off in some way, before I can finish them. How to prolong their shelf life? I don’t want to do the soaking and dehydrating thing; I don’t have a dehydrator and don’t want to buy one. Are there any products on the market that are made for storing nuts and seeds?

  24. I have been on a WFPB diet for a year but had a stroke 2 months ago. I notice that many stroke sites say eat salmon for the omega 3s. I eat 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds daily, but I am wondering if I should eat wild salmon a couple times a month

    1. Sorry to hear about your stroke, hope you’re doing ok! I personally take 2 tbsp of ground flax a day as a rule but sometimes 3 and I find this is enough for me. I also regularly incorporate hemp seeds because they’re a good source of omega-3’s and have SDA and GLA, other nutrients, and I just like them.
      Keep in mind that the only reason they’re recommending salmon is due to long chain omega-3’s which you could get in a fish oil supplement in higher amounts or an algae oil supplement in higher amounts. Dr. Greger recommends taking algae oil supplements instead of fish oil or eating fish because as he always says, “food is a package deal.” Why eat or take something with a list of health concerns when you could get the same thing from an available plant source, that is to say… And that isn’t even to mention the cruelty of fishing or the severity of an overfished ocean.

      If you decide to start taking algae oil or whatever else, I would definitely keep consuming the flax because as far as arterial health goes, it’s the short chain ALA’s found in plants that are shown to be beneficial to the heart and as Dr. Greger says, what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.

      Good luck!!

      1. Just to clarify, I meant he recommends algae oil supplements instead of taking fish oil and instead of eating fish. My writing looks like it could be misunderstood but I’m extremely tired right now so I don’t know.

        If I were in your situation I would probably add to my flax, a good algae oil supplement with DHA and EPA. Our bodies can retroconvert DHA into EPA but might as well get the straight EPA if you can.

  25. How timely, on one of your more recent videos there’s been some questions and conversation about the specific harm caused by actual cholesterol ingestion.

    So this is what? Reason number 500,412 for humans not to eat animals? I lost count.

  26. I love how the takeaway here for some has been “oh, so raw meat then?” Do people actually view his other videos or read his work??

  27. I’ve been a very strict vegan for 7 years. For whatever reason, my cholesterol numbers are not great. Now I’m wondering about oxidized cholesterol. Does cholesterol oxidation occur within the body? Should one do a test for oxidized cholesterol?

  28. Hi, skowarsky. Yes, cholesterol oxidation does occur within the body. During the 7 years you have been a strict vegan, have you been WFPB? Do you consume processed vegan foods and oils? If so, it would be a good idea to eliminate those. Amla could help you further reduce your cholesterol levels. More on that here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-food-for-high-cholesterol/
    Foods like oats can also help the body eliminate cholesterol. More on that here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/can-oatmeal-reverse-heart-disease/
    Increasing legume consumption may lower cholesterol as well: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/beans-beans-theyre-good-for-your-heart/
    According to https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/oxidized-cholesterol-what-you-should-know#prevention , “If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, your doctor can test you to see if you have a high level of oxidized LDL in your body. A routine lipid profile blood test can give you total cholesterol results, but it doesn’t test for oxidized cholesterol. A coronary artery calcium score CT scan can identify hidden cholesterol.” The article recommends eating saturated fat in moderation, but it is better to avoid it entirely.
    I hope that helps!

  29. The issue here is really the cooking method used but unfortunately again the focus has been biased against cholesterol and animal products.

    The bias has soured what would otherwise have been an excellent video with some good points.

    Any form of cooking that involves high heat and browning will create toxic byproducts through the Malliard reaction- that includes browning meat as well as browning vegetables.

    So if you caramelise onions you get a whole bunch of advanced glycation end products, which are also associated with ageing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8731173

    1. Alex, that is just a blatantly misleading statement I can only imagine you’re making to try to deflect some of the many harms that come along with meat consumption.
      The only time any relevant glycotoxins are found in plants is if the cooked plant is high in fat. But even then, the number of AGE’s pale in comparison to the numbers found in animal products.

      Furthermore, this video was about oxidized cholesterol, specifically. So I’m not even sure why you made this comment here.

      Here are my thoughts on glycotoxins in plants, they’re only my thoughts but I suggest viewing the linked video in the midst of them which shows a veggie burger compared to a hamburger both cooked in the same way:

      I personally do not believe that heat does anything or at least anything relevantly harmful to plants high in fat such as nuts or soy. Studies show that better health is correlated with nut consumption and I don’t believe they had specifically followed those eating solely raw nuts, in fact, I believe most people eat primarily toasted nuts and nut butters. The same with soy… better health is associated with soy consumption and who is eating raw soy?
      Even in finding AGE’s in roasted nuts or other high fat plant foods, no one would convince me that ingesting the healthy, cooked plant food would have any ill effect on health unless they did an actual study on the effects of consumption of said healthy, cooked foods. And of course, it would have to be a well designed study. I believe if it were the case that those things were harmful, that my experience would be entirely different than it has been as well as my observations as well as the health of the world at large.
      Also, a lot of people will say there’s high or even “extremely high” glycotoxins in toasted nuts, etc. But if you actually compare them to those found in meat, the numbers pale in comparison, at least on the charts I have seen. Here is a good video that I find gives some good perspective especially when you get the numbers of AGE’s in the roasted plant foods found to have the highest levels and compare them to the chart in the video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-a-sugary-grave/

      Mind you, I am NOT trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m only sharing my thoughts and beliefs on this subject.

      Also, so often they’ll find a mutual compound in plant and animal sources and find that it acts differently in the body depending on the source. I also believe that if we picked apart any food (even the healthiest of foods) and broke them down into all their isolated compounds, we could find something negative in anything, from blueberries to broccoli sprouts. I think the study of the actual ingestion of these things are what speak loudest or clearly enough in the first place, personally. Just look at the avocado petri dish study compared to the later human study.

      … And where are you getting that cooked vegetables age you? That is just absolutely false and you should provide a reliable source when making such outlandish claims. Consumption of plant food in genereal, cooked and raw, is associated with better skin quality and better overall health. There was a study done on people eating the mere reccomended servings of fruits and vegetables and when tested they showed up as 14 years younger than they actually were compared to those not getting in their servings. There’s a video here on that somewhere.
      And actually a 100% raw diet can be much more aging as it was shown that women eating an all raw diet were prone to go into early menopause (a video or article on that here somewhere).
      You get more vitamin A when incorporating cooked vegetables, too. Dr. Greger reccomended a combination of both cooked and raw foods for optimum health – you get the best of both worlds that way.

      1. To clarify, I realize you provided a link, but it did not reference cooked vegetables and aging at all nor did it make any sound conclusions.

  30. There are people that have their cholesterol tested. Then fast for three days on nothing but water. Then test their cholesterol again. Their LDL-C goes higher – example: 284 to 368. It they eat high fat for three days and test, their LDL-C drops back to the level before fasting. The theory is that LDL-C comes from the liver. It is excited when the body appears to be starving. It is reduced when the body is fed. The fat that circulates in the blood is gone after a few hours after eating – like blood glucose. So a normal 12 hour fast before a blood test will not pickup fats in the blood from food. What do you think? Should we 12-hour fast before a blood test? Eat lots of nuts? Maybe this explains why heart surgeons are surprised sometimes when a high LDL-C patient has clean arteries and when a low LDL-C patient is plugged up?

    http://cholesterolcode.com/the-fasting-disaster/

  31. Good to see further exportation on this topic. The main conclusion seems to come back to keeping LDL/cholesterol low avoids most of the oxidation problem. The part I would like to understand better in that argument is the idea that our bodies need cholesterol, which is my understanding of where the counter argument is rooted. For example, if memory serves, I think horomes come from cholesterol and our brain/nerves is heavily built from cholesterol. So, how is that view reconciled with the idea of low LDL?

  32. Herbivores like humans make all the cholesterol we need internally, so there is no need to ingest/eat any. Because of this, our bodies have not evolved (or been created) to deal with extra cholesterol which only comes from non-herbivore food (i.e. animal products), so our bodies try to deal with it the best we can, which is not so good as it ends up clogging our arteries.

    Dr. Ben

  33. LOWER THE VOLUME ON OPENING AND CLOSING “BOOOOOOM”

    Dr. Greger’s flurry of words is hard to hear at lower volumes, so many of us must turn up the volume so each syllable can be heard. But there is a problem.

    At the beginning and end of each video, the massive, signature audio “BOOOOOOOOM” leaves us scrambling for the volume control. The boom is simply much louder than necessary, so when Greger speaks at normal volume, the boom is deafening.

    Such problems are avoidable. Whereas on YouTube, we hear such poor audio modulation all the time with the work of amateurs (usually teens eager to impress with loud noises), in the professional realm, such audio antics serve no professional, mission-sensitive purpose.

    Executive summary– less boom, more Greger.

  34. in this video you mention that fish and chicken are high in COP, but in the video called:” Oxidized Cholesterol as a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease,” May 30th, 2018 Volume 42, at 2:39 the graph shows low amounts of COP. How come?

  35. I love nutritionfacts.org, so I only am searching to understand with this question. The video seems to make the assumption that oxidized cholesterol in the body comes from oxidized cholesterol that we eat. With that assumption, the video goes into all the bad sources of oxLDL. However, my understanding is that the liver synthesizes most of the cholesterol in our body. This thought anecdotally explains why carbohydrates, especially fructose, seems to be the strongest dietary driver of cholesterol levels in the body. With the exception of genetic variations, my understanding is that on average populations fat intake does not largely contribute to cholesterol levels. This is anecdotally consistent with the past 30+ year low-fat trend that has not positively impacted cholesterol issue. So, my question is does anyone have good studies they can easily point to in regards to supporting fat intake impacting cholesterol levels? And secondly, if you assume that diet is not the source (but possibly a cause) of oxLDL, does anyone have thoughts on what are the drivers of oxLDL?

    1. Dave,
      Lots of good questions! So glad you are really thinking seriously about the content. I’ll try to address your questions. It’s true that our bodies make cholesterol in the liver roughly in proportion to the amount of saturated fat that we consume. When animal foods are consumed we add more cholesterol to our bodies. The antioxidants that are packed in whole plant foods helps protect us from oxidizing the cholesterol inside our bodies.

      The high amount of saturated fat consumed in the SAD (standard American diet) does largely contribute to excess cholesterol levels in the body as does the extra cholesterol consumed from animal products. In fact, the fat intake has been on the rise since 1970. See this link. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/12/13/whats-on-your-table-how-americas-diet-has-changed-over-the-decades/

      Here is a discussion of studies demonstrating the role of saturated fat in cholesterol levels. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2016/12/19/saturated-fat-regardless-of-type-found-linked-with-increased-heart-disease-risk/

      I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Isaac! Unfortunately that link isn’t pulling up the study for me. If you’d like to try to repost the link or title of the study below I would be happy to check it out!

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