Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

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RitaA
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu 1 Jul 2010 8:33

Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by RitaA » Thu 21 Jan 2016 19:14

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-01-e ... -role.html
Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

January 13, 2016

Atherosclerotic Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is responsible for one in every six deaths in the United States as well as being the leading cause of death throughout the developed world. Healthcare professionals have for many years sought to limit and control CHD by focusing on prevention and, from a dietary perspective, on limiting saturated fats.

In an article published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute cardiovascular research scientist and James J.. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, and James H. O'Keefe, MD, examined the question of whether that focus may be misplaced and ask does sugar have a greater impact on coronary heart disease than saturated fat?

The theory of dietary saturated fats as the principal promoter of elevated serum cholesterol and heart disease stems from research beginning in the 1950's by an American scientist Ancel Keys. It was this theory which was embraced by the American Heart Association and the US federal government in the 1960s and 70s. However, at the same time of Keys research, a British physiologist John Yudkin argued that sugar intake was more closely related to incidence of and mortality from CHD.

Both Yudkin and Keys were able to support their theories through observational studies in large part because people eat foods, not isolated food constituents. Dietary sources of saturated fat are also often dietary sources of sugar and people who eat lots of sugar often also eat lots of saturated fat.

Along with co-author, Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, MS, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, DiNicolantonio and O'Keefe evaluated the evidence to date linking saturated fats and sugars to CHD, considering basic science, epidemiology, and clinical trial data related to CHD risk, CHD events, and CHD mortality. The authors concluded that sugar consumption, particularly in the form of refined added sugars, are a greater contributor to CHD than saturated fats.

"While the original studies upon which the longstanding guidelines were based were largely observational," said DiNicolantonio, "We now have more than a half century of data as well as increased understanding of how nutrition impacts the body and specifically coronary heart disease."
The metabolic aspects of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are complex but existing research suggests that certain SFAs may actually confer measurable benefits for lipid profiles and CHD risk. For instance, some SFAs increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), which is often referred to as the "good cholesterol" as this lipoprotein is associated with a reduced risk of CHD.

Replacing saturated fats, or any other component, from one's diet almost inevitably means replacing it with something else. When carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates like sugar, replace saturated fats, which can have a negative impact on lipid profiles (HDL tends to fall and triglycerides tend to rise).

As stated earlier, people don't eat isolated fatty acids - they eat foods that are a mix of various fatty acids and other food constituents. While high intakes from processed meats may increase risk of CHD, higher intakes from dairy sources of saturated fat may not only pose no risk but actually decrease risk.

Consuming a diet high in sugar for just a few weeks has been shown to cause numerous abnormalities found in patients with CHD, such as high total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, oxidized LDL, uric acid, insulin resistance and abnormal glucose tolerance, low HDL, and altered platelet function. The overall effect of consuming a diet high in sugar on these numerous health markers is likely more detrimental to overall health compared to increased consumption of saturated fat, which can increase LDL but at the same time raise HDL.

Added fructose - generally in the form of sucrose (table sugar) or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in processed foods and beverages seems especially potent for producing harm. Consuming these sugars can lead to resistance in leptin, which is a key hormone in the maintenance of normal body weight. The overconsumption of added fructose undoubtedly increases the risk for obesity, which is also a risk factor for CHD.

Excess fructose also markedly increases the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) - the most common liver disease in the US and a strong independent risk factor for CHD. The association between NAFLD and CHD is stronger than the link between CHD and smoking, hypertension, diabetes, male gender, high cholesterol or metabolic syndrome.

Sugars occurring naturally in fruits and vegetables pose no increased risk for CHD. The problem is refined sugars - with ultraprocessed foods being of greatest concern. Products with added sugars represent 75% of all packaged foods and beverages in the US and most commonly contain sucrose or HFCS, which seem to raise CHD risk even more than other sugars such as glucose.

A diet high in sugar has also been found to promote prediabetes and diabetes. And patients with both of these conditions have a much greater risk for CHD compared to normal healthy patients, particularly a severe narrowing of the left main coronary artery.

Ultra-processed foods also tend to be sources of saturated fats but the harms associated with eating these products may have nothing to do with the fat and everything to do with processed foods themselves. Therefore, best advice is to avoid processed foods rather than to simply avoid SFAs as avoiding SFAs might direct people away from foods that are not only completely benign but actually beneficial (such as dairy foods) but also steer people towards foods that may be harmful - i.e. low-fat, ultra-processed, with huge amounts of hidden added sugars.

"After a thorough analysis of the evidence it seems appropriate to recommend dietary guidelines shift focus away from recommendations to reduce saturated fat and towards recommendations to avoid added sugars," said Dr DiNicolantonio. "Most importantly recommendations should support the eating of whole foods whenever possible and the avoidance of ultra-processed food."


Explore further: Low saturated fat diets don't curb heart disease risk or help you live longer

More information: "The Evidence for Saturated Fat and for Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease" James J. DiNicolantonio, Sean C. Lucan, James H. O'Keefe. DOI: doi: 10.1016/j..pcad.2015.11.006
The following seems like sensible advice:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health- ... prevention
How Can Coronary Heart Disease Be Prevented or Delayed?

You can prevent and control coronary heart disease (CHD) by taking action to control your risk factors with heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines. Examples of risk factors you can control include high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and overweight and obesity. Only a few risk factors—such as age, gender, and family history—can’t be controlled.

Your risk for CHD increases with the number of risk factors you have. To reduce your risk of CHD and heart attack, try to control each risk factor you have by adopting the following heart-healthy lifestyles:

Heart-healthy eating
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Managing stress
• Physical activity
• Quitting smoking

[snip]
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health- ... lthyEating
Heart-Healthy Eating

Your doctor may recommend heart-healthy eating, which should include:

• Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as fat-free milk
• Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and trout, about twice a week
• Fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, and prunes
• Legumes, such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans
• Vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and carrots
• Whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, and corn tortillas

When following a heart-healthy diet, you should avoid eating:

• A lot of red meat
• Palm and coconut oils
Sugary foods and beverages

Two nutrients in your diet make blood cholesterol levels rise:

• Saturated fat—found mostly in foods that come from animals
• Trans fat (trans fatty acids)—found in foods made with hydrogenated oils and fats, such as stick margarine; baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, and pies; crackers; frostings; and coffee creamers. Some trans fats also occur naturally in animal fats and meats.

Saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol more than anything else in your diet. When you follow a heart-healthy eating plan, only 5 percent to 6 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. Food labels list the amounts of saturated fat.

[snip]

Not all fats are bad. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats actually help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Some sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are:

• Avocados
• Corn, sunflower, and soybean oils
• Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts
• Olive, canola, peanut, safflower, and sesame oils
• Peanut butter
• Salmon and trout
• Tofu

[snip]

Psilociraptor
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri 29 Apr 2016 15:57

Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by Psilociraptor » Fri 29 Apr 2016 19:19

All the blame on nutrients is ridiculous. Lipid remodeling and synthesis is part of the acute phase inflammatory response and serves the function of being a detox mechanism for endotoxins. Dyslipidemia and CVD is more an indication of infection than nutrient intake. Granted you can certainly achieve this by selectively feeding gut microbes, but this is can not simply be reduced to blaming macronutrients. For example honey which is mostly fructose and glucose is protective against metabolic syndrome. Likely due to its vast array of prebiotics and antibiotic components which exerts a much more complex dynamic on microbial ecosystems than ingestion of HFCS. I'm glad the authors mention whole foods, but still...

User avatar
ChronicLyme19
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon 11 Aug 2014 17:42
Location: NY, USA

Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by ChronicLyme19 » Sat 30 Apr 2016 2:46

So what you are saying Psilociraptor is just don't eat processed crap?
Half of what you are taught is incorrect, but which half? What if there's another half missing?

RitaA
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu 1 Jul 2010 8:33

Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by RitaA » Sat 30 Apr 2016 4:41

Psilociraptor wrote:All the blame on nutrients is ridiculous. Lipid remodeling and synthesis is part of the acute phase inflammatory response and serves the function of being a detox mechanism for endotoxins. Dyslipidemia and CVD is more an indication of infection than nutrient intake. Granted you can certainly achieve this by selectively feeding gut microbes, but this is can not simply be reduced to blaming macronutrients. For example honey which is mostly fructose and glucose is protective against metabolic syndrome. Likely due to its vast array of prebiotics and antibiotic components which exerts a much more complex dynamic on microbial ecosystems than ingestion of HFCS. I'm glad the authors mention whole foods, but still...
All things considered, honey really is pretty amazing:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/
Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160.
doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60016-6
PMCID: PMC3609166

Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity

Indeed, medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world's oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times, it has been known to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity. The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its immunomodulatory property is relevant to wound repair too.

At least one cardiac surgeon agrees that inflammation is key to developing CVD, however he appears convinced that infections are just one of several possible causes/triggers, and that diet plays a very important role in chronic inflammation.

https://www.sott.net/article/242516-Hea ... rt-disease
Heart surgeon speaks out on what really causes heart disease

Dr. Dwight Lundell
PreventDisease
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:58 UTC

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled "opinion makers." Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated -- it is quite simply your body's natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator -- inflammation in their arteries.

Let's get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6's are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell -- they must be in the correct balance with omega-3's.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today's mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That's a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today's food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer's disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the "science" that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.
I'm not convinced there's anything "simple" when it comes to the human body and good health (or lack of it).

Psilociraptor
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri 29 Apr 2016 15:57

Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by Psilociraptor » Sun 1 May 2016 21:02

ChronicLyme19 wrote:So what you are saying Psilociraptor is just don't eat processed crap?
There is no proof to back this up, but logic suggests that this is the most likely case. The human microbiome is an extraordinarily diverse and complex ecosystem. Unfortunately we have taken a very reductionist approach to tackling human health and as such it is impossible to say with certainty that eating whole foods would resolve the issue. But when you consider the extraordinary array of non-nutritive chemicals that are present in whole foods that have either direct or indirect effects on the regulation of these ecosystems (antimicrobial compounds, polyphenols, non-digestible carbohydrates, etc) it becomes clear that refined food products will not have the same effects on homeostasis and will more than likely promote loss of species diversity and strain overgrowth by selective feeding. As far as I am aware only high fat diets have been directly studied in this process and with damning effects on intestinal health on chronic low-grade "sepsis" style effects.

User avatar
ChronicLyme19
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon 11 Aug 2014 17:42
Location: NY, USA

Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by ChronicLyme19 » Mon 2 May 2016 4:41

Wait, but don't the inuit have a very high fat diet and are healthy? Or is that just one of those fake facts that get passed around.
Half of what you are taught is incorrect, but which half? What if there's another half missing?

Psilociraptor
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri 29 Apr 2016 15:57

Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by Psilociraptor » Mon 2 May 2016 15:44

ChronicLyme19 wrote:Wait, but don't the inuit have a very high fat diet and are healthy? Or is that just one of those fake facts that get passed around.
I don't know much about the inuit but if i'm not mistaken they are pretty genetically adapted to their diet. In either case this sort of brings me back to my point. I don't think anyones ever proven that animal fat is bad. Just like i don't believe anyone is going to prove that high carb fruits and tubers are bad in the majority. These are complex whole foods and can not be reduced to their constituent parts like reductionist so desperately want to do. The research addressing the effects of microbes on metabolic syndrome used a 72% fat diet of corn oil and lard which is an exaggeration of westernized junk food and doesn't represent something that's even remotely attainable from complex whole foods. The merit of that paper is not in proving fat is bad imo. But fat is commonly used to induce experimental metabolic syndrome. The merit in that paper was to prove that the physiological outcomes had little to do with the fat absorption itself, but the disturbance of microbial ecosystems and intestinal health. The change in internal lipid dynamics is instead the result of insulin resistance and acute phase infectious response mechanisms. The purpose of this is likely to spare glucose for reductive biosynthesis and redox functions (ie DNA/RNA for rapidly dividing cells such as damaged tissues and immune cells, ROS/RNS species by leukocytes, and glutathione reduction) by burning fat for cellular respiration as well as lipoprotein remodeling and synthesis for endotoxin detoxification. This is an evolutionarily conserved response to infection and trauma and similar alterations are seen in septic shock. As such, extrapolating the effects of experimental "high fat" diets on microbial regulation to whole food diets is impossible. Or so that's my take.

Psilociraptor
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri 29 Apr 2016 15:57

Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by Psilociraptor » Mon 2 May 2016 16:29

RitaA wrote:
Psilociraptor wrote:All the blame on nutrients is ridiculous. Lipid remodeling and synthesis is part of the acute phase inflammatory response and serves the function of being a detox mechanism for endotoxins. Dyslipidemia and CVD is more an indication of infection than nutrient intake. Granted you can certainly achieve this by selectively feeding gut microbes, but this is can not simply be reduced to blaming macronutrients. For example honey which is mostly fructose and glucose is protective against metabolic syndrome. Likely due to its vast array of prebiotics and antibiotic components which exerts a much more complex dynamic on microbial ecosystems than ingestion of HFCS. I'm glad the authors mention whole foods, but still...
All things considered, honey really is pretty amazing:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/
Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160.
doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60016-6
PMCID: PMC3609166

Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity

Indeed, medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world's oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times, it has been known to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity. The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its immunomodulatory property is relevant to wound repair too.

At least one cardiac surgeon agrees that inflammation is key to developing CVD, however he appears convinced that infections are just one of several possible causes/triggers, and that diet plays a very important role in chronic inflammation.

https://www.sott.net/article/242516-Hea ... rt-disease
Heart surgeon speaks out on what really causes heart disease

Dr. Dwight Lundell
PreventDisease
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:58 UTC

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled "opinion makers." Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated -- it is quite simply your body's natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator -- inflammation in their arteries.

Let's get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6's are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell -- they must be in the correct balance with omega-3's.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today's mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That's a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today's food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer's disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the "science" that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.
I'm not convinced there's anything "simple" when it comes to the human body and good health (or lack of it).
I don't disagree that diet is important, but i do disagree about why it is important. Bear with me because this is purely speculative and my opinion from what i've read. But my impression is that the human body is a master of homeostasis beyond what we often give it credit for. Whats important to remember is that the inflammatory response isn't an On/Off switch. It is masterfully dynamic in its response to various stimuli in a way that aims to minimize damage to the host while maximizing its response to the insult. Many people are familiar with the Th1/Th2 dynamic but there are yet others which are less studied that create a unique profile of immune cell maturation and cytokine secretion. As such we can not lump sum "inflammation" into a single pathway. I am open to being corrected on this, but i don't believe it would be accurate to say the body responds similarly to microbes as it does to "toxins" and nutritional excess. When the immune cells detect molecular patterns associated with microbes they secrete large amounts of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in attempt to neutralize them among other cytotoxic activities. In other words, the response to infection is aggressive and brings collateral damage to the host. I wouldn't expect the same thing to come out of AGE formation, something that simply needs a corrective response. The problem in modern research has been untangling the inflammatory milieu. In other words, proving this is difficult because you almost never have appreciable effects to dietary toxins without also disturbing the microflora. For example, endotoxemia leads to potent insulin resistance and eventually hyperglycemia. This is your biggest risk factor for AGE formation (think diabetes complications). So without the microbially incited inflammation, the damages from glycation drop substantially as insulin sensitivity is restored. So refined sugar more than likely disturbs the microflora, which more than likely results in inflammation, which increases the damages caused by the sugars inside the host. It is then absurdly difficult to differentiate between the inflammatory response to the AGE and the inflammatory response to the infection. But think back to the honey example. It even has been explored for its benefits on diabetics suggesting that we can not apply the same effects to whole foods as we can to the isolated ingredients and the determinant events, while undoubtedly happening at multiple levels of physiology, are more than likely residing mostly in the ability of honey to regulate the microbiome.

So you're right. There's nothing simple about it. And I'm not trying to make claims that food doesn't impact health. But given the nature of the inflammatory processes at play i think it is vital to consider the effects of food on the regulation of microbiota and immune homeostasis before trying to come up with a biochemical basis of toxicity from the standpoint of human metabolism. In fact, we've been doing that for decades with little progress in developing any understanding of a healthy diet. Such an approach is far too reductionist. The elephant in the room is that microbes are possibly the biggest evolutionarily conserved threat to multicellular organisms and until you account for their presence you can not begin to understand human metabolism and inflammatory processes to any appreciable degree. Again, not to suggest that direct toxic effects of food constituents on human physiology don't occur, but are these really the problems we're seeing in modern disease epidemics? I don't personally believe so.

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ChronicLyme19
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Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by ChronicLyme19 » Wed 4 May 2016 4:53

What about beneficial foods like Kefir? It supposedly has inulin and 12+ strains of good bacteria in it.

I've been on three max dose antibiotics for about 3-4 years now, with absolutely no GI issues by drinking a cup of kefir a day. It hands down beats the pants off any refrigerated probiotic pill you can get. Even before having lyme and being on antibiotics, anytime I'd feel sick, drinking it would always make me feel better.
Half of what you are taught is incorrect, but which half? What if there's another half missing?

RitaA
Posts: 2768
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Re: Evidence suggests sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat

Post by RitaA » Thu 5 May 2016 7:07

Psilociraptor wrote: I don't disagree that diet is important, but i do disagree about why it is important. Bear with me because this is purely speculative and my opinion from what i've read. But my impression is that the human body is a master of homeostasis beyond what we often give it credit for. Whats important to remember is that the inflammatory response isn't an On/Off switch. It is masterfully dynamic in its response to various stimuli in a way that aims to minimize damage to the host while maximizing its response to the insult. Many people are familiar with the Th1/Th2 dynamic but there are yet others which are less studied that create a unique profile of immune cell maturation and cytokine secretion. As such we can not lump sum "inflammation" into a single pathway. I am open to being corrected on this, but i don't believe it would be accurate to say the body responds similarly to microbes as it does to "toxins" and nutritional excess. When the immune cells detect molecular patterns associated with microbes they secrete large amounts of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in attempt to neutralize them among other cytotoxic activities. In other words, the response to infection is aggressive and brings collateral damage to the host. I wouldn't expect the same thing to come out of AGE formation, something that simply needs a corrective response. The problem in modern research has been untangling the inflammatory milieu. In other words, proving this is difficult because you almost never have appreciable effects to dietary toxins without also disturbing the microflora. For example, endotoxemia leads to potent insulin resistance and eventually hyperglycemia. This is your biggest risk factor for AGE formation (think diabetes complications). So without the microbially incited inflammation, the damages from glycation drop substantially as insulin sensitivity is restored. So refined sugar more than likely disturbs the microflora, which more than likely results in inflammation, which increases the damages caused by the sugars inside the host. It is then absurdly difficult to differentiate between the inflammatory response to the AGE and the inflammatory response to the infection. But think back to the honey example. It even has been explored for its benefits on diabetics suggesting that we can not apply the same effects to whole foods as we can to the isolated ingredients and the determinant events, while undoubtedly happening at multiple levels of physiology, are more than likely residing mostly in the ability of honey to regulate the microbiome.

So you're right. There's nothing simple about it. And I'm not trying to make claims that food doesn't impact health. But given the nature of the inflammatory processes at play i think it is vital to consider the effects of food on the regulation of microbiota and immune homeostasis before trying to come up with a biochemical basis of toxicity from the standpoint of human metabolism. In fact, we've been doing that for decades with little progress in developing any understanding of a healthy diet. Such an approach is far too reductionist. The elephant in the room is that microbes are possibly the biggest evolutionarily conserved threat to multicellular organisms and until you account for their presence you can not begin to understand human metabolism and inflammatory processes to any appreciable degree. Again, not to suggest that direct toxic effects of food constituents on human physiology don't occur, but are these really the problems we're seeing in modern disease epidemics? I don't personally believe so.
I completely agree that the human body naturally seeks homeostasis, and that whole foods should not be compared to isolated ingredients.

The multiple causes of various types of inflammation makes figuring things out more difficult (if not impossible) in most cases. There's no doubt in my mind that infections trigger inflammation that is usually beneficial, but sometimes takes on a life of its own -- resulting in what some might call autoimmune disease.

In a nutshell, the microbiome (although a relatively recent concept) has likely always been the most important factor when it comes to human health and disease. That said, determining what affects the human microbiome (and exactly how) will likely take several more decades (if not centuries) to fully understand.

http://depts.washington.edu/ceeh/downlo ... obiome.pdf
What does the microbiome have to do with health?

The microbiome is essential for human development, immunity and nutrition.

The bacteria living in and on us are not invaders but beneficial colonizers.

Autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia are associated with dysfunction in the microbiome. Disease-causing microbes accumulate over time, changing gene activity and metabolic processes and resulting in an abnormal immune response against substances and tissues normally present in the body.

Autoimmune diseases appear to be passed in families not by DNA inheritance but by inheriting the family’s microbiome.
Getting somewhat off-topic, I sometimes wonder if fecal transplants will prove to be as beneficial in the much longer term as they appear to be in the short term (e.g. when treating an overgrowth of c. difficile). I was prescribed metronidazole for c. difficile colitis, and was fortunate enough not to develop a recurrence (knock on wood). I typically consume kefir and Florastor (Saccharomyces Boulardii) on a daily basis because it may be beneficial and it's easy for me to do (at least most of the time). Although I realize this is purely anecdotal, I developed an overgrowth of c. difficile two months after taking Clindamycin prescribed for a skin infection (unrelated to Lyme disease). Maybe it's purely coincidental, but that happened following a period of several days when I didn't have access to kefir. Was the kefir helping to keep things in check? I'll never really know for sure, but my guess would be yes.

Here's another example of the wonders of honey -- in this case Manuka honey. I wonder how much honey a person would have to consume on a daily basis to prevent (or treat) an overgrowth of c. difficile?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23651562
BMC Res Notes. 2013 May 7;6:188. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-6-188.
Antibacterial effect of Manuka honey on Clostridium difficile.
Hammond EN, Donkor ES.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Manuka honey originates from the manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) and its antimicrobial effect has been attributed to a property referred to as Unique Manuka Factor that is absent in other types of honey. Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey has been documented for several bacterial pathogens, however there is no information on Clostridium difficile, an important nosocomial pathogen. In this study we investigated susceptibility of C. difficile to Manuka honey and whether the activity is bactericidal or bacteriostatic.

METHODS:

Three C. difficile strains were subjected to the broth dilution method to determine minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) for Manuka honey. The agar well diffusion method was also used to investigate sensitivity of the C. difficile strains to Manuka honey.

RESULTS:

The MIC values of the three C. difficile strains were the same (6.25% v/v). Similarly, MBC values of the three C. difficile strains were the same (6.25% v/v). The activity of Manuka honey against all three C. difficile strains was bactericidal. A dose-response relationship was observed between the concentrations of Manuka honey and zones of inhibition formed by the C. difficile strains, in which increasing concentrations of Manuka honey resulted in increasing size of zone of inhibition formed. Maximum zone of inhibition was observed at 50% (v/v) Manuka honey and the growth inhibition persisted over 7 days.

CONCLUSION:

C. difficile is appreciably susceptible to Manuka honey and this may offer an effective way of treating infections caused by the organism.

PMID: 23651562 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3669629 Free PMC Article

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