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Matti Narkia

How this horrible weather could give you heart disease | Mail Online - 0 views

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    "We are fond of grumbling about Britain's grey skies, but there may be a good medical reason for doing so. It seems the dreary weather is bad for our hearts - worse, even, than raised cholesterol and an unhealthy diet.

    That's the controversial claim being made by Dr David Grimes, a gastroenterologist from Blackburn. He's been gazing at the sky for 20 years for clues about why his patients get more sick than those in the south of the country.

    And what he's found turns key assumptions about heart disease on their head. 'It's not diet or cholesterol levels that raise your risk of heart disease,' he claims. 'It's where you live. People in the north are more likely to be ill because they get less sunshine

    Basically they are suffering from 'latitude' sickness. The link is vitamin D. While we get some from our diet, the main source is the sun - sunlight converts a compound in the skin into vitamin D, so the amount you make is directly related to the amount of sunshine you get.

    In a new book Dr Grimes argues the higher the level of vitamin D in your blood, the lower your risk of heart disease and a range of other illnesses.

    If he's right, what we need is not diet and lifestyle advice, but food fortified with vitamin D. For years the vitamin was thought to be useful only for preventing rickets.

    So how does he treat them? 'You can do it with diet,' he says 'One Bangladeshi woman eats oily fish every day and now has a vitamin D blood level of 40. 'We give supplements of 1,000 international units (IU) a day or we can give an injection of 300,000 IU that lasts for a year.

    'The patients respond well,' says Grimes 'but what's needed is a proper controlled, long-term trial and who is going to fund that? Not a drug company.'"
Matti Narkia

The Diet-Heart Hypothesis: Subdividing Lipoproteins - Whole Health Source - 0 views

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    The Diet-Heart Hypothesis: Subdividing Lipoproteins
    Two posts ago, we made the rounds of the commonly measured blood lipids (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides) and how they associate with cardiac risk. It's important to keep in mind that many things associate with cardiac risk, not just blood lipids. For example, men with low serum vitamin D are at a 2.4-fold greater risk of heart attack than men with higher D levels. That alone is roughly equivalent to the predictive power of the blood lipids you get measured at the doctor's office. Coronary calcium scans (a measure of blood vessel calcification) also associate with cardiac risk better than the most commonly measured blood lipids.

    Lipoproteins Can be Subdivided into Several Subcategories

    In the continual search for better measures of cardiac risk, researchers in the 1980s decided to break down lipoprotein particles into sub-categories. One of these researchers is Dr. Ronald M. Krauss. Krauss published extensively on the association between lipoprotein size and cardiac risk, eventually concluding (source):

    The plasma lipoprotein profile accompanying a preponderance of small, dense LDL particles (specifically LDL-III) is associated with up to a threefold increase in the susceptibility of developing [coronary artery disease]. This has been demonstrated in case-control studies of myocardial infarction and angiographically documented coronary disease.

    Krauss found that small, dense LDL (sdLDL) doesn't travel alone: it typically comes along with low HDL and high triglycerides*. He called this combination of factors "lipoprotein pattern B"; its opposite is "lipoprotein pattern A": large, buoyant LDL, high HDL and low triglycerides. Incidentally, low HDL and high triglycerides are hallmarks of the metabolic syndrome, the quintessential modern metabolic disorder.

    Krauss and his colleagues went on to hypothesize that sdLDL promotes atherosclerosis because of its ability to penetrate the artery wall more easily
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