Jostmeister wrote:I would like to believe that higher lipids in a low inflammatory environment with low trigs is not a problem, but it seems there is also not a lot of proof of this hypothesis either, as far as I have read so far...
I approach questions like these from an evolutionary standpoint. My baseline assumptions are these:
- We homo sapiens are functional animals, honed by billions of years of natural selection.
- Human biology is unfathomably complex - all interventions have unintended consequences.
- The modern epidemic of chronic disease stems from a mismatch between current circumstances and the ones in which we evolved.
- Plausible high-impact mismatch candidates include aspects of daily life that have changed recently.
The candidate list is long, but I am especially skeptical of invented products designed for regular ingestion - foods and the subset of drugs intended for chronic use. Foods are the building blocks of our bodies, and chronic use drugs can alter our natural functional state in unexpected ways. The simplicity of invented products does not match the complexity of our bodies.
With that in mind, where should I place the burden of proof? Identifying the idea "that higher lipids in a low inflammatory environment with low trigs is not a problem" as a hypothesis
begs two key questions:
- Is there really something wrong with how homo sapiens' lipid biochemistry functions?
- If so, does manipulating lipid biomarkers with drugs correct what is wrong without so many side effects as to reduce wellbeing and/or lifespan?
It's not a hypothesis
that our natural state is functional. It's a full-fledged theory
backed by the spectacular success of an entire species. For me the baseline
is trusting that our amazing bodies are doing what they should and that our levers for avoiding chronic disease are the choices and activities that align our circumstances more closely with the environment to which we are adapted:
- Choose minimally processed, nutrient-dense food. Especially avoid industrial seed oils.
- Fast regularly and avoid overnutrition.
- Engage each day in substantial physical activity and maintain robust musculature.
- Prioritize sleep.
- Reduce stress.
- Avoid toxins.
For me, the bar for taking any drug chronically is high. All chronic use drugs are in my toxin category until proven otherwise, and I'm deeply skeptical of the evidence offered as proof by profit-seeking corporations with long histories of deceit. The case for lipid biomarker manipulation with drugs seems to me to be exceptionally weak.
I feel like I need to take a medical statistics course so I can read the actual studies and analyze the data myself, because I have read what someone has said about a study, then read it myself and did not come to even close to the same conclusions...
I think a medical statistics course may be overkill - academic incentives are perverse, and most data is hoarded. I think once you understand the usual result metrics - P values and hazard ratios
- you will be well equipped to wade in. For a starter project
, I recommend this 8-year study of 100,000+ people
without preexisting diabetes or heart disease. The results associate cholesterol in the 200-300 range with LONGER life. Cholesterol in the sub-200 range recommended by traditional medical authorities is associated with SHORTER lifespans. Besides being exceptionally high powered and lengthy, the study is especially applicable to those of us who are insulin sensitive because it excluded sick people and focused on a cross-section of middle-aged individuals who navigated the contemporary nutritional minefield reasonably well to 1997.
The effect is not small. As per Table I, those with total cholesterol between 193 and 232 experienced death at 73% of the rates of those with TC < 193, and those with TC between 232 and 309 experienced death only 68% as often as those with TC < 193.