Understand lipids and cholesterol with Chris Masterjohn. Take a plunge into the chemistry of arteries, fats, the island nations of Polynesia and much more. Masterjohn writes and podcasts on all things lipid plus a huge variety of nutritional science topics.
Like many of us in wellness, Chris began to study human nutrition after a health challenge – a frightening foray into veganism. Severe anxiety disorders and a cholesterol plunge to 106 sent him to the Weston Price Foundation for answers. Fats, a lot of fats, especially saturated fats, changed his life.
Listen in to this Podcast for more than the show notes written here.
Lipids & Cholesterol with Chris Masterjohn
You’ll hear his story on this Primal Diet – Modern Health podcast with Clinical Nutritionist Beverly Meyer, and much more including:
- coconuts: no cholesterol but high in saturated fat – the Polynesian secret??
- Chris’s current suggested range of Total Cholesterol (220 – 250)
- what you should suspect with elevated cholesterol (hydrogenated and polyunsaturated oils, poor thyroid and/or biliary function)
- the natural increase in women’s cholesterol after menopause and in pregnancy
- arterial plaques and why cholesterol is blamed for them
- what PUFA’s are and how they damage the arteries
- how oxidation and inflammation damage LDL particles
- the conundrum that PUFA’s lower cholesterol but raise the risk of heart disease
LDL’s and HDL’s
Lipoproteins are carriers of lipids in the blood and lymph. They carry cholesterol, dietary fat, and fat soluble vitamins and substances such as CoQ10. HDL (high density lipoproteins) takes cholesterol out of the tissues and delivers it to LDL (low density lipoproteins) and to the liver.
The membrane of LDL particles has polyunsaturated fats and is uniquely vulnerable to oxidative damage. Oxidized LDL’s are wisely trapped by the immune system. They are contained as small plaques behind the Endothelium (the innermost layer of the blood vessel).
Plaques are pro-inflammatory and pro-clotting. If they break loose they can form clots. The immune system covers them with fibrous caps and tries to keep them isolated in the Endothelium to protect our arteries. But this process can be repeated over and over. This builds large plaques that can break away to cause clots and heart attacks.
What are PUFA’s?
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are the bad guys. When you eat commercial “vegetable oils” such as canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil and safflower seed oil you are eating high Omega 6 oils. They are mostly polyunsaturated and you can see that on the label.
These Omega 6 fats are used by restaurants, bakeries and food vendors in fried food, packaged foods, cereals, salad dressings and pretty much everything in the commercial American food chain. We’ve known for a long time they are one of the true causes of heart disease, NOT saturated fats from healthy animals. (I don’t eat saturated fats from commercial feedlot animals).
The oils from fruits and nuts are generally Monounsaturated. Read the label for the amount of Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated in Olive Oil, Avocado Oil. And in my two favorites I use daily: Macadamia Oil from Vital Choice Seafood (no other company’s tastes right) and Tea Seed Oil (the healthiest oil you never heard of). Their fatty acid profile is better than or equal to olive oil.
What is Heart Disease?
Talking cholesterol with Chris Masterjohn, I ask this question. Listen to the podcast to get his full reply (take notes). It is a collection of diseases most people refer to as atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries (narrowing of the arteries from the buildup of plaques). If plaques rupture, blood clots can deprive the heart of energy and cause a heart attack.
Vitamin K2 and Heart Disease
My addition here is that a deficiency of Vitamin K2 is a key player. K2 carries calcium and deposits it in the correct places we want calcium (bones, teeth, nerves) and removes it from areas we don’t want it (the lining of the artery, bone spurs, gallstones, kidney stones, arthritic joints, etc.) This is arteriosclerosis, hardening and stiffening of the small arteries, causing high blood pressure. It can prevent nutrients and oxygen getting into the cells.
I believe most of us are deficient in K2.
I have several articles and podcasts on the importance of Vitamin K2 for healthy arteries. Here’s one article and podcast on K2 and cardiovascular disease and here is a unique proprietary K2 in my online store. (Note we’re a lot cheaper than Amazon).
Supplements for Cholesterol and Lipids
Systemic Formulas CVO Oil with Phospholipids, Krill Oil, Ubiquinol and more.
Systemic Formulas GCEL: a potent antioxidant with Acetyl-Glutathione, B Vitamins, Minerals, herbs, Green Tea, Turmeric and more
Systemic Formulas ROX antioxidant with Resveratrol, Noni, Green Tea, and more.
Chris Masterjohn, PhD Nutritional Sciences
Find Chris, his blog and in-depth podcasts here. He’s a wealth of information on the human body.