Monday, September 1, 2008

Centenarians, large size LDL, high HDL

http://www.forward.com/articles/14047/

Quote:

...the centenarians examined have not led the sorts of lives that doctors generally recommend. “Among our centenarians we have no athletes, no vegetarians,” Barzilai said. Thirty percent of his subjects were overweight or obese in the 1950s, and close to 30% were smokers. “We have a woman who smoked two packs a day until the age of 91. She is now 105,” he said. “What I’m saying is that they didn’t do what we tell our patients to do.”

and

The most publicized and the most important gene located so far, however, is CETP. This gene helps to regulate cholesterol — both LDL, the so-called “bad cholesterol,” and HDL, the so-called “good cholesterol.” Researchers have found that many of the centenarians have extremely high levels of HDL and large overall particle sizes of both HDL and LDL. CETP is involved in regulating these cholesterol particles. At the same time, scientists have found that the life-prolonging variant of CETP preserves exceptional cognitive function and protects against dementia.

I have to comment also on the issue of cognitive functions.

Good cognitive performance seem to be associated with high cholesterol, while the opposite: various neurological disorders, mood disorders and depression, correlate with low cholesterol. There seems to be a deeper connection: brain seems to work better on ketone bodies (or when high level of ketone bodies are present) - that is associated with a diet high in animal fat and animal produce in general, and either low in carb or when carbs are eaten only intermittently.

Another connection between high animal produce consumption and a good health of the neural system, is through EPA and DHA. Those are essential fatty acids present only in fish and land animals.

I suspect (guessing) that the diet of the Ashkenasi centenarians from that study is not much different from the SAD however their unique genetic makup probably causes metabolic modifications similar to what a high animal fat low carb diet causes among normal not genetically endowed people.

2 comments :

Gyan said...

It would also be of interest to know the PUFA consumption levels of the cetenarians.

Vegetarian cetenarians exist in India, probably more than meat-eating ones as meat tends to be cooked in vegetable oils
while a lot of vegetarians only eat ghee.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Gyan,

Interesting. I have a reference to a paper from India that shows also a regional pattern, correlation and the link between eating vegetable fats (or NOT eating animal fats) and heart disease (in the context of a high carb diet).

------- old quote -----

Malhotra SL. Brit. Heart J. 1967;29:895-905.

Malhotra SL. Serum lipids, dietary factors and ischemic heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 1967; 20: 462-474).

Geographical aspects of acute myocardial infarction in India, with special reference to the pattern of diet and eating. Brit. Heart J. 1967;29:777.

This what thsese studies are supposed to be showing, according to Barry Groves:

---- Quotation from B.G. ----

...I have a paper of Malhotra's on this subject,... In it Malhotra states " . . .occurrence rates of acute myocardial infarction were seven times higher in the South Indians as compared to the North Indians, even though the North Indians consumed nine times more fat, most of which was animal fat derived from milk and ghee, with a preponderance of saturated fatty acids" He gives as a reference for this statement his own paper, Geographical aspects of acute myocardial infarction in India, with special reference to the pattern of diet and eating. Brit. Heart J. 1967;29:777.

Malhotra notes that in the comparison between the two groups, serum cholesterol levels were similar and normal values. Free fatty acids were non-significantly higher in the Northern Indians, but mean values for esterified fatty acids, cholesterol esters and total triglycerides were similar in both groups.

What this study shows is that serum lipid levels can be the same and normal in peoples with very big differences in both their intakes of fats, including animal fats, and incidences of IHD. It also demonstrates that serum lipid levels are not dependent on totals or even proportions between different fats eaten.

---- end quotes ----