How Coconut Lowers LDL & Why it’s a Bad Idea
Phytosterols compete with our natural cholesterol for absorption within our bodies and will create different responses and reactions from cholesterol itself.
Phytosterols will cause the liver to decrease the production of VLDL (Very Low-Density Lipoprotein), which becomes LDLs (Low-Density Lipoprotein), and decrease the LDL volume in our body and bloodstream.
At the same time, phytosterols will increase the reuptake of healthy LDL from our bloodstream into the liver to be recycled.
The initial result from fewer LDL particles being made and more healthy LDLs being recycled is a lowering of total cholesterol, mainly through the reduction of LDL volume in the blood and a lower number on your blood tests.
That sounds like a good thing to many people. But wait, there’s more.
The reuptake of LDL in the liver is selective only for healthy LDL particles. That’s the catch.
As LDL particles leave the liver with a busload of cholesterol to be delivered to the tissues and organs that need it in the body, the LDL will shrink as its cargo unloads. As it does, the specific protein key (Apo B) that unlocked the garage door to return to the liver for recycling can get damaged and prevent the small, damaged LDL from getting in.
This damage is caused by oxidative stress that leads to inflammation and is usually not a significant issue if the LDL can get back in for recycling and repair. Except now, because of the phytosterol from coconut oil, it’s locked out and will then stay in the bloodstream accumulating more oxidative stress damage as it does.
Now we have a lower overall LDL and cholesterol number but more oxidized, damaged LDL particles creating two distinct cardiovascular problems.
Plaque buildup in the arteries of our heart is made half from these damaged, oxidized, smaller LDL particles and a half from immune cells called macrophages that engulf the LDL to become foam cells.
More oxidized LDL, the more raw materials for making plaque (which I will go into in future posts).
Cholesterol blood tests measure the total weight of cholesterol in our blood. Not the number of LDL particles or any other.
LDL is a protein carrier, like a school bus taking kids from school, or in this case, the liver, and bringing them to their tissue and organ homes in the body.
Each LDL bus can be packed with lots of kids or empty with just the bus driver as they take the empty bus back to the school parking garage in the liver.
If you want to avoid a traffic jam on a highway, is it more important to know how many people are on the highway or how many vehicles or cars are?
Cars, of course. Right? Absolutely.
A standard cholesterol test tells you how many kids are in the busses in your bloodstream, but what’s important to know is how many buses there are. A cholesterol of 200, or 200 kids, can be in 200 cars with just one kid and the driver or two buses with one hundred kids each.
Two buses are not a threat of a traffic jam, but 200 on the road at one time in the same place is.
And so is a “lower” cholesterol number with a high particle count achieved by any oil, supplement, or cholesterol medication.
Phytosterols increase the number of busses, in this case, LDL particles, even though it will decrease the number of kids or the overall cholesterol.
An increase in the number of LDL particles, damaged and oxidized particles, will significantly increase your risk of a heart attack and heart disease, whereas healthy LDL or the total cholesterol number does not.
Coconut oil and phytosterols give people a false sense of security and accomplishment as it raises their risk of precisely what they were trying to prevent in the first place: heart disease and heart attacks.
Improving heart disease risk factors does not prevent heart disease, improve it once develops, or reduce the number of heart attacks, cardiovascular deaths, or deaths in general.
The risk factors are signs that the PERSON is at risk, not that the factors are the risk.
Improve the person’s health and well-being, and the risk factors disappear, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
Much more to come!
Keep following and join “Insulin Friendly Fasting Secrets” for more information, and if you are dealing with issues like this, are ready to improve your health and well-being, and want a program or structure to help, message me directly.
In the meantime, cut out all the vegetable/seed oils, including coconut oil, and look into “Insulin Friendly Living” for yourself.
We can do better!