4

votes

Is High HDL not as good as we thought? NYTimes covers new study

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 17, 2012 at 4:45 PM

According to the New York Times - high HDL is not as good as previously thought.

We Paleohackers tend to have pretty elevated HDL numbers.

So, my question is, does this new study make us reconsider the way that we interpret high HDL numbers?

A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

(1208)

on May 18, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Thanks Kelly about the self-promotion thing, I am bothered by this too and said so to him in another post. Funny thing is he tried to defend it with me.

Ecb90bbbd5a15868b2592d517a4a5e82

(280)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I think people forget what the purpose of HDL is - to carry unneeded stuff back to the liver. The more HDL you have, the more stuff there is to carry. It's not "protective" or anything. All it indicates is that you have a lot of stuff that needs many particles to carry it all back. The question is: is what the HDL is carrying good or bad for you? That's the key question. Since we still don't know why LDL dives into the arteries in the first place - inflammation? gradient diffusion? infection by bacteria/virus? calcium buildup? autoimmune/allergy? - we can't really talk about treatments well.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 17, 2012
at 09:31 PM

I removed your self-promotion to stave off the mods. You can put it in your profile if you like.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 17, 2012
at 09:27 PM

fixed your link...

5447e1f37d3ffa1525dac55be36ee454

(1019)

on May 17, 2012
at 08:08 PM

I clicked you link, but it didn't work for me. Had to google it. Found the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/health/research/hdl-good-cholesterol-found-not-to-cut-heart-risk.html

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 17, 2012
at 07:01 PM

That's the point. HDL per se is not good, and LDL not bad. Evolution has caused our bodies to create these *in response to* our environment. So high HDL has been found to be higher in people who are doing things right. It's the "doing things right" that keeps you healthy. High HDL is a side-effect, but not causative. That's why drugs or genes that raise HDL unnecessarily don't help.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 17, 2012
at 06:23 PM

The lesson that really need to be learned here is that artificially forcing your HDL up does not actually fix the underlying condition that's causing it to be low in the first place.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 17, 2012
at 05:55 PM

agreed, correlation not causation. An indicator/symptom, not a cause/cure.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 17, 2012
at 04:58 PM

I think I'll wait and see what Vogue and Cosmopolitan have to say on this.

  • 77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

    asked by

    (5002)
  • Views
    2.1K
  • Last Activity
    1261D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

3 Answers

4
5447e1f37d3ffa1525dac55be36ee454

on May 17, 2012
at 07:33 PM

I cannot believe that other researchers are saying this turns things upside down.

This study doesn't prove anything, beside that being genetically predisposed to having high HDL numbers doesn't necessarily mean you will have high HDL numbers, and see the benefit of those high numbers.

You could be the son of Einstein and be genetically predisposed to be a genius, but you huff glue everyday throughout childhood, something tells me you won't turn out to be a genius.

And, can you believe the head researcher said this at the end of the article?!

???When people see numbers in the abnormal range they want to do something about it,??? Dr. Kathiresan said. ???It is very hard to get across the concept that the safest thing might be to leave people alone.???

Don't do anything? Seriously, just leave everyone alone, that's the best advice for everyone in the world, is don't do anything to try to improve your HDL numbers.

I am almost to the point now when I see a NYT article that I already know I'm going to be enraged by the idiocy.

A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

(1208)

on May 18, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Thanks Kelly about the self-promotion thing, I am bothered by this too and said so to him in another post. Funny thing is he tried to defend it with me.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 17, 2012
at 09:31 PM

I removed your self-promotion to stave off the mods. You can put it in your profile if you like.

3
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 17, 2012
at 05:07 PM

If I understand correctly:

  • HDL levels are correlated to heart disease risk (higher=less, lower=more)

  • Some genes predisposed people to having higer or lower HDL

  • The new study found that the presence of these genes did not correlate to heart disease risk

  • Also, taking niacin has been shown to raise HDL levels but in a study taking niacin did not correlate to reduced heart disease risk.

So, what does this mean? Hell if I know. What I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean is that HDL levels are not important. The article stated that low HDL is found in smokers, the obese, and people with metabolic syndrome - 3 things that do correlate to heart disease. These things (unlike your genes) are reversible. And nothing in the study discussed the raising or lowering the HDL in individual people. You may have a gene that predisposes you to high or low HDL, but by quitting smoking or losing weight, you can raise your HDL regardless of your genetic predisposition. Does this reduce your risk of heart disease - yes. Is it because of the HDL? Probably not. The HDL level is likely an indicator of something else going on in the body.

Remember, LDL used to be all bad. Now it's not (even though 75% of doctors haven't gotten that memo - maybe they should read the Times). There is still so much to learn about our internal systems, that we need to stop treating to the numbers.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 17, 2012
at 05:55 PM

agreed, correlation not causation. An indicator/symptom, not a cause/cure.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 17, 2012
at 06:23 PM

The lesson that really need to be learned here is that artificially forcing your HDL up does not actually fix the underlying condition that's causing it to be low in the first place.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 17, 2012
at 07:01 PM

That's the point. HDL per se is not good, and LDL not bad. Evolution has caused our bodies to create these *in response to* our environment. So high HDL has been found to be higher in people who are doing things right. It's the "doing things right" that keeps you healthy. High HDL is a side-effect, but not causative. That's why drugs or genes that raise HDL unnecessarily don't help.

Ecb90bbbd5a15868b2592d517a4a5e82

(280)

on May 17, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I think people forget what the purpose of HDL is - to carry unneeded stuff back to the liver. The more HDL you have, the more stuff there is to carry. It's not "protective" or anything. All it indicates is that you have a lot of stuff that needs many particles to carry it all back. The question is: is what the HDL is carrying good or bad for you? That's the key question. Since we still don't know why LDL dives into the arteries in the first place - inflammation? gradient diffusion? infection by bacteria/virus? calcium buildup? autoimmune/allergy? - we can't really talk about treatments well.

0
C99d25771311945912464833bc8b72e9

on May 17, 2012
at 09:09 PM

HDL, LDL and other indicators are hyped up by the Pharmaceuticals so that you will want them and therefore they make billions each year on Statins. If you are on Statins now, look closely at the side effects and the class action suits out there. Your doctors give them to you because they seeminly work, but do they really or are you being fooled.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!