Saw this link, and thought I'd throw it out to the paleohackers out there to comment on or dissect or scoff at. Maybe someone has access to the actual study rather than science "journalism".
Common Dietary Fat and Intestinal Microbes Linked to Heart Disease http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406131814.htm
I got interested in Paleo (yes, Paleo. I can't get riled up about Paleo 2.0 or whatever you want to call it. I defer to George Carlin in that it's just a word. What matters is context) because of the scientific and logical basis behind the whole thing, but my background is in chemistry and physics. The last class I took on biology was freshman year of high school, so I'm not that versed in the names of enzymes and various parts of biochemistry. I appreciate when these kinds of things are explained or discussed.
Oddly enough, even though I don't know much about it from an education standpoint, my two biggest "extracurricular" scientific interests are evolutionary science and now nutritional science. Maybe it's because I feel like I need to defend them against some. Not many people are getting worked up over the crystal structure of semiconductors or arguing over whether carbon nanotubes exist. But that's another topic for another post.
Anyway, the link is semi-Paleo, in that it encourages strong gut health, but the link to dietary fat seems poorly explained. I await enlightenment.
asked byThe_Coyote (35)
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on April 07, 2011
at 12:36 PM
This is a mouse study and they use assumptions based on epidemiology - it tells us next to nothing useful, even if it is interesting. They also used mice that are genetically engineered to develop atherosclerosis. To paraphrase Dr Richard Feinman: "Using saturated fat to cause heart disease in APOe mice, is like like training cats to sleep!"
I saw nothing in that paper that would scare me from eating eggs, beef, liver or even taking choline supplements.
on April 07, 2011
at 01:37 PM
I asked Chris Masterjohn abt this and I'll let you know what he says, but "When fed to mice, lecithin and choline were converted to a heart disease-forming product by the intestinal microbes, which promoted fatty plaque deposits to form within arteries (atherosclerosis); in humans, higher blood levels of choline and the heart disease forming microorganism products are strongly associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk."
So they found that in genetically engineered mice, when you feed them lecithin and choline, their gut bacteria form a product that causes plaques.
And they found that in humans high blood levels of choline and the gut microorganism in question also are associated with heart disease risk.
But they have failed to connect this in humans with the actual consumption of choline rich foods. If they did a study where they looked at people's consumption of dietary choline and associated it with this risk product, I might be a bit more worried. Perhaps there is something wrong with people who have high blood levels of choline.
on August 19, 2012
at 02:03 AM
Many people have been taking granulated lecithin to keep their arteries clean and clear. And to prevent heart disease for many, many years! Go to Amazon.com and search for books on "Lecithin" how is all of these people improved their health and cleaned their arteries, lowered their cholesterol with it and now all of a sudden it's bad for your arteries.
From what I understand being from soy really does not have any negative effect in the case fo lecithin. I do know many people have benefited from lecithin supplements for years on end.
In fact so many so that it would not surprise me that a study like this was put out to deter people from using lecithin after all Heart Disease is a big business and big Pharma does not like competition.
on July 21, 2011
at 10:22 PM
Jack - No, lecithin exists in egg-yolks from free-range chickens. It's a good thing too ... the intrinsic lecithin helps you process the fats and cholesterol.
As for the original question (besides that it's redundant ... ie - PhosphatidylCholine comes from Lecithin) it reminds me of that Sesame Street skit ... "one of these things is not like the other ... one of them does not belong". In the overwhelming preponderance of professionally accepted and dignified literature regarding the relationship between lecithin and heart-disease this conclusion does not belong.
on April 07, 2011
at 04:22 PM
It's interesting that they make it seem like choline and lecithin in general is bad and causes heart disease. Personally, I try to steer clear of lecithin, since it's soy, but in such small teensie weensie amounts (like in dark chocolate bars, as discussed in the soy lecithin question on paleohacks http://paleohacks.com/questions/8115/soy-lecithin-in-dark-chocolate#axzz1IqYhn1WC) I can't imagine it having a major effect on gut flora.
I was really digging into that NutraBio whey powder that I put in my recent post on whey protein, and it seems that the one single thing that might deter me from buying their product is that they use soy lecithin to mix it.
But anyway even eggs and liver are rich in choline. I'm looking forwrd to Melissa's follow up from CM. If anyone can hack this, that dude can. (and stephan probably could too).