First, we heard that cholesterol alone was a dangerous substance. They told us it needed to be below 200 mg/dL for us to be at low risk for heart disease and stroke. Then they told us that the issue wasn’t our total cholesterol after all. It had to do with the levels of its components.
That’s when we learned that there were two kinds of cholesterol: “good” HDL and “bad” LDL. HDL, they told us, prevents clogged arteries and should be around 60 mg/dL or higher. LDL, the sticky type of cholesterol that causes a buildup of plaque in arteries, should be lower than 130 mg/dL.
British researchers have found yet another form of cholesterol. It’s the worst kind of cholesterol because it’s stickier than normal LDL. This means it’s easier for it to attach itself to arterial walls and cause plaque buildup, which can lead to heart disease. It’s the most dangerous kind of cholesterol of all.
This type of LDL has an unusual name: MGmin-LDL and it’s most common in seniors and people with type-2 diabetes. MGmin-LDL develops when sugars join with normal “bad” LDL cholesterol. This changes the size and shape of its molecules. It makes them smaller and denser and increases the surface of LDLs making it easier to stick to artery walls.
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We know that diabetics have an increased risk for heart attacks and stroke. Now we are beginning to understand why. Metformin, a diabetes drug, holds one explanation. It blocks the transformation of LDL into MGmin-LDL.
This doesn’t mean you should start taking a drug to protect your heart. Just modifying your diet may be all you need to do to make less “bad” and “worse” LDL. I’ve written lots of articles on balancing blood sugar naturally to help you make some dietary modifications (you can find these on my website). If these changes are not enough, try taking a nutritional supplement designed to regulate blood sugar.
Chromium is a popular solution (500 mcg/day) for blood sugar control, and it works for many people. But I have an even better suggestion. Chinese herbal formulas and Ayurvedic combinations both regulate and repair blood sugar systems. They correct the underlying cause. You can get both of these ancient and effective formulas, along with chromium, in Metabolic Defense from Advanced Bionutritionals.
Begin by eating a diet low in carbs and high in protein for several weeks. Eat every four hours. Then add a supplement and continue with this program for six months. You’ll not only feel better, you’ll protect your heart from the worst kind of cholesterol, because a diet that supports blood sugar control also supports good heart health.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
University of Warwick (2011, May 27). “Super-sticky ‘ultra-bad’ cholesterol revealed in people at high risk of heart disease.” ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 30, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526204953.htm.