HDL Composition And Its Connections To Different Disease States

Giraffe

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So they are now dividing HDL (aka: the good guy) into good "good cholesterol" and bad "good cholesterol"?

.....

Peat has said that both HDL and LDL are protective. LDL is mostly transporting stuff to places where it is needed. HDL probably has more specific anti-toxic effects, it raises protectively as a reaction to poisoning.

Cholesterol And Saturated Fats - East West Healing
JR: Talking about cholesterol, can you explain the basic differences between HDL and LDL ?

RP: Both of them are able to participate in detoxification, the protein of it helps to carry the cholesterol in the bloodstream. Itself, has some very specific anti-stress, even anti-viral activity, so they are part of our ability to respond to stress (the protein as well as the cholesterol associated with the protein). They are both defensive, and both important. But the LDL is mostly the one that carries cholesterol into the places where it's needed; the brain, the ovaries, testicles and the adrenal glands, anywhere you’re making steroids, and that includes the skin. Skin is probably our biggest endocrine gland, brain is the next, and then the ovaries, testicles and adrenals. The HDL has probably some more specific anti-toxic effects, whether the LDL is more a delivery system of cholesterol itself. Toxins will tend to increase the HDL, relative to the LDL; toxins of most types will increase both of them defensively. But the chlorinated hydrocarbons, radiation, estrogen and alcohol for example will increase the HDL relative to the LDL because it has some more specific anti-toxic effect.


The Heart 2, KMUD, 2013
Caller: What do you think of HDL versus LDL? Is the balance important?

RP:
Both of them are anti-inflammatory. The protein which carries the cholesterol itself has a very important protective biological effect, defending against things that would irritate and inflame. Although some of the studies have shown that there’s a close correlation between high HDL and some of the inflammatory diseases such as cancer, that’s because it rises defensively against exposure to those chemical irritants. So, the level of HDL, or the proportion of the total cholesterol is just reflecting how stressful your environment is. For example, drinking too much alcohol will raise your HDL. Being exposed to too much of the fish oil type of irritation, or peroxidation, will raise your HDL defensively.

Caller: Are you saying HDL is the bad cholesterol?

RP: No. It’s defensive. But having it high doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on a good diet program, because just drinking too much liquor can raise it.
 

Prota

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So they are now dividing HDL (aka: the good guy) into good "good cholesterol" and bad "good cholesterol"?

.....

Peat has said that both HDL and LDL are protective. LDL is mostly transporting stuff to places where it is needed. HDL probably has more specific anti-toxic effects, it raises protectively as a reaction to poisoning.

Cholesterol And Saturated Fats - East West Healing



The Heart 2, KMUD, 2013
Giraffe, do you have some RP citations about HDL, LDL (numeric data, ref. ranges, ratios etc.)?
 

Giraffe

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Giraffe, do you have some RP citations about HDL, LDL (numeric data, ref. ranges, ratios etc.)?
The numbers are not cut in stone. The optimal level varies with age and the stress (inflammation, injury, ...) the person is subjected to. Maybe Mittir's post here answers some of your questions. Also check Peat's interview.
 

Dan Wich

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Giraffe beat me to it, but here's some of the notes I've been taking:
Ray Peat said:
A high level of serum cholesterol is practically diagnostic of hypothyroidism, and can be seen as an adaptive attempt to maintain adequate production of the protective steroids.
(source)

I get the general idea he'd prefer to err on the side of higher levels in absence of other clues:
Ray Peat said:
In the last 20 years, there have been many studies showing that lowering cholesterol increases mortality, especially from cancer and suicide, and that people with naturally low cholesterol are more likely to die from cancer, suicide, trauma, and infections than people with normal or higher than average cholesterol.
(source)
Ray Peat said:
There was a Framingham study, I think it was about 20 years ago, which looked at the cholesterol level of people as they passed the age of 50, in ordinary life situations. And they saw that those who did not have above a 200 mg/dl cholesterol level were more likely to become demented. It's been known for 80 or 90 years that cholesterol is an antitoxin, anti-inflammatory, basic protective substance. It's like a protective hormone in the cell. In experiments with animals, the learning ability, and the measurable ability of the animal improves, just by increasing the amount of cholesterol. And cell division involves cholesterol right in the apparatus that allows the cell to divide normally. It stabilizes red blood cells. Every level of physiology is protected by adequate cholesterol.
(source)

On raising it:
Ray Peat said:
If cholesterol is below 160, fruit sugar helps to raise it.
(source)

For myself, I'm thinking a ~160-200mg/dL total cholesterol level will be a good sign that other systems are working well, and I'll just let the HDL fall where it may (it's on the "low" side for me, but Peat's ideas make me think it's pointless to try and raise it by outside measures). I'm thinking the lower end of that total cholesterol range might be a good sign while I'm younger, and the higher end as I age (as it rises protectively against the effects of aging).
 
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