I just finished reading a fascinating article about a study, properly done that is of ABSOLUTE interest for anyone on a “no fruit-no vegetable-high fat diet” which is, as you know, in line with our Zero carb diet.
This study, from Finland, was published in 2005 in a prestigious medical magazine “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology” which was also presented to the American Hearth Association.
To make it short, it is known that LDL-cholesterol (the lipoproteins that deliver cholesterol to cells), has an important role in atherogenesis if they become oxidized. The mechanism being that when “bad oxidized LDL” are being pick up by blood macrophages (the body's “debris cleaning cells”), it makes these macrophages more prone to penetrate the arteries inner layers, cause inflammation and, with time and accumulation, cause artery blockage.
In other words, oxidized-LDL do increase speed of atherogenesis. This “oxidation process” is caused by the oxygen in our blood and the more the LDL contains unsaturated fat, the more they are prone to become oxidized. Of course, you understand that if the LDL contains a lot of delicate unsaturated fat, it is because one’s diet must be full of them, principally from cheap vegetable oils. Inversely, LDL made up principally of saturated fats will become less oxidized.
Interestingly, when the LDL are exposed to high blood glucose (which will cause a “glycation” reaction), these LDL also become more prone to oxidation.
All this said, the study investigated how dietary intake of fat, vegetables, berries and fruit would affect the blood level of oxidized-LDL. This was done with a cross-over dietary intervention with 2 diets, both LOW in total fat but one with LOW vegetable content, and the other HIGH in vegetable, berries and fruit.
As the searches said so well “ One of the major and UNEXPECTED finding was that these dietary changes INCREASED the level of oxidized-LDL”, which is a bad thing. And this is when they compared these levels with the base-line diet of the subjects, which contained higher levels of saturated fats.
Their initial theory was that “natural sources of dietary antioxidants” would logically increased circulation levels of the “antioxidants” and thus offer protection from oxidation.
Again very interesting, ALL previous studies done in humans using “antioxidant supplementations” showed they do not reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. And, as it seems, getting antioxidants directly from fresh plant material seems to offer no special protection.
Also, “suprisingly”, as they say, having a low-fat diets did NOT reduce the level of LDL. And more “surprisingly”, the low-fat, low vegetable diet folks saw their good HDL-cholesterol go DOWN (not good).
In addition of the increased levels of oxidized-LDL, the plasma levels of Lp (a) went up 7 % and 9% in both group in response to the low-fat diet. Lp (a) is known as an independant risk factor of cardiac problems.
The searches conclusions are the considered anti-atherogenic diet (low in fat, and high in polyunsaturated fat and naturally occurring antioxidants) DO INCREASE oxidation of circulating LDL and promote vascular inflammation and artery blockage.
Now, think about the millions folks that will have their vegetables alongside their meat today thinking this is the recipe to good health….