By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Hey, it’s Mic here and today:
high cholesterol and heart disease. It appears that most people today now believe that
high cholesterol does not play a role in heart disease, that that’s just old thinking, that’s the old way, and it makes sense because a quick Google search will yield
a ton of results reinforcing that belief. You have low-carb doctors like Dr. Hyman telling you that “…the real concern isn’t the amount of cholesterol you have” and low-carb Chris Kresser telling you that “✓ Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol
don’t cause heart disease.” Let’s go to Burger King! Or you can stay and watch while we look at the science,
look into our arteries at how heart disease starts and progresses, then we will see if basing your dietary choices off the idea that high cholesterol just doesn’t matter is a good idea or not. Low-carb educators present themselves as
sort of renegades going against the authorities on the grounds that the authorities are wrong with an authority like the National Institutes of Health’s
Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, who outright just says that high cholesterol causes
heart disease by building up on the artery walls. So is the NIH and a variety of other health authorities
with the same view around the world just out of touch? We will see. Now at this point, I could pin population studies observing that
higher cholesterol is associated with higher heart disease against dairy industry and egg industry funded
other observational studies saying the opposite, but people probably just say: correlation isn’t causation… and then just outright deny everything I say. So instead I want to look directly at
the well-documented mechanisms, in which high cholesterol causes and furthers
the development of heart disease. We’re going inside the artery. Ms. Frizzle! Get your school bus. To start let’s familiarize ourselves with
what cholesterol actually is. Cholesterol is essentially little packages of fat in
protein lipo or fat proteins, lipoproteins. These are waxy, gooey, sticky particles. Just using some logic, the more waxy, sticky, gooeyness you have,
the harder it is for things to move. We know this… from life! This is especially a problem in pipes
like our arteries, fats clogged them. Looking at a more human scale example of this, all of the fat that we flush down the drain and poop out
clogs our plumbing systems. Our actual sewers, from the San Francisco Chronicle: “Just as cholesterol can slowly constrict human arteries, the fat buildups can go unnoticed until they constrict the sewer
with catastrophic or at least disgusting consequences.” These buildups are called fatbergs, which are essentially
the plaques of our sewer systems arteries. All right, back to the body, let’s look step-by-step at our heart disease and
artery disease in general progresses, starting with step number 1: an injury. It has to start with some damage to the lining of our arteries, and many things can cause this injury
just like how many things can injure your skin. A major one is reactive oxidative species
or free radicals particles that are unstable. They need another electron, and they might just pull that electron out of
the lining of your artery and cause some damage. Oxidized LDL or bad cholesterol particles are one of
these reactive particles that is well established as a cause. From this horrible study that killed rabbits: “Cholesterol oxidation products have been reported to
cause acute vascular injury in vivo…” or live subjects. The higher your LDL, the more likely it is to oxidize
and do damage and other causes of artery wall injury including bacterial or viral infection, hypoxia which is low oxygen,
turbulent blood flow and shear stress, environmental irritants such as tobacco, and hyperlipidemia,
which is high cholesterol and triglycerides. Next up, we have step 2: a response to that injury. We have a buildup of white blood cells, which traps
passing-by cholesterol and essentially forms a zit. In particular, we get white blood cells known as macrophages, which are designed to engulf the threat and neutralize it, but instead they indiscriminately also engulf the cholesterol
and create what is called a foam cell. From this study,
when these macrophages eat that cholesterol: “…there is little negative feedback of uptake
and thus these cells become grossly engorged with lipids.” They just don’t know when to stop eating. No matter what here, having lower levels of cholesterol
makes the situation better, and higher levels make it worse. With less cholesterol flying by, the injury has
a better chance of just healing and not being a threat. It’s simple logic like having more cars drive over
a pothole is gonna make it worse, or repeatedly hitting your scab on your knee
is gonna prevent it from healing. The more fat you have going through your blood,
the more fat there is to build up. We’re talking about fatty streaks,
not sugary streaks or salty streaks. Now to the final step, step number 3: a rupture. This is the main cause of heart attack death,
it’s not slow buildup. It’s that inflamed area rupturing and breaking off and
blocking off your artery entirely in the form of a thrombosis. Back to this study: “Dying macrophages (those immune cells)
release their lipid contents and tissue factor, leading to the formation of pro-thrombotic necrotic core, a key component of unstable plaques
that contributes to their rupture and the ensuing intravascular blood clot that underlies
myocardial infarction and stroke,” that’s heart attack and stroke. But does cholesterol actually contribute to this rupture? Yes, in fact, it does. As liquid cholesterol becomes solid inside your artery wall,
it can form cholesterol crystals. From this study: “The crystals appeared as needles…” and from the journal Nature: “Minimally modified LDL
can lead to cholesterol crystallization….” From this study, listen to this: “…crystalline cholesterol is found as
a hallmark of advanced atherosclerotic plaques.” Look at these guys! They’re brutal.
You do not want these in your arteries. Yes, these cholesterol crystals are considered
a major cause of a rupture because they have a unique ability to pierce your artery wall. They literally pop off that fibrous cap on your artery wall lesions, they essentially pop that zit from the inside out,
a bit like the movie alien. Gross, I know. So the higher your LDL is, the more there is to modify into
these little cholesterol death spikes. And looking to other causes of rupture,
everything from stage 1, that injury should apply here
because after all, it’s still your artery wall. Now to one of the reasons I eat the diet that I eat, a whole food vegan diet intercepts
every stage that we’ve talked about. Step 1: the injury. It keeps a high antioxidant status
which buffers against those free radicals, and vegans on average have way lower LDL than
meat eaters and vegetarians, so you have less oxidizable LDL. It also prevents that hypoxia or low blood oxygen,
which can be caused by postprandial or after meal lipemia, which, from this study, can be induced
by high animal fat consumption. Also the high nitrate content of plant foods boosts
the nitric oxide output of your artery walls, it releases gas, which essentially creates
an anti-friction surface and prevents injury. Then to step 2: that injury response. Vegans have lower levels of LDL, which means
they have less for those macrophages to eat up. And they also have lower levels of
hypertension or high blood pressure about 50-75% on average depending on the study, so that’s less pressure, less friction
to increase the inflammation there. Speaking of this study, put people on a vegan diet,
and their inflammation markers lowered by 1/3, and that certainly helps throughout this entire process. Then number 3 again, less LDL means
less cholesterol crystallization, less likely to pop that zit. And we just have lower blood pressure
and less lipids flowing by exerting pressure on and potentially rupturing that artery lesion. So it’s no wonder that Dr. Esselstyn’s whole food vegan trial on people with advanced cardiovascular disease
showed rapid artery clearing, and about 100 times lower incidence of heart attack and stroke
in those that stuck on the diet compared to those that didn’t over a 12-year period. But wait, in low-carb Dr. Hyman’s article, he said:
“75% of people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol.” So that means no matter what your level is,
cholesterol is going to do the damage anyway? Nope, we are just looking at a sick population
where normal is actually high. A normal LDL or bad cholesterol is between 100 and 129,
and a low level is just under 100. We are best off with the levels of newborn babies and primates,
which is an LDL of about 50 to 70. This is how many studies are able to demonstrate that
lower cholesterol does not lower heart disease because they’re still going from high to high. There’s still everything you need to create
oxidation artery wall damage and cholesterol crystallization. In summary, high cholesterol causes heart disease. It’s not the only cause, which is a fact that many people use to divert attention away from
how dangerous cholesterol is in high amounts, but it is one powerful trigger, and it certainly drives
the progression of atherosclerosis and heart disease. It causes artery wall injury,
it causes an artery wall injury response that is worse, and it pops that artery zit that eventually kills us. Finally, a whole food vegan diet combats
all 3 of those stages through things like a higher level of antioxidants, a lower LDL
and lower inflammation and more. So don’t believe, the hyped diets
high in cholesterol do cause heart disease, and we can reverse it, which is the awesome part. Alright, that’s it for today. A quick reminder: I do partake in another YouTube channel,
which is Tiny It Yourself, a tiny house channel. It’s all about doing things DIY, we have a bunch of cool videos coming up like 3D printing
for a tiny house and cool stuff like that, so go check it out and subscribe if you’re interested,
and also subscribe here if you haven’t already hit that notification bell. Also let me know down below if you still think that
cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, and feel free to share this
if somebody is trying to argue with you about it. Alright, feel free to like the video, and I will see you next time. Thank you for watching.

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