The effect of espresso drinking on cholesterol - Page 7

Postby Grant on Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:20 am

Psyd wrote:So, I've decided that I'm going to live a good life, with a good diet that includes the (very) occasional filet wrapped in bacon, or fish fried in butter, or decadent dessert, and definitely includes two or three doppio a day, some of them drowned in a few ounces of frothed milk.
And I take my statins before bed every night.
There is a certain comfort to be had in knowing that I'm no longer 'batting' my cholesterol. I'm going to live my life, and if I die of a heart attack living with conservative but enjoyable diet, I'll call that a deal.


Sounds like a good plan! We all need to die of something. Who wants to be the only old guy in the hospital at age 90 dying of "nothing". 8)
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Postby michaelbenis on Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:22 am

Adrian,

if you don't like soy milk try oat milk or rice milk, many prefer them both straight and in cappuccinos.

Cheers

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Postby Stanner on Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:29 pm

drdna wrote:Let us not forget that an increase in saturated fat is consistently associated with increased heart disease, regardless of cholesterol numbers. Time and again, the introduction of a Westernized diet high in saturated fats has led to the emergence of heart disease in populations of indigenous and native peoples.

This brings into serious question various diets like the Atkins Diet, the Paleo Diet (?), etc that promote a high fat carnivorous diet. These diets force weight loss through ketosis, but may not provide long term health benefits. As I said, retrospective studies on numerous populations have shown a strong correlation between fat intake and heart disease regardless of cholesterol measurements. Further, human dentition strongly suggests an omnivorous diet. If observation of indigenous peoples and non-human primate populations are any indication, humans likely evolved as scavengers and foragers not as carnivores. Beyond that, the earliest recorded history from 10,000 years ago basically documents agriculture. As whimsical as the idea of the caveman with a club hunting the wild mastodon might be, it seems the truth may be a bit less toothsome.

Population data studies paint a different picture (It's large, I won't reduce its size):
http://uploader.ws/upload/200908/satfat.png

What's an interesting visual is the confidence interval:
http://uploader.ws/upload/200908/satfat2.png

And since all the espresso geeks here love data curves:
All statistics done in MATLAB. I found that if I define

SF = % saturated fat intake

CHD = # heart deaths per year per 100,000 men

then

CHD = (-4.734 +/- 2.003)*SF + (144.5 +/- 21.4)

+/- errors are standard deviations (i.e. one sigma) with an R^2 = 0.13 (terrible) between the fit data and experimental data.

The plot I provided shows the baseline along with a top and bottom curve which are the 95 % confidence interval lines (~1.96 sigmas).

Although the statistics appear fairly poor, we can make one statement of interest. A positive slope is equivalent to a positive correlation between CHD and saturated fat (i.e. saturated fat bad!) and a negative slope is a negative correlation (i.e. saturated fat good!). Evaluating that statement using confidence intervals we have a 0.9 % chance of a positive slope and a 99.1 % chance that the slope is negative.

In other words, increased saturated fat intake is 99 % likely to be correlated with decreased incidence of death from heart disease.


As it's understood now inflammation, specifically high levels of C reactive protein, is a better indicator of heart disease risk. The work of Dr. Paul Ridker (and others) can be thanked for bringing this to the forefront:

Dr. Ridker wrote:These data suggest that the C-reactive protein level is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular events than the LDL cholesterol level and that it adds prognostic information to that conveyed by the Framingham risk score.


Which isn't to say LDL shouldn't be watched, but the tiny oxidized LDL is the "bad" lipoprotein while the big fluffy LDL are just doing their job: taking cholesterol to the cells that need it. Unfortunately a simple blood panel doesn't show us which is which. :?

You made a point speaking of indigenous populations being introduced to a western diet and seeing rates of heart disease (and just about every other disease increase). However, a western diet, specifically our diet, isn't just high in sat fats. It's high in junk: Omega 6 fatty acids and high GI carbs in abundance. Both have been demonstrated to dramatically increase systemic inflammation. Couple that with chronic stress than many westerners have and you have a recipe for a high chronic inflammation soup...the perfect environment for heart disease. We try to reduce it to just diet when of course it's not that simple. We're also the nation of the magic bullet, so asking a person to change their diet and reduce their stress and get more exercise...doc, just give me a pill! :lol:

I do, however, feel most people would be served moving to a Paleo diet if only for one thing: real food. Nothing processed, nothing boxed, just shopping the outer rim of the grocery store. Real food. The romanticism is inaccurate at best; the only thing in common is the real food aspect.

One more thing about indigenous populations: they often consume high levels of saturated fats. In fact the the Masai consume massive amounts (~33% of their calories come from saturated fat) and the Tokelau consume even more (Tokelauans traditionally obtained 40-50% of their calories from saturated fat, in the form of coconut meat.) Rather than try to condense, you can read all about it here:
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2 ... round.html

HOWEVER, this is all a detour, albeit one I quite enjoyed! My original point is that getting mired in minutia, namely worrying about a compound that can raise cholesterol levels in humans though is poorly reproduceable in studies, will only raise your stress, increase your inflammation and give you a heart attack! ;)
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Postby shadowfax on Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:42 pm

Skyler, I am getting a 403 Forbidden error on those saturated fat graphs that you linked to. Are they on a private web site?
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Postby timo888 on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:36 pm

drdna wrote:Saying I should just cut out the espresso is a bit like suggesting a monkey just cut out the bananas. Only the good folks on HB could quite understand my perspective.


A monkey might understand your perspective too.

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Postby Stanner on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:45 pm

shadowfax wrote:Skyler, I am getting a 403 Forbidden error on those saturated fat graphs that you linked to. Are they on a private web site?

Nick, here are the original links...

For the plot:
http://freetheanimal.com/images/old/6a0 ... 70b-pi.png

And for the graph that corresponds with the quote:
http://freetheanimal.com/images/old/6a0 ... 70c-pi.png
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Postby GC7 on Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:39 pm

A2chromepeacock wrote:Oops! My apologies. :oops: Not sure how I messed up with the quote-referencing thing. I meant to reference sbien--no offense intended! I certainly hope it didn't come across as a rant, either-I intended it as a slight point of clarification, that's all.


Just back from a week in Bermuda so I'm in a good mood. No problem and sorry I called it a rant. Now I'll read the rest of this discussion.

After a week of the absolute best coffee being Illy cappas and the worst being totally undrinkable I am happy to be drinking my own. I had a week of Earl Gray tea!
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Postby GC7 on Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:44 pm

Stanner wrote:Because I love science, I started looking at the references from the actual study, not the media blurb. Said study:
http://mend.endojournals.org/cgi/conten ... 007-0133v1

First, it's a mice study, which may or may not do a damn thing in humans (I know, other studies indicate human increases, but this is the study referenced). The studies referenced actually send mixed messages regarding if the the possible method of action ("Inhibition of bile acid synthesis has been suggested to be responsible for the cholesterol-raising effect of cafestol").

So here's one study in support of the hypothesis:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9409 ... rom=pubmed

Here's one that in fact shows the opposite:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1579 ... rom=pubmed

And here's another study that shows that the effect was poorly reproducible in humans:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14613505

So, long story short, I'd worry more about diet than coffee to correct your cholesterol. Nevermind that there is no such thing as bad cholesterol and HDL/LDL are actually proteins: :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awA2fsa94MI

Also, your cholesterol is likely artificially inflated. Most cholesterol tests don't take a direct measure of your LDL because it's cost prohibitive. There is a formula much more accurate than the Friedewald Equation for measuring that; run your numbers through and see what happens:
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2 ... tacks.html


Studies with mice are great and they serve as a fantastic model system. I used them for everything from studies on leukemia to heart development.

BUT

for studies like these we need to realize that the mice used in research are highly inbred strains while a population of humans is not and thus their total genetic background rather then being nearly identical from individual to indivdual mouse and highly diversified in man. Thus what may or may not hold for a specific mouse strain is not necessarily going to hold for a person.
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Postby Stanner on Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:37 pm

GC7 wrote:Studies with mice are great and they serve as a fantastic model system. I used them for everything from studies on leukemia to heart development.

BUT

for studies like these we need to realize that the mice used in research are highly inbred strains while a population of humans is not and thus their total genetic background rather then being nearly identical from individual to indivdual mouse and highly diversified in man. Thus what may or may not hold for a specific mouse strain is not necessarily going to hold for a person.

Excellent point; one of the studies I posted earlier regarding this very topic noted that it was poorly reproducible in humans, the cholesterol raising effects, but consistent in mice.
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Postby GC7 on Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:57 pm

Exactly - We can use different inbred mouse strains for different purposes exactly because offspring are nearly identical in their genetic background. One mouse we can "paint" with a chemical and they will develop skin tumors or lymphoma while another is almost completely resistant to chemical treatment. It's how years ago now we determined which genes were involved.

Humans are highly outbred - thank goodness - so we know that one family may have low cholesterol no matter their diet while another family or individual will need drugs no matter their diet or lifestyle. Without the drugs they would surely have blocked arteries and highly prone to heart attacks.

Genetics works
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