Preliminary research seems to show that a little known type of cholesterol might be the biggest threat to our heart health, the most severe complication of diabetes. Even worse than LDL cholesterol is something called oxycholesterol.
The 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society heard study leader Zhen-Yu Chen, Ph.D., of the Chinese University of Hong Kong point out the problems with oxycholesterol. We can expect published research to follow, but the chemical society’s Michael Bernstein tells me that, “There is no formal published paper connected to this study.”
Dr. Chen told the chemical society which foods have the highest levels of oxycholesterol. Fried and processed food — particularly fast-food — contains high amounts of oxycholesterol, he says. Avoiding them and eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants can reduce our levels of this really bad cholesterol.
Dr. Chen’s research team measured the effects of a diet high in oxycholesterol on hamsters, which scientists often substitute for humans in in cholesterol research. Cholesterol in the blood of the hamsters fed oxycholesterol rose up to 22 percent more than hamsters eating non-oxidized cholesterol. The hamsters fed oxycholesterol also had more cholesterol lining their arteries and a tendency to develop larger deposits of cholesterol. These fatty deposits increase the risk for heart attack and stroke. [Read more →]