High Cholesterol & Chronic Inflammation


Chronic Inflammation is the true enemy, although the depth of this danger has only recently come to light in the last decade or so. It is the source of many health issues that are trending up in the past 50 years. It is difficult to find accurate statics on chronic inflammation, but it causes cardiovascular diseases and a host of other health issues.

Cholesterol, Chronic Inflammation Connection

When suffering from chronic inflammation, the body is literally under attack and produces cholesterol in greater amounts to help mend damaged tissue often in places such as blood vessels and arteries. It was thought that Cholesterol was the source of the problem, now we know it was the body’s defense against damage due to inflammation.

Causes of Chronic Inflammation

Listed below in order of importance are the drivers for chronic inflammation:

  1. Sugar
  2. Fatty Liver Disease
  3. Leaky Gut (Discussed in Obesity post)
  4. Stress
  5. Imbalance of Omegas 3 & 6 fatty acids
  6. Lack of sleep
  7. Poor Diet 

including: caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, processed carbs, antibiotics, GMOs, pesticides. Often giving rise to leaky gut, which can lead to NAFLD.

Poor diet cannot be overstated as a driver of chronic inflammation and within this category; sugar is one of the worst offenders. Free floating sugar in and of itself creates inflammation and makes the body chemistry acidic in addition to a myriad of other issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

A balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids is essential; when Omega 6 outnumbers Omega 3 the result may cause the body’s organs to become inflamed. Unfortunately, Americans consume 15 times more Omega 6 than Omega 3 fatty acids.

Fatty Liver Disease is often silent in the early stages, and those with high cholesterol may suffer while the disease goes undiagnosed and untreated. Any discussion regarding interrelated health issues should include liver disease or NAFLD in its many forms.

It’s important to note, that high cholesterol isn’t always associated with NAFLD or other more severe fatty liver diseases, but it often occurs in people with Type II Diabetes. The liver is the organ that keeps toxins safely neutralized and away from the rest of the body when functioning correctly.

With chronic inflammation, the liver most likely is inefficient or not working correctly. In addition to or as a result of inflammation, the body can suffer from hepatic lipotoxicity. This is found in NAFLD when the liver is overwhelmed by fatty acids and other toxins beyond its capacity to neutralize them.

For those not suffering from NAFLD, simple exercise and changes in diet can make a dramatic improvement. It’s vital to avoid all saturated and trans fats from the diet, but do not make the mistake of cutting fats. Some fats are very important to good health such as those found in fish oils, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados to name a few.


Brendan Gaughran, Molecular Biologist, M.B.A.
 

Brendan Gaughran received his degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Connecticut and his MBA from Bentley University.Brendan Gaughran conducts health lectures to both physicians and the general public. His research focuses primarily on gut health, liver health, endocrine system, adrenal fatigue and optimum diets. He conducts 10-15 radio appearances per month discussing various health trends in the US.