I just wanted to briefly highlight a Kaiser Permanente study that was reference number two in my last post. You can read and download the pdf here if you like.
Kaiser Permanente, by the way, is the HMO I belong to. This multi-ethnic, 15-year study (1979 – 1993) followed 55,300 men and 65,271 women with a mean age of 43. It found a statistically significant inverse relation with infection and total cholesterol level. Meaning, the lower total cholesterol went, the higher the rate of infection.
Ethnic breakdown was as follows: white 60%, black 25%, other 15%. Average total cholesterol in men was 210mg/dl and in women 209mg/dl for all those tracked. Members of this HMO have higher educational attainment than the general population in the San Francisco Bay area where this study was conducted.
In women, lower total cholesterol levels meant higher genito-urinary infections, septicemia, miscellaneous viral infections and all other infections. The only infection that correlated with higher total cholesterol was gangrene. So ladies, if you’re popping statins or dousing your organic salad with generous amounts of “heart-healthy” polyunsaturated omega-6 vegetable oils, you don’t need to worry about gangrene! Lucky you.
In men, lower total cholesterol meant higher rates of venereal disease and all infections except intestinal infections and once again, gangrene. Gee, sounds like there’s a connection between intestinal infections and cholesterol in men. Who knew?
Anyone who argues low cholesterol is always good for you either hasn’t read this study or is willfully misleading you. I’ll let you be the judge.
The authors offer various reasons for these findings with one being that low cholesterol is a result of infection. Which, as I’ve written, is true but not usually obvious to those who have it and in those legally authorized to diagnose it.
Of course gut dysbiosis and resulting metabolic endotoxemia is a chronic disease, not an acute one. Pretty much the entire medical community either dismisses it as a valid diagnostic concept or only considers it a possibility in relation to obvious GI diseases like IBS, IBD, Crohn’s etc.
It’s this same myopia that causes undiagnosed celiacs to bounce from doctor to doctor to doctor for an average of 11 years before being properly diagnosed in the United States. Since the majority of these patients have symptoms that are not related to the GI tract, heaven forbid that the average physician ever suspect the gut!