Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Zoopharmacognosy: Chimps Eat Medicinal Plants

What do Aspilia, cocaine and kissing have in common?

Robert M. Sapolsky writes in his book of essays 'The Trouble With Testosterone and Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament' (which I'd highly recommend -- Sapolsky is a FR**KIN genius) about the use of a leaf by chimps studied by Wrangham at Harvard at the Gombe National Park in Tanzania. He and the researchers observed the chimpanzees wadding up the leaves whole, then holding them under their tongue for a while, then swallowing without chewing. The leaves passed through the intestines undigested and intact in the stools. 'Off and on throughout the meal the chimpanzees would make faces: Aspilia apparently was no tasty treat' he wrote in the essay entitled Curious George's Pharmacy.

Sapolsky adds...'Intrigued, Wrangham sent samples of the plant for analysis to Eloy Rodriguez, a biochemist at the University of California in Irvine. Rodriquez discovered that the leaves contain thiarubrine-A, a reddish oil kown to be a potent toxin against fungi, bacteria, and parasite nematodes. Indeed, they noted that the youngest Aspilia leaves, much the preferred kind among the chimpanzees, are far richer in the oil than the older leaves are. And he thought it significant that the apes kept the drug under their tongues before gulping it down: the tongue is dense with minute blood vessels, and so a substance held there can bypass the digestive juices and head straight into the circulation.'


Mucosal Absorption of Biochemicals and Hormones

Philematology is the study and science of kissing... turns out many hormones are instantly generated and conveyed via... KISSING... (scientists found: oxytocin and testosterone go up... for bonding libido, but for grrrrls oxytocin goes down... to ?decrease protective defense modes). Hormones via mucosal absorption in the mouth can be transmitted much like the above chemicals in leaves of Aspilia, sublingually administrated cocaine or nitroglycerin. The lining of the mouth and under the tongue (buccal mucosa) are rich and full of a blood vessels which interface transparently almost with spit. Drugs and chemicals pass easily then enter the blood stream systemically with rapid speed.



Chimps Fix Gut Dysbiosis -- What About You?

'On the basis of his laboratory studies, plus Wrangham's observations, Rodriquez estimated that in each eccentric bout of Aspilia feeding, the chimpanzees consumed just enough thiarubrine-A to kill between 70 and 80 percent of the parasites in their digestive tracts, without harming other, useful intestinal bacteria. Wrangham and Rodriguez also noted that Tanzanian tribespeople have long chewed Aspilia leaves to health stomachaches and a variety of other ills. Hence the two coworkers speculated that the chimpanzee were using the plant as medicine.'

What is the surface area of our gut? Though smaller compared with primates, we traded a bigger, energy-guzzling brain for a smaller-gut, the surface area supported is still relatively SPACIOUS AND ENORMOUS.

The gut ecosystem (hat tip to Brent -- thank you for the term buddy!) is in delicate balance. Excessive negative factors can outweigh the positive factors thereby leading to chaos, entropy and dysbiosis... until re-balance is established. Broad spectrum antibiotics are extremely powerful in negatively throwing off this balance. Antibiotics are found in industrially mass produced beef, pork, chicken, seafood and dairy products and the stuff your physicians gives you for grain-induced acne, viral infections (which antibiotics don't work), and any sniffle/cough/bellyache. The main problem with antibiotics is that they wipe out the good bacteria, leaving behind armies of bad bacteria (Klebsiella, H. pylori, C. difficile, Group B Strep, etc), bad fungus (Candida, etc), and potentially bad microbes including parasites which thrive in the new imbalanced ecosystem. A great part of the immune system and neurologic system are centered in the gut. Below the belt?? Yes.

When the gut is j*cked up by grains, gluten, high carbs, nutritional depletion, antibiotics, metals, Candida overgrowth, liver flukes, parasites...et cetera, a HEEEEEYYYGE part of the human ecosystem, immunity and the brain can be seriously derailed.

Go antibiotic-free meat/dairy and G-R-A-S-S-F-E-D.


See prior posts: grassfed beef.


Medicinal leaves... aint no chimp change for belly dispositions.




Animal Nutritional Therapy

Describing plant chemicals, Sapolsky continues '...in the endless wars between plants and animals, many plants have evolved leaves laced with secondary plant compounds among which substances are cardiac toxins, hallucinogens, antifertility drugs, and growth inhibitors. Such chemicals have no effect on the plants, but they can be deadly poisonous to any animal foolish enough to eat them. Not to be outdone, animals have evolved counteroffensive patterns of behavior that enable them to eat the plants: they may follow up a poisonous meal by eating something that can detoxify the poison. Rats, for instance, often consume clay after eating highly toxic plants; the clay absorbs the poisons.'

'Animals also appear to correct their own dietary deficiencies. In his famous "cafeteria" studies a half century ago the psychobiologist Curt P. Richter broke up a balanced rat diet into its constituent parts, serving up eleven small trays of proteins, oils, fats, sugars, salt, yeast, water, adn so forth. Remarkably, the rats picked out an efficient diet that, with few calories, made them grow at a rate faster than that of the rats fed normal chow.'



Natural Wormicidal Plants

There are a few medicinal plants that have been used by ancient pharmacopractitioners and temptresses... *haa* Worms, flukes, helminths and other parasites occurred routinely in our evolutionary history up until the recent advent of potent synthetic antibiotics and anti-parasite medications. Have you watched Survivor? On the TV show, many lose weight not only from the semi-intermittent fasting but also from nutritional losses and deficiencies from parasite overgrowth. I've read that several contestants required months of treatment upon returning to civilization.

*** Japanese Apricot, Plum: 'Ume' (Prunus mume -- see Wiki)


Side (unripe ume) and below pictures are courtesy of Dave's Garden and SergetheCongriege. Top picture wiki, dried and preserved umeboshi.


One such plant is a fruit known in Korea, Japan and China as the Asian plum or apricot (Ume, Prunus mume). It can be fermented, dried, pickled and also used as a liquor or vinegar. In Korea, unriped ume is known as maesil and used for over a thousand years for digestion and improve blood alkalinity (here and here).

Several trials (see Refs) have shown the anti-worm and antibacterial properties of Prunus mume. One trial showed no improvement in H. pylori urea breath test results (but 11% were noted as eradication (2 cases of responders)), a frequently implicated microaerophilic bacteria in ulcer and gastritis formation, however another trial showed distinct and significant improvement in H. pylori related chronic gastritis with lower H. pylori bacterial load via endoscopic tissue biopsy and reduced active mucosal inflammation and neutrophil infiltration. Endoscopic data is more accurate than breath testing. Both evaluations were human animal studies (e.g. pharmacognosy). In screening activity of 223 species of Chinese medicines (plant, animal, mineral materials), 31 showed anti-wormicidal properties including Prunus mume as effective against the human liver fluke, known as Clonorchis sinensis (see Wiki).





Applying Food Science (MEAT SCIENCE)
Food science was part of my experience from undergrad in nutritional science that I enjoyed. Other plums (Prunus domestica L.) have been pureed and studied in beef patties and pork sausages as an 'extender' for both flavor and shelf life. Yes. Plums appear to display potent biological antioxidant effects. Plum puree was shown to decrease TBARS (measure of oxidative capacity, especially associated with polyunsaturated fatty acids which become rancid easily) compared with controls (J Food Sci 2008 HERE and my fave Meat Science 2010 HERE). My parents grew up in Taiwan eating a lot of tiny dried SOUR plums and developed quite a habit eating them which my sisters I never adopted... who knew the nutritive value may be as a gut flora enhancer? (Picture below wiki, commerical pickled plum (ume) from China; side picture, what my parents eat, courtesy alibaba.com)



References and Further Reading:
1. Dietary Supplementation with Probiotic Fermented Tetra-Herbal Combination Enhances Immune Activity in Broiler Chicks and Increases Survivability against Salmonella Gallinarum in Experimentally Infected Broiler Chicks.
Jung BG, Ko JH, Lee BJ.
J Vet Med Sci. 2010 Jul 28. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Inhibitory effects of Japanese apricot (Prunus mume Siebold et Zucc.; Ume) on Helicobacter pylori-related chronic gastritis [IN HUMAN SUBJECTS].
Enomoto S, Yanaoka K, Utsunomiya H, Niwa T, Inada K, Deguchi H, Ueda K, Mukoubayashi C, Inoue I, Maekita T, Nakazawa K, Iguchi M, Arii K, Tamai H, Yoshimura N, Fujishiro M, Oka M, Ichinose M.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jul;64(7):714-9.

3. Immune-Enhancing Effect of Fermented Maesil (Prunus mume Siebold & Zucc.) with probiotics against Bordetella bronchiseptica in Mice.
Jung BG, Ko JH, Cho SJ, Koh HB, Yoon SR, Han DU, Lee BJ.
J Vet Med Sci. 2010 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Fruit-juice concentrate of Asian plum inhibits growth signals of vascular smooth muscle cells induced by angiotensin II.
Utsunomiya H, Takekoshi S, Gato N, Utatsu H, Motley ED, Eguchi K, Fitzgerald TG, Mifune M, Frank GD, Eguchi S.
Life Sci. 2002 Dec 27;72(6):659-67.

5. Screening of the wormicidal Chinese raw drugs on Clonorchis sinensis.
Rhee JK, Woo KJ, Baek BK, Ahn BJ.
Am J Chin Med. 1981 Winter;9(4):277-84.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have only these comments FANTASTIC POST!!!!!!!!
"to learn from nature is to learn
PERFECTION!!!"
Drug companies will never " get it!"
"Learn from yesterday,live for today,Hope for tomorrow"
Best wishes
Andy

Chuck said...

great post, very intriguing. i wonder if there are any more readily available gut flora enhancers that one would be able to find here in the US? do things like fermented foods, kefirs, and cider vinegars act in the same way?

would love to hear more.

epistemocrat said...

Hi G,

Interestingly, Steve Brown, author of 'Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet', also notes the anti-oxidant properties of plums and recommends them as part of healthy diets for dogs.

Instead of clay licks, I do FAGE yogurt with my morning coffee. It does the trick; at least fictionally, that is.

Best,

Brent

Aaron Blaisdell said...

There is a cool article published in the August 24, 2010 issue of Genome Research showing the benefits in a rat model of transplanting one rat's gut bacterial biome to another rat with compromised gut biome. The results lasted at least 3 months, too. And pretreatment with antibiotics did not make the procedure any more effective.

Maybe french kissing explains the French "paradox". ;-) I wonder if oral sex would have similar results. Hmm...wonder if NIH would fund a study of that?

Reference: Reshaping the gut microbiome with bacterial
transplantation and antibiotic intake

Chaysavanh Manichanh, Jens Reeder, Prudence Gibert, Encarna Varela,
Marta Llopis, Maria Antolin, Roderic Guigo, Rob Knight, and Francisco Guarner

LeonRover said...

Veeerrry interesting.

What occurs . . . Is there any note of animals using suppositories, to bypass liver, after all the FRENCH have been big on supps for a long time.

stephen said...

Dr. G great post. So much material to think about from you again.

So, I will pick one small item to talk about. I think I see you believe grass fed beef is much healthier for us than grain fed beef.

However I have been having a debate with Billy at EvMed(http://nephropal.blogspot.com/2010/08/beef-question.html) and he seems to think grass fed beef is just a bunch over priced meat. And he seems to speak for all posters at EvMed. He keeps using the word "we" when stating his position.

So what do you have to say about this issue?

thedailyg said...

Recently I read about the complementarity of the amino acids found in grains and pulses - you see this dietary pairing all over the world, having arisen independently: dhal and rice, beans and cornbread, peanut butter and wehatbread, red bean dumplings, and so on.

It's a phenomenon that can hardly be doubted, but I don't think anyone's ever described the mechanism through which this is possible, have they? Specialised neurons seems likely; maybe other specialised glands/organs? It's difficult to imagine how this perception of nutritional need would just arise holistically, from one's general health/state self-perception, without some special equipment.

Dr. B G said...

DR. Blaisdell,

You are discussing EARTH-SHATTERING grant proposals. *haa*

Speaking of which, Patrik, Brent and I have already the discussed (our private journal club) this article on L.fermentium and its antioxidant properties. Guess where it resides and how are we human animals inoculated? Vaginally and topically (skin/breasts)...(Presuming mom has any -- which with current SAD, loss of cultural consumption of bioactive fermented foods, antibiotic use in meat feedlots and medical overutilization of antibiotics -- is very close to NIL). Personally I'd be surprised if my children received more than any negligible amounts via lactation/birth.


As Brent says, it's all 'horticulture' like the rat gut microbiome transplant study (which appears WAY WAY COOL)! Thank you!

-G

Dr. B G said...

LeonRover,

Sapolsky actually was lancing zopharmacognosy and being the skeptic... *haa* I believe he's wrong but of course what evidence do we have, right?

Female dolphins in Australia's Shark Bay have learned a behavior as well... to teach their offspring to hunt/fish using nets made of sponge. Animals adapt and learn for an 'edge'... there is always apparently a reason in a given microeco niche for a trait or behavior...

OK suppositories -- I dunno? Interesting thought! How did humans come up with this route of administration... I have no idea!


Stephen,

I'll defer to Mr. E - he is really quite a brain, critical thinker and wide reader (more than me). Actually I'm sorry I haven't kept up with the debate but I think his thoughts were centered on all herds (cow, pig, etc) and avoidance of grain-based feed, no? It's quite a courageous proposal and shooting for utopia is my range as well.


Hey g --

Love your writing and thoughts!

I have often wondered the same thing... Are we like primal animals and have 'figured' out the complete amino acid optimization? Peter at Hyperlipid has written a little about it as well. I've read about rats chewing on their cages more when zinc deficient (pica). Apparently there is a small amount of zinc in the metal...

It does make sense.

Pregnancy and morning sickness -- perhaps primal ways to provide optimal nutrition for baby and also avoidance of toxins. Baby may have different food allergies and DNA than mom, thus different nutritional requirements. For 9 months, I threw up every time I had a 'low fat' meal with my 2nd child who has a large brain and apparently greater love for fatty foods than my first, even in utero.

And also I've wondered how do these (vegetarian) human individuals not go completely extinct and also mentally nuts... from all that gluten and subsequent dysbiosis??! Obviously there must be SOME adaptations for instance with higher folate/derivatives intake from plant materials there is a distinct downregulation in folate methylation... Studies are now prospectively showing these individuals have abnormal DNA methlyation and diseases as a result of the government recommendations for folic acid 800-1000mcg daily prenatally for women (to prevent very rare spinal bifida). Asthma is one such disease but there are probably many others as well affected by this govt-mandate. My first child has asthma like me (reactive to infections) and I was compliant with the prenatals, however with the 2nd, little asthma as well as little compliance with prenatals. I dunno...

-G

Dr. B G said...

Aaron,

Here's the link:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2670518/

-G

Dr. B G said...

Andy,

What is the difference between functional medicine and dysfunctional?

A WIDE DIVIDE AS LARGE AS THE LARGEST OCEAN ABYSS...

Good thoughts!

G

Dr. B G said...

Chuck,

Of course! Every culture has these foods. Actually the prunus mume may not be found in non-Asian countries but each country has a similar tart, high vitamin C, high antioxidant w/antimicrobial properties -- chamoy in South America and alma in India.

Have you read Dr. Ayers and his wonderful blog at Cooling Inflammation?

Paleo/evo + gut health = optimal health

I think these all help however really it depends on how much damage the SAD and current conventional medicine has j*cked up... there are many isses that need to be addressed and food alone I don't believe will be enough in refractory cases (severe candidal/yeast overgrowth, severe parasites, severe adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, etc).

Definitely fermented foods are a good start. The GAP diet sounds great -- it is rich in bone broths and fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut. (Haven't read it yet) I'll try to post more...

-G

Dr. B G said...

LeonRover,

btw my fave amino acid complement:

--sliced tomato and crispy BACON BACON BACON
--taters

*haa*

Dr. B G said...

Brent,

The canine connection is very COOL!

FAGE + coffee sounds like an awesome combo...

I'm playing around with probiotics right now... too lame to make myself -- just kim chee, fermented tofu (but not GMO) and supplements (trying to vary a couple brands).

-G

lightcan said...

Hi G,
very interesting indeed,
talking about probiotics and brands, I saw Jarrow in the pharmacy. Are they any good? The fact that they are enterocoated sounds promising.
Anyway, dr. Ayers says that the capsules only have about 8 strains and we need hundreds of different types.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dr. BG, at the risk of sounding weird...

You want to know what research needs to be done? A study of what hormones and compounds are passed between lovers during unprotected sex (vis-a-vis condom-protected sex.)

I know of anecdotal reports of very different emotional experiences between the two, and I suspect it's not just the difference in stimulation.

It's too 'out there' an idea for other blogs, but I knew you'd understand. :-)

Fitnatic said...

It is VERY interesting. Dogs do this too. My dog ate either fresh grass or tender leaves of a particular flowering plant. It is wonderful how our natural instincts guide us.
I understand the principle behind the paleo/evo diet and push for it for optimal health. However the existing ancient cultures and their differing eating traditions do not neatly fit into the current paleo/evo eating patters advocated...causing cognitive dissonance for me. I have not satisfactorily resolved it for myself.
Are you saying that adding extra folic acid (and such)for people who are somewhat adapted to grain-based diet will cause harm?

Dr. B G said...

Hey Fitnatic,

What Brent posted on and your observations are quite KEEN.

Yes, in one prospective study using folic acid supplementation Australian moms, the relative risk increase of development of asthma was signficant compared to controls. The authors suspect changes in DNA methylation.



Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study
Melissa J. Whitrow, Vivienne M. Moore, Alice R. Rumbold and Michael J. Davies*
*Correspondence to Associate Professor Michael J. Davies, Research Centre for the Early Origins of Health and Disease, Robinson Institute, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia (e-mail: michael.davies@adelaide.edu.au).
Received July 7, 2009.
Accepted August 31, 2009.
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of the timing, dose, and source of folate during pregnancy on childhood asthma by using data from an Australian prospective birth cohort study (n = 557) from 1998 to 2005. At 3.5 years and 5.5 years, 490 and 423 mothers and children participated in the study, respectively. Maternal folate intake from diet and supplements was assessed by food frequency questionnaire in early (<16 weeks) and late (30–34 weeks) pregnancy. The primary outcome was physician-diagnosed asthma, obtained by maternal-completed questionnaire. Asthma was reported in 11.6% of children at 3.5 years (n = 57) and in 11.8% of children at 5.5 years (n = 50). Folic acid taken in supplement form in late pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma at 3.5 years (relative risk (RR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 1.43) and with persistent asthma (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.69). The effect sizes did not change with adjustment for potential confounders. The association was similar at 5.5 years but did not reach statistical significance (RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 0.96, 1.42) in univariable models. These findings on childhood asthma support previous observations that supplementation with folate in pregnancy leads to an allergic asthma phenotype in mice via epigenetic mechanisms and is associated with poorer respiratory outcomes in young children.

Dr. B G said...

Dear Anonymous,

I have wondered the same thing! YOU READ MY MIND!! My sister and I have discussed and we anecdotally tell a difference but hey what do we know...

When I read BONK, it did not refer to any studies. Recently another sex evolution book was recommended which apparently is HILARIOUS and perhaps may enlighten us...

Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex

-G

Dr. B G said...

Fitnatic,

Changes in our DNA occurs faster than what people suspected initially even within a few generations... (I think we are seeing epigenetic changes between 1-2 generations already)

Therefore, for any microecological niche, we are all suited only as well as our ancestors in a given environment. Paleo/evo lifestyles can't be then one-size which if you read other blogs and stories, truly is the case. We are so unique!

It's not all just DNA -- it is the way we organize our energy and project it. I'm doing some reading but like monks and martial artists, our energy can entirely affect our health and even DNA transcription and expression. The yoga and meditation studies in PubMed are fascinating.

-G

Dr. B G said...

Hello lightcan!

I appreciate your comments. I use some brands at iherb.com -- but I rotate them. Not sure if Ayers or Mark Sisson or Robb Wolf, but it makes sense it would be prudent and get a variety of strains and sources. I've tried some Jarrow ones and I think they are good. The live active ones are the best and generally these are stored in the fridge and shipped on ice.

-G

lightcan said...

Gee, I thought my comments were sucked into a black hole.
I was reading some of your older posts to 'revise' some ideas and I got to the pattern A centenarians. I started thinking about my grandfather's family as I went home for 3 weeks and I went to see our matriarch, she is 91. (My grand father died at 96) She ate the same food as everybody else, the same as the Jewish centenarians. She didn't have a special diet, she didn't exercise, not a lot of stress. So it must be the genes after all. (that includes epigenetic changes obviously) Was it maternal diet, childhood diet?
I found some older labs of mine and I was surprised to see that 7 years ago my bloods weren't that bad. (still not able to do VAP, or NMR)
LDL 109, HDL 87 and trigs 63. So maybe I was pattern A all along?
At least I have evidence that I don't have FH.

Dr. B G said...

Grrrl,

YES your thoughts got sucked into a black hole, the one known as my BRAIN *haa!*

I don't worry about plaque much -- it will be there or not and it will grow or regress or stay stable... and neither should you because it appears you can definitely rest on having LONGEVITY factored in the genes!

The labs were from 7yrs ago before so many stress, sleepless nights and children, no? *Ha* OK maybe I'm projecting MYSELF.

The LDL goes up under hypothyroidism -- I believe the mechanism less LDL clearance due to a lower number of LDL receptors and probabably other factors like insulin resistance. As you mentioned it's probably all fine esp since the Trigs and HDL are quite exceptional. FHC or not, it doesn't really matter. FHC does not predict heart attacks -- other factors are required (inflammation, low HDL, etc).


These are great resources you might enjoy:
http://coastherbal.com/web_standard/hmos.html
http://coastherbal.com/web_standard/female_cycle_difficulties.html


http://www.hotzehwc.com/attachments/wysiwyg/2/Hypothyroidism101.pdf
http://www.hotzehwc.com/attachments/wysiwyg/2/AdrenalFatigueandCortisol101.pdf


-G

lightcan said...

Thank you, good fairy. (You're not projecting yourself and generalising; unfortunately, chronic stress, lack of love, guilt, anxiety, discontent have been a feature of my life for too long)

Dr. B G said...

SUPER HAAAAWWWTNESS GRRRRL!

You sound like you need a good holiday, wine and fine dining. I guess a studly attentive male wouldn't hurt, eh??? j/k OK let me get a crane and drag my brain out of the gutter for a sec.

My motto: fake it until you feel it...

Seriously! our mind set can determine our DNA and health. (Though I often wish I had a 'teflon' gene where THINGS didn't bother and would just slide off *haa!*)

Hang in there my dear... you are too PRECIOUS AND SPECTACULAR to not enjoy more of life's joys and miracles. Though your heart may get broken a lot (I sense), I feel it is a gift you have a unique heart and spirit in the first place. I hope you find your path (and get those broken thyroid and adrenals fixed)!

Love, G

Ned Kock said...

Hi Dr. B.G.

I have a question for you. A little off-topic. I asked Peter and he suggested you. I have been analyzing some data from the China Study II:

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/09/china-study-ii-cholesterol-seems-to.html

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/09/china-study-ii-wheat-flour-rice-and.html

There are two columns (among many) in that data, one for HDL cholesterol, and the other for Apolipoprotein A. They have different values, with the Apo A column being generally higher. Both are provided in mg/dl.

My question is this. If I want to analyze the relationship between HDL (generally speaking) and other variables (e.g., cardiovascular disease deaths), which one (HDL-C or Apo A) would be the most appropriate?

Dr. B G said...

Ned,

The cholesterol post was very illuminating and, though just epidemiological, appears to confirm outcomes from prospective trials like ERA and Framingham. FYI Chinese rural inhabitants probably cannot afford wheat as they do rice. Those consuming rice not wheat probably also had more sunlight, fresh air and more physical activity I'd suspect because they may be conceivably be working more outdoor manual labor type of activities.

I'll post your conclusions:

- 'As HDL cholesterol increases, total cholesterol increases significantly (beta=0.48; P<0.01). This is to be expected, as HDL is a main component of total cholesterol, together with VLDL and LDL cholesterol.

- As total cholesterol increases, mortality from all cardiovascular diseases decreases significantly (beta=-0.25; P<0.01). This is to be expected if we assume that total cholesterol is in part an intervening variable between HDL cholesterol and mortality from all cardiovascular diseases. This assumption can be tested through a separate model (more below). Also, there is more to this story, as noted below.

- The effect of HDL cholesterol on mortality from all cardiovascular diseases is insignificant when we control for the effect of total cholesterol (beta=-0.08; P=0.26). This suggests that HDL’s protective role is subsumed by the variable total cholesterol, and also that it is possible that there is something else associated with total cholesterol that makes it protective. Otherwise the effect of total cholesterol might have been insignificant, and the effect of HDL cholesterol significant (the reverse of what we see here).

- Being female is significantly associated with a reduction in mortality from all cardiovascular diseases (beta=-0.16; P=0.01). This is to be expected. In other words, men are women with a few design flaws. (This situation reverses itself a bit after menopause.)

- Mortality from schistosomiasis infection is significantly and inversely associated with mortality from all cardiovascular diseases (beta=-0.28; P<0.01). This is probably due to those dying from schistosomiasis infection not being entered in the dataset as dying from cardiovascular diseases, and vice-versa.'


Perhaps the confounder is that high HDL is not sufficient -- the pattern in the density of all the lipoproteins associated with low plaque and low ASC/MI Mortality is Pattern 'A'. For pattern A, the LDL and Total Choelsterol may be either high or low (which is entirely dependent on apo E type).

http://nephropal.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-freidewalds-wrong-influence-of.html

Schiso infection you and Denise Minger discuss makes sense. Higher infection rates may reflect inflammation and poor immunity and/or poor nutrition. Like dialysis and heart failure patients, HIGHER mortality is associated with low Total Cholesterol and low LDL Cholesterol.

Our lipoproteins are integrals messengers and mediators of the immune system, so I think that is the factor as well.

Low LDL/TC (coupled with low HDL): poor immunity --> more infections --> more inflammation/heart-mortality/all-cause-mortality.

Ned, I believe apo A-1 is the most highly associated variable with HDL cholesterol and regression. (artificially elevating A-1 is bunk as we know with Pharma failures)

Chinese study A-1 predicts and quantifies extent of CHD:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20368082



What raises apo A-1 (and HDL and buoyancy of all lipoprotein classes)??

I hope you, Stan and Denise further illuminate the high value of saturated fats for immunity and control of inflammation!

Another factor: cigarette smoking is still very popular in China. I think Big Tobacco transferred from American to 3rd world and other countries. An analysis of tobacco v. saturated fat v. wheat in all-cause and CAD Mortality???

Who wins? Tobacco *haaa!* Saturated Fat!!
(Aren't the Masaii big smokers??)
-G

Ned Kock said...

Thanks G!

Jack C said...

Hi G,

Great post! I checked out Robert Sapolsky on Amazon and was so impressed that I bought three of his books: The Trouble With Testosterone (which you mentioned), Monkeyluv, and Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers.

Jack C.

Dr. B G said...

Great hearing from you!

Let me know your thoughts!! monkeyluv seems really good from the marketing point of view...

-G

billye said...

Hi Dr. G,

Thanks for your kind words relative to the statement that Stephen made on Sept 2, 2010 and I am sorry that you got dragged into this much needed discussion. First I want him to understand that the "we" I mentioned was speaking for EvMed Forum. But, for his information, when he sees summary or commentary by Billy E it is my opinion and written by me. I am sorry if I made Stephen uncomfortable with my opinion that is based on science and heavily discussed with our medical director Dr. T, who is in agreement. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219103 9/2/2010

My decision to eat grain fed beef that comes from Australia or grass-fed from New Zealand where they do not use rBGH is strictly because the science tells me it is O.K. to do so. The study by Daley et al says "grain-fed beef consumers may achieve similar intakes of both n-3and CLA through the consumption of higher fat grain-fed portions". Why should the public pay $14.00 to $28.00 a pound for rib eye that does not taste as good as the rib eye steak that I buy for $6.00 a pound? Especially when the USDA and FDA says that this meat is healthy. I do not insist that every one walk away from grass-fed. If you can afford it and wish to eat everything that you must take in the package that averages a low price for you, that's fine. There is a lot more thought than what is mentioned here that went into this decision, and it was not frivolously made. Best regards.

Billy E
EvMed Forum.com

Dr. B G said...

Dear Mr. E!

Thank you for your clarification. No worries!

I have been contemplating the differences betw grain-fed and grassfed as one of my favorite purveyors of grassfed, grain-finished beef raises not only the cattle humanely but also organically, hormone-free and antibiotic free. As you have concluded, I think this is fine. My family and I did a 'field trip' and visited this wonderful family-style ranch at Mt. Shasta earlier and received a tour from the well-educated head ranchman. The ranch also provides bovine parts for medical devices (bone, joints, cartilage, etc).

Prather Ranch raises the herd on organic, homegrown, barley grainheads (little starch, mostly fiber) for the last 1/4 to 1/3 of their life.

Here is a picture of a grainhead of barley:
http://www.nordicphotos.is/EN/Details/2211694

With my limited knowledge of anthropology and paleohistory, I think primates, predators and humans evolved hunting mega-fauna which consumed wild grasses and wild grainheads of wild grasses.

You know your SCIENCE and your MEAT, Mr. E!! Thank you for your out of the box thinking, laser sharp critiques and spirit to raise awareness.

My new motto is: passively paleo, innovativly NEOLITHIC.

Kindly,
G