Bad Cholesterol Promote Cancer

Recently, there’s a study that made the headline , University of Sydney has found that too much low density lipoprotein not only increases the risk of coronary heart disease but it’s also been implicated as a risk factor for cancer.

According to Associate Professor Thomas Grewal from the University’s Faculty of Pharmacy, “Most of the cells in our bodies stick to neighboring cells through the help of ‘Velcro-like’ molecules on their surface known as integrins. Unfortunately, integrins also help cancer cells that have broken away from a cancerous tumor to take root elsewhere in the body.”

The researchers found that elevated LDL cholesterol encourages tiny packets of integrins to migrate outside of cancer cells, which in turn enables cancer cells to spread throughout the body. Conversely, the researchers also found that elevated HDL or “good” cholesterol prevents the spread of integrins outside of cancer cells, which can protect against the spread of cancer.

These findings may help explain why cancer cells absorb more LDL cholesterol than healthy cells — they’re taking up the lipids in order to facilitate their own spread. The researchers believe that treating high cholesterol in cancer patients could significantly reduce the risk of metastasis. They also believe that keeping cholesterol within healthy limits is essential for cancer prevention. These findings could lead to the development of new cancer treatments that stop the spread of cancer cells by blocking their ability to take up LDL cholesterol.

How to manage cholesterol?

Nutritional and dietary therapy, weight loss, exercise, and scientifically proven nutritional supplementation should be used initially to manage cholesterol. If the people do not respond to non-drug treatment and is at high risk or very high risk for coronary heart disease, medication should be used. This is such a huge topic. I’ll have to revisit and add more information about the management many times I think!

What are some of the non-drug therapies?

In this blog, I’m just going to touch on two of these. They are Dietary Fiber and mixed Vitamin E.

Dietary Fiber are classified into soluble and insoluble fiber. Here is how fiber lowers cholesterol: It binds to the bile acid in the gut known as LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol” and limits its absorption back into the body. The soluble fibre that binds to the bile acid passes through the digestive tract and is eliminated as body waste. This means less bad cholesterol circulating in your body and less risk of developing heart disease in the future. Soluble fibre also slows down stomach emptying and will make you feel fuller for longer. To reduce cholesterol with soluble fiber, you’ll need between 2-10g per day. 

Vitamin E consists of a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols. There are alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols and tocotrienols. Most of the ones you get in supermarkets only consist of d-alpha tocopherol. The tocotrienols have a stronger antioxidant than tocopherols. Tocotrienols are more effective in reducing LDL and total cholesterol if the tocotrienols concentration used is high and tocopherols concentration is low. You may have come across reports every now and again, stating that Vitamin E has not been shown to help in certain conditions? If you look closer to those studies, most of them only used the d-alpha tocopherol. This mixed Vitamin E is also available in store. 

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