In a previous post I mentioned that small LDL particles are bad and big and fluffy is good. This is because small LDL can more easily absorb into the endothelial wall of arteries and then in time become oxidised. This process contributes to plaque build up. Now do not bother asking your UK doctor about this because unless you are lucky and have one that reads outside the Big Pharma controlled information shute, he/she wont know what the hell you are talking about.
Let’s also reiterate one important point. There is only one type of cholesterol, it’s called Cholesterol. There are however various types of Lipoproteins. Remember they are the cars carrying the cholesterol passengers. The greater number of passengers the big and fluffier the particle. Even the labeling of Cholesterol as either LDL good or HDL bad is not really the full story. Just as important is a third kind of Lipo called VLDL. This often ignored Lipo plays a very important role in the cycle of LDL particle size.
How do LDL particles get small, well it seems they start off at a perfectly acceptable size until we step in with our wonderful Westernised modern diet and promote the release of VLDL particles which each contain a number of Triglyceride’s. No doubt you have heard of Triglycerides and how we need to keep a low count on them. In fact along with Apo B that I mentioned earlier and maybe C Reactive Protein, your Tri’ levels are something you should be aware of and you are about to realise why.
If the Liver produces excessive quantities of VLDL we get an increase of Tri’ and Cholesterol exchange. The VLDL is a trading machine, it swaps Tri’s for Cholesterol molecules with the LDL and HDL Lipo’s. The Tri’s are then removed from the LDL via a process called Heptic Lipase. The bottom line is that even with basic addition and subtraction we can see that the LDL is now smaller as a result. This makes it a more dangerous traveller through the blood stream.
If your doctor is not giving you your Tri’ scores then ask him why and insist that you know whether your Triglyceride levels are within normal range.
How can we reduce the production of VLDL?. Cut back on insulin producing foods, namely simple sugars, simple carb’s and remove all wheat from your diet. The result should be a small and flat stomach but a big and fluffy set of LDL’s.
Measuring your APO B can be a good guide to LDL size as Chris Masterjohn points out when he states that we have one APO B for each LDL particle so the APO B to LDL cholesterol ratio can be an indicator of whether you have small or large LDL. Think of it this way, for any given level of LDL cholesterol a higher value of APO B means there are more LDL’s carrying the cholesterol and thus by definition they must be smaller than if we had a low APO B which would mean the same level of cholesterol would be packed into fewer LDL’s and thus they would be bigger and fluffier.