India has far greater incidence of heart disease in the north than in the south and yet looking at the lipid levels of the two populations seems to show that LDL may not be the culprit. Average levels of LDL for 40 to 50 year olds stood at 3.05 mmol in both regions. Not outrageously high by most standards. HDL however in the south averaged at 1.6 mmol whilst in the north it averages at a miserable 0.8 mmol. Triglycerides are also high in the north at 1.8. There is no data for the south generally but in Gujarat it stands at 1.2.
This seems to add weight to the hypothesis that HDL and Triglycerides are more important than LDL cholesterol in connection with heart disease. Drug companies have not surprisingly focused on LDL as it is more easily manipulated by chemical means.
You can take a look at the data here
I have posted before about the Linus Pauling Vitamin C hypothesis to curing heart disease. The idea that heart disease is really a form of arterial scurvy and that as one of a handful of species that cannot produce its own vitamin C we are more vulnerable than those that can. In fact species that produce their own Vitamin C do not seem to get heart disease.
here are some supporting figures taken from a large scottish study and published in the British Medical Journal
Ascorbic acid intake (mg/day)
14.9 34.7 44.2 54.5 70.2 116.1 50 10.9 30.5 42.1 55.2 72.3 118.5 30
All CHD 1 0.87 0.83 0.63 0.52 0.85 (0.80 to 0.91) *** 1 0.59 0.85 0.81 0.56 0.92 (0.82 to 1.02) NS
CHD deaths 1 0.98 1.03 0.86 0.72 0.93 (0.83 to 1.04) NS 1 1.17 2.12 1.61 0.76 0.99 (0.81 to 1.21) NS
All deaths 1 1.09 1.00 0.87 0.85 0.95 (0.88 to 1.02) NS 1 0.98 0.79 1.03 0.72 0.95 (0.86 to 1.04) NS
You can take a look at a neater version here (apologies for messy presentation above)
or the full report where you can click on the last pop table to get the Vit C data at
The figures from left to right show hazard ratios for different levels of intake of Vitamin C among the study subjects. The more Vitamin C taken the lower the hazard for Cardio Vascular Disease and CVD death. The 3 stars *** mean that the data for Vit C is highly statistically significant. There are 3 stars next to Vit C and men and incidence of CVD meaning the less men took the more likely they were to suffer from CVD.
My policy is to take a pink grapefruit with my breakfast every day and a Vit C supplement. Doing this has resulted in my own lowest reading of Lp(a), a well documented risk factor for heart disease.
The confusing aspect of the study is that Total cholesterol levels were also shown to be an increasing hazard as levels increased and were also statistically significant.
Eat lots of veggies, fruits and whole foods. Avoid processed foods, grains and sugar. All seems like good advice but why are veggies better for us. What is the mechanism behind the digestion of these foods that eventually results in better heart health ?.
Dr Rhonda Patrick gives a pretty good explanation here about how a compromised gut microbiome might be the underlying cause of heart disease.