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Thalassemia Patients and Friends and thalpal Ā© A. Battaglia 2019

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Author Topic: Cholesterol and oxidative stress  (Read 170 times)
David Clay
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« on: August 30, 2020, 02:41:42 PM »

Hi all,

A few studies show lower cholesterol in thalassemia. I want to share the work of this doctor who claims cholesterol is anti inflammatory and necessary. Of course it is very counter the current medical 'school of thought', and he may not be right, but i find it compelling and saw much that may be of interest to thalassemics, specifically with regards to protection against hemolysis and preventing oxidation.

'The steroids in general, especially those produced in large amounts, progesterone and DHEA, are important parts of the antioxidant defenses. Cholesterol, either that produced internally by the cell, or taken in from the blood stream, is the precursor for all the steroids in the body. Several of the major steroid hormones are antiinflammatory, and cholesterol itself is antiinflammatory. (Mikko, et al., 2002; Kreines, et al., 1990). Cholesterol also protects against radiation damage, and many forms of toxin (saponins, cobra venom, chloroform--W.G. MacCallum, A Text-book of Pathology, 1937, Saunders Co.; many more recent studies show that it protects blood cells against hemolysis--breakdown of red blood cells--caused by heat and other harmful agents; e.g., Dumas, et al., 2002, Velardi, et al., 1991). Cholesterol, vitamin E, progesterone, and vitamin D are considered to be "structural antioxidants," that prevent oxidation partly by stabilizing molecular structures. One of the basic functions of cholesterol seems to be the stabilization of mitochondria, preventing their destruction by stress. Serious stress lowers ATP, magnesium, and carbon dioxide. When ATP and intracellular magnesium are decreased, cholesterol synthesis increases.'

'During stress, free fatty acids are released from the tissues, and circulating in the bloodstream they are highly susceptible to oxidation. They contribute to the formation of the age pigment, lipofuscin, which is an oxygen-wasting substance that's found in the atheroma plaques in the damaged blood vessels. Iron and calcium accumulation adds to the tissue damage.'

'The hemolysis which is promoted by polyunsaturated fats and an imbalance of antioxidants and oxidants, releases iron and heme into the blood stream. The incidence of atherosclerosis is increased when the body iron stores are high (Kiechl, et al., 1997), probably because of its role in lipid peroxidation and lipofuscin formation. '

'Although cholesterol is protective against oxidative and cytolytic damage, the chronic free radical exposure will oxidize it. During the low cholesterol turnover of hypothyroidism, the oxidized variants of cholesterol will accumulate, so cholesterol loses its protective functions.

I see thyroid problems are quite common with thalassemia, and he says the combination of low thyroid and low cholesterol leads to inflammation. To let the liver produce adequate cholesterol, he recommends eating plenty of fructose and calcium, and to avoid starches.

For what its worth, I have been drinking almost a liter of milk and fresh OJ a day for the past few months, and avoiding potatoes and as much starch as i can (as an experiment), and my cholesterol has come up from 135 to 204. However i feel no better, no worse. Apparently before supplementing with thyroid, it is good to have cholesterol over 200, as this will quickly convert cholesterol to protective, anti inflammatory steroids.

This is the article:

« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 05:08:57 AM by David Clay » Logged
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