The Gut Biome and Cholesterol Connection

Microsoft PowerPoint - Attia Lipoprotein Trafficking.pptx [Read-Only]

My past few posts have been pretty cholesterol centric and I just have to warn you that there will be more to come.  Obviously this is a topic that is important to me, and unfortunately at this point science doesn’t have a good answer yet as to what the heck is going on in my particular case.

I’m doing what I can to self experiment (most recently by taking anti-inflammatory supplements and increasing more carbs… and then adding in even more carbs while cutting back saturated fat) and to dive into more research.

One of the areas I came upon was the relationship between the gut biome and cholesterol.

(Carol Salva from the Fat 2 Fit podcast had a slip of the tongue in her most recent episode and called it the Butt-Giome which I find hilarious)

Robb Wolf reported a similar situation to me.  When he was eating low carb he also developed a sky high LDL-P, however he was able to get this under control by experimenting with resistant starch.

Of course, this inspired me to attempt my own trial of resistant starch. In fact I tried it twice.  Both times I only lasted a couple weeks and all it did was leave me with a lot of flatulence, an unhappy BJJ Cavewife, and a stubbornly elevated LDL.

While I probably didn’t stick it out long enough and therefore can’t draw any real conclusions, a lot of the enthusiasm for raw potato starch seems to have died down.  In fact, Dr. Grace the Gut Goddess is even pointing out in her new website, The Gut Institute, that raw potato starch can actually be detrimental.

When I discussed some of my issues with her via Twitter, she seemed to think that there may be a gut mediated process going on.  I asked her if she knew of any papers that showed an improvement in lipid markers following treatment of gut issues and she directed me to this paper out of India, in the Mediators of Inflammation Journal from 2014 (full paper here).

The scientists gave subjects a commercially available probiotic VSL#3 (which can actually be picked up from Amazon, although it isn’t cheap) and Omega 3s (they don’t specify what brand) and found that:

… the probiotic preparation VSL#3 affected insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and atherogenic index favourably and reduced hsCRP, a marker of inflammation, in overweight/obese adults. Probiotic given in combination with omega-3 was more effective than probiotic alone.

The improvement in the lipid markers was specifically:

HDL increased by 23.2% and LDL decreased by 10.7%; triglycerides decreased by 7.78% and VLDL by 7.78% in the probiotic with omega-3 group, compared with baseline levels

Dr. Grace also pointed to this study from the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics just published May 2015 showing that:

After 6 weeks, a significant reduction (P < .05) in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides and increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was observed in the probiotic as well as in the synbiotic group when compared to placebo; however, the results of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were more pronounced in the synbiotic group.

Here are Dr. Grace’s 7 steps to how to heal the gut and her recipe for Bionic Fiber.

Now to see if I can get everything I need for Bionic Fiber from Amazon:

I’ve decided to try Version C [Amped up Bionic Fiber for Fat Burning] because why not!

And I’ll probably add in one or a two of the following probiotics:

I have a couple experiments I need to complete first before I jump whole hog into this and go nuts with my Amazon order, but this will definitely be added onto my agenda.

*Image found here.

15 Responses to The Gut Biome and Cholesterol Connection

  1. Michele says:

    I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that all problems start in the gut microbiome. I am not taking MegaSpore Probiotic and there are four fascinating shows on the Microbiome by Kiran here is one of them:

    Also I paid the $99 from 23andMe and did my gene testing and this is also illuminating as to where I might have problems with certain vitamins and minerals. In three places in my genetic testing it said I will have high HDL and I always have!

    Thanks for sharing all your tests and experiments. We will find the answer some how, some way.

  2. Michele says:

    I meant to say (above) I am NOW taking Megaspore Probiotic.

  3. Charles Grashow says:

    You might take a look at at this
    Changes in Atherogenic Dyslipidemia Induced by Carbohydrate Restriction in Men Are Dependent on Dietary Protein Source

    “Overall, we found that lipid and lipoprotein markers of CVD risk as well as components of atherogenic dyslipidemia measured in the fasting state were improved by replacement of carbohydrate with protein derived primarily from beef only in the context of lower saturated fat intake. These results suggest that the combined consumption of beef protein and saturated fat has a greater influence on components of atherogenic dyslipidemia than can be accounted for by either of these dietary components individually. Although our recent meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies did not demonstrate an association of saturated fat with CVD risk in the general population (8, 10), the present results raise the possibility that such an association may be present in subsets of the population who consume high amounts of saturated fat in the presence of red meat. These observations support the need for further studies to determine whether the dietary context in which saturated fat is consumed influences its relationship with CVD.”

  4. Mike says:

    I experimented with potato starch and had problems with flatulence. As soon as I started taking Prescipt Assist the flatulence went away. Also noticed my fasting blood glucose dropped. You have piqued my interest, I will have to research Dr. Grace’s work and the Bionic fiber. Thanks for your great blog. Keep us informed on how your doing.

  5. Dale says:

    Resistant starch feeds those billions in the large intestine, and you’ve proven that your billions generate gas if that food source is from potatoes. What about galacto oligosaccharides? Galactomune is sold in the US, and you can buy BiMuno through the UK web site and have it shipped to the US. GOS, FOS, resistant starch, inulin, probably feed different gut bacteria groups. Maybe you could find a way to feed the “good guys” that doesn’t cause gas?

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I’ve seen GOS mentioned a lot as being effective, but never really looked into it as a supplement. Is Galactomune a reputable supp?

  6. Ben says:

    BJJ guy
    I tried the Dr Grace protocol after a bad experience with Potato Starch. I am still doing a form of CBL, I have two or three high starch meals every week. Rice (I cook it in the morning and stick it in the freezer take it out at dinner time) and Japanese sweet potatoes. It seemed to help everything but my cholesterol. Maybe the effect requires more time, I was only on it for about three months before my last blood test. Being methylation compromise means I have to be careful about overdoing things like sauerkraut. The answer for some of us still seems to be low saturated fat.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Did you also use probiotics with the bionic fiber protocol? I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t lower your cholesterol.

      • Ben says:

        I tried to go on Grace’s bionic fiber protocol. I never got fully there. I don’t think I ever recovered from my initial potato starch experiment. I was taking all of the components but my gut never fully tolerated some of them. Looking a the slow carb approach has caused me to start adding legumes, a little fruit. I am trying to do the bionic fiber more gradually this time after some gut recovery.

  7. Charles Grashow says:
    Gut Problems Got You Down? Try the patented Oat, Blueberry, Fiber Smoothie!

    The patented blend consists of:

    i. at least about 3 grams agave inulin;
    ii. at least about 2 grams oat β-glucan; and
    iii. at least about 700 mg of a polyphenolic compound extracted from blueberry pomace

    This is to be taken 2-3 times a day as a smoothie, drink, or in capsules. Several case studies demonstrate that when these directions were followed, patients not responding well to Metformin treatment were shown to immediately begin responding well.

    A smoothie inspired by the invention, 2-3 times per day. Each smoothie consisting of:

    2-4 TBS uncooked oat bran (example link)
    1.5 cups of fresh blueberries
    1-2 TBS of inulin powder or raw potato starch

    Mix with a liquid of choice.

    Add some (or all) of the following, if you like:

    Cocoa Powder
    Flax/Chia/Hemp Seeds
    Green Banana
    Colorful Veggies
    Method to treat diabetes utilizing a gastrointestinal microbiome modulating composition

  8. Ben says:

    So I read the saturated fat study, and I noticed that they used full fat dairy to adjust the levels of saturated fat in the diets. My assumption is that the beef was lean (85-90%.) Just guessing here. The saturated fat content of suet vs butter, they are similar. It would have a better study to use coconut oil which is a more pure form of saturated fat (less poly and mono fats), or even better real beef fat to compare.

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