The cholesterol paradox

As the reviews of professor Behe’s new book Darwin Devolves continue, many who participate in the discussions on many blogs or websites may have noticed the seeming paradox involving high fat, high cholesterol diet and heart disease issues… Dr. Behe devoted a good portion of his book to the issue of the devolution of the polar bear, which supposedly evolved, or rather devolved according to Behe, to tolerate the drastic switch from the dietary habits of its ancestors some 400 000 years ago…This particular issue I’m planning to cover in one the upcoming OPs…

This OP is more of an introduction to the fat/cholesterol/heart disease issue that while it seems complicated at the first glance, it really isn’t…

Some members on TSZ have already alluded to this issue, so I will cover just the very fundamentals:

If people and many animals who consume little cholesterol develop heart disease, one might also ask whether people who consume a lot of fat and cholesterol are at the same risk…

The simplest answer is no.

That’s why the issue of high fat and cholesterol consumption diets in humans with low rates of heart disease have been labeled as the cholesterol paradox, because, from at least one point of view, it just doesn’t make sense…

As the side point, the great majority of Cell article Behe explores in his book Darwin Devolves is based on the assumption that high fat, high cholesterol diet causes heart disease (arteriosclerosis) therefore the polar bear must have evolved the adaptation to eat seal blubber and have no atherosclerosis…

Behe just plays along and simply exposes the assumptions that if polar bear evolved to eat high fat, high cholesterol diet, it has done so by breaking or blunting gene functions…This will be covered in the upcoming OP…

Why cholesterol paradox?

Because there are many groups of people (not as many anymore) all over the world that seem to be the exception to the assumed rule that high fat, high cholesterol diet cases heart disease, like atherosclerosis…Some of them are called hunter-gatherers but others, like Canadian Inuit, could be called seal blubber eaters, just like the lowly poplar bear at issue between evolutionists and ID…

Inuit eating seal blubber

Inuit eating seal blubber

If there are exceptions or paradoxes to the rule among those groups of people, are they due to adaptive mutations, just like it has been claimed in the Cell article that Behe explored regarding polar bears?

Or, is there another possible explanation?
You tell me…
😉

Polar bear eating seal blubber

94 thoughts on “The cholesterol paradox

  1. That’s why the issue of high fat and cholesterol consumption diets in humans with low rates of heart disease have been labeled as the cholesterol paradox, because, from at least one point of view, it just doesn’t make sense…

    there is no cholesterol paradox. Hunter gathers, e.g.. inuit, suffered from extensive atherosclerosis and remains of these people, frozen thousands of years, were found to have extensive hardening of the arteries due to atherosclerosis.

    the Inuit diet was (traditionally) a fairly balanced diet between fat, protein, and carbohydrates albeit leaning a bit towards a higher fat content (~50% of daily calories) than the average US citizen.

    If people and many animals who consume little cholesterol develop heart disease, one might also ask whether people who consume a lot of fat and cholesterol are at the same risk…

    The simplest answer is no.

    The simplest, and correct, answer would be Yes!

    Have you ever considered doing some research into the subjects of your OP’s or is it easier for you to just wildly speculate on the subject matter?

  2. PeterP: Have you ever considered doing some research into the subjects of your OP’s or is it easier for you to just wildly speculate on the subject matter?

    Shhh, quiet, you’ll ruin how funny J-Mac’s OPs are!

  3. PeterP: Have you ever considered doing some research into the subjects of your OP’s or is it easier for you to just wildly speculate on the subject matter?

    J-mac has a talent to misread according to his prejudices. It’s not uncommon for J-Mac, like Salvador, to quote something that contradicts their supposed point. I have told them, but no matter how clearly you show them, they just won’t get it. I think they cannot even read what we explain.

  4. PeterP: the Inuit diet was (traditionally) a fairly balanced diet between fat, protein, and carbohydrates albeit leaning a bit towards a higher fat content (~50% of daily calories) than the average US citizen.

    Where did the Inuit get the carboihydrates from?

  5. J-Mac: Where did the Inuit get the carboihydrates from?

    glycogen in the raw meat they ate.

    Also gluconeogenesis via protein metabolism in the liver.

    Easy to find out if you had bothered to even look at any of the readily available resources/literature on the subject.

  6. The French paradox: key points

    A high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat but low CHD death rates define the French paradox
    Variability of CHD rates is the rule, and low CHD rates are observed in southern or Mediterranean European countries
    Classical risk factors do not embrace the totality of CHD risk, particularly in France and in other countries

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14676260

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_paradox

  7. Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma in Favor of Low-carb High-fat Nutrition

    “Health markers will improve on a low-carbohydrate diet:

    …a greater increase in HDL cholesterol (“the good cholesterol”) without having any adverse affects on LDL cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”). This applies to both the moderate low-carbohydrate intake of less than 40 percent of the total energy intake, as well as to the stricter low-carbohydrate diet, where carbohydrate intake is less than 20 percent of the total energy intake. In addition, the stricter low-carbohydrate diet will lead to improved glucose levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes, and to marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.”

    https://healthimpactnews.com/2013/sweden-becomes-first-western-nation-to-reject-low-fat-diet-dogma-in-favor-of-low-carb-high-fat-nutrition/

  8. The Noakes Foundation – The dietary revolution to reverse the global epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes

    We seek to answer the following questions:
    How do we correct the dietary errors of the past fifty years?
    How do we determine the optimal diet for individuals?
    How do we change individual eating and exercise patterns to prevent type 2 diabetes & minimise the effects of insulin resistance?
    How can we help everyone eat better to feel better and live better lives?

    https://thenoakesfoundation.org

  9. How could vegans get atherosclerosis if they eat little or none of fat and cholesterol???

    “People who follow a vegan lifestyle — strict vegetarians who try to eat no meat or animal products of any kind — may increase their risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries,” which are conditions that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. That’s the conclusion of a review of dozens of articles published on the biochemistry of vegetarianism during the past 30 years. The article appears in ACS’ bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.”

    Turns out they need FAT and cholesterol to prevent heart disease…
    Another fat and cholesterol paradox!!!
    Praise the lard! 😉
    https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2011/acs-presspac-february-2-2011/vegans-elevated-heart-risk-requires-omega-3s-and-b12.html

  10. Is there any OP you have made that isn’t an instant joke for it’s intergalactic magnitude of ignorance and incompetence? Is there some possible world where some version of me is asking this question non-rhetorically?

  11. Rumraket:
    Is there any OP you have made that isn’t an instant joke for it’s intergalactic magnitude of ignorance and incompetence? Is there some possible world where some version of me is asking this question non-rhetorically?

    Unless you have some kind of evidence…your ignorance has been noted and overruled…😅

  12. I hope that people realize the implications of all this supposed bear evolution..
    It’s a catch 22 for Darwinists/evolutionists…

    1. If polar bear evolved the “white” camouflage against smaller predators then it was by breaking genes and preventing the hair follicle cells from producing pigment.

    2. The high fat, high cholesterol diet evolutinary adaptations are also questionable…
    Many mammals, like humans, do fine on high fat high cholesterol diet without any “helpful” mutations in the cholesterol transportation proteins…

    Brown bears in Alaska that feed on higher fat higher cholesterol diet are a perfect example of that…The brown bear hybrids develop “white” fur coats within one or few generations…

    Here is another kicker:
    “Bears breed across species borders

    Summary:
    Scientists have sequenced the entire genomes of four bear species, making it now possible to analyze the evolutionary history of all bears at the genome level. It shows that gene flow, or gene exchange, between species by extensive hybridization, is possible between most bear species, not only polar and brown bear. The DNA samples of different bear species came from different European zoos, underlining their importance not only for conservation, but also for research. The study also questions the existing species concept in general, because other genome studies have frequently found gene flow among species.”

    So, no matter how one looks at it, the 400 000 years of “fast evolution” of polar bear since its separation from its ancestor could very well be another evolutionary bluff…

    So common descent within “kind” from one common ancestor on Noah’s Ark looks good to me..😁

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419093151.htm

    Brown bear hybrid picture:

  13. J-Mac:
    How could vegans get atherosclerosis if they eat little or none of fatand cholesterol???

    Not all plant based diets are equally healthy?

  14. J-Mac: The Inuit Paradox
    How can people who gorge on fat and rarely see a vegetable be healthier than we are?

    Not all fat is equal?

  15. newton: Not all plant based diets are equally healthy?

    Whether that’s true or not it doesn’t matter…
    What’s important here is the obvious conclusion that even if one doesn’t eat fat containing cholesterol diet, he is not free from atherosclerosis…

    On the other hand, high fat high cholesterol diet doesn’t cause atherosclerosis either…actually it seems that one eating fatand cholesterol is better off than vegans…
    How could this be?

    Here is another kicker: Statins, the 50 billion + dollar per year industry to prevent heart disease from the killer cholesterol extend life expectancy by…???

  16. J-Mac: Whether that’s true or not it doesn’t matter…

    Near as I can tell this is jmac’s guidelines for OP creation and content.

    In other words as someone recently claimed “truth isn’t truth” !

    J-Mac: What’s important here is the obvious conclusion that even if one doesn’t eat fat containing cholesterol diet, he is not free from atherosclerosis…

    Who ever said otherwise?

    In conclusion, atherosclerosis was common in four preindustrial populations, including a preagricultural hunter­gatherer population, and across a wide span of human history. It remains prevalent in contemporary human beings. The presence of atherosclerosis in premodern human beings suggests that the disease is an inherent component of human ageing and not characteristic of any speci c diet or lifestyle.

    Atherosclerosis across 4000 years of human history: the
    Horus study of four ancient populations
    https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/www/external/labor/aging/rsi/rsi_papers/2013/finch1.pdf

    J-Mac: On the other hand, high fat high cholesterol diet doesn’t cause atherosclerosis either…actually it seems that one eating fatand cholesterol is better off than vegans…
    How could this be?

    Outside of a profound confusion on jmac’s part concerning dietary and serum cholesterol levels the research seems to come down to this:

    newton: Not all plant based dietsare equally healthy

    and this

    newton: Not all fat is equal

    Where’s the paradox?

    edited to remove question marks from newton’s posts since there is really no question(s) on those issues.

  17. I am low level skeptical about this chorestral equals heart disease problems issue.
    The bible says man is given 70 years, 80 with health. It doesn’t mention diet.
    It does seem meat eating populations always lived just as long in same numbers.
    Anyways its not a issue for evolutionism i think.

  18. J-Mac: When, or if, one day you come up with an OP,or a comment, that makes me want to respond to… You may consider showing off your abilities to Google, by looking up thedifference between naturally occurring “trans fats” and artificial ones you embarrassed yourself so badly about… on the OP you just mentioned…

    Jmac made the above claim(s) about me in the Moderation thread.

    Here I invite him to back up his claims if he thinks he is correct alleging that I ’embarrassed myself with any claims of ‘trans fats’.

    Never mentioned ‘trans fats’ in any comments on your notoriously misinformed OP. Feel free to quote the comments that you think I should find embarrassing. Won’t hold my breath waiting for you to do so.

    Let’s see if jmac has the courage of his convictions to back up his allegations or rather, as I suspect, we will see another example of unsubstantiated bluster of his part. Balls in your court, jmac, let’s see what you have!

  19. J-Mac: Whether that’s true or not it doesn’t matter…

    It is true, that is why we think some vegans have a higher rate of heart disease vegetarians when other variables are equal.

    What’s important here is the obvious conclusion that even if one doesn’t eat fat containing cholesterol diet, he is not free from atherosclerosis…

    No there are other ways, that since meat eaters have the highest rate, eating fatty meats is a very good way.

    On the other hand, high fat high cholesterol diet doesn’t cause atherosclerosis either…actually it seems that one eating fatand cholesterol is better off than vegans…
    How could this be?

    Falty logic, that diet is is worse than a vegetarian diet. While vegans do get atherosclerosis, not sure they have a higher incidence than meat eaters.

    Here is another kicker: Statins, the 50 billion + dollar per year industry to prevent heart disease from the killer cholesterol extend life expectancy by…??

    If you have already had a heart attack’s or stroke the evidence is good they extend your life.Nowadays the generic versions are coming on the market which lowered the costs.

  20. The OP fails to address the actual question raised by the research. Do the mutations in the polar bear ApoB gene improve clearance of cholesterol from the blood stream?

    Perhaps J-Mac could actually address the science.

  21. newton: Here is another kicker: Statins, the 50 billion + dollar per year industry to prevent heart disease from the killer cholesterol extend life expectancy by…??

    If you have already had a heart attack’s or stroke the evidence is good they extend your life.Nowadays the generic versions are coming on the market which lowered the costs.

    Did I say statins don’t extend one’s life? Did you even bother to look it up by how much? You, like PeterP, try desperately to engage in conversation but you make me roll my eyes so much I need eye drops…😨

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4513492/

    For those who are not familiar with the theme:

    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/10/27/how-much-longer-will-you-live-if-you-take-a-statin/

  22. T_aquaticus:
    The OP fails to address the actual question raised by the research.Do the mutations in the polar bear ApoB gene improve clearance of cholesterol from the blood stream?

    Perhaps J-Mac could actually address the science.

    What? You must be joking?!
    Let’s see: How did the researchers of the original paper in Cell prove their conclusion exactly? I quote:
    We suggest that the shift to a diet consisting predominantly of fatty acids in polar bears induced adaptive changes in APOB, which enabled the species to cope with high fatty acid intake by contributing to the effective clearance of cholesterol from the blood.”

    Please don’t waste my time!

  23. J-Mac: Boy! You don’t even know how to Google trans fats vs cis fats? Or, perhaps you didn’t know there was a difference… I don’t know what to tell you…
    It’s not rocket science or quantum mechanics…

    As predicted jmac fails to address the issue in any way shape or form.

    PeterP: You may consider showing off your abilities to Google, by looking up thedifference between naturally occurring “trans fats” and artificial ones you embarrassed yourself so badly about

    First thing you should attempt, jmac, is to point out where I made any comment whatsoever about trans fats where I embarressed so badly in your eyes.

    It is hard to conclude that you have even the most basic grasp of the subject matter and your evasions reinforce that doubt. Surprise us all and point out the importance of the issue to your OP. I’m sure everyone will be relieved ( and no doubt surprised) to have you clarify this issue.

    Go ahead give it a go you can do it…..can’t you?

  24. J-Mac: Did I say statins don’t extend one’s life? Did you even bother to look it up by how much? You, like PeterP, try desperately to engage in conversation but you make me roll my eyes so much I need eye drops…

    Yet your are incapable of mounting anything resembling a refutation of what either newton or I have posted. The eyedrops are likely needed as a result of furious googling on your part to find something…anything…that supports your previous false claims. I was really surprised you did not know that glycogen is a carbohydrate after claiming the topic was so simple and uncomplicated and easy to understand.

  25. J-Mac: Did I say statins don’t extend one’s life? Did you even bother to look it up by how much? You, like PeterP, try desperately to engage in conversation but you make me roll my eyes so much I need eye drops…

    Apologies, was unaware your questions were rhetorical. Or your responses to my answers was you just being …

    Now a dilemma, you seem to be asking questions I will try to be as brief as possible

    One never knows exactly what …?? means. Yes looked it up and have some personal experience in the area.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4513492/

    Yes , there is disagreement about the efficacy of statins.

    For those who are not familiar with the theme:

    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/10/27/how-much-longer-will-you-live-if-you-take-a-statin/

    Yes ,you love the woo.

    Between you and me, Malcolm seems to be a bit on a nut.

    Once again , deepest apologies.

  26. I did enjoy this bit:

    Looking at the Heart Protection Study (HPS) done in the UK, we used a technique for analysing survival time called RMST (restricted mean survival time). I won’t go into the details. The HPS study lasted for five years, and we calculated that the average increase in survival time was 15.6 days. This was at the end of five years of treatment (with a confidence interval of 5 days either side). For 4S, the figure was 17 days.

    Good idea, not going into details there, Malcolm…
    LOL
    Here’s an unsurprising fact: If, over the course of your trial, 2% of your subjects suffer a major CV event, then on average the effect of the treatment will be slight. Hey, I’ll use the RMST technique on the SPAF trials (ARISTOTLE, RE-LY & ROCKET AF).
    What a great idea!

  27. J-Mac: What? You must be joking?!
    Let’s see: How did the researchers of the original paper in Cell prove their conclusion exactly? I quote:
    We suggest that the shift to a diet consisting predominantly of fatty acids in polar bears induced adaptive changes in APOB, which enabled the species to cope with high fatty acid intake by contributing to the effective clearance of cholesterol from the blood.”

    Please don’t waste my time!

    Where is the evidence that ApoB devolved?

  28. DNA_Jock:
    I did enjoy this bit:

    Good idea, not going into details there, Malcolm…
    LOL
    Here’s an unsurprising fact: If, over the course of your trial, 2% of your subjects suffer a major CV event, then on average the effect of the treatment will be slight. Hey, I’ll use the RMST technique on the SPAF trials (ARISTOTLE, RE-LY & ROCKET AF).
    What a great idea!

    I don’t think you can google or even worse, I don’t think you have ever researched scientific literature…
    You can move my comment to guano… I don’t care…

  29. J-Mac: Let’s see: How did the researchers of the original paper in Cell prove their conclusion exactly? I quote:
    ” We suggest that the shift to a diet consisting predominantly of fatty acids in polar bears induced adaptive changes in APOB, which enabled the species to cope with high fatty acid intake by contributing to the effective clearance of cholesterol from the blood.”

    Here is an opportunity for all those believers in… to pove their beliefs…
    I have a prediction: Nobody will because blind faith has no evidence to support itself…none

  30. J-Mac: Here is an opportunity for all those believers in… to pove their beliefs…
    I have a prediction: Nobody will because blind faith has no evidence to support itself…none

    Bit like Jesus then.

  31. J-Mac: I don’t think you can google or even worse, I don’t think you have ever researched scientific literature…
    You can move my comment to guano… I don’t care…

    Why on earth would I do that? There’s no rule against self-deprecation.
    😉

  32. Here is some support for your position

    Question What proportion of recommendations in current American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines are supported by evidence from multiple randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and how has this changed over the past 10 years?

    Findings In this systematic review of 51 current guideline documents that included 6329 recommendations, 8.5% of recommendations in ACC/AHA guidelines and 14.3% of recommendations in ESC guidelines were classified as level of evidence A (supported by evidence from multiple RCTs), compared with 11.5% of recommendations in a systematic review of ACC/AHA guidelines conducted in 2009.

    Meaning Among recommendations in major cardiovascular society guidelines from 2008 to 2018, the proportion supported by evidence from RCTs remains small.
    Alexander C. Fanaroff, MD, MHS1; Robert M. Califf, MD2,3,4; Stephan Windecker, MD5; et al Sidney C. Smith Jr, MD6; Renato D. Lopes, MD, PhD, MHS1
    Author Affiliations

    JAMA. 2019;321(11):1069-1080. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1122

  33. J-Mac,
    I think that you are wrong.
    Impress me. Explain, in your own words, why the RMST technique is appropriate (…or inappropriate, pick your poison) for the analysis of the Heart Protection Study that your buddy Dr. Malcolm Kendrick performed.
    E2 clarify who I was responding to…

  34. DNA_Jock and Newton,
    Did you both understand my question Swamidass first didn’t know how to answer at 1:44?
    The follow up was related to first question but referred to the original Cell article reg. ApoB and cholesterol levels in polar bears…

  35. DNA_Jock:
    J-Mac,
    I think that you are wrong.
    Impress me. Explain, in your own words, why the RMST technique is appropriate (…or inappropriate, pick your poison) for the analysis of the Heart Protection Study that your buddy Dr. Malcolm Kendrick performed.
    E2 clarify who I was responding to…

    I don’t think you understand what I’m trying to prove here, Jock… Be patient!
    Swamidass is an old fox. He is very careful when he answers questions that are a matter of interpretation… He made one serious mistake though… But I had set him up… 😉

  36. J-Mac:
    DNA_Jock and Newton,
    Did you both understand my question Swamidass first didn’t know how to answer at 1:44?
    The follow up was related to first question but referred to the original Cell article reg. ApoB and cholesterol levels in polar bears…

    Frankly no, just thought the study would be helpful in the goal to overturning the accepted knowledge about humans. I will keep an eye peeled for research into heart disease and treatment of it in polar bears.

  37. J-Mac: Be patient!
    Swamidass is an old fox. He is very careful when he answers questions that are a matter of interpretation… He made one serious mistake though… But I had set him up…

    That is the advantage in using geometric logic, good luck.

  38. My questions are not clearly read by JonathanM but Swaidass can read them and answers accordingly…
    I think Behe is right: Swamidass and Lents are incompetent and the webinar and Lents’ book and blog comments prove that beyond any doubt…

  39. J-Mac,
    You are correct that I do not understand what you are trying to prove here.
    You could move the conversation along wonderfully if you would simply state your case, clearly and precisely, citing the literature that supports your position.
    I can see an argument that could be made that Liu et al are over-concluding; however, if you want to make that argument, then (by the same standards of evidence) Behe is sunk without a trace. So I am eager to see an IDist make that argument…

  40. DNA_Jock:
    J-Mac,
    You are correct that I do not understand what you are trying to prove here.
    You could move the conversation along wonderfully if you would simply state your case, clearly and precisely, citing the literature that supports your position.
    I can see an argument that could be made that Liu et al are over-concluding; however, if you want to make that argument, then (by the same standards of evidence) Beheis sunk without a trace. So I am eager to see an IDist make that argument…

    Pay attention to the video and my questions… Swamidass dug a hole for himself, “tentatively”…;-)
    I believe the main reason why Behe has ignored Swamidass and Lents is not because they are less known in comparison to Lenski… They have embarrassed themselves to the point that if Behe responded to them, it would be like you responding to Byers…

    Lents with Human Erros, polar bears being white and 17 mutations being not damaging…
    Swamidass has no clue about the difference between dermis and epidermis pigmentation vs hair follicle pigmentation…
    Same applies to the cholesterol “paradox”… Why would Swamidass support the conclusion of the authors of the original Cell paper that the ApoB mutations improved the clearance of LDL cholesterol, if the same paper clearly says that polar bears cholesterol levels are extreme?
    Someone is not being truthful… If cholesterol levels in polar bears are extremely high, how could the clearance of cholesterol be improved by the beneficial mutations?
    The authors of the Cell paper and Swamidass are wrong and Behe might be right after all…

  41. You are right, J-Mac!
    The observation that polar bears have elevated plasma cholesterol completely refutes Behe’s argument re APOB.
    Remember, Behe’s argument that the polar bear’s ApoB mutations are ‘damaging’ devolution relies on Farese, which purports to show that heterzygote null mice are resistant to diet-induced hypercholesterolemia, as in they do not experience elevated blood cholesterol when placed on a high fat diet, viz:

    their total plasma cholesterol levels on the high-fat diet were 34% lower than those of the wild-type mice.

    But the polar bears have elevated plasma cholesterol. So they cannot have reduced ApoB function per Behe’s logic.
    Thank you for the clarification!
    Have you let Behe know yet?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.