Taking Care of Cholesterol Through Fasting

Yesterday was fine at work, but the evening was harder, and I did need an oatcake to sustain me through the night. Today I am looking at a press release for a study investigating the use of the Fasting Mimicking Diet for Type 2 Diabetes and the results look promising. The authors also make a note that adherence to the programme determine outcome and I would be curious to know how other people are manging the monthly fast. I am having to cheat a bit but am sticking with low carb cheats like a few berries with my breakfast bar and some seaweed in my soup. I can’t be the only one to be finding this difficult and in the study folks are doing monthly fasts for 12 months so hats off to everyone who stuck with that? Another study published in nature showed reduction in insulin resistance, liver fat and biological age after 3 monthly Fasting Mimicking Diets. 


This study is technical and another piece of feedback from my fasting blog is that I’m still communicating like a doctor using words that not everyone might understand like metabolic health and lipid profile. Many of you may have seen your lipid profile on a readout from a doctor which includes the cholesterol, the triglycerides, low density (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and their ratio plus non-HDL lipoproteins which is a measure of everything that isn’t the good type of cholesterol!! So out of this complex array of measures let’s focus on HDL because we want more of that.  

Lipoproteins are transporter molecules that carry fat around the body. The high-density lipoproteins are the healthier ones and they’re both carrying fat molecules around the body and back to the liver where the liver breaks them down. This reflects when the fat systems are operating and flowing well HDL as a transporter is keeping that flow working well away from arteries and back to the liver, the powerhouse of the body. A few years ago, I was seeing these figures in isolation but now I am much more interested in the whole movement of fats around the body. Seeing the cholesterol as a single thing to bring down doesn’t reflect the body’s constant desire for balancing and as I mentioned in my previous blogs there are many things that can impact in a whole system way how sugars and fat are handled in the body. In the last fast I focused on the health of the liver and how to support its detoxification pathways and it looks like the HDL story is again leading us back to the liver and how it can effectively make and then break down cholesterol. We really do need to love our liver! 


Dr Elizabeth Thompson