Dear Dr. Sarah,
Could you please explain the link between blood sugar and cholesterol?
Recently, I posted a link on my website by Dr. Rick Diva entitled “The Truth About Blood Sugar” (http://dr-lobisco.com/blog/?p=125).
In this article, Dr. Diva explains the biochemistry behind high blood sugar and cholesterol. While traveling in the blood stream, glucose interacts with proteins such as the collagen in arterial walls and the lipoproteins of cholesterol. This interaction creates a cross-linkage through a process called glycation resulting in protein and lipoprotein structural changes. The results are more rigid arteries and LDL cholesterol molecules with decreased efficiency in ridding the body of excess cholesterol- (2) major hits in causing damage to arterial walls.
Furthermore, this issue is compounded in that it increases the risk for developing insulin resistance, a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone which allows glucose into the cells. If the protein receptor molecules for insulin have been flooded with too high amounts of glucose, the glucose will not effectively enter the cells. This causes blood sugar to stay elevated and creates a viscous cycle of insulin dependency, increased inflammation, weight-loss resistance, and systemic disease processes.
Therefore, high cholesterol can be a signal for a systemic imbalance, not necessarily just heart related diseases. It is a little known fact that low thyroid function is the number two cause of high cholesterol. Therefore, I will not just look at heart health when someone has high cholesterol, but also consider hormonal balance. Furthermore, cholesterol not only has a role in hormone formation, but also in brain function, cell membrane flexibility and makeup, fat soluble vitamins, and nerve health.
As a Naturopathic Doctor and Integrated Medical specialist, my job is find the cause of the symptoms. By addressing the cause and using dietary and therapeutic nutritional supplementation and support, I have seen wonderful results for many clients.