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Cholesterol in fried foods warning

I know that high levels of total cholesterol and LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol increases the risk of heart attacks. I was unaware of another type of cholesterol called oxycholesterol which may be the most harmful to our arteries.

A small study has shown that fried and fast foods contain high amounts of oxycholesterol, which causes more plaque in the arteries.

Another reason to avoid greasy fast food! (Not always easy to do, but this study makes it easier I hope!)


What is oxycholesterol?

Oxycholesterol is formed when foods like burgers are fried or grilled, causing their fats to react with oxygen. Scientists have known for years that this reaction between fats and oxygen, produces oxycholesterol in the body.

Food manufacturers make oxycholesterol intentionally such as, oils like trans-fats and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils. The researchers estimated that 10% of total cholesterol in the average person’s diet is oxidized.


The cholesterol study

Hong Kong researchers measured the effects of a high oxycholesterol diet in hamsters. Now I normally avoid studies on animals other than human, but I thought this study was important enough to bring attention to.

The affect on the hamsters who ate a diet with oxidized cholesterol was:

  • The animals’ blood cholesterol increased by 22%, compared to hamsters fed non-oxidized cholesterol.
  • More cholesterol was deposited in the lining of their arteries.
  • Elasticity of arteries was reduced, preventing them from carrying more blood.

What the researchers concluded …

Lead researchers Dr Chen said, “But the public should recognize that oxycholesterol is also important and cannot be ignored. Our work demonstrated that oxycholesterol boosts total cholesterol levels and promotes atherosclerosis more than non-oxidized cholesterol.”

The research by the Chinese University of Hong Kong was presented at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC.

Note: The researchers did not know whether statins lower oxycholesterol and suggest more research needs to be done on oxycholesterol in humans.


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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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