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More Facts on Fats

More Facts on Fats

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More Facts on Fats

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  1. More Facts on Fats Lipids and Health

  2. Lipids & Cholesterol • Recall: Lipids are hydrophobic • are coated with a protein so they can be transported through blood (which is largely water) in a water soluble "package" called Lipoproteins (lipid with protein) • Types: HDL (good), LDL (bad), VLDL (ugly) • Excess cholesterol can be detected by measuring the amount of lipoproteins present in the blood

  3. So what’s the problem? • cholesterol and other lipids are waxy and tend to stick to walls of blood vessels (may act as a "band aid" for damaged vessel walls) • Buildup of "plaque" can cause a narrowing of the vessel • Smaller plaques remain soft, older plaques tend to develop fibrous caps with calcium deposits (leads to hardening of the artery walls) • Unstable plaques may rupture and cause a blood clot, or may dislodge causing an embolism- both can lead to heart attack or stroke

  4. LDL (aka "Bad" Cholesterol) • Transports ~ 75% of cholesterol to cells • If LDL is oxidized, (combines with free-radicals), LDL is modified • penetrates and damages the walls of arteries- causes inflammatory response • Body's response can promote further damage: • WBC's and other inflamm. factors gather and form a plaque • Damage to endothelium • Increase risk for blood clots • Reduces levels of nitric oxide (needed for relaxation of vessels)

  5. HDL(aka "Good" Cholesterol) • Removes cholesterol from walls of arteries and returns it to the liver • Prevents oxidation of LDL (has antioxidant properties) • Reduces narrowing of vessels, and risk of heart attack • High levels of HDL are beneficial to health • Fish oils, omega-3, 6 fatty acids

  6. Role of Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fats? • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) • High in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, garlic (0mega-3) and meat (omega-6) • reduce inflammation and help prevent risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis • important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function • Balance of omega-3 and omega-6 needed

  7. Triglycerides(good? Bad?) • Are now becoming known as a major problem for the heart • Interaction between HDL and TG- shows a decrease in HDL as TG levels rise (relationship is under study) • Imbalance of HDL/TG associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes • Also may lead to blood clots and inflammatory responses