Naren: hello everyone, welcome to another awesome episode of the Let It Flow podcast show this is Naren your co-host and I’m delighted to be joined today by my dear friend Doctor Edmund Kwan. Doctor Kwan, welcome
Dr. Kwan: Thank you very much Naren, I’m really excited to talk about these subjects today.
Naren: thank you I have three questions. Let me start with the very first one.
Dr. Kwan: Okay
Naren: the first one is what is inflammation?
Dr. Kwan: yes I think this is an age-old question, you know it’s really interesting Naren, because when I ask any of my friends or even doctors, what is inflammation what is chronic inflammation and what is inflammation, you know, it’s funny most people kind of scratch their head and say oh yeah it’s when something gets inflamed right I mean they try to Define it by using the word and they say oh it’s when it’s some swelling and some redness. So there are sort of honing in on it but they’re really not sure, and most people are very confused what inflammation is. So I think it’s very important to talk about this. Inflammation from now on I think you will be clear what inflammation is, because inflammation is simply an immune response. That’s simply it. It’s our body’s immune response. That’s what inflammation is that’s simple. So if anybody asks you what is inflammation it’s simply an immune response and inflammation is broken
Naren: can you give us a simple example you know that maybe a 10 year old can understand like,
Dr. Kwan: inflammation any inflammation for instance its inflammation is divided into acute and chronic inflammation. Like acute inflammation like any inflammation like appendicitis, it’s when your appendix gets inflamed and and you need to remove it, you have to have appendectomy. Gingivitis is when your gums of the in your mouth get inflamed and they hurt they get red and swollen. when you develop a little cut as you know the deal that gets red and it gets swollen that’s called initially acute inflammation, right when you have an infection on the skin that’s called acute inflammation. It gets swollen and you may even get a little abscessed you may develop a little pus underneath these are all examples of inflammation but there’s also that’s these are all kind of what I call acute inflammation. So inflammation is divided into two, two camps and I want to talk in depth about chronic inflammation because that’s what we’re really talking about when we talk about blood flow really. Acute inflammation again it’s an immune response it’s it’s what happens usually when a when a toxin a severe toxin enters our body, what is that?
Naren: absolutely, is that acute inflammation or chronic?
Dr. Kwan: yes acute inflammation
Dr. Kwan: so acute inflammation is something that happens acutely, very quickly. It’s a quick response by our body and our immune system. So what’s happened, what happens is let’s say there’s a there is a an infection, infection, from bacteria usually infection is from bacteria viruses and parasites, but let’s say usually bacteria and viruses, right. They enter our body our body must amount the immune response to that right. If we don’t our body is going to be Savaged with with the with these invading organism we will die. So our our body developed this mechanism this is a sort of evolutionary mechanism our body developed over hundreds of millions of years. Our ancestors developed this. So when something enters our body we’re very complex organism multicellular complex organism. So when something enters our body, we need to be able to fight it off and this is what immune system is there for. So when a bacteria enters our body we need to get rid of it we Mount the response and we do it through mostly through white cells white blood cells I think many of you know it when you get a blood test you get a white blood cell count you get a red blood cell count platelet count and white blood cell is specifically tasked with this immune response. So the white cells, various cells, we have various white cells that that are involved and they mobilized they’re mobilized and they will mount a defense mechanism and and basically isolate the invading organism and kill it, and get rid of it. So that’s acute inflammation it usually takes 24 48 hours maybe 72 hours. So that’s a process that occurs and we absolutely need it, right. Obviously if you don’t have it and and most of it our body can take care of it right. So this is acute inflammation. Not to be confused with chronic inflammation. So a lot of people think inflammation is inflammation. The The Chronic inflammation, the acute inflammation is is a as is the immune response chronic inflammation is also an immune response. It’s a built-in immune response basically. it’s not something that foreign to us it it exists inside our body. So just as an acute inflammation chronic inflammation Works through white blood cells as well. So what happens is, after we get rid of the in the case of invading organism, after we get rid of it, if we get rid of it but some of the bacteria still lingers around, we may have chronic inflammation, because we didn’t quite kill all the bacteria, still some of the bacteria’s are able to survive and our body still is is is is is is recognizing that it’s going to continue to mount a small immune response. Not a massive immune response like what we do in acute inflammation, but a small immune response and if it continues on if this bacteria never gets killed, then you’ll have a chronic inflammation. That means inflammation that’s going to go off for months and even years. So that’s chronic inflammation, and another thing about chronic inflammation something like let’s say gum inflammation of the gum. Now if you have if you don’t for instance floss your teeth regularly and you don’t brush your teeth regularly, you may have irritant that are stuck between your teeth and those will cause constant irritation to the gum and your body is constantly mounting a small response and that’s chronic inflammation, and that’s really not good for chronic inflammation is absolute also necessary. Chronic and people that can’t get there get that confused people think chronic inflammation is something bad for us. Yes the result is bad and the reason why it’s bad is because there is still this offending organism that’s hanging around and our body has to continue to mount an immune response. That’s why it’s bad. Chronic inflammation itself is not bad. The the the the result is bad because these offending organism is not going away like when you smoke that chemical enters your body or if you eat processed food that enters your body and it it your body is recognized these things as foreign and it mounts a immune response, but the problem is unlike a or invading organism where we neutralize it quickly. Smoking for instance I mean do people smoke one day and stop or do they eat processed food one day and they’ll never eat the processed food again. Well no, right. Whenever they keep continue to eat processed food which is filled with chemicals or they continue to smoke every day, right.
Dr. Kwan: so our body is getting dose of this injury every day, right. It’s not stopping so these things are entering our body toxins entering our body and doing little damage and our body has to respond. If it doesn’t respond we’ll be dead we will die those cells will die so we must neutralize that. So it’s still unleashing this immune response not to the degree of this massive response. So chronic inflammation, but the danger of chronic inflammation though this is the problem with chronic inflammation as I said with acute inflammation the process is usually short-lived and it’s over within 48 to 72 hours. However chronic inflammation is something that goes that can go on for months and years depending on who you are. If you continue to if you smoke for one week or two months and you stop, that’s a that’s a different story but if you continue to smoke all your life then it’s causing chronic inflammation in your body, and so the chronic inflammation, what are the what are the problems of it with it. Well when you’re one when your white cells and your immune system is always turned on it that it starts damaging the blood vessels. It damages the blood vessels. It damages the blood vessels and really the part of the blood vessel does suffer the most it does all the blood vessels suffer and all the actually all the body suffers every part of the body suffers with chronic inflammation. However the part that suffers severely are the blood vessels and what part of the blood vessel, capillaries. As you will recall these capillaries is important because this is where the oxygen and nutrient exchange occurs at this very small cellular level. So the blood vessels become very very tiny to a point where they literally are at a point where they exchange oxygen nutrients with the cells and when you have chronic inflammation, those capillaries are destroyed. So we have destruction of massive amounts of capillaries in our bodies. If we have destruction of capillaries, what does that mean? Our cells are not getting enough oxygen nutrients and they’re suffering from chronic lack of oxygen, and lack of nutrients, right. So that’s what chronic inflammation really the danger of chronic inflammation is because this all because of these toxins that are entering our body constantly our body has to mount an immune response and with the immune response the blood vessels are damaged and that damage leads to eventually to destruction of cells. Does that answer the question about chronic inflammation?
Naren: yes it does but I do want to you know kind of summarize what I thought I heard and
Dr. Kwan: yes
Naren: so there are two types of inflammation one is acute and the other one is chronic inflammation
Dr. Kwan: Yes
Naren: it’s an immune response acute means it’s a quick response. So I you know like I get a cut or you know some kind of a bacteria, it’s a quick response and now chronic means it’s a problem
Dr. Kwan: And also not only not only is it a quick response it’s a bigger response
Naren: oh it’s more aggressive response.
Dr. Kwan: it’s a more aggressive response it’s right that’s correct
Naren: got it and then chronic is it’s a slower but extended response for example, if we keep smoking and we smoke for years or we keep eating processed food and we eat processed food for years. So when we do these types of things, correct me if I’m wrong the body has to keep responding. I mean the blood vessels have to keep responding is that correct?
Dr. Kwan: our body immune no our immune system has to keep responding
Naren: our immune system has to keep responding
Dr. Kwan: so your immune system is constantly turned on
Naren: it’s constantly turned on and eventually that causes damage to all the blood vessels
Dr. Kwan: but especially to the capillaries
Naren: especially to the capillaries
Dr. Kwan: because you and they’ve done these studies where your capillary density meaning identifying how many how much capillary is in a given area, those capillary density goes way down that means you just don’t have capillaries in that area of the body tissue which means tissues are not getting enough oxygen nutrients, right.
Dr. Kwan: there’s no there’s no blood flow in that area
Naren: got it so inflammation really affects blood flow and when it affects blood flow pretty much like you gave the example of in the last episode about you know somebody who exercised for three months all of a sudden their skin looks like that of a 30 year old even though they are 70. so what you’re saying is when the blood flow is not there it can really start aging the cells and you know kind of making you sick am I am
Dr. Kwan: Right, right as I’ve said earlier blood flow affects not only the Aging not only the parents not only the
Dr. Kwan: way all your organs function. It affects every corner of your body in every aspect of what we do including sex, including our digestion, including our vision, including even the way we think. So blood flow impacts every corner and every mechanism in our body
Naren: makes perfect sense. Let’s go to the next question doctor. This is something that we all keep hearing about cholesterol and and especially I guess once you I like in your 30s I mean this is the number one thing you you hear about when you go to the doctor at least I do. so should we be concerned about cholesterol in our diet. What is cholesterol I know there’s a lot of?
Dr. Kwan: well first of all let’s let’s define what cholesterol is because I think again there’s a misunderstanding of what really, really, what cholesterol is. I mean we keep hearing that the cholesterol needs to be low and that cholesterol damages our body and it causes mainly plaques and atherosclerosis and leads to heart attack and strokes. That’s what we’ve been hearing about cholesterol
Dr. Kwan: so that’s what I think most people associate cholesterol with and I believe I believe in research backing me up. This is largely wrong. Why is it wrong. Well let’s start with what really what cholesterol is because this is what basic, we have to understand what the basic basic mechanism and basic sort of understanding what even cholesterol is. Cholesterol is is is is is the molecule. Cholesterol number one cholesterol is a molecule. It’s a molecule that is made by our liver, okay. It’s a molecule substance made by our liver why does our liver make it majority of the cholesterol that exists in our body is made by the liver. Not what we eat not by what we eat what we eat basically has almost no about four to five percent at most affects the level of cholesterol in our body, okay. So again majority of the cholesterol in our body is made by our body and made by the liver, okay. So that I think we have to and other cells make it too but majority is made by the liver. So that’s one thing. So I think that’s one misunderstanding. People think cholesterol is what we eat, wrong. There are a lot of cholesterol in what we eat but they don’t impact the level of cholesterol in our body. Do you understand that?
Naren: right, So you are saying the cholesterol that we eat,
Dr. Kwan: has almost
Naren: kind of
Dr. Kwan: virtually no effect on the cholesterol in our body. So it doesn’t really matter. It’s negligible.
Naren: So what happens to the cholesterol that we eat?
Dr. Kwan: well some of it gets absorbed. Number one a lot of it gets not absorbed. It’s poorly absorbed and some of it is used to make bile, what we call bile so we could digest fat. So we actually use cholesterol that we eat to digest fat, okay. Our gallbladder so we can actually digest fat with the bile and and largely a lot of them a lot of the cholesterol we eat just just gets flushed out into our GI system and never absorbed and some of it gets absorbed. So some of it accounts for some other cholesterol in our body, but the liver is tasked with making majority the cholesterol and so so really the whole idea about you know dietary cholesterol and eating less cholesterol that’s not true. That’s that’s that’s that’s a false thing and I think even even our government and FDA have has understood this now. They have issued warnings in the past not to eat cholesterol like eggs egg yolks. Now they lifted that they lifted that warning saying that oh now you can eat all eat eggs and it’s not going to cause problems. I I personally eat lots of eggs and lots of cholesterol and my blood cholesterol is extremely low. So the dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol are not really correlated. There’s no real correlationm and so next thing we need to understand is what is cholesterol. So I already said it’s a molecule made by the liver, but there are now the after it’s made by the liver, the our liver, also process the processes the cholesterol into different types different types. It’s not different types of cholesterol but it packages it into different types of carriers meaning that it, it, it, it, it, it, make it packages it into different types of of what we call lipoprotein it’s an it’s called lipo protein. Lipoprotein means lipid and a protein. So it everyone has heard of this LDL. LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol, right.
Dr. Kwan: LDL cholesterol is supposed to be good for bad for you and HDL is supposed to be good for you. So what LDL is let’s look at LDL. LDL is low density lipoprotein. So generally LDL have low dense, that means it’s less dense and it’s a lipoprotein. It’s a lipid and a protein. So it’s not cholesterol LDL is not a cholesterol. So that that misunderstanding people have to understand. LDL is not a cholesterol is there cholesterol in LDL. Yes so LDL is this collab now as I say cholesterol is a molecule. This LDL is this big huge collab. It’s a transporter. Within LDL there are lots of cholesterol in it, okay, and there’s a lot of triglyceride that’s another kind of there’s a lot of fatty acids there’s phospholipids and also protein and the reason why our body does this is because it’s an it’s a transporting through the blood vessel. It’s it transports in our bloodstream. Cholesterol simply by itself cannot travel in the bloodstream because it it can’t travel because bloodstream is more more aqueous. It’s it’s a water content and these fats basically cannot cannot be cannot travel free by itself. So they have to have to be packaged into this. So they’re packaged into this one of the things called LDL. Low density lipoprotein. So what the job of low density lipoprotein, so it’s now I already told you it’s got cholesterol in it. It’s got other other fats it’s got protein in it. So it’s a way for our body to transport these these substances around in our body. So our cells needed our cells have these receptors. Cholesterol will land on it I mean the LDL will land at it and give its content out including cholesterol. So LDL is simply a transport, mechanism, okay to carry all these things okay including cholesterol. Yes LDL’s contain higher amounts of cholesterol than HDL. HDL also is a transport transport substance HDL stands for high density lipoprotein. It’s higher dense and higher density and also it has it’s made up of lipid and protein. By the way HDL has cholesterols as well. It’s made out of triglyceride phospholipid and other things. It’s a smaller than LDL. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, denser though and the job of HDL is to mop up basically any excess and transport it back to the liver for recycling. So that’s the job of HDL okay. So the code so LDL’s job so LDL has a specific job if you wipe out LDL, we will die. We need absolutely LDL to survive because that’s the way our cells receive these substances, okay. So it’s absolutely necessary. So to to say that LDL should we should have the lowest level LDL that’s complete mischaracterization of what really this is. So LDL number one is not a cholesterol, and it is a transport substance that happens to carry abundant amounts of cholesterol. Why does it carry it because our cells need it why do cells need it every cell in our body if you look at the cell every cell in the body contains abundant amounts of cholesterol in it. So if you want to make cells you need cholesterol, Plus, you’ve heard of testosterone estrogen vitamin D cortisol, you’ve heard of all these right Naren?
Naren: absolutely yes
Dr. Kwan: these are made directly from cholesterol. They’re made directly from cholesterol. So cholesterol is actually not even fat it’s called it’s a steroid. So again people think cholesterol is fat. No cholesterol is a steroid found in our body it’s a steroid and it’s called sterol you understand what that is steroid right?
Dr. Kwan: it’s a like, it’s like a hormone and cholesterol is really a precursor to the major hormones in our body, okay, meaning that if you do not have cholesterol you cannot make testosterone you cannot make estrogen you cannot make vitamin D or cortisol, okay. So again cholesterol is absolutely necessary LDL is not a cholesterol rather it’s a transport mechanism that carries cholesterol same with HDL and so why, so the now the next argument is all now elevated LDS is not good that’s that’s the next argument and you know higher HDL is better right, you’ve been told by your doctors right Naren?
Naren: yes yes
Dr. Kwan: that higher levels of HDL is good and low levels of LDL is bad. Well again this is again a mischaracterization, because the reason why your LDL goes up in your body and again LDL is made by the liver, right. I already talked to you, right?
Dr. Kwan: the cholesterol is made by the liver and it’s processed. LDL is processed in the liver, right. So when it’s processed in the liver, why do why does liver all of a sudden start making more LDL, right. It’s not making LDL because it just wants to make more LDL, well guess what happens. When we have injury, when our body sustained injury like chronic inflammation when there’s inflammation we’re being attacked, even acute inflammation. If we’re attacked by bacterium viruses guess what we need to counteract and and and and help in in slowing down that inflammation and fighting off bacteria and viruses and and all these toxins. We need cholesterol to do that. So cholesterol is actually mobilized and our body actually makes more LDL in order to to help. So actually in essence cholesterol is an anti-inflammatory. Not inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, right. This is this is going to this is going to come as news to majority people
Dr. Kwan: cholesterol is actually anti-inflammatory and when our cells are attacked and destroyed our body needs to take a lot of new cells and when we make new cells guess what we need a lot of we need a lot of cholesterol because why? Every 37 trillion cells in our body all have abundant amount of cholesterol. If we don’t have cholesterol in our cells the cells are very fragile and they they die. They burst and they’re easily destroyed, okay. So they in order to have stable solid cells we need abundant amount our brain is made up of lots of cholesterol, nerve cells as well so we need a lot of cholesterol in addition to as I said about all the hormones, we need a lot of cholesterol to that’s why cholesterol is absolutely necessary and for our societies demonized cholesterol is incredulous, to me and to many people, right. Here’s a substance that here’s a molecule that is essential to our life basically. We can’t live without it and we’ve demonized it as something bad but then they say oh too much of it is bad just the right amount is good no I think they’ve been saying that we need to drive it down lower and lower. Lower the better I mean I think that’s been the narrative,
Dr. Kwan: and this is a false narrative. LDL so when you have injury and problems in your body and who has these problems? Well, you know what if you’re on a process food diet you smoke a lot you’re overweight you’re your you you have a high sugar diet you have diabetes. Well you know your body has to make a lot of cholesterol you have to make a lot of LDL right?
Dr. Kwan: so your liver is making it packaging into LDL so the LDL is going to go up that’s just natural right?
Naren: So to summarize what I heard is
Dr. Kwan: yes
Naren: sorry go ahead what I heard is in you continue just to make sure I got it what I heard is when you have chronic inflammation, the body needs it’s it’s again the cells you know being attacked. So the body needs cholesterol to to fight that back. So your LDL goes up
De. Kwan: yes
Naren: your cholesterol goes up because
Dr. Kwan: not not only chronic inflammation even acute inflammation
Naren: even acute inflammation but the acute information like you said is short-lived so it goes away
Dr. Kwan: yeah
Naren: chronic never goes away can you can be smoking for 10 15 20 years, you can be eating processed food for
Dr: Kwan: Right, right
Naren: throughout your life
Dr. Kwan: right
Naren: it never goes away, it just has to keep picking more LDL slash cholesterol to to
Dr. Kwan: yes
Naren: fight back, so it’s an anti-inflammatory tool
Dr. Kwan: yes it’s it’s important it supports the cells it’s an it’s involved in making of the cells. It’s a vital one of the vital vital elements in making the cells and it’s a it helps fight. In fact patients with elevated LDL elevated LDL really fight off infections better. Studies have shown that people have elevated LDL they actually fight off infections better than people have depressed levels. So and so the so HDL now higher level HDL is better, yes. I I agree with I agree with the fact that if your LDL is lower, it’s better for you I’m not arguing that you need high levels of LDL and that’s good for you. I agree with the fact that lower levels of LDL is better but how low. I don’t agree with how low and I don’t agree with just that higher levels of HDL, that’s all you need. The what happens is this is a these are what we call part of homeostasis our body does. Homeostasis is basically it’s a mechanism that exists in our body to to kind of keep our body at an equilibrium level. So what happens is when you have these insulting injuries in your body, your body is trying to counteract that. It counteract it with various things including making more cholesterol LDL through LDL and transporting through LDL to to support the cells, okay. That’s what’s happening. So yes when you are in an inflammatory State, your LDL is going to be elevated, okay. So elevated LDL is signalling to me that you are at an inflammatory state, right. That’s what it’s telling me. So I’m not saying elevated LDL is good for you I’m just saying elevated LDL is necessary because your body is in that state. Now what is the so what is the cure for it cure for it is not to just lower the LDL artificially, The Cure is take away the inciting offending, offending, toxin right so in order to lower your LDL is not to just take stand to lower your cholesterol level because you need those LDL to fight off this inflammation and injury. What you need to do is take away the smoking, to me it’s ridiculous to take stand and smoke any processed food and eat all the sugar you want right that’s not what you need to do what what the solution here is, okay. You can have ongoing inflammation so what you need you’re just artificially suppressing the cholesterol in your body which is not good for you. So when you have an elevated LDL it’s signalling to me that you your body is in is not in a good state. So you do need to do something about it I’m not saying you should just not so you need to investigate what is causing that LDL and many times many times the elevated LDL is okay too, after you investigate but you must investigate what the problem is, and when you have an elevated HDL.
Naren: so it’s like the policeman who comes to help you so you can’t beat up the policeman you know
Dr. Kwan: yeah HDL no but HDL basically is that when you have an elevated HDL it’s me it’s meaning that your inflammatory state is going away, okay, and because you no longer need these cholesterol. So your body is mopping it up and and sending it back to the liver for recycling. So if your HDL level is going up its saying that this process is is winding down or is, over. Okay right?
Naren: Makes sense
Dr. Kwan: so that’s what’s telling me so is the HDL is high you’re in a lower inflammatory State. That’s what it tells me. When I see a blood test and see somebody with high LDL, it’s telling me they’re in a higher inflammatory state or there’s something going on in their body. When they have a high HDL it’s telling me that they have they have a they’re resolving this problem and when they have both high levels of LDL, HDL, it’s telling me that they’re counteracting what’s going on but you still need to find out why the LDL is high, okay. Some people have some people will have high levels of LDL because they have a genetic problem, genetic disease. Those are those are patients that that are minor and those patients may need to take medication. Now let’s talk about statins because you brought it up earlier. So what is Statin? Well Statin is
Naren: One second Doctor before we talk about Statin, so what you’re saying is
Dr. Kwan: Yes
Naren: so when you read these reports and you see a high level of LDL, that means there is an underlying issue and you have to figure out what that is. Is it obesity is it smoking whatever it is and hopefully
Dr. Kwan: is it too much sugar there’s so much too much sugar can drive up the cholesterol levels, yes because you’re in an inflammatory State, yes or a combination of all the above or
Dr. Kwan: you have a metabolic syndrome there’s a basically underlying problem that’s a that’s driving usually there’s an underlying problem that’s driving this this this elevation
Naren: right and then if the person is now on a corrective path now you will start seeing hopefully high level of HDL meaning
Dr. Kwan: right HDL starts Rising which means that now the body is recovering and it no longer needs all this cholesterol
Naren: got it, now let’s talk about statins
Dr. Kwan: so yes, this is again this is an interesting subject because you know it seems like half the population is on Statin because it’s been pushed by the medical community that we need to take Statin to lower our cholesterol, okay. So let’s just establish a couple of things right now. I’ve already said dietary cholesterol has almost no impact on your blood cholesterol. So no one needs to really worry about what kind of cholesterol they’re eating, okay, and we’ll talk about this later in the later chapters.
Dr. Kwan: so basically they don’t have to worry about the cholesterol that exists in our body we need to First investigate what what type of what what is causing those problems, okay. So now it’s finally the statins. Well Stan is is this is the is a drug that the pharmaceutical companies made that block the synthesis of cholesterol in our liver, okay. So there’s a there’s a various steps of making cholesterol in our liver as the liver synthesizes cholesterol it makes about a thousand milligrams of cholesterol every day, the liver does every single day. Normal liver makes about a thousand plus milligrams of it every day. So what what’s happening is the Statin goes and actually blocks one of the one of the one of the enzymes right there and it blocks it inhibits it. So it no longer can take the next steps to the cholesterol production decreases, okay. So your body, your liver is making a lot less cholesterol. So let’s see what is that doing for us. So why is this so bad for us. I believe Statins are really bad for us for the most part, and so why is it bad for us well number one as I just discussed cholesterol is needed when you’re having a problem right, and if you artificially just block this mechanism, then our body cannot fight that problem that’s occurring. So it’s just artificial, yes your medical report your lab report may look better because now your collect your LDL is lower but it’s not doing you any good because still you have a problem in your body. It’s just that your your lab report may look good but you’re better but your body is still not doing well, and plus what happens with the just with the Statin in general is Statins also you know like any drugs that’s got side effects right, standards that have been shown to cause muscle damage liver damage and brain injury, okay. So statins have distinct side effects, and what they recent study found even recent study out of Europe found that taking stand for men Statins increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46 percent. Increase the risk of Diabetes by 46 percent by taking certain that’s significant Naren.
Dr. Kwan: significantly increases and really diabetes is something you do not want to get. So Statin, why does it do that? Well both the lipid metabolism where the cholesterol is made and how the sugar is processed is done both in the liver and they think that interferes with this mechanism and it causes rise in your sugar level in your body, and so so Statins are not benign and again as I said Statin to me does not have a purpose in this setting for most of the people, unless they actually have a genetic defect. If they have a genetic defect that’s a whole different story I discussed that in the book and you could find that, and why why that’s an issue, okay, but for majority of us we need we need cholesterol and we need cholesterol to live and we need LDL not only cholesterol we need LDL and our body is doing this based on what it needs and to just go and Disturb This homeostasis and just arbitrarily block this, just to say that lower class just because in Naren, people who have lower cholesterol are generally healthier right
Dr. Kwan: because they’re on a lower inflammatory state so that’s what the thinking is. So let’s artificially go and lower cholesterol on people who have diseases, right. Who have problems right
Dr, Kwan: which is not the way to do it right
Naren: yeah it like asking the policeman not to show up
Dr. Kwan: you need to go and take care of it, you need to go take care of what’s causing the disease
Naren: Asking the policeman not to show up instead of you know getting rid of the guns and all that stuff
Dr. Kwan: yeah that’s right that’s right you need to take care of the problem
Dr. Kwan: right you can’t just the artificially ,artificially, just lower it and say oh so you see the lab looks okay now, lab looks good but the person still is diabetic or they have a sugar problem or they’re eating processed food or they’re smoking two packs of cigarette every day, oh but if your stand is lower you’re not going to get heart disease, which is ridiculous which is ridiculous concept to sell and they’re still propagating this. They’re still propagating this notion. So I don’t believe in I don’t I generally don’t believe in Statin, yes it may be in few people there will be benefit but majority of us will not benefit in fact even recent Studies have shown that elderly women who are taking Statins actually it is clearly harmful for them clearly and I believe it’s harmful for most of us most of us and this will bear out in the future. However the pharmaceutical companies and still many of the doctors still still pedal this stuff and feel that your cholesterol levels should be very low
Naren: right I have one question before we can wrap up this podcast and that’s a big topic. It’s sugar so tell us about your thoughts on sugar. Is it good bad how bad if it is bad?
Dr. Kwan: okay well you know sugar has really been you know it has been laying low and we’ve really since there’s a discussion on cholesterol, cholesterol, is the bad evil evil poison and then so sugar has been flying fairly low unrecognized until recently. It’s finally beginning to be exposed, for what it is, because sugar basically when I say sugar what is Sugar? We’re talking about refined carbohydrate refined carbohydrate what is it what is refined carbohydrate, it’s man-made sugar man-made carbohydrate. So what is man-made carbohydrate mean? It’s not just this table sugar you’re talking about or table sugar simply is you get sugar cane squeeze it down condense it crystallize it and you get the sugar, right, it’s radically different from eating sugar cane off of a plant right. When you do this you’re getting incredibly high doses of sugar concentrated.. So you’re getting really high concentration of sugar. So things like bread white rice pasta, these are all sugar these all these are all refined carbohydrates. All Products most of the processed foods contain high amounts of sugar and not only sugar in form a high fructose corn syrup, which is synthetic sugar. So it’s even worse for you and the problem is when you condense all these things down and put it into food form, when we eat it we get high doses of sugar hitting our bloodstream. So what’s so what’s the big deal so we get high doses sugar well when you get high doses of sugar in your bloodstream your blood your body responds. We’re not used to this our body was not made like this our ancestors did not eat this way they ate Whole Foods which contain sugar where fruits have sugar other you know various foods have sugar grains have sugar, but in a fairly low amount and it contains all the other nutrients as well as fibre but when you condense it only to sugar, it hits our bloodstream and causes sugar spikes I don’t know if you’ve heard of it what sugar spikes are especially when you eat foods that are high in what we call glycaemic index, foods that really end up spiking your sugar level in your bloodstream. So when you eat it it goes through your GI system gets absorbed into the bloodstream and it raises your blood sugar, okay, and so why is this so damaging to us so why is this so damaging why is sugar so damaging. Well the sugar in our bloodstream causes a number of problems. So when you get when you get normal amounts of sugar, what we what our body does is get that our pancreas produces insulin. You’ve you’ve heard of pancreas Naren, right?
Dr. Kwan: pancreas makes insulin among other things it makes insulin to deal with sugar. So pancreas makes the insulin, when there’s sugar in your bloodstream, elevated sugar. So pancreas will produce insulin, why do they produce insulin, well insulin is needed to bring the sugar into ourselves. So the sugars sugar is metabolized by ourselves cells need sugar to make energy, but it only sternum out only smaller amounts. So when so when you have insulin and sugar the cell opens the door when you have insulin the cell opens it or sugar can get in. If you don’t have insulin cells cannot accept sugar. So insulin is the only way the cell opens the door. So cell will open the door sugar will go in and then the cell metabolizes, makes energy and and and and lives. So basically so that’s what’s supposed to happen. However what we do is in our society we eat way way too much sugar. So when you eat this high amounts of sugar. So what does that do. Well again when you eat sugar the only way our body can deal with that sugar level is by producing insulin, okay. So when you have high sugar level now you get sugar spike in your high sugar level you have to produce insulin to deal with it. So insulin comes it’s a signal. So insulin is made so now it goes into the cells but the cells now are stuffed with sugar, they don’t need anymore, they’re full there’s so much sugar around that they just are saturated with sugar. So they say we don’t need any more sugar. So the cell starts rejecting sugar, even when there is insulin around. Do you follow that
Dr. Kwan: because there’s so much sugar and there’s so much insulin now because the cells are not saturated they no longer want sugar anymore. So they even when insulin is around which opens the door to the cells, so the sugar could enter the cells no longer accept it because even in presence of insulin. So what does that do now so now our blood is saturated with sugar and insulin and so this is a condition we call insulin resistance. What insulin resistance means is that insulin, the cells are no longer responding to insulin okay that’s called insulin resistance. That’s what happens when you eat a high sugar diet. You first go through this stage called insulin resistance. It is what insulin resistance, resistance is is a stepping stone for diabetes, okay. If this continues on your pancreas continues to make lots of insulin, because that that’s the only response because your blood sugar in your bloodstream is high. Sugar is high in your bloodstream. So it continues to make insulin, and after a while your pancreas can burn out. Pancreas can eventually burn out as well and now you’re going to have you’re going to have to have it doesn’t make any insulin then you’re in pretty deep trouble, but in the beginning even before that happens, when you’re when the sugar continues to go up and up and you continue to make insulin, that’s called Type 2 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes simply means is that your sugar level is, exceeds the normal parameters what are those normal parameters? Well you could do this in a doctor’s office. It’s when you’re fasting blood sugar it’s when you don’t eat for eight hours and your blood sugar exceeds your blood sugar exceeds 125 units. So if your blood sugar exceeds 20, 125, then you have diabetes, or they go by what we’ll call haemoglobin A1c that’s another test that’s fairly sensitive for diabetes. If your haemoglobin A1c is above, 6. 5 you’re deemed diabetic. In our society really, big majority of our society already has insulin resistance. In America I’m putting that Sugar problem insulin resistance at about 150 million people in the United States alone, and throughout, throughout, the world I’m sure that number in each of the country is fairly high, and really so, so, as insulin resistance does multiple things when you have insulin resistance you gain weight, even when you gain when as you gain weight, gaining weight is a major precursor to diabetes as well. So sugar really causes sugar itself causes really diabetes. Sugar excess sugar causes diabetes. So if you eat small if you’re young you eat small some sugar but you burn it off because you’re running around then then I think you’ll be okay, as you get older as your body slows down your metabolism slows and your insulin doesn’t work quite as well and and all these things happen to your body and your muscle mass goes down, you’re much less able to burn that sugar. So we need to eat a lot less sugar as we get older, but most Society people especially in America, we tend to eat way way too much sugar. Way too much sugar then what’s what’s recommended and certainly that that’s and and the sugar, so I’m next thing I want to really pivot to is so what does sugar do in our bloodstream? Well what happens to sugar is when there’s elevated sugar in the bloodstream it causes blockage of a of of nitric oxide. I don’t know you’ve have you heard of nitric oxide?
Naren: Yes I have studied in chemistry when I was like a kid
Dr. Kwan: yeah well nitric oxide in our bloodstream causes the blood vessels to expand okay so this is absolutely important like leafy vegetables like kale and spinach have ample amounts of nitric oxide and that’s why it’s so good for athletes. You get vasodilation you get expansion of your blood vessel it keeps your blood vessels flexible. Sugar does the reverse of this reverse of what leafy vegetables do. It causes tightening of the blood vessel, okay. So that’s one thing so you see the damage the sugar does. What else does it do? Sugar causes chronic inflammation we already discussed what chronic inflammation is, right. It damages everything especially those small blood vessels the capillaries it destroys them, right. So the sugar damages blood vessels small vessels. It also causes increased free radical formation. You’ve heard of free radicals free radicals end up destroying everything in our body can destroy many things our tissues. So sugar call it all they think it overwhelms the cells and the mitochondria and it causes free radical formation. So sugar does that. So sugar not only tightens the blood vessels makes it it causes free radical formation it causes chronic inflammation and it and and sugar also elevated sugar as I already discussed causes elevation and insulin level and elevation and in insulin level and I’ll talk more depth about when I talk about diabetes when you get elevated insulin level Elevate insulin level in our body is a signal to store fat. So you end up storing more fat when you have elevated insulin. So that’s why you do not want to have elevated levels of insulin level people who live old age they usually have low levels of insulin. Centenarians typically have very low levels of insulin in their bloodstream. So sugar is really bad and bad for us and it’s just it’s just the how bad it’s worth it’s just beginning to be I think I think on Earth right now. It’s a it’s been really hiding for many years. Of course the sugar industry has a big power and they have a lot of lobbying power and so they’ve hidden what the dangers of sugar really is it not only leads to all these problems at least the recent articles even show that and I’ve known this and we’ve known this for many many years but recent article brought it to lay article that it even causes increasing cancer, sugar causes increased cancer formation, and that was recently published and so what we’ve known of this for many years for 80 plus years. Yet We’ve it was able to for all these years to to be out of the Limelight.
Naren: so in this chapter we talked about several key points. The first one we covered is you know what is inflammation. Then we jumped into cholesterol and you demystified a lot of things for us and you know we talked about statins and then we talked about sugar and why it’s so bad for us and the kind of extended damage it can do on so many different things, or at so many different levels so thank you so much for this. I want to thank our listeners if you love this show kindly you know share it with your friends family post it on Facebook social media you know write a review for us. Of course I would strongly strongly recommend get a copy of the book it’s called Let It Flow. You can grab it from amazon. Com Let it Flow by Doctor Edmond thank you Doctor Kwan.
Dr. Kwan: oh yeah thank you very much
In this episode Dr. Kwan discusses the types of inflammation, cholesterol and sugar and how they each have good and bad effects in our bodies.