Yup! high bad cholesterol protects against infection


Ah.  The beloved “I told you so post…”

Remember high OXIDIZED cholesterol is bad for you.   There is inconclusive evidence (albeit a tsunami of marketing and advertizement) that high total cholesterol is bad for you.

Now we learn that high LDL  (“bad”)  cholesterol serves in an antibiotic manner reducing levels of Gram negative bacteria.   


The ancient (and wise) doctors believed “all symptoms are healing gestures” and so it is that we now understand that high “bad” cholesterol (LDL) is an effort on the part of our amazing body to remedy itself.

We are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made”!

High LDL helps fight Salmonella infection in mice

By Helen Albert
23 January 2009
PLoS ONE 2009; 4: e4237

MedWire News: Mice with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) have greatly improved chances of surviving infection with Salmonella typhimurium, report researchers in the journal PLoS ONE.

Individuals with higher levels of circulating lipoproteins are thought to have improved outcomes from severe Gram-negative bacterial infections through increased neutralization of lipopolysaccharides and inhibition of the subsequent release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, comment Bart Kullberg and colleagues from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in The Netherlands.

In this study, Kullberg and team investigated the effect of differing levels of LDL on the outcome of Salmonella infection in mice with a seven-fold increase in LDL (LDLR-/-), high LDL (ApoE -/-), and normal levels of LDL (LDLR+/+).

Initially LDLR-/- and LDLR+/+ mice were injected with 1 x 102 cfu of Salmonella typhimurium. The researchers then assessed daily survival for 21 days in groups of 20 animals or more.

There was a striking difference in infection response between the two strains of mice. Only 5% of the LDLR-/- mice died, whereas 100% of the LDLR+/+ mice died within 12 days of infection. The LDLR-/- mice also had a 100- to 1000-fold lower bacterial burden in their organs (liver and spleen) compared with the LDLR+/+ mice.

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