In this episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss the question posed by a listener in regards to cholesterol rising during fasting. The data points to a short-term spike in cholesterol and triglycerides during the first 24 hours of fasting, followed by a substantial decrease over the following 10 weeks, when using an alternate day fasting protocol. The implications are encouraging for anyone looking for cardioprotective effects and seeking to lower cardiovascular risk factors.
Fasting For Life Ep. 42
[00:00:01] Hello, I'm Dr. Scott Watier, and I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast, and this podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health, achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.
[00:00:15] Each episode is a short conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss on health and wellness to the science of lifestyle design.
[00:00:25] We started fasting for life because of how fasting has transformed our lives, and we hope to share the tools that we have learned along the way.
[00:00:40] Hey, everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier. I am here, as always, with my good friend and colleague, Tommy Welling. Good afternoon to you, sir. Hey, how are you doing? Fantastic. We are going to touch on a topic today. And I have this book that you gave me since you were an audio book only guy. You gave me this book, The Great Cholesterol Myth. Yeah. And that's not going to be. Yeah, yeah. Not hard. Copy. Sorry. In real physical form, I get to flip the pages, I get to Rabbit ear them, I get to write in the margins which might drive some crazy but that's how I roll. So it is a national bestseller. It's a really great book and it's kind of like there's so much in there, it's almost too much. But this is a topic that came up in our most recent recent 10 day fasting experience in terms of how fasting can affect your day to day metrics, day to day life, day to day conversations with your spouse, with your doctor, with your friends, and really in terms of overall health.
[00:01:50] So blood pressure, cholesterol levels of.
[00:01:58] The usual the usual presumption, yeah, the usual things that people are are taking medications for and they're concerned about, they've seen it on their blood work and they're trying to get these things under control, right?
[00:02:09] Yeah. So cholesterol is one. We've got a question. And it came from it came from someone who posted a question on our episode. This this is from let's see here. This is from Mackenzie Underscore. So shout out to you. And I had a question with. The research out there in terms of whether or not fasting has a beneficial effect on heart health, specifically cholesterol levels, so we wanted to dive in and kind of dispel the myth, just like the great cholesterol myth book that you gifted me and reassure you that fasting has a definite positive effect when used in the long term. So a couple of things to talk. Just basic parameters. All the links to the research articles will be in the episode notes if you want to review them. But when we're talking about cholesterol, cholesterol is something that's made by the body. So it's something that your body needs. All of your cells need it. And we've labeled it good or bad. Right. So there's this dichotomy of there's good cholesterol, there's bad cholesterol. All cholesterol is necessary. All of it. Yeah. So it it's it's this framework of, you know, your liver will make it regardless of what you eat.
[00:03:35] It'll make anywhere from a thousand to two thousand milligrams a day, which is actually seven times the recommended amount of what the FDA recommends that you ingest. And the fact that you eat does not make you fat and clog your arteries. It's the oxidation of the LDL which has been labeled the bad cholesterol, which creates the inflammation, which then results into the underlying cause of heart disease, which was on the cover of Time magazine a while back where it was the silent killer, chronic inflammation, not the cholesterol that's in your diet. So just a different framework. When we look at this in terms of good versus bad, we want to look at the long term effect of does this have a positive net effect on your cholesterol and encourage you that it does, unless you're there's a small percentage of an outlier possibility, of course, in any situation. But for the majority of people that have insulin resistance and have weight loss resistance that have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, putting fasting in your day to day life will absolutely benefit. So, Tommy, I know we have this study that we want to go over.
[00:04:49] Yeah, we do. Yeah, it really is.
[00:04:53] And just one more piece of background here is that when we're talking about good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol and that dichotomy that you mentioned, it's important to remember that that was kind of created as a framework to help determine which way blood work numbers should be going and if medications were being administered. How do you know if it's if it's kind of trending in the right direction, things like that. So so, again, just to reiterate, like all the cholesterol is necessary and it's it's all going to be in the body and the body makes it for four particular reasons. So in this in the study that we're going to go into here, it's improvements in coronary heart disease, risk indicators by alternate day fasting and involve adipose tissue modulation. So that's a bit of a mouthful here.
[00:05:42] You read my mind.
[00:05:43] Yeah, but the beauty of this study is that we're literally taking 10 weeks worth of fasting protocol where we take two weeks as a baseline, put everyone through it, do another four weeks of an alternate day fasting, and then the last four weeks of kind of a self selected alternate day fasting. So more of a real life doing alternate day fasting, but not being strictly monitored in a clinical setting and to determine how the risk factors for for cardio disease and and cardio protective factors, how those were affected by the eating and fasting protocols.
[00:06:23] So one of the things, too, is on the other side of this, there's there's the research that shows that short term twenty four hour fasts can cause spikes in your total cholesterol as well as your triglycerides. And there's a theory out there that your the plaque that's in your arteries. And so in regards to the rays in those short term triglycerides, because your body uses those those fatty acids as fuel. So the problem is, is that you have glucose in your system or you are insulin resistant in your insulin levels are higher than your body is going to take those fatty acids from the foods that you eat or potentially from the theory that the plaques are being broken down and used as energy, which has been proven on angiograms and cholesterol, pre and post testing, that your body's going to be able to take those fatty acids and use them, because in the opposite state, when the insulin is high, insulin stores them.
[00:07:24] So eventually you run out of room. So the short term spike. Is actually a positive thing in your body is normalizing, so a lot of the stuff that's out there has to do with the fact that your your liver has the ability to create cholesterol. That's called Denovo, Libo, Genesis, and that process stops when you have an over in abundance. So there's a lot of factors here. But the Take-Home message is the short term spike ends up becoming a long term cardiovascular benefit, like a life changing benefit. And that's that's what time he was just explaining there.
[00:08:02] Right. And where I think some people have gotten lost or they've they've quoted some of those studies that that did the short term effects. I mean, we've seen some of those studies and we'll link to one that is is talking about literally just looking at one day's worth of data, one single twenty four hour fast and seeing a small short term spike in these levels. But when we take it out to six, eight, 10 weeks later with regular fasting, then we see a huge significant, like you said, life changing decrease in those levels so that those are the studies that we want to be focused on. What can we do over the weeks and months, not just the single day to day, tiny little fluctuations that we can see?
[00:08:46] Yeah, there is another one. There was prolonged fasting increases the cholesterol capacity and antiinflammatory functionality of HDL. So it actually increases the beneficial effect of the good. I'm doing air quotes because this is an audio medium, the good cholesterol. Right. So there's there's tons of different benefits. But the main that we want to focus on is this study where they were they saw that that tremendous percent improvement in that the term was the term used a cardio cardio protective cardio protective mechanism, which means it actually increases your overall health in terms of your cardiovascular system. And those numbers are pretty astounding.
[00:09:28] Yeah, and it starts with adiponectin. So let's talk out of Inactine for just a second, because that's where these cardio protective benefits come from. And so adiponectin being the main hormone released by the fat cells or the adipocytes. And that's where the cardio protective mechanisms come from, because basically as we get into an insulin resistance state and we start heading down that path, our adiponectin levels go down. It makes it to where the fat cells can't release as much of this stuff. And and that that is bad for our whole cardiometabolic health. And that's what leads to all those comorbidities that we talked about and the inflammation as well. So in this study, what we saw was a significant increase in the adiponectin levels, which is which is huge for for cardio protective effects.
[00:10:19] Yes, adiponectin has the antiinflammatory effect. It actually the higher levels of adiponectin, the better your the less chance of you having or developing insulin resistance, which leads to type two diabetes and the other cardiovascular issues, like you just mentioned, like arthrosclerosis of the arteries, et cetera. So it's just really cool to see. I don't know if you want to mention the percentages now, if you want to wait and kind of drop the surprise. But when we read this and this is over 10 weeks and, you know, I'm one of the podcast we talked about AIDS. Right. And how it it it can it's in our opinion, what the second best option behind Ormat.
[00:11:06] Yeah, the numbers, the numbers work. It's it's it's good. It's a great method. It's just that we've also seen some pitfalls from it to on the on the psychological and and just the habit, the habit perspective for some people.
[00:11:19] Right. But so regardless if it's one meal a day or Omayyad or excuse me, or AIDS, this study with the AIDS method over 10 weeks was incredible in terms of the final results.
[00:11:34] Right. And so what they saw was a 30 percent augmentation or increase in the actual adiponectin levels, 30 percent increase from baseline over those 10 weeks. And so going from there, that's that's where they drew the conclusions from for for the other benefits that we're seeing in the study. So decrease in LDL, c, decrease and reduced, reduced weight circumference, reduce triglyceride concentrations. And so those those LDL levels were down twenty five percent. The triglyceride concentrations were down thirty two percent. So you're talking huge differences. Those would show up in your blood work as just amazing results over just a 10 week period.
[00:12:19] Well, you know, so knowing some severe diabetics, right. That have the trifecta, the the weight gain around the midsection, the. High bad cholesterol, the low good cholesterol, I don't even like using those terms, the high triglycerides, the diet that's being managed by statins and diabetes medications and all of these different types of things, you know, in those typically, depending on how severe that case is, you'll be doing blood work every three to six months. So this study is 10 weeks, right? Yeah, with four week controlled ads and then a four week self selected meaning, you know, you kind of had less strict guidelines like you weren't as far as you had a little bit more wiggle room to kind of fall off in it. It's crazy, though, because in this 10 weeks, then you saw those percentage numbers of twenty five and thirty two percent. So if you're at cholesterol numbers of 250 and you reduce that by twenty five percent. Good, do that for another 10 weeks in goodbye cholesterol, statin lowering medications like you just reversed one of the. Like main problems and main comorbidities that comes along with having insulin resistance that's related to diabetes and the other comorbidities, so to me, I'm just like, wait a minute, hey, doc, before we go on these medications, let's do 10 weeks and I'll come back and see you and we can reduce some blood work, right?
[00:14:07] I mean, in three to six months, you're talking about potentially reversing I mean, decades worth of cholesterol, build up plaque, comorbidities, risk factors. It's it's astounding.
[00:14:22] Yeah. The cool thing here was the, I don't know, pectin stuff like, you know, we are not claiming to be lead researchers. Right. But the ability to just go in and look at this and be like, wow, that's a really cool outcome. OK, what's the opposite side of it? Say, OK, those are short term studies. It's a short term spike. Here's a couple of theories and ideas on why that could be happening. But then going to this and these type of studies where there's more and you see the actual numbers decrease long term, you know, just for me, like learning the cardio protective effect, I'm like, man, every time I fast I actually decrease my congestive heart disease or congestive heart failure or cholesterol or or heart problems in the future. Like, that's really powerful. So when that person, McKensie underscore, posted the question, we kind of were like, oh, yeah, yeah, definitely. We definitely know that there's long term benefits, but then really diving in and looking at it, I mean. Everyone, if you have weight loss, resistance, right, or if you've struggled in the past or you just don't feel right, or you've had the conversation with the doctor and you're like, man, I really don't want to go on these meds. Well, here's your answer.
[00:15:32] Right. You know who else runs into this, too? I know a lot of people who on the surface look great, look super healthy and eat right. Don't necessarily have extra pounds packed on either. But every once in a while, go to the doctor, go for the yearly blood work, or maybe it's been a couple of years. And then just just see this kind of spike on the cholesterol, on the triglyceride side. And they can't really necessarily explain it. But it might be the only issue. And they're being encouraged to to get on those medications. And but we encourage you to to take a look at studies like this and and talk about potentially using fasting and some meal timing along along with that as a first place.
[00:16:22] And we're not saying don't eat for the next 10 weeks. Right. This is something that we've we've been with hundreds of people. We just came out of a 10 day challenge where 40 people went through the challenge and we had 10 pounds, 14 pounds, 13 pounds. I've never felt this young. I've never felt this good. I can't believe how easy it was. Like, that's my favorite. I'm back on track. I originally lost the twenty five with you back in the spring because when we did our longer challenge and now they're back on track and they're pushing down to their, their ideal goals and the decrease in medications and and all those different types of things. And by no means are we sitting here saying stop taking your medication and just put ads into your life. Like these are conversations that you need to have with your health care providers. The medical advice is just stop. It's let's look at this a little bit differently. Let's frame the conversation a little bit differently and then let's stand on the physiology and the science. Yeah. And.
[00:17:22] And that's actually why we we linked to all the articles to, you know, so you can you can access them and you can you can print those out and you can you can use those for those conversations as well, right?
[00:17:32] Absolutely. So action steps are here. I would say go to the website, download the Free Fast Start, guide the fasting for life dotcom. You can get started with the free mini master classes of 20 minute class on how to put one meal a day fasting in to your diet. Go back a few episodes. You can listen to the episode where we discussed the different types of fasting between Mohmad intermittent alternate day and then what's called the five to diet. Pick your path, put it in start today. You have the ability and the capability to take back control. And that's one of the things that we love, especially coming off of a 10 day fasting experience. And just reading all the testimonials is that you guys got this. We're here. We're on this journey with you. So if you need anything, feel free to reach out to us at info at the fasting for life dotcom info at the Fasting for Life dot com or on the website, you can click the contact us, leave us a voicemail if you have a really good connection. Well articulated question. Maybe we'll play that in the future and go ahead and answer that question live on one of the episodes. But tell me any last thoughts here as we wrap up the the great cholesterol myth.
[00:18:48] Yeah, I just I just love this. I love the results. I love the the encouragement. It's it's so empowering. And it's not a message that a lot of us have heard. So if you know somebody else who who needs to hear it pass along to them, too, because it's a powerful one, it'll help a lot of people.
[00:19:04] Awesome. Awesome. All right, sir, thank you so much. Appreciate the conversation as always. And we will talk to you soon. Thanks. Bye.
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