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Author Topic: Fatigue tiredness cholesterol mitochondria triglyceride solutions  (Read 2245 times)

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Offline bimazek

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Mitochondria are the power plants of cells—they convert nutrients into energy. They are not something you can scan, but your blood fats—triglycerides and cholesterol—can give you a good idea of mitochondrial functional status.

Okay, let’s presume that your diet is reasonable and your health status is alright. You eat good foods most of the time, and desserts are modest. T-cells are stable and above, let’s say, 100; viral load is less that 20,000. Let’s also say you don’t eat over-the-top amounts of grease and sugar and you don’t have fevers and wasting, which can also raise blood triglyceride (fat) levels.

You have probably heard the term “mitochondrial toxicity,” especially with respect to drugs like d4T and ddI, which have been shown to cause more mitochondrial damage than some other antiretrovirals. When mitochondria are damaged, fat you eat isn’t burned up for energy completely enough and it accumulates in cells. Switching to a less toxic drug can reduce the mitochondrial damage, but repair is slow and fat metabolism is sluggish, and so, are you.

Cells clogged with fat are irritated and release a stress signal that messes up sugar metabolism, including insulin activation. A chronic infection like HIV (or HCV) generates many stray electrons (“those darned free radicals,” as Dr. Judy Shabert has called them), which means more mitochondrial stress.

For someone with HIV, a blood triglyceride (think: grease) level above 150 suggests mitochondrial energy-processing trouble. Triglycerides travel with a cholesterol coating, so blood cholesterol levels rise, as well. Unfortunately, the level of “good cholesterol,” HDL (high density lipoprotein), doesn’t rise amid the irritation—it drops.

It is common to treat the high lipids with a statin drug like Lipitor, or a fibrate like Tricor, but these are seldom effective enough. Medical groups at the VA and at Baylor University report that 75–80% of their HIV patients with hyperlipidemia fail to reach proper cholesterol and triglyceride lipid levels using standard drug treatments. While statins and fibrates lower blood fats by blocking an enzyme that’s needed to make cholesterol, nutrition repairs the basic cellular problems of mitochondrial distress, poor fat-burning, and deranged sugar metabolism.

Be nice to your mitochondria

When it comes to mitochondria, what my recent dinner friends and you need to know is how to help liver and muscle mitochondria restore fat-burning and energy-making ability.

First, taking some extra antioxidants, like 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 600 IU of vitamin E each day, can go a long way to repairing mitochondria. Next, taking 1 to 1.5 grams a day of the amino acid L-carnitine for a month or two can generally lead to a drop in triglyceride levels by at least 25%. Then, taking 3 grams a day of omega 3 fats (fish oils) tells the liver cells to burn off some stray fat in peroxisomes, alternative energy-making units in cells.

The combination of caveperson diet, two to three antioxidant vitamin pills per day, some fish oils, and L-carnitine for a few months offers the prospect of radical improvement in blood fats. One of my patients on Kaletra and Combivir, plus gemfibrozil to lower lipids, had his triglycerides drop from 1800 to 400 in four weeks after he adopted this nutrition regimen. Another patient, on a PI-only regimen of Kaletra and Fortovase and 10 mg of Lipitor, had a cholesterol of 278 and triglycerides of 1,400. Seven weeks into the caveperson diet plus two antioxidant-with-B-complex vitamin pills, 3 grams of fish oil and 1 gram of L-carnitine, he e-mailed me to report his cholesterol was down to 172 and his triglycerides were at 166. He had also gotten back to a walking program of three to four times a week.

How close is your diet to this list each day?

   1. Protein foods: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
   2. Fruit servings: 3-4 times per day
   3. Vegetables: at least 2 cups a day
   4. Carbohydrates that digest slowly (black beans, lentils, peas, corn)
   5. A handful or two of nuts and seeds
   6. Zero fats that harm your body (cream, butter, stick margarine, hydrogenated shortening)


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