Sobriety-inspired note: I penned this in a fit of pique last night, after a family celebration which involved vast quantities of great wine. Many enjoyed the bilious burst, but some called histrionics - fair point indeed. I am leaving the post in place however - 'for posterior', if nothing else. Also, there's an element of 'in vino veritas' about it that many seemed to enjoy...thanks :-)
Oh God here we go again. Many mails to me this evening on the latest round of inflated science - this time about our old favourite HDL. So apparently the message is "ooooh HDL can be BAD too - watch out - scaaary stuff !!". I sighed with resignation before even reading it. I knew what was coming. More hype. But what is the real story behind this latest scaremongering? (here is one example of the media splurge: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35775318 )
So are avocado's gonna kill you now? Well look at this prize picture from no less than the BBC:
Utter shite - again. The story as related to us is of course misleading. There is a concerted effort to obfuscate the beneficial indication of high HDL. Well of course, why wouldn't there be? High HDL only benefits low-carb supporters - not tolerable that. Holegrains and industrial oils have to be good, right? Also, billion-dollar attempts to chemically force higher HDL have resulted in abject failure. Genuine benefits can only be achieved via real food & nutrition that reduces Insulin Resistance - most irksome for the Chemical Brothers. Also, high HDL exposes the LDL hypothesis weakness - high LDL not really a problem with high HDL - oops. So there are many reasons to take shots at the benefits of high HDL. It threatens tens of billions of dollars in profits. Food. Pharma. Oodles of profit centers. It's universally infuriating to the people who really pay the piper -the funders of our 'thought leaders'. There is some merit in the paper of course - if only it was used solely for scientific purposes. But this doesn't happen - inevitably these things get pumped for all the wrong reasons. Fuel for the fire of misinformation.
So what IS the latest fabricated fuss then? Well, a rare genetic mutation leaves 1 in 1700 people with dysfunctional HDL. Their lipoproteins don't work like they should. That's it. That's just about it. But wait a second - did I say 1 in 1700? That's around 0.05% of the population??? Yes, I did. So WTF is all the media attention about? Why all the gushing and pictures of now-toxic avocados? Well I think I explained that in paragraph 2 above. What an unmitigated farce. It is not even worth my time to explain it further. They must think we are all idiots to even read this trash. In many cases, they may be correct.
Below are a couple of links that speak to HDL importance. They are rather more useful than rare-as-hens-teeth genetic peculiarities. There are instances where high HDL is not necessarily good. Of course there are. Excessive alcohol intake is one scenario. Efflux capacity and takeup are important - not all HDL is created equal. But this 1/1700 genetic variant has been used nefariously indeed: