LDL cholesterol indicates an amino acid deficiency, researcher says

February 26, 2014 by Diana Yates
Fred Kummerow, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, reports that LDL cholesterol results from a simple dietary deficiency. Credit: L. Brian Stauffer

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad cholesterol" that doctors consider a sign of potential heart disease, is merely a marker of a diet lacking all of the essential amino acids, says University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Fred Kummerow, 99, a longtime opponent of the medical establishment's war on cholesterol.

While writing about the causes of for the journal Clinical Lipidology, Kummerow made a simple observation that "connected the dots" for him, he said. He noticed that, unlike other cholesterol-carrying molecules in the blood, LDL includes only a single apo-protein, called ApoB. And ApoB lacks the amino acid tryptophan.

"LDL is not a marker of heart disease," Kummerow said. "It's a marker of ApoB." And ApoB is a marker of a lack of tryptophan, he said.

Numerous studies have shown that the other cholesterol-carrying components of blood plasma – (HDL), very high-density lipoprotein (VHDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and chylomicrons – all include two or more Apo-proteins, Kummerow said. HDL, for example, is made of ApoA-I and ApoA-II, which together are made up of all of the (those that cannot be synthesized in the body and so must come from the ).

The reason HDL is associated with better heart health is that the body produces HDL when it obtains all the essential from the diet, including tryptophan, Kummerow said. High HDL levels signal a healthy diet, he said. And high LDL levels "mean you're not getting the diet you need."

People who get much of their protein from grains such as wheat, rice and corn may lack adequate supplies of tryptophan unless they also eat legumes, which provide the missing amino acid in adequate amounts, Kummerow said.

Doctors who advise their patients to avoid cholesterol-rich foods may actually be undermining their health, Kummerow said. Turning patients away from foods such as eggs and other animal products that are rich in essential amino acids may actually raise their LDL levels, he said.

Explore further: Scientist, 98, challenges orthodoxy on causes of heart disease

More information: "Two lipids in the diet, rather than cholesterol, are responsible for heart failure and stroke." Fred A Kummerow. Clinical Lipidology 0 0:0, 1-16. DOI: 10.2217/clp.14.4

Related Stories

New therapy to lower sky-high cholesterol

January 30, 2014

University of Rochester Medical Center cardiologists are first in Upstate New York to offer a blood-cleansing therapy for people with extremely high cholesterol, including two-time heart attack survivor Bob Guesno, whose ...

Recommended for you

Macrophages shown to be essential to a healthy heart rhythm

April 20, 2017

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led research team has identified a surprising new role for macrophages, the white blood cells primarily known for removing pathogens, cellular debris and other unwanted materials. In ...

Gut bacteria affect ageing

April 19, 2017

It loses its pigments, its motor skills and mental faculties decline, it gets cancer – the turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) struggles with the same signs of old age that affect many other living creatures. Researchers ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Feb 26, 2014
Fundamental information with his age of 99 proving that this basic simple diet, good legumes, fruits, nuts, eggs, works on him to reach 99 years and also on me !!!
1 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2014
But all is not equal despite age, the predisposition to ignore metaloid-enzymes is a worrying trend, notice the vast majority of proteins, enzymes, snake oils don't have essential minerals ?

Humans have adapted to high Copper levels since the chalcolithic era of some 6000 years ago, yet this Fact is not reflected in contemporary diets or understanding by nutritionists that going down from 50mG/day until ~250 years ago with advent of steel cookware to ~200mcg/day now can have serious long term side-effects... ie almost 250 times LESS !

There are ~200 enzymes in the human body that (just) use Copper as integral or as a co-factor, yet so little is known, blood vessels for one cannot grow (or repair) unless there is adequate copper and that means a good homeostasis - rather more than 300mcg/day - closer to 100mcg/Kg body weight/day - in other words a Heck of a lot more !

References are the gold

Wilson's disease patients take note however

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.