Mono and Poly Walk Into a Restaurant

Heart disease… We all know someone touched by it, always in a unwanted way.  Millions of Americans suffer blockages in their hearts’ arteries, leading to pain, disability, even death.  Multiple culprits have been blamed.  Countless remedies and diets have been proposed to both prevent and cure its dark touch.  The Mediterranean diet stands out among those diets which do benefit sufferers and aids in prevention.  But How?  What aspect of the diet produced such striking changes?   We know that mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats both play a role, but still how?

Researchers came a step closer to understanding with a study in Nature Communications that connected “mono” and “poly” unsaturated fats in a meal through ApoA-IV to integrin Alpha2bBeta3.  Scientists have known that this integrin plays a key role in activating platelets (the blood cells that execute blood clotting).  They discovered that when someone eats a meal with mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, the level of ApoA-IV lipoprotein increased.  When this fat interacting lipoprotein interacted with this specific integrin on platelets, they lowered their activity and were less likely to produce a clot blocking blood vessels.  This reveals at last one “how” of the benefits of these good fats.

The study adds that, normally, ingested food tends to be pro-inflammatory and thus pro-clotting.  Adding these good fats to a meal appears to counteract that inflammatory effect and the pro-clotting effect as well.  Furthermore, the ApoA-IV runs higher at night, protecting us from clotting while asleep.  All of this while apparently not increasing bleeding risk.  Beyond that, on a side note, they mentioned that HDL (so-called “good” cholesterol) binds to platelets and lowers their activity.  Hopefully, understanding these underlying mechanisms will lead to further successful therapies.

Until then, be sure to ingest sufficient good fats as you limit or completely avoid inflammatory foods on your plate.  Living a healthier more abundant life requires the daily habit of wise food choices.  Another reason why we love having Kira Whitham as our nutrition expert.  She works with all our program patients to determine which diet approach is best for them.  She and the rest of our Sanctuary team work together to restore your health.

Apolipoprotein A-IV binds αIIbβ3 integrin and inhibits thrombosis    Xiaohong Ruby Xu, Yiming Wang, […]Heyu Ni. Nature Communicationsvolume 9, Article number: 3608 (2018)

Kratz, M. et al. Dietary mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids similarly increase plasma apolipoprotein A-IV concentrations in healthy men and women. J. Nutr. 133, 1821–1825 (2003).


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