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Inflammatory illnesses can affect cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels. It’s not unusual for patients with chronic illnesses to have elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. HDL cholesterol may be significantly lowered. Lowered HDL may cause the cholesterol ratio reported by the lab as "LDL/HDL risk ratio" to be above normal.
Bacteria profoundly affect lipid metabolism.
Analysis of the bacterial kete genome shows intracellular pathogens use an anaerobic glucose metabolism to produce energy and triglycerides are the waste product of this bacterial metabolism. Thus, triglycerides are an inflammatory marker.


Cholesterol and triglycerides are two types of lipids. The term ‘lipids’ describes an entire class of fats and fat-like substances in the blood. Lipo-protein molecules are the packages that transport cholesterol and triglycerides through the bloodstream. They’re classified by their size and density. The most well-known lipoproteins are LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein. By measuring lipoproteins in the blood the level of cholesterol can be detected. Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides is sometimes called hyperlipedemia.
The lipid profile is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine risk of coronary heart disease, i.e., blockage of blood vessels or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). The lipid profile typically includes:
  • Total cholesterol
  • High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) Cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL)
  • Triglycerides
An extended lipid profile may also include:
  • Very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C)
Sometimes the report will include additional calculated values such as the Cholesterol/HDL ratio or a risk score based on lipid profile results, age, sex, and other risk factors.


Herxheimer reaction
The lipid panel can become temporarily abnormal due to increased inflammation during Inflammation Therapy (IT) caused by the Herxheimer reaction. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels usually return to normal as the bacteria are eliminated. If abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides is an immediate concern, patients should reduce the immune system response by adjusting IT medications.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance produced in the liverCholesterol is a fat-like substance produced in the liver. Every human cell needs a minute amount of cholesterol to function properly. Cholesterol has a positive function to perform-it’s the substrate for the generation of almost every steroid hormone manufactured by the body.
25-hydroxyvitamin-D is manufactured by the body from 7-dehydrocholesterol. The lipids are inextricably intertwined with immune function and there is no conclusive evidence that high or imbalanced cholesterol does any long-term harm in and of itself.
Plant sterols

Phytosterols (also called plant sterols) are a group of steroid alcohols, phytochemicals naturally occurring in plants. As a food ingredient or additive, phytosterols have cholesterol-lowering properties (reducing cholesterol absorption in intestines). The use of plants sterol supplements is not recommended.
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Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. Triglycerides in plasma are derived from fats eaten in foods or made in the body from other energy sources like carbohydrates. Calories ingested in a meal and not used immediately by tissues are converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so they meet the body's needs for energy between meals.


Reducing carbohydrate intake is recommended during IT. Low carbohydrate diets can reduce triglycerides and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Walnut or almond oil are sources of omega 3s without D that can help if taken as food in moderation.

Other helpful dietary measures include: eliminate trans fatty acids (i.e., anything in which the nutrition label reads "partially hydrogenated vegetable oils"), increase monosaturated fats (e.g., canola oil, avocado oil or olive oil and the fats found in peanut butter).

Triglycerides may be lowered some by diet and exercise, but often are a reflection of systemic inflammation.


If you're overweight, consult your doctor about a weight loss and exercise program. It's important to seriously address the issue of excess weight as a separate issue to chronic inflammation. Acheiving a normal weight may resolve many symptoms and weight loss doesn't happen autimatically as a result of IT.

Medication to reduce LDL cholesterol

There appears to be very little relationship between an artificially lowered LDL cholesterol, and improved survivability but many doctors treat an abnormal lipid using a class of drugs called "statins".  For patients treated with statins, only a very small minority of side effects reported can be directly attributed to the drugs, according to the results of this 2014 study. Systematic review of randomized placebo-controlled trials to aid individual patient choice. Eur J Prevent Cardiol 2014; DOI: 10.1177/2047487314525531. Available at:

Other drugs are sometimes used to alter cholesterol or triglyceride levels. They include:

  • Cholestipol (Cholestid)
  • Colesevalam (Welchol)
  • Fenofibrate (Tricor)
  • Zetia (ezetimibe) - may block the actions of PPARgamma and Glucocorticoid receptors, thereby interfering with the immune system.
  • Gemfibrozil (Lopid, Gemcor)
  • Omacor (made from fish-oil)
  • Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Pantethine
  • Cholestyramine (Questran)
  • Red yeast rice (monascus purpureus)
  • Neomycin

Safe Alternative to Statins

Berberol(®), a product made with milk thistle (silybum) reduces triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting blood sugar and A1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) without inducing toxicity conditions.

Clinical role of a fixed combination of standardized Berberis aristata and Silybum marianum extracts in diabetic and hypercholesterolemic patients intolerant to statins.

Follow your doctors recommendation regarding the use of medication to improve your lipid panel.

Coronary artery disease (CAD)
Coronary artery diseaseThere’s an emerging school of thought in mainstream cardiology that atherosclerosis (CAD) is caused by microbes. Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis and an investigator at the Instituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy, stated, “"Many years ago, atherosclerosis was thought to be related to lipids and to the excessive deposit of cholesterol in the arteries. Nowadays, it's clear that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease.”
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Inflammation Therapy should resolve the Th1/Th17 inflammation that is the probable underlying cause of abnormal lipids, atherosclerosis and CAD. IT has been effective at improving the lipid panel for many patients. See Case Reports on our Recovery Reports webpage.