Posted by Larry Hoover on November 23, 2002, at 12:43:18
In reply to I was directing my above question to Larry and/or , posted by bubblegumchewer on November 23, 2002, at 11:15:51
> If you want a bonus question: I had my cholesterol profile done and it appears that despite my slight overweight status and my propensity to eat every unhealthy fat possible, my cholesterol is low (140) and my HDL and LDL are in the ideal ranges. (I'm 37 years old and female.) Meaning the ones that everyone else strives for. This is obviously a genetic trait because my mother has the same profile. We are just not a "heart disease" family.
Very good of you to choose such good genes. <wink>
> Does this mean that I may not be a person who is in need of the blood-fat benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acids? Or is that question just way too hard to speculate on?
What is important is how genes interact with their environment. From a gene's perspective, that has multiple applications. The external environment of a gene is the inside of a cell. How the machinery there interacts with the gene determines the activity of a gene. But, the cell interacts with cells around it, so you have organ-specific gene effects. And, you have the organs interacting together to have more collective effects (e.g the digestive tract, as opposed to just the stomach). Then, of course, you have systemic interactions (whole body effects). Finally, you have all the external environment to consider (food, disease, toxins, and so on). All of these are, at their core, gene/environment interactions.
Focussing on one factor, as you have, may not be instructive. People who eat fish and fish products are healthier than those who do not. Risk of dementia alone is less than half in people who eat fish.
> A bonus-bonus question: I spoke to the resident who was treating me a year and a half ago (he was also a horse's a**) about the correlation between low cholesterol and depression. He pooh-poohed the idea, saying that 140 is not low. From my research it appears that 140 in a non-athletic person with an average American junk-food diet is teetering on abnormally low. Any opinion?
The correlation of serum cholesterol with mood is equivocal. Studies do not always agree.
I'll give you my opinion. I suspect that any correlation between cholesterol and mood falls under the concept of correlation with an unidentified independent variable. If B depends on A (and thus correlates), and C depends on A, then B and C stand a good chance of correlating as well, but they may not be related in any way.
For example, if you studied the use of makeup in a primary school female cohort, you might find that height and makeup use were highly correlated, although there is no causal relationship between them. Both depend, quite separately, on maturation.