Before you head to the pharmacy to refill your Lipitor prescription, check this out. The American Heart Association's journal on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology has concluded that high levels of vehicle emissions can cause high cholesterol in mice, which could indicate that air pollution is a contributing factor in high cholesterol or vascular disease.

In the study, mice were exposed to diesel exhaust for two weeks "at a particulate mass concentration within the range of what mine workers usually are exposed to" (according to UCLA), which, not surprisingly, had a negative effect on the bloodstream. First, the air pollution altered the HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein, a.k.a. "good cholesterol") to the point that the positive properties of the protein were reduced and could lead to high levels of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein, "bad cholesterol") and hardening of the arteries. While this seems like a study related to extreme pollution, it draws yet another linkage between our environments and our health.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        denial, made up facts, lack of reasoning, racism - all in one comment. Oh my!
        PeterScott
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yeah, just like your grandpa smoking a pack a day his whole life and living to 100, invalidates all the studies connecting tobacco and cancer. Oh wait...
      William
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm so glad our bad cholesterol is not attributed to our eating of bad foods and getting little or no exercise. Who's with me in assuming this "factoid" will try to be used - just one more reason - in legislating our life styles "for our own good."
        gearhead
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William
        Ding. You win the comments on this article. Moral of the story, don't breather high concentrations of Diesel exhaust. And while you are at it get off your butt and get some exercise.
        KenZ
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William
        I'm with you; you beat me to the comment. Let's say that the study is true... it's a drop in the bucket compared to diet and exercise. Americans are always looking for an excuse for their crappy health. "I'm genetically big boned." Really? Your great great great grandparents weren't "big boned," and genes don't change that quickly. "Humans aren't designed to run." I'm not even going to dignify this excuse with an answer. "I have to sit all day at work." Try kneeing on a pad, dropping one leg off the chair to a lunge while sitting, actually practice good sitting posture, etc. "My bad cholesterol is due to diesel polution." OK, maybe it's a contributing factor, but there are PLENTY of people who had bad cholesterol, living in polluted areas, who changed their diet and exercise, and solved the problem without Lipitor and friends. Drop. In. Bucket. And another convenient excuse for being unhealthy. Sorry for the rant, but this stuff irritates me.
          brotherkenny4
          • 1 Year Ago
          @KenZ
          I think exhaust also kills brain cells, which makes you more likely to live in a trailor, watch endless hours of reality TV and eat deep fried everything made in a factory with numerous chemical preservatives. Or, I could be wrong. It could be that those things make you want to huff exhaust fumes.
      Gordon Chen
      • 1 Year Ago
      This study is stupid. HDL cannot turn into LDL. I don't wanna go too off tangent b/c this is an auto forum, but the whole idea cholesterol is bad for you is a fake. Check out the book "the great cholesterol myth". Cholesterol is a repair molecule and is a good guy often blamed for heart disease. LDLs transport cholesterol to sites of damage, and HDL takes cholesterol away when there's too much. It does make sense pollution will cause an increase of LDL: more pollution = more body damage = more repair activity = more LDL. An increase in LDL does NOT mean your arteries will likely get clogged.
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        @ Gordon Chen Where does it say in the article that HDL turned into LDL?
          sadiemae1214
          • 1 Year Ago
          @knightrider_6
          "the air pollution altered the HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein, a.k.a. "good cholesterol") to the point that the positive properties of the protein were reduced and could lead to high levels of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein, "bad cholesterol") and hardening of the arteries." 2nd. paragraph, 3rd. sentence.
        clquake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        Under normal, natural circumstances, HDL doesn't turn into LDL, but pollution actually alters HDL, so yeah, it does. The body makes more LDL, to try to combat pollution, but it gets altered, but your body still produces more LDL, which gets altered to HDL. It's a chain reaction to pollution.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      There goes the myth of "Clean Diesel"
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        @wxman Seriously! Did you read the UCLA article referred to in this blog post? "Mice were exposed for a few hours, several days a week, to whole diesel exhaust at a particulate mass concentration within the range of what mine workers usually are exposed to."
        wxman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Where does it say anything about the mice being exposed to the exhaust of clean diesel?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      ACSRHS
      • 1 Year Ago
      So we can conclude that pollution in high extremes is very bad... Haha. As much as I LOVE cars, V8s, diesels,, and the whole bit, I think as enthusiasts we should start to become more socially and environmentally responsible. We may not be able to fix other problems like where alternative energy comes from like coal plants and such, but at least we'll be doing our part. I think Tesla has proven that gas powered vehicles aaren't the only ones that can have some fun! tt
      Jmaister
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just leave the cat converter on, and don't eat the fumes.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      People should be dropping dead left and right here in Utah. South Carolina too. In the inner valleys of California as well. This science could be proven..
      groingo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, that makes it real simple... just stop breathing!
      mylexicon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Time to let the car idle with the garage door down! I'm gonna file a class action law suit before the day is through.
      ffforte
      • 1 Year Ago
      One more check-box in favor of CNG, and electric vehicles.
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