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Dyslipidemia and Lyme Disease

Dyslipidemia is abnormal lipid metabolism. Patients who have had or have Lyme Disease often have significant abnormalities in their lipid metabolism.  This results from chronic inflammation and prolonged activation of the proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha).  Elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, VLDL, and LDL are commonly seen, while HDL (the good cholesterol) is decreased.  Dr. Jones and I believe that these elevations in cholesterol are not only related to diet and genetic predisposition but may be a compensatory response of the body in an attempt to repair cell membranes (that are composed of lipids) that have been damaged by infection. The piercing of the cell membrane by organisms such as Borrelia, Bartonella, and Mycoplasma on their way to the intracellular compartment where they prefer to reside, can render changes in lipid metabolism and increase lipid peroxidation.  Lipid peroxidation is a biochemical reaction resulting from damaged lipid-containing cells that increases the concentration of free radicals in the body and contributes to a state of overall oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress affects not only cells but the vascular endothelium which can lead to increased stroke and myocardial infarction.  The presence of biofilm created by spirochetes and other organisms also contributes to plaque formation in the arteries, which affects blood flow to peripheral tissues and the overall health of the cardiovascular system.

Optimizing lipid metabolism may require diet and lifestyle modifications as well as nutritional intervention.  Dr. Marra’s extensive knowledge and experience in Lyme Disease and Functional Medicine will help you to regain optimal health in a reasonable amount of time.

For more detailed information about the glycemic index of foods (how much sugar they contain), please visit and go to the food tab. You can search through the various options. This website is a phenomenal resource for everyone who wants to change their diet and needs help understanding what foods they can and can’t eat to improve their metabolic condition.