Lymphatic Transport of HDL and Chylomicrons



Manual lymphatic drainage is becoming recognized as a therapeutic component in restoring homeostasis and balance. The lymphatic system purifies the blood while hosting immunological defenses. When the lymphatic system is not working properly, the balance is kilted.

In 2018, there was a new discovery of the 80th and largest organ of the human body: the interstitium. This is where cell mediation and repulsion occur. The gut is enveloped by interstitium tissue in which interstitial fluids flow, acting as a conduit for movement of potentially dangerous agents, pro-fibrogenic signaling molecules and tumor cells.

Mesenteric lymph nodes in the gut region filter chylomicron-rich lymph and degrade the inflammatory lipoproteins prior to entering the thoracic duct (super highway to the heart) and the bloodstream. In the intestines, lipoproteins are absorbed through the lymph capillaries that extend as a single lymphatic vessel in each villus, termed lacteals. The villus are finger-like projections that help with the movement (peristalsis) during digestion. Each villus has blood capillaries and lacteals.

In a diseased state, these lacteals are shorter and less effective in removing particles and intestinal microbiota from the digestive tract. Gut integrity becomes susceptible to intestinal hyperpermeability and the microbiome of the intestine is converted into a pathobiome, a disease-promoting bacterium. When gut leakage of microbiota is sufficiently great to cause toxicity, it can lead to organ damage. The lungs are most susceptible. Prolonged use of antihistamine (desloratadine) cause damage and dysfunction to mesenteric lymphatic vessels contributing to obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Bad cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), cause inflammation, contributing to arthrosclerosis. The lymphatic system plays an important role in transporting fat cells (lipids) through the “reverse cholesterol transport” process. High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) gain access to cholesterol within the interstitium. It is transported through the lymph to the liver, where it is packaged and removed through the bile for excretion. The newer strategy of identifying the cholesterol efflux capacity function is becoming more relevant than the static HDL levels with relationship to inflammation and risk of cardiovascular disease. The “old-school” benefits of niacin are becoming popular again for enhancing reverse cholesterol transport.

During a manual lymphatic drainage session, abdominal massage techniques pump the mesenteric lymph nodes and Peyer’s patch and deep breathing techniques are applied. Regular lymphatic treatments strengthen overall function, for greater vitality.

Susan Couture, BSHA, CRC, LMT, Cert. MLD/CDP works at OM Oracle Massage Lymphatic Therapy, in Tucson. Connect at 520-668-8731. See ad. page 18. 

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