What exactly is cholesterol and what does it do?
Cholesterol is a waxy lipid (oil) that is in the membrane of every single cell in our body and in our blood plasma.
What it does is quite numerous, and includes:
- Insulating neurons,
- Building and maintaining cellular walls,
- Metabolizing fat soluble vitamins,
- Producing bile, and
- Kick-starting the body’s synthesis of many hormones, including sex hormones.
Two very important hormones that must be emphasized, given their importance in our health, are Vitamin D and CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10); without cholesterol they would be impossible to synthesize.
Given all the work cholesterol has to do, the liver is careful to ensure the body always has enough, producing some 1000-1400 milligrams of it each day. When we eat more cholesterol containing foods, the liver makes less; quite a feedback mechanism don’ you think?
As I’ve touched upon in my previous post, “Two Health Myths People Still Believe Today, dated December 7, 2015, the suggestion/warning by some “scientists”
that we should abstain from eating foods like those pictured above is utter nonsense; YOUR BODY KNOWS HOW TO HANDLE THIS.
Before getting into the main reason cholesterol has been vilified, let’s look at the two other actors in this “horror” movie.
THE OTHER ACTORS IN THE CHOLESTEROL SAGA
You cannot mix olive oil with water; similarly, cholesterol does not mix with your blood. If it can’t mix with blood, how is it going to be carried to all of the tissues in your body?
It needs a mode of transportation; a vehicle to get on, which will transport it to and from all of your tissues.
The vehicles are lipoproteins; a combination of lipids and proteins that provide the above mentioned transportation.
Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) carry the cholesterol from your liver to your tissues, and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) carry the cholesterol that your tissues do not use back to your liver. In other words, HDL undertakes a re-cycling function.
So, LDL and HDL ARE NOT CHOLESTEROL. Cholesterol is cholesterol and LDL and HDL are lipoproteins. And, there are no “good” or “bad” lipoproteins and THERE IS DEFINITELY NO “GOOD” OR “BAD” CHOLESTEROL.
The misrepresentation goes on. Even though LDL is not cholesterol, since it carries cholesterol from your liver, THROUGH YOUR BLOOD STREAM, to your tissues it was named “bad cholesterol”.
Similarly, since HDL carries the unused cholesterol in your blood back to your liver, it was called “good cholesterol”. Some even call it “the garbage truck”.
WHO IS THE REAL BAD GUY?
Now, this is important. It turns out that it’s not the cholesterol part of LDL or HDL that is dangerous, but the lipoprotein part.
The latest research into LDL tells us that there are actually sub-categories of this CHOLESTEROL TRANSPORTER and that some are more dangerous than others.
The larger, less dense LDL particles do not seem to play a significant role in heart disease. It is the smaller and DENSE LDL particles that are believed to be the most involved in the process of INFLAMATION that begins the arteriosclerosis cascade.
GUESS WHAT? A diet high in simple carbs is what readily promotes the formation of small, dense LDL particles.
Forget about what medication doctors prescribe for a healthy heart; after all some are just salesman for BIG PHARMA. JUST STOP CONSUMING SIMPLE CARBS. I also recommend eliminating grains and grain products from your diet.
Cholesterol, which even seems to support cardiovascular health, IS NOT THE REAL VILLAIN. Then why is it being blamed? FOR BIG PHARMA TO SELL THE PUBLIC CHOLESTEROL LOWERING DRUGS.
Next time we’ll look at how the lifestyle you choose is the key to health in general and cardiovascular health in particular and THE DAMAGE DONE BY TAKING CHOLESTEROL LOWERING DRUGS.
See you next week.