What is cholesterol?
A maligned natural steroid that has divided the scientific and medical communities for over 50 years!
Did you know that Cholesterol:
- Is so vital for our survival that it is produced by our liver naturally in sufficient amounts to meet our bodily needs, if we take in cholesterol through our diet our liver produces less.
- Is returned from our tissues and arteries to the liver for recycling
- Is vital in the production of healthy cell membranes and for the functioning of our brains
- Is vital for our digestion (particularly of fats) and enables us to produce vital steroid hormones
- Is present in meat and eggs along with vital fat soluble vitamins, which may be natures way of providing us with an amazing digestion mechanism!
- Is produced as we sleep to repair cells and perform other essential maintenance (one of the main reasons we spend one third of our lives asleep).
Why does it matter to me?
Cholesterol is now seen by many as a vital healing agent and high levels in the body may be due to the need for cholesterol to be released to reduce inflammation (a forerunner of many diseases).Vitamin D and Cholesterol
In order for vitamin D to be produced by exposure to sunshine we must have sufficient levels of cholesterol.New research
New research of old data, now suggests that using vegetable oils, such as the oil used in margarine, failed to reduce heart disease even though the cholesterol levels were reduced. In fact they found out that vegetable oils might actually be worse for your heart than eating butter. See link below
A recent study has shown that reducing inflammation without lowering cholesterol is more effective at cutting the risk of heart disease - see link below
What is the traditional view?
A hypothesis proposed in the 1950's assumed a direct link between saturated fat, high cholesterol and heart disease. This hypothesis has been contested ever since - see links below.
It is now a traditionally held theory that there is good and bad cholesterol, HDL is 'good' and LDL is 'bad' and that high levels of cholesterol need to be reduced (see links below).
This theory has been hotly challenged by a recent study by the British medial Journal of over 68,000 people over the age of 60, which found that high LDL cholesterol levels promoted longer life - see link below.
Many GP's recommend the taking of statins to reduce cholesterol levels, this recommendation is now hotly challenged with one study showing that statins can have the opposite effect, and actually promote heart disease by inhibiting our production of Coenzyme Q10, - see link below