Michael McEvoy CNC, CMTA MARCH 31, 2010
Contrary to most people’s understanding, cholesterol is one of the most vitally important substances in the body. Cholesterol has been accused of being the culprit in many diseases, including heart disease. However, without cholesterol the body simply cannot function.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance in the blood that is synthesized in the liver as a necessary agent for many significant bodily functions. Cholesterol has two forms: HDL (high density lipo-protein) and LDL (low density lipo-protein). HDL cholesterol is cholesterol that is en-route back to the liver, while LDL cholesterol is cholesterol that is en-route from the liver to the bloodstream to perform its functions. LDL cholesterol is commonly called ”bad” cholesterol because it has been found inside of the arteries of the body and has been pegged as causing heart disease.
However as we see in bullet number four below, cholesterol serves as a metabolic nutrient. One of the many functions of cholesterol is to provide repair to damaged tissues such as the arteries. The fact that cholesterol is found in the arteries does not correlate LDL cholesterol as being “bad” or causative in any disease. It indicates, rather that LDL cholesterol is repairing damage to an area of the body.
The damage done to the body is linked to several patterns of degenerative processes such as: substance abuse, certain lifestyle choices, and the improper dietary habits. These patterns are causative to disease, cholesterol is not.
As Dr. Natasha Cambell McBride states: “Calling LDL cholesterol “bad” and HDL cholesterol “good” is like calling an ambulance travelling from the hospital to the patient a "bad ambulance," and the one travelling from the patient back to the hospital a "good ambulance."*
“But the situation has gotten even more ridiculous. The latest thing that our science has "discovered" is that not all LDL-cholesterol is so bad. Most of it is actually good. So, now we are told to call that part of LDL the "good bad cholesterol" and the rest of it the "bad bad cholesterol."
It is a fact that lower cholesterol levels correlate with an increased risk of heart attacks and memory loss more than high cholesterol levels. In fact, high cholesterol levels correlate with an increased resistance to infections, memory retention and overall better health.*
Another misunderstanding is that cholesterol containing foods will cause your body’s cholesterol levels to elevate. Foods that contain cholesterol, such as eggs, account for only 15-20% of your body’s total cholesterol count. For most people, cholesterol levels will actually decrease when eating cholesterol containing foods and increase when restricting cholesterol containing foods.* Many health professionals who recommend a decrease in red meats because of cholesterol content, often recommend fish. Yet fish contains on average twice as much cholesterol than red meat! Apparently these health professionals are misunderstood.
Cholesterol has many vital functions in the body. One of which is to repair damaged tissue such as those that exist in the arteries.
Foods containing fats that have been oxidized from overheating may cause LDL cholesterol levels to elevate. But this problem can be resolved by eating the right type and quantity of fat for your individual metabolism, and by heating your fats at lower temperatures, or by not heating them at all. Regardless, the potential inflammation that may be caused by oxidized fats are nothing compared to the potential damage that can be done by the sugar molecule, trans fats (hydrogenated), alcohol and excessive grain and flour intake.
Here is a list of the major functions of cholesterol in the body:
•Cholesterol is used in all cell membrane integrity. Each and every cell of the body is comprised of cholesterol. Low cholesterol levels may correlate with enhanced cellular degeneration. Cells will literally fall apart in the blood without cholesterol.
•Myelin sheath development. The sheath or covering of nerve tissue is comprised of cholesterol and other fatty substances.
•Cholesterol is a building block for all hormone development, including the adrenal hormones and the sex hormones. Women who suffer from infertility often have very low cholesterol levels.
•Cholesterol is a metabolic nutrient, which repairs damaged tissues. This is why LDL cholesterol levels may rise after surgery, tooth procedures, and injuries.
•Cholesterol is necessary for the production of bile and bile acids. The body is not able to digest and assimilate fats without bile and bile acids. Bile is required for the absorption of vitamins A, D, K and E, all of which are vital, fat-soluble nutrients.
•Cholesterol is necessary to properly utilize Vitamin D. This is particularly true for the conversion of Vitamin D from sunlight. Cholesterol under the skin allows for this.
•Cholesterol is an anti-oxidant and scavenges free radicals. Cholesterol is required for immune system health. Being an anti-oxidant, cholesterol helps to fight infection.
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