Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Low Down on Cholesterol

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a building block for your steroid hormones which help control many of our functions, including our mood, our metabolism, inflammation, immune system and sexual functions. Without cholesterol we would not survive, this is why 85% of our cholesterol is made in our body and the rest is made up from our diet. Many studies have shown that having a lower cholesterol is a larger risk factor for heart disease than having high cholesterol.

So why do we need cholesterol? 
  • Cholesterol is needed in order for the body to make new healthy cells and aids the healing of injury and illness. It also helps with the structure of our cells and the communication between cells
  • Cholesterol regulates the salt and water balance in the body helping to beat the bloat
  • Cholesterol helps us to digest fats by creating bile
  • Cholesterol is need to make hormones, without these hormones we would not cope very well with the stresses we face daily. When people follow a diet low in fat they do not supply enough substrate  to make these hormones. This can result in feeling exhausted and also result in storing fat around the abdomen
  • In order for your body to convert sunlight into vitamin D your body uses cholesterol.
  • Studies are starting to emerge showing that cholesterol may in fact act as an antioxidant and help to prevent free radicals Follow this link for more information on this topic
  • Most diets are now full of oxidized vegetable oils and sugars. These foods are not recognised by the body and cause damage to your cells, this damage has been linked to heat disease. The body then tries to make more cholesterol to repair these damaged cells and blood vessels resulting in high cholesterol
  • People who have a high cholesterol level do so because their body is trying to repair damaged cells caused by the inflammation from overeating sugar, grains and vegetable oils. So taking pills to lower your cholesterol could be causing more damage to your cells. If you are recommended medication, such as statins, to lower you cholesterol make sure you ask your doctor to show you some hard evidence showing the benfits
  • Cholesterol is very important for the communication between brain synapses, which make the feel good chemical serotonin. There have been many studies where people with abnormally low levels of cholesterol have tendencies toward violence or depression
So as you can see your body needs cholesterol, and if you have a high level of cholesterol its your body trying to repair the damage you have caused through eating too many bad foods. By taking statins etc you are preventing your body from doing what it should be doing and masking the true cause of you cholesterol levels. 

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