CHOLESTEROL: YOUR BFF
Cholesterol is your friend. Your nervous system is fifty percent cholesterol and it is necessary for the proper growth and development of the brain. Without cholesterol your cells become too fluid and leaky which allows stuff to get in that should not like environmental toxins. Your body uses cholesterol to make hormones that help you handle stress and protect against heart disease and cancer. Cholesterol is the base molecule for the production of all steroid hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA. Your body uses cholesterol to make vitamin D which is vital for the bones, nervous system, mineral metabolism, insulin production, muscle tone, reproduction and immune system function. Bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile salts are necessary for digestion and absorption of dietary fats and fat soluble vitamins. Cholesterol acts as an antioxidant and protects us against free radical damage that can lead to cancer and heart disease. Nursing mothers produce large amounts of cholesterol in their milk as growing children require it for the proper development of the central nervous system. Cholesterol obtained from the diet is important for maintaining the health of the intestinal wall. Low cholesterol diets can contribute to the development of leaky gut syndrome. The body uses cholesterol to facilitate the repair of damaged cells. This means that higher cholesterol levels are actually beneficial. This is not a complete list but it does serve to illustrate the point that cholesterol is necessary and vital for our health.
We have been sold the idea that cardiovascular disease is caused by cholesterol deposits in our arteries. I would suggest that cholesterol deposits are the result of heart disease not the cause. Cholesterol is actually the body trying to fix the damage to the arteries. If cholesterol is not the culprit then what is? Human physiology is not a simple one cause for everyone one cure for everyone phenomenon. That is a good strategy if you are selling something but it does not apply to the complexity of the how human beings work. Heart disease has been the number one killer of Americans for decades. How many decades do we keep following the same failed approach until we decide to look at the issue differently?
There are many proposed theories for the development of cardiovascular disease such as refined carbohydrates, trans fats, high insulin levels, cortisol, excess omega six fatty acids in refined vegetable oils, deficiencies of vitamins A, E, K, D,B, C as well as well as the minerals magnesium, selenium and copper. Anything that can damage the inside lining of the blood vessels will initiate the repair process known as cardiovascular disease. Any physical, chemical or emotional stressor creates a stress response or physiological response that causes cortisol, insulin and adrenaline to remain elevated for long periods of time which damages the endothelium of the blood vessels.
Cholesterol levels are dynamic and constantly changing they are not a static number. Each person has a cholesterol level unique to their physiology and the demands of their lifestyle. We have to get past the idea that cholesterol levels have anything at all to do with heart disease and consider other possible causes. I do not treat “high” cholesterol because it is a made up disease that does not exist. Cardiovascular disease does exist and probably has multiple causes that are unique to each person. These are my personal thoughts and observations based upon clinical experience, advanced study and common sense.