NO IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!
The GOOD refers to cholesterol and its power in supporting a healthy body, the BAD refers to the manipulation of science painting Cholesterol as a villain and the UGLY is the supporting industries of foods and pharmaceuticals profiteering from this misinformation.
Part 1 – The Good
It’s a controversial topic but one that needs exploring as cholesterol is an essential nutrient of the body and managed correctly you can put the power of it to work for you.
It has been given a bad rap primarily because of the production and sale of statin drugs, which is one of the most lucrative pharmaceutical markets (second only to acid reflux or GERD drugs, more about that next time).
Cholesterol is a healing agent of the body, it rises during stress and when it is required to aid the healing process – it is produced in the liver then sent to the damaged tissue to aid repair, connected to a lipid called LDL (low density lipid), once repaired it returns to the liver to be reprocessed attached to HDL(high density lipid).
It travels to the artery to repair inflamed tissue but it does not block the artery – if the inflammation is not addressed polyunsaturated fats and plaque form an arterial block. Inflammation causes heart disease not cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a nutrient required for good health – it’s the bodies major repair agent, it is essential for Vitamin D production, it is required to make hormones especially for muscle growth and the sex hormones (Hubba bubba) and it is an essential component of membranes, serotonin (happy hormone) production and brain function.
Cholesterol plays a major role in the immune system and resistance to infection – blood cholesterol can disable toxins produced by bacteria and support the immune system.
Overwhelming research shows that consuming cholesterol-rich
saturated fats DOES NOT cause heart disease.
Interestingly enough low cholesterol is associated with:
1. A higher cancer risk colon/lungs in men and cervix/breast in women)
2. Higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s
3. Increased risk of depression
4. Increased of mortality especially if hospitalised
5. Memory loss – without cholesterol you are more prone to memory loss – hence why it is a common side effect of statins.
6. Researchers have also proven low levels can cause violent behaviour
There is NO correlation between dietary saturated fat intake and heart disease. People with low cholesterol are just as prone to just as much arterial blockage as those with high cholesterol. Lower cholesterol doesn’t prevent heart disease because cholesterol doesn’t cause it! Even to the point, in studies, high cholesterol has improved survival rates.
If you have a healthy active lifestyle, manage stress, eat a nutrient dense wholefood diet your cholesterol is probably exactly where it needs to be – managing your inflammation response with low dysfunction.
If on the other hand you have an inactive lifestyle, stressed lifestyle with a low quality diet, cholesterol is probably the least of your worries.
Part 2 – The Bad and the Ugly
There is no such thing as “GOOD” and “BAD” cholesterol, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride gives a great example in her excellent book – Put Your Heart in Your Mouth;
Because [LDL] cholesterol travels from the liver to the wound in the form of LDL, our “science,” in its wisdom calls LDL “bad” cholesterol. When the wound heals and the cholesterol is removed, it travels back to the liver in the form of HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). Because this cholesterol travels away from the artery back to the liver, our misguided “science” calls it “good” cholesterol.
This is like calling an ambulance traveling from the hospital to the patient a “bad ambulance,” and the one traveling from the patient back to the hospital a “good ambulance.”
According to Dr N Campbell McBride;
LDL-cholesterol, or so called bad cholesterol, directly binds and inactivates bacterial toxins…one of the most lethal toxin is produced by a widely spread bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, which is the cause of MRSA, a common hospital infection. This toxin can literally dissolve red blood cells. However, it does not work in the presence of LDL cholesterol.
LDL is split into dense small heavy LDL which correlates to increased risk of heart disease whilst large fluffy LDL doesn’t – what does the cholesterol test measure? Eating cholesterol rich eggs/butter increases the fluffy LDL to dense LDL levels and for approx. In 2/3 of the population, eggs have no effect on blood cholesterol levels and for the other 1/3 it increases the benign HDL and increases the particle size of LDL to more the fluffy type.
Some foods e.g. rape oil can worsen the cholesterol profile reducing the beneficial fluffy LDL and the HDL – along with creating oxidised `LDL which can build up in the arteries”.
Cholesterol rich saturated fats are nutrient dense and fundamental to a healthy diet and are beneficial not dangerous to a healthy diet. Do not be tricked into using unhealthy industrial fat spreads etc.
As the body produces cholesterol to around 80% and the rest is from dietary intake, if we cut the intake via diet and the body still requires cholesterol for repair it will make more itself (an added stress). For most people dietary cholesterol has minimal impact on blood cholesterol…………If cholesterol levels are increasing the question to ask is WHY? What is inflamed and needing this repair agent. Don’t look to cure the symptom look to find the cause and then with a combination of diet and lifestyle achieve balance and optimal health. You can achieve more with diet and lifestyle than statins!
DO NOT FEAR CHOLESTEROL AND REAL FOOD!
If you would like more information please email me or read Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book mentioned earlier.