Is Cholesterol a Poison?
Cholesterol has been portrayed by the media and health care industry as akin to a poison. There is no evidence supporting this. While many will use the "statin drug trials" to defend thier assertion, we find that when "absolute percentages" are used that any small benefit from statin drugs was INDEPENDENT OF CHOLESTEROL LEVELS. Important to note, folic acid, Omega 3's, L-arginine, acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipioc acid, and vitamin C have shown much greater benefits, without the negative side effects of statin use.
Can you hear me pounding my fist against the medical industry's wall of denial? Seriously, with the vastness of the human body, how is it that EVERYONE should have the same cholesterol levels? Perhaps ALL women should have big breasts and men enlarged penis', right?
This erroneous thinking is the result of marketing campaigns by drug companies who seek to sell cholesterol lowering drugs. Cholesterol is a versatile compound that is vital to the function of the human body. In humans it serves 5 main functions.
- Cholesterol is used by the body to manufacture steroids or cortisone-like hormones, including sex hormones. These hormones include testosterone, estrogen and cortisone. Combined, these hormones control a myriad of bodily functions, many of which may not even be understood today.
- Cholesterol helps the liver produce bile acids. These acids are essential for proper digestion of fats and ridding the body of waste products.
- Cholesterol is the main component of cell membranes. As such, cholesterol is the building block for all bodily tissues.
- Most notably, cholesterol is an essential part of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath, similar to the coating of copper wire, ensures that the brain functions properly by aiding in the passage of electrical impulses. Without the myelin sheath it is difficult to focus and we can lose memory.
- And finally, cholesterol helps protect against infections and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Many strains of bacteria that cause us to get sick are almost totally inactivated by LDL cholesterol. Also, men with high cholesterol have a stronger immune system (as can be seen by having more lymphocytes, total T cells, helper T-cells and CD8+ cells, if you really wanted to know). Rather than promoting atherosclerosis, Uffe Ravnskov shows that high cholesterol may be protective, possibly via its beneficial influence on the immune system, which plays a large role in the inflammation of the arteries.
Due to its importance, cholesterol must be circulated to all parts of the body. Therefore, cholesterol circulation is based on the fact that oil and water do not mix. Cholesterol is an oily substance, sometimes called a lipid, and cannot blend smoothly with blood, which is water based. In an order to transport this non water soluble lipid in the blood stream, the body packages it into special molecules called lipoproteins.
The main cholesterol carrying compound in the body is termed a low-density lipoprotein or LDL. Because this LDL carries the lipid known as cholesterol it is referred to as LDL-cholesterol. Another form of lipoprotein, there are numerous, is known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL.
The notion that one is bad and the other is good is simply based on the fact that LDL cholesterol is one of many components of plaque. Whether it is high or low, LDL cholesterol will still form plaque to damaged arteries. Knowing this and the importance of cholesterol, preventing damaged arteries sets a precedent over lowering LDL cholesterol levels, to say the least.
Shane holds a Master's degree in organic chemistry and has first-hand industry experience with drug research, design and synthesis. He knows American's want and deserve natural medicine not prescriptions. Visit www.health-fx.net for his FREE newsletter and www.healthmyths.net for his book.
- Simons M, Kramer EM, Thiele C, Stoffel W, Trotter J. J Cell Biol. 2000 Oct 2;151(1):143-54.
- Bjorkhem I. et al. Brain Cholesterol: Long Secret Life Behind a Barrier. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Feb 5
- Ravnskov, Uffe. Q J Med 2003; 96:927-934