What if nearly everything we’ve been told about cholesterol is wrong? Despite science to the contrary, cholesterol myths abound.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false” alt=”Cholesterol Myths Busted”]Image from Dollar Photo Club Created in Canva[/featured-image]
Cholesterol is not the enemy we’ve been led to believe. Since the 1960s we’ve been hearing we need to watch our cholesterol levels. We should not allow them to get too high, or we could be at risk for heart disease. The fact is, if your cholesterol levels get too low, you’re at risk of developing serious health challenges…..
Without adequate amounts of cholesterol life itself would be impossible. It is indispensable. In fact, I would go as far to say that cholesterol is one of the most important substances in the human body. Cholesterol is used for many vital bodily functions. These include but are not limited to:
Cholesterol is a sterol. What’s a sterol? It’s a steroid / alcohol molecule. HDL and LDL are not cholesterol! They are lipoproteins: high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoproteins (LDL).
The reason why HDL and LDL are talked about so much is that they carry cholesterol around in the bloodstream. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver, where it is produced, to the sight in the body where it is needed. That’s why it’s called “bad”. HDL carries cholesterol back to the liver where is is either re-assimilated or removed. That’s why it’s called “good”.
The theory suggests that anything that serves to eliminate cholesterol from the body must be “good”.
Eighty percent of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced in the liver. The other twenty percent comes from our diets. Cholesterol in the diet comes from animal products. Plant-based products are naturally cholesterol free.
God knew how important cholesterol was going to be. He wasn’t about to allow us to go without it. So, he built in a system to help ensure adequate levels. As cholesterol intake goes down, liver production goes up. As dietary cholesterol levels go up, liver production goes down.
The Lipid Hypothesis or the cholesterol theory has actually been around for over 100 years. The hypothesis goes like this: Dietary cholesterol is deposited in arterial plaque causing an obstruction to blood flow, leading to coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.
What got the cholesterol ball rolling was a study published in 1913 by Nikolaj Nikolajewitsch conducted on rabbits. The rabbits were fed concentrated cholesterol, enough to bring their blood levels to over 1,000 mg/dl. There was a direct link established between these extreme levels of cholesterol and atherosclerosis. (Source)
The fact that rabbits are herbivores, (vegetarians) and would not normally consume cholesterol in their diets has been largely ignored. Interestingly enough, followup studies conducted on rats and dogs (omnivores) failed to show any increase in arterial lesions. (Source)
Can cholesterol levels get too high? Yes they can. But not for the reasons you may think.
There is much more to say on this subject, to be continued….
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