Cholesterol Too much, too little or important for hormone production?
If you follow the media, you hear times over, warnings about the dangers of high cholesterol levels. In this article, I would like to shed some light on what cholesterol is, why cholesterol is important and what the danger warnings are about.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a vital nutrient and hormone, which is produced by the body. Only about one-third of the necessary cholesterol is absorbed through the diet. Cholesterol belongs to a group of fats (lipids), which are an important part of the cell walls. The mitochondria are the "powerhouse" of the body cells, they produce energy and need to have sufficient cholesterol to produce our energy. Besides other hormones, cholesterol is also responsible for the production of bile fluids. Hormones are messengers of our body. If there is a disruption in the delivery of this message between the cells, whether this body information is delayed or does not take place at all, it can lead to defects and ultimately to illness.
Generally, one distinguishes between good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol, "high-density lipoproteins") and harmful cholesterol (LDL cholesterol, "low-density lipoproteins"). The cholesterol level is measured by the totality of the good and harmful cholesterol.
The difference between HDL and LDL cholesterol is that, by its nature, LDL cholesterol deposits fat particles on the artery walls, while HDL cholesterol dissolves these fat particles. In other words, keep the arteries clean.
Although there are certain foods (meat (especially offal), animal fats such as lard, egg yolk, and shellfish), your cholesterol levels are less affected by the food you eat than is generally believed. As already mentioned the body produces two-thirds of the needed cholesterol itself. However, it is true that you can lower cholesterol with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Especially the apple, which is high on fibre is your best friend, in case you have a higher cholesterol level.
High cholesterol – what does that mean?
Put into one sentence, if you have high cholesterol, then you have more fat in your blood. However, a certain amount of fat is important for a well-functioning cardiovascular system.
An elevated cholesterol level can lead to arteriosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries. However, only 50% of people who had a heart attack or stroke also had elevated cholesterol levels. For the remaining 50%, it was the result of stress.
New medications that lower cholesterol - Does the pharmacy really have our best interests in mind?
Although medicines have their place in medicine, pharmacy is a profit-oriented industry like any other company. Especially when it comes to cholesterol, there is a lot that you can do for yourself before you reach for the pillbox.
It is long known, that statins are not really necessary, but often they are prescribed as a preventative measurement to patients with high cholesterol. The question is though; if they really lower the cholesterol or if they harm that self produced cholesterol in the body that we need.
I will give you here some food for thought regarding the side effects of taking statins for a long term.
Statins block enzymes in the liver that should enable cholesterol-synthesis (conversion). By doing that statins then reduce or disable a very important Coenzym Q10 (Ubiquinol). CoQ10 is a very important factor inside the mitochondria, that produces ATP for our energy production. As an example we have approximatly 300-500 mitochondria in each of our heart cells. So if statins reduce CoQ10 in the heart cells, it logically can causes heart problems, like heart insuficiency 1.
Statins lead to a deficiency of vitamin K2. This vitamin’s job is it to prevent arteriosclerosis by taking calcium of the cell walls and bringing it into our bones and teeth - where it belongs. A dutch study from 2009 shows a correlation between reduced calc in the arteries and eating foods with vitamin K2 2. These are the deficiencies that can derive from a lack of vitamin K2: Osteoporosis, Heart diseases, heart attack, calcification (heel spore, frozen shoulder syndrome, kidney stones and more), stroke, brain disfunctions, cancer.
Neuro-muscular diseases like weakness in the muscles, muscle twitches, ALS can appear, as the nerves and muscle cells need cholesterol to survive 3.
There is a higher risk for breast cancer (invasive form) 4 for women who took statins over 10 years. For men who took higher amounts of statins the prostate risk is higher 5 (because cholesterol plays a role in the production of sex hormones). Generally it was researched what the correlation between cancer and cholesterol is and how it might increase the risk 6.
Statins increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, researchers have found in a long term study, by 46% 7.
By taking Statins, the cells ability to regenerate is decresed or lost (the cellular walls are made of cholesterol), and therefore nerval damage can accure, but also brain damage. The brain produces even more cholesterol per day than the rest of the body, as it secures brain function.
Additionally there are all the „normal“ side effects that are written in the package, are: headache, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and many more.
How do I lower my cholesterol and live healthily?
Start with a permanent change in your lifestyle and diet.
A balanced, low-cholesterol diet. (Vegetables, grains, roots, leafy greens and fruits, - colourful and in variaty)
Letting go of the extra kilos
Laugh, hug and make love
Lower your blood pressure
Give up smoking and drinking
Blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels should be checked every two years.
An English proverb says, "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!"