THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL LIES
We have been ‘barking’ up the wrong cholesterol tree for too long. Cholesterol simply is not the danger that many of us (including doctors) - think it is. In fact it is a health-promoting nutrient that just could save your life!
CHOLESTEROL is a naturally occurring product found in the body which is made by the liver. It is vital to normal cell function and is the parent molecule for such major hormones as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It is also critical to the immune system and the brain.
When science advances but medical care does not!
Time magazine reporting on fat /cholesterol and heart disease has changed over the years reflecting how confusing and gullible we can be when it comes to what is best for our body. The attack on cholesterol and saturated fat begins in the 50's with the publication of the 'Seven Countries Study done in 1953 by Dr. Ancel Keys. The studies was marred with bias analysis - highly suspicious model of analysis, with Dr. Keys removing statistics which did not ‘agree’ with his ideology. Out of the 22 countries that was studied, Dr. Ancel took only the outcome of the seven countries whose evidence supported his views while discounting the rest (it was later noted that when all 22 countries had been analyzed, no correlation was found between saturated fat and cholesterol). Incredibly, it is this paper upon which the whole cholesterol theory is based and everyone was told to stay away from butter, red meat, animal fats, eggs and dairy.
Despite 60 years of research, that shows no evidence to link the consumption of saturated fat and cardiovascular disease, the phobia and the application of bad science is still in force around the world today even among doctors and health practitioners. The idea that fat kills is so ingrained, that it became folklore.
New science reveals fat isn’t what’s hurting our health!
For more than half a century, the conventional wisdom among nutritionists and public health officials was that fat is dietary enemy No. 1 — the leading cause of obesity and heart disease. But studies show otherwise. Statistics actually show that more than 50 percent of people admitted to hospitals with cardiovascular disease have NORMAL cholesterol, where those with high cholesterol are seen to have HEALTHY hearts. What this means is that people who eat a lot of butter or other saturated fats don’t get any sicker. And people who reduce their butter intake don’t get any better either. There simply is no connection between butter and heart disease. It all boils down to how our bodies process calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates especially in relation to insulin.
The recent publication in the Time Magazine June 2014 with the featured article 'End the war on fat' reveals studies that promote the eating of butter. The paradigm shift is here and the outdated fear of fat is on its way out. To those old-school fat phobics and cholesterol phobics - wake up! and get a little smarter about food. Pictured on the top left is the Time Magazine cover in 1999. Note: The fat we are talking here is not the 'toxic fat' or the trans-fat.
What cholesterol does
Cholesterol performs incredibly important functions in the body. It is essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes such as:
- production of steroid hormones (including the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone). These hormones trigger development of the physical traits characteristic of women and men; hormones also play a role in reproduction.
- production of other steroid hormones including cortisol, which is involved in regulating blood- sugar levels and defending the body against infection.
- production of vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D plays a very important role in helping to maintain cell growth and to help fight cancer when a cancer cell is developing in your body."
- Note: Vitamin D is not a regular vitamin as its name implies. It's actually a steroid hormone that you get primarily from either sun exposure or supplementation).
- Production of bile (a greenish fluid that is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder) responsible for breaking down large globules of fat into smaller particles so they can mix better with the enzymes that digest fat and absorb important nutrients.
That’s not all. Cholesterol is an important part of the plasma and the intracellular membranes. It can be found in the myelin structures of the brain and the central nerve system. One of cholesterol's most important functions is to support learning and memory — that is why the brain is so rich in cholesterol. It is also critical to the immune system.
Having too little cholesterol may negatively impact your brain health, hormone levels, risk of having depressive symptoms, risk of heart disease, increased violence and aggression and other undesirable side effects.
One meta-analysis of over 41,000 patient records found that people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol may have a higher risk of cancer, while other studies have linked low cholesterol to Parkinson's disease1. Source: The Cholesterol Myth That Is Harming Your Health http://articles.mercola.com/
Where do we get our cholesterol?
We get plenty of cholesterol from day one. Human breast milk is high in cholesterol because babies need plenty of it to develop healthy brains. About 80% of the cholesterol in our blood is made by the liver and cells elsewhere in our body, the rest comes from our food we consume.
Eating foods high in cholesterol has very little impact on our blood cholesterol levels. Eating cholesterol rich foods eases the body’s burden and in many individuals, cholesterol synthesis (the production of) is inadequate for the body’s needs (this is compounded by the Cholesterol phobia syndrome).
Cholesterol rich food source
Naturally cholesterol rich foods are like egg yolks, butter, meat, liver and other organ meats and seafood.
Eat your Yolk!
Yes a single egg yolk contains 200–250 mg of cholesterol, which is more than two-thirds of the American Heart Association's recommended limit of 300 mg a day but remember, of all the cholesterol that you consume in food, only some ends up as cholesterol in your bloodstream. Your body either increases or decreases its cholesterol production accordingly.
Of course do not overdo it, eating an egg or two (or prawns) a few times a week isn't dangerous. In fact, eggs are an excellent source of protein, good fat and other important nutrients required by the body. You would be better off eating more cholesterol than less considering the importance of cholesterol in the optimal function of your body system.
Important take-home messages
Ö Cholesterol is neither good nor bad—Cholesterol is just cholesterol. It combines with other fats and proteins to be carried through the bloodstream. LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein) are the carriers that transport the cholesterol to its intended destination.
Ö Raw fats and cholesterol from a healthy natural diet are GOOD! Your body NEEDS these in order to thrive. They even help REDUCE heart disease. So why do we reduce the cholesterol consumed? Cholesterol is indispensable for a good health. A low cholesterol diet is likely causing far more harm than good.
Ö What cholesterol level is too high? My doctor tells me my cholesterol needs to be under 200 to be healthy. Remember, our ancestors never had to worry about cholesterol or calories and they did not suffer from an epidemic of heart disease. Anyway, who decided what levels are healthy or harmful?
Ö High fiber diet exerts cholesterol lowering properties.
Ö Eat ‘right’ not ‘eat less’.
- Statin drugs. Statin drugs can reduce your cholesterol to dangerously low levels, while doing nothing to modulate LDL particle size. Statin drugs may even accelerate heart disease. A 2012 study showed that statin use is associated with a 52 percent higher prevalence of calcified coronary plaque compared to those not taking them. And coronary artery calcification is the hallmark of potentially lethal heart disease. Antidepressants have also been associated with heart disease.
- Chemicals whenever possible. BPA, for example, has been linked to heart disease: adults with the highest levels of BPA in their urine are more than twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease as those with the lowest levels.
There are many excellent articles on cholesterol and the recent research findings. Listed below are just 2 that we have selected.
- The Cholesterol Myth That Is Harming Your Health - http://articles.mercola.com/
- Uncovering the truth about America’s most demonized nutrient - http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/