Help! My cholesterol is too high!
First of all what is cholesterol? It is a waxy substance that is present in every cell of your body. It is required in cell membranes give structural support so the cell has the proper balance of fluidity and structure. Cholesterol is also used as the precursor molecule to forming all of the sex hormones – you know, estrogen, testosterone, and many others. This is clearly something your body needs. A shortage of cholesterol has also been associated with depression.
So why are high levels so bad for you? Actually it really isn’s as bad as it is made out to be. More and more research is showing that heart disease has little to do with levels of cholesterol in the blood as a single measure of blood vessel health. Your body’s total level of inflammation has more to do with vascular health than your cholesterol. When you have a high level of inflammation in your body it not only causes pain but it also contributes to damage in your blood vessels. Your body sends cholesterol, among other building materials to repair the damage. In a healthy body the cholesterol is incorporated into new cell walls and the vessel is repaired and able to function normally. With high levels of inflammation, the cholesterol gets oxidized, which is similar to rusting metal, and gets stuck between the damaged area and deeper levels of the vessel wall. Over time this is what causes blood vessels to fill up and become blocked. Just like with many things in life and medicine this needs to take into account your health overall to decide what you need for your best health.
For a more in-depth look at cholesterol see Cholesterol according to Dr. Mercola at Mercola.com. For a very entertaining and educational look at fat, cholesterol, and fast food I highly recommend the documentary”Fat Head”