Hear the phrase “high cholesterol” and visions of heart attacks and stroke probably come to mind. Cholesterol is generally viewed by main stream medicine and the public in a negative light. In fact, from all the hype out there, you’d think having cholesterol at all was a disease. But does it really deserve the “bad guy” label?
Cholesterol is essential for life. Let me say that again in a different way. You would die without cholesterol! In fact, did you know that big ol’ “Mr. C” is a precursor to all steroid hormones? Translation? Your body couldn’t make hormones without cholesterol. I don’t think I have to tell you how important hormones are to the function of your body and health!
Cholesterol is found in EVERY cell of your body. It is primarily manufactured in the liver and is carried by the blood to the tissues of the body. Cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources like meat, poultry and dairy products.
So what about high cholesterol and the risk of heart disease?
One of cholesterol’s many duties is to REPAIR damaged tissue, which includes arteries. The reality is that cholesterol does not travel to your heart just to stick to the walls of your arteries; it’s there because there was already damage that occurred in your arteries! So, the reality is that cholesterol in the arteries is a symptom of heart problems more than an actual cause.
If high cholesterol itself was a predictor of heart attack, then it would be safe to assume that lower cholesterol levels would prevent heart problems. This is not the case. More than 40 trials have been performed to test if cholesterol-lowering can prevent a heart attack. The results were surprising. Similar rates of heart attack and mortality were experienced by the study groups who lowered their cholesterol and in those who did not.
Since cholesterol is so important (Some even call it a nutrient!) to our hormones and general health, I think this topic warrants more discussion. I’ll write more about this topic and put the link here when it is posted. You may also want to do some further research and schedule a consult to discuss your health problems. I’d be happy to help.
- The Great Cholesterol Myth by Johnny Bowden, Ph. D. and Stephen Sinatra, M.D.
- The Cholesterol Wars: The Skeptics vs the Preponderance of Evidence by Dr. Daniel Steinberg
- The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick