High cholesterol levels are believed to lead to heart conditions and early death.
Statin drugs to lower LDL cholesterol are prescribed to more than 13 million Americans, and almost all men over the age of 60. Research published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism in April 2015 now shows that, as you age, having high cholesterol is beneficial. The research, which was conducted in Japan, showed that people with the highest cholesterol levels had the lowest mortality rate from heart disease. The report states, “mortality actually goes down with higher total or low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, as reported by most Japanese epidemiological studies of the general population.”
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-soluble nutrient. It is soft and waxy and is essential for the human body. Though recognized as leading to atherosclerosis, cholesterol is also responsible for many important biological functions in the body. The human brain cannot function without cholesterol. Cholesterol is also important for the production of steroid hormones. Cholesterol helps reduce stress and may even be a treatment for MS, as the body needs cholesterol to build the myelin sheath that protects the nerves.
People who have a genetic deficiency in cholesterol have a disease called Smith-Lemli-Opitz, or SLOS. This disease is recessive, so both parents need to have the disease for it to be passed on. People who have low or no cholesterol suffer from autism, vision problems, lower immunity and increased infections, and difficulty digesting food. Those born with no ability to make cholesterol can also have physical deformities in their hands, feet, or internal organs.
Diabetes and cholesterol
Those with diabetes tend to have too much of the bad type of cholesterol and not enough of the good type. This can lead to heart disease. The condition is known as diabetic dyslipidemia. In addition to heart disease, diabetics are then prone to atherosclerosis, in which the arteries become clogged with the fat, blocking blood vessels and damaging blood flow. Insulin resistance is linked to diabetic dyslipidemia, so diabetics need to be aware of their cholesterol levels and take special care with their diets.
Why is cholesterol important?
Cholesterol is needed by every cell in the body because it is part of the makeup of the cell membrane. Cholesterol allows interactions between the various chemicals that interact with one another. Without cholesterol, your body can’t make bile acid, leading to poor digestion. The sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone, are also made with the help of cholesterol. Even the production of vitamin D utilizes cholesterol for its creation. The brain cells need cholesterol as well. New research has suggested that cholesterol bonds with sulphur in the body to produce cholesterol sulfate. This thins the blood, and it may be that this allows the body to store electrons and lower blood pressure when walking barefoot. Because of this, cholesterol sulfate has been indicated as a possible treatment for reducing heart disease.
Where is cholesterol found in foods?
Cholesterol is found in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs. Foods with polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, are detrimental to the body and to heart health. Foods with healthy fats are generally from the vegetable kingdom, such as vegetable oils.
Stay Healthy – Healthyss Team!