The Truth About Cholesterol
Most people think cholesterol is a bad substance leading to the labeling of foods like eggs, butter, and oils as unhealthy foods. As with most things, the truth is not as black and white. Cholesterol is a more complex subject, but is an essential part of how our body works.
Cholesterol acts as both a lipid and a hormone in the body. As a lipid it has an important role in cell membranes, myelin sheath integrity, a source of energy and as a major building block of bile. As a hormone it is the precursor to all the steroid hormones as well as Vitamin D. In short, cholesterol is a vital part of many different pathways in the body.
Cholesterol can certainly be too high, but here is the catch: Diet only accounts for 10-25% of total cholesterol. The majority of our cholesterol is produced by our body. Thus, a high cholesterol level is not only a dietary problem and cannot be completely corrected by a dietary change. Taking a statin drug may lower total cholesterol, but it is not addressing the underlying body mechanism that is failing leading to increased cholesterol. All it is doing is making the labs look normal. The body is still failing, it is just being covered up.
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