What is cholesterol and what is it?
We all need cholesterol.
This soft, waxy substance is found not only in blood but also in every cell in our body where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that allow us to digest fats. Cholesterol also supports us in memory formation and is vital for neurological function.
The liver produces about 75% of the cholesterol in our body, and according to conventional medicine, there are two types of cholesterol:
HDL (high-density) lipoprotein: this is the good cholesterol that helps keep cholesterol away from the arteries and remove any excess from arterial plaque that can help prevent heart disease.
LDL (Low-density) lipoprotein or the bad cholesterol that circulates in the blood, which according to the common thinking, can form plaques that make arteries narrow and less flexible (atherosclerosis).
In addition, to complete the picture of total cholesterol:
Triglycerides: high levels of these fats have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Triglyceride levels are known to be able to increase in those who consume many grains and sugars, are not physically active, smoke, drink alcohol excessively, and are overweight or even obese.
Lipoprotein (a), or Lp (a): the Lp (a) is a substance that is produced by a part of LDL cholesterol in addition to a protein (apoprotein A-1). Elevated levels of Lp (a) is a cardiovascular risk factor. It’s a well-established fact, despite a few more doctors to check this value in their patients.
What is HDL cholesterol?
- Fixing bacterial endotoxins, especially those of type lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and neutralizes their toxicity . As a result, people with HDL at high levels have substantially less inflammation during infection.
- Retrieves the toxins in the circulation, such as cholesterol and oxidized toxins back to the liver for detoxification. HDL particles that carry toxins are much more likely to be “accepted” by the liver in relation to HDL particles without toxins.
The benefits of HDL cholesterol:
- People with high levels of HDL run sixth the risk of developing pneumonia, and at the Leiden 85-Plus study, people with high levels of HDL were running a 35% reduced risk of dying from infections.
- In the EPIC study, each increase of 16.6 milligrams of HDL per deciliter saw bowel cancer’s risk reduced by 22%.
- In the VA Normative Aging Study, each increment of 10 milligrams of HDL per deciliter was related to a decrease in 14% of dying risk before turning 85 years old .
According to Paul Jaminet, the optimal value of HDL should be around 70. But in most people, triglyceride levels are too high, while HDL levels are too low. Low levels of triglycerides and high levels of HDL are strongly associated with a state of longevity.
In the elderly, high levels of HDL are associated with the ability to walk faster and a better balance with increased cognitive function.
Total cholesterol below 200 indicates a reduced immune function. When total cholesterol is low (below 200), possible causes may be:
- A low-fat diet, the macrobiotic diet type. If this is the problem, increase fat.
- Hyperthyroidism, which can be relieved with lithium supplements.
- Infection such as protozoa, fungi or parasites that eat the lipoprotein particles.
When the levels of total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are high, it may mean a reduced ability to dispose of LDL particles from the blood. Possible causes include:
- Hypothyroidism, iodine deficiency, or selenium. The thyroid hormones are necessary to activate the LDL receptor to allow the cells to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. Integration of iodine significantly lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
- Insufficient sun exposure prevents the body from producing vitamin D and other sterols from cholesterol.
- Excessive oxidation of LDL cholesterol as well as the ability of macrophages to “clean up” the oxidized LDL.
Chris Kresser on LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease
According to Chris Kresser, these are the main causes of high LDL cholesterol that may increase the risk of heart disease:
- Insulin resistance
- Reduced thyroid function
- Increased Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut)
Peter Attia on endogenous and exogenous cholesterol
Ingest cholesterol through many of the foods we eat and our body produces (“synthesizes”) cholesterol through various precursors. Approximately 25% of our daily requirement of cholesterol (between 300 and 500 mg) comes from what we eat (exogenous cholesterol), while the remaining 75% (between about 800 and 1200 mg) is produced by the body (endogenous cholesterol). To better understand these figures, we consider that the total reserves of cholesterol in our body range on average from 30 to 40 grams, and that most of it is found in cell membranes. Every cell in the body can produce cholesterol, and so very few cells need a supply (delivery) of cholesterol. Cholesterol is required for all cell membranes to produce steroid hormones and bile acids. It’s also essential in the synthesis of vitamins.
Cholesterol is absolutely vital to our survival. Every cell in our body is wrapped in a membrane. These membranes are highly responsible for the fluidity and permeability, which essentially control how a cell moves, how it interacts with other cells, and how it carries important “things”.