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Benefits of Cholesterol

Posted by Morne Lubbe on

Benefits of Cholesterol

 

Our blood vessels become damaged in a number of ways-through irritations caused by free radicals, or because they are structurally weak-and when this happens, the body's natural healing substance steps in to repair the damage; causing us to make more cholesterol. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and in our cells. Like saturated fats, the cholesterol we make and consume plays many vital roles:

1. Cholesterol, along with saturated fats, give our cells required stiffness and stability. When the diet contains an excess of polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils or omega-6), instead of saturated fats in the cell membrane, the cell walls become flabby. If this happens, cholesterol from the blood drives into the tissues to give them structural integrity. This is why serum cholesterol levels may go down temporarily when we replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats in the diet.

2. Cholesterol is vital for production and function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is the body's "feel-good" chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to depression and aggression. Anti-depressants often don’t work for patients that are on vegetarian diets.

3. Mother's milk is VERY high in cholesterol and has an important enzyme that assists the baby in using this nutrient. Babies and children need foods high in cholesterol to guarantee proper development of the brain and nervous system (BUT we also need these as adults!!!)

 

4. Cholesterol acts as a precursor to important hormones that help us deal with stress and protect the body against cancer and heart disease. It is also important to our sex hormones like androgen, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. Which is why women trying to get pregnant have more success on a high saturated fat diet!

5. Cholesterol is necessary for us to use vitamin D; which is an essential fat-soluble vitamin needed for healthy bones and nervous system, insulin production, reproduction and immune system function, proper growth, mineral metabolism, and muscle tone. So why do they fortify SKIM MILK with Vitamin D??? What a waste of money!

6. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of fats in the diet; which is made from cholesterol that we eat.

7. Current studies are now showing that cholesterol performs as an antioxidant; which is why cholesterol levels go up with age. As an antioxidant, it protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer.

8. Dietary cholesterol helps maintain the health of the intestinal wall. People on low-cholesterol vegetarian diets often develop leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders.

Cholesterol can become damaged by exposure to heat and oxygen. This oxidized cholesterol tends to promote damage to the arterial cells and cause buildup of plaque in the arteries. Damaged cholesterol is found in powdered milk; which is added to reduced-fat milks to give them body. That is why I NEVER suggest drinking skim milk! It is also found in powdered eggs and in meats that have been heated to high temperatures in frying and other high-temperature processes. So fast food items come into play here.

Hypothyroidism can result in high cholesterol levels. When thyroid function is poor, usually due to a diet low in usable iodine, fat-soluble vitamins and high in sugar, the blood gets filled with cholesterol as a protective mechanism, providing a large amount of minerals needed to heal tissues. Hypothyroid individuals are particularly susceptible to infections, heart disease and cancer.


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