(MindBodyScience.news) Millions of Americans are on the watch for “bad cholesterol,” but what they don’t realize is that cholesterol is itself a natural byproduct of the liver and, thus, vital for good health.
To be sure, every cell in the body has cholesterol in its outer layer. That said, far too many doctors and other primary care providers – who really ought to know better – still say that cholesterol is always bad, and that we should follow a low-fat diet because that’s better for our overall health.
However, it is a fact that avoiding fats is toxic to your health, while consuming many of the food additives that commonly replace naturally-occurring fats (trans fats, refined sugars, processed grains) are the primary agents behind chronic inflammation.
Rather than being a cause of plaque buildup in the circulatory system, cholesterol can actually serve as a healing agent that the body sends to places that have been damaged by inflammation. In other words, if you have too much cholesterol buildup in your arteries, your real problem is too much inflammation rather than too much cholesterol. And that’s important, because to mitigate it requires a completely different approach.
‘The inflammation is what gets you’
“It’s the inflammation in the vessels that starts the lesion,” said Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist from the University of Maryland who has been researching fats and their affect on the human body for many years, as quoted by CBN News. “The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.”
In addition, she notes, research indicates that cholesterol can defend you against gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, while helping to create vitamin D. She also reports that people with higher cholesterol levels actually enjoy longer lives, and that is a scientific fact she says she can vouch for personally
“I come from a family that has, my mother’s side, had naturally high cholesterol. Her cholesterol was between 380 and 420 when I started watching her medical records, and she died at 97,” she said. “So I don’t think that cholesterol was too bad for her.”
Scientists have found that cholesterol is especially important for the brain, which contains more of cholesterol than any other organ. Cholesterol is necessary for messages to get sent along from one brain cell to another. So, Teter said, when it comes to food choices, we should worry if our cholesterol level are raised somewhat; we need to focus instead on whether our diet is reducing inflammation.
“When choosing which fats to eat, pick the ones that are high in Omega 3 fats and also choose natural saturated fats. On the other hand, stay away from the fats that lead to inflammation, such as trans fats and Omega 6 fats,” CBN reported.
Not a ‘rare exception’
As Natural News has also reported:
“What few people today realize is that their bodies actually require both saturated fat and cholesterol for proper metabolism, brain health, hormone balance and cellular homeostasis. Without these two important nutritional components, a cascade of health problems can ensue, including debilitating brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is especially true for people who take toxic statin drugs to artificially lower their cholesterol levels.
“Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol,” writes Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, MD, Ph.D, of Functional Medicine University.
“Supporters of the cholesterol campaign consistently ignore his observation, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a huge number of studies finding the opposite. But it is not an exception; there are now a large number of findings that contradict the lipid hypothesis,” he adds.
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