Hardly a day goes by without someone coming in asking for advice on how to manage his or her cholesterol levels. The advice given by so many health care professionals has reached the state of a religious mantra that rarely gets questioned, lower your cholesterol levels or else.
Despite the ever-mounting data discrediting the entire premise on which the cholesterol theory is based, it remains stubbornly entrenched in the minds of the public, whether they are professionals or not.
Little or no mention is often given to the consequences of having too low a cholesterol level.
Cholesterol is Good!
Yes, you heard correctly. Cholesterol is necessary for the biosynthesis of a wide range of cellular components. It acts as a cellular transporter delivering fat-soluble nutrients through the body as well as forming an important part of the cellular membrane preventing cells from becoming too fluid or too rigid.
Its a critical component of the myelin sheath covering nerve tissue facilitating the proper transmission of nerve impulses. Cholesterol is necessary for the production of bile acids, which aid our digestion as well as being the critical component in the bodys production of vitamin D which, in turn, plays an important role in maintaining calcium balance as well as bone health, building a strong immune systemand preventing cancer.
Cholesterol also acts as the primary substrate for the production of all steroid hormones including the sex hormones progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. Its effects translate into regulating mineral balance, regulating blood sugar, athletic performance, controlling blood pressure, building muscle mass along with maintaining ones libido.
This last point is worth remembering.
Cholesterol is a raw material used for building and repairing things that the body needs. If one lives in a neighborhood plagued by arsonists wreaking havoc, does it make sense to take the fire crews and emergency personnel off the streets.
Looking for the underlying reasons that may be contributing to the increased repair processes going on in the body such as free radical damage, heavy metals, or inflammatory agents would seem a much more valid approach and this writer would wager a life saving one.