Cholesterol, which in the past used to cause fear, is now being reconsidered for its beneficial effects.
Cholesterol is from the ancient Greek words “choles” + “stereos,” meaning bile and solids.
In layman’s terms, cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the body, specifically the brain, blood, bile and liver.
1) It is essential to steroid hormones, nerve function and other body processes. Normal cholesterol flows throughout the body.
It is a medical fact that sex hormones (female: estrogen and progesterone; male: testosterone) depend on cholesterol for their production.
So does cortisone, a steroid hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress, injury and inflammation.
2) An essential structural component of all animal cell membranes, cholesterol is vital for cell life.
3) It helps in memory and neurological health.
4) It is a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids and vitamin D.
You might ask, with all the benefits cholesterol provides, why was it considered bad?
Debunking the myth
In the book “Bottom Line’s Prescription Alternatives” by Earl L. Mindell, RPh, PhD, with Virginia Hopkins, MA, the story of “cholesterol as bad” was mentioned.
In the 1970s, a well-known Seven Countries study cited a diagnosis: High blood cholesterol significantly increases the risks of heart attack. The medical community followed by adopting therapies to lower cholesterol.
According to “The Cholesterol Myths,” a book by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, a Swedish physician and researcher, in the MRFIT (Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial) used in the study involving 360,000 men, 98.7 percent of the highest cholesterol group didn’t die from heart attack, while 99.7 percent of the group with the lowest cholesterol also didn’t die from heart attack.
The difference between the two groups is only 1 percent.
The conclusion of many health experts, including cardiologist Dr. Chris Enriquez of Rapha Health (tel. 7573335; www.raphahealth.ph) is that the diet-heart hypothesis is wrong and that other things can lead to heart disease, including stress, heavy-metal pollution, synthetic food additives and hormonal imbalance, which cause inflammation in the body.
The only time cholesterol is bad is when it is oxidized.
Diabetes, liver and kidney disease, and hypothyroidism can cause high levels of cholesterol.
The general advice is that the body needs to have cholesterol. So, whatever it is you intend to do, do not eliminate it completely.
By the way, do you know that low levels of cholesterol are associated with depression, suicide and lung cancer in women?
If cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, what actually does? Here they are:
A diet that is low in antioxidant-rich food. The only way to fight the oxidation of fat is to take antioxidants through nutritional food and supplements.
Low glutathione levels. The master antioxidant glutathione is vital. Low levels compromise the body’s ability to fight free radicals.
High homocystine levels. This condition is caused by a deficiency in vitamin B complex.
Low magnesium levels. Weak heart muscles are associated with a deficiency in the mineral magnesium.
Lack of exercise. Living a sedentary lifestyle raises the risk factors of heart disease.
Stress. When stress levels are up, the immune system is down.
Depression. Severe negative emotions have a physical effect on the heart.
Egg, the complete protein
Since 1961, the public has been warned against eating eggs. Thus began the egg white-only diet craze.
But eating a whole egg is really good for you. It is actually called the complete protein. Eggs contain vitamins A, B2, B12, D, E, biotin, choline, folic acid, iodine, iron, lutein, phosphorus, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein.
In 2013, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology viewed the evidence against eating eggs as weak.
Antioxidants, a heart-saver, are found in various food, herbs, teas and vitamins:
Ginkgo biloba—from the tree of the same name which helps in blood circulation
Glutathione—this protein has one job: to remove free radicals
Green tea—a polyphenol which raises good cholesterol
PCO—procyanidolic oligomers, bioflavonoids in grape seed, citrus peels, cranberries, peanuts
Vitamin E—a heart-friendly vitamin found in eggs, dark-green leafy vegetables, butter
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)—a heart protector which lowers blood pressure
Hawthorn berries—an ancient heart tonic
Carnitine—the amino acid which strengthens the heart
Magnesium—maintains normal blood pressure
This week’s affirmation:“The best in me triumphs.”