Cholesterol is vital to human health because every cell membrane in the body, including those in the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines and heart is made from cholesterol. All of the steroid hormones in your body, including the sex and adrenal hormones, are synthesised from cholesterol. Vitamin D and bile acid are also made from cholesterol. In fact, cholesterol production is so important that your liver and intestines make about 80% of the cholesterol you need to stay healthy. The synthesis and use of cholesterol is tightly regulated in order to prevent over-accumulation and abnormal deposition within the body.
Normal healthy adults make cholesterol at a rate of approximately 1-2g/day and consume approximately 0.3g/day. Your body maintains a constant level of cholesterol in the blood (150–200 mg/dL) and this is maintained mainly by controlling the level production. So the level of cholesterol synthesis is regulated by the dietary intake of cholesterol. The greatest proportion of cholesterol is used in bile acid synthesis.
If you consume too much cholesterol your body makes less, if you don't eat foods rich in cholesterol your body makes more.
Synthesis of cholesterol begins with the transport of acetyl-CoA from within the cell mitochondria to the cytosol (the aqueous component of the cytoplasm of a cell) where a complex series of reactions take place to form cholesterol.
Cholesterol is essential for the production of the steroidal sex hormones estrogen and progesterone in women and testosterone in men, and for the production of the adrenal hormones cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol is involved in regulating blood sugar levels and in immune and inflammatory responses, and adolsterone is important for retaining salt and water in the body.
Cholesterol is involved in the production of bile salts, which are produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile salts help in the digestion and absorption of fat and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Pharmaceutical companies and complicit politicians have altered the definition of high cholesterol in order to increase the number of people who are eligible to take cholesterol medications such as statins.
Good and bad cholesterol?
There is no such thing as good and bad cholesterol. Low density lipo-proteins (LDL) are called called ‘bad’ cholesterol and high density lipo-proteins (HDL) are called ‘good’ cholesterol. HDL and LDL are not even cholesterol, they are lipo-proteins that move cholesterol around the body - essentially just carriers.
LDL transports cholesterol from the liver to the bloodstream so that cholesterol can perform all its vital functions. Calling LDL ‘bad’ is very misleading. LDL particles can oxidise in the bloodstream and irritate blood vessels. But many things such as poly-unsaturated fats oxidise to cause issues. Fat oxidation is something that our bodies can deal with via antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. These prevents oxidative free radical damage. Consuming vitamin C and vitamin E rich foods, or taking C & E supplements would seem to be the perfectly safe alternative to the expensive drugs that big pharma push. HDL the so called ‘good’ cholesterol is the lipo-protein that transports cholesterol from the bloodstream back to the liver.
There are also several types of LDL. The main ones are LDL Pattern A which covers larger LDL particles and LDL pattern B which covers small dense particles that are more problematic. Interestingly, the smaller pattern B particles tend to predominate when blood lipids are high and HDL cholesterol is low - this is very common in diets that are low fat & high carbohydrate.
Statins are a fraud
Cholesterol has been demonised thanks to a massive effort from the pharmaceutical industry. They have pushed statins to the extent that doctors are prescribing these dangerous drugs as prevention in healthy patients. Statin drugs were originally prescribed for the prevention of a second heart attack or stroke, or those with a clear risk of heart disease. But now doctors hand them out for prevention, even if patients are healthy. Many of the key studies used to justify this hike in statin use were flawed and biased.
The data was deceptively reported to hype the drugs’ benefits while minimizing their risks ("In the Jupiter statin trial, the public and healthcare workers were informed of a 54% reduction in heart attacks, when the actual effect in reduction of coronary events was less than 1%" - Mercola)
11.8 million people in England (37% of adults aged 30 to 84) exceed the threshold set by NICE for prescribing statins. 9.8 million of these are healthy, with no history of cardiovascular events and are eligible for treatment simply because they exceed the risk threshold set by NICE (a 10% risk of experiencing such a cardiovascular event in the next 10 years. The USA figures are even more staggering, with 1 in 4 people over 45 on statins.
Saturated fat is not the enemy
We have been told for year that eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. "Stay away from butter, cheese coconut oil, eggs and red meats" has been the flawed mantra that still persists today. Despite this idea being so deeply ingrained in the minds of people and health professionals, there is no clear link. The benefits of saturated fats in terms of micro-nutrients, far out-weigh the possible negatives.