We hear all the time about "good" and "bad" cholesterol. These expressions are a load of rubbish, intended to demonise compounds that Humans can not live without. It appears to me the lemming-like rush to dish out statins and to make huge profits is completely out of whack with the facts.
Fact: Cholesterol is good for you. Without cholesterol you will wither and die. This is fact. This is why a cholesterol free diet and cholesterol lowering medications are associated with declining health.
Fact: Statins do not increase life expectancy or improve quality of life. To the contrary: Statins cause harm
Fact: Most of the cholesterol floating about your body is manufactured by your own body.
Question: If cholesterol is so "bad" then how come the body makes so much of the stuff?
Fact: Hormomes, your cell structure and thousands of biological actions are dependent on a ready supply of cholesterol. The sure way to reduce a randy man's libido is to mess with his cholesterol and, hence, testosterone.
Fact: Cholesterol does not harm the body. Oxidised cholesterol is what does the damage.
Good chlolesterol - Bad cholesterol: What's the real difference?
HDL (high density lipoprotein) is more stable than LDL (low density lipoprotein) and therefore more likely to oxidise and cause harm. LDL is not "Bad". LDL is merely less stable than HDL. LDL is equally, if not more important for health than HDL since it is essential for production of the steroid hormones.
Both HDL and LDL are "Good" cholesterol. There is no such thing as "Bad" cholesterol.
There is no place in medical science for emotive terms like "good" and "bad". In this case, we should be using "stable" and "less stable".
How do you prevent cholesterol from oxidising (going rancid)?
Prevent oxidising by encouraging rapid turnover of the cholesterol in your body and creating conditions that reduce the rate of odidisation of fats:
- Regular exercise
- Lots of sunlight on your body (UVB radiation converts cholesterol into cholecalciferol which is in turn converted into steriodal hormomes like testosterone, adrenalin, thyroxine and oestrogen)
- Have fat antioxidants circulating, including L-Carnitine, vitamin E and vitamin C
- Eat a wide range of healthy fats while avoiding hydrogenated and homogenised fats and oils
If you are diabetic or have elevated blood sugar levels: It is the oxidative stress on fats in your body, including the cholesterols that causes much of the damage to your blood vessels and, hence, the cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases associated with raised blood sugar levels.
Medicated or not, supplement daily with the nutrients that are known to reduce the oxidative stress on fats. This especially includes L-carnitine, as well as the others mentioned here. For more about L-Carnitine and its importance for diabetics, please read this article here.
Do you have a question?
Email Gary: gary at myotec.co.nz (Replace the "at" with @ and remove spaces). Please include any relevant background information to your question.