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The Truth About Cholesterol

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Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 04:37 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Although over the past 30 years we have been indoctrinated into believing that high cholesterol levels raise the risk of having a heart attack, things are not as simple as that. First of all, it is important for all of us to know that cholesterol is a very important substance and that without it our bodies cannot manufacture, of all things, hormones.
 
Cholesterol is the precursor to hormones. If our bodies cannot manufacture them, we are left drained, exhausted, and badly out of balance. Cholesterol is the precursor to estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and many other hormones, which, when present in the proper balance and ratios, help us stay healthy and lead lives full of energy and vigor. If our cholesterol levels are low, so are the hormone precursors, like DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a complex substance with many responsibilities
 
Without cholesterol, we cannot make hormones and we deplete ourselves, become victims of our stress hormones, and are at increased risk of heart attack. So why the general fear of cholesterol and the cardiologists giving out prescriptions for statins like water?
 
Three decades ago, a connection — right or wrong — was made between high cholesterol and people with heart disease. This connection made the drug companies very happy so they could find one or many drugs to decrease cholesterol levels.
 
Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple, and in time the drug companies and the patients have been finding out the truth about cholesterol, heart disease, and statin drugs.
 
Cholesterol cannot dissolve in the blood and thus has to be carried by certain substances called lipoproteins. There are two types of these carrier proteins:
 
1. LDL: Low-density lipoproteins are also known as bad cholesterol because it is believed that LDL can transport fat into arterial walls, causing atherosclerosis. It is interesting to know that even though we test the blood for the amount of cholesterol in LDL by measuring LDL-C, the molecules of LDL are varied, and we don’t really know what the entire structure of LDL is and how much is damaging to our hearts. (For example, LDL-Pattern B is associated with higher incidence of heart disease than LDL-Pattern A.)
 
2. HDL: High-density lipoproteins are referred to as good cholesterol or healthy cholesterol because they can remove fat molecules from the cells that keep them in the walls of arteries, thus preventing atherosclerosis. Some experts believe HDL is like a scavenger and removes LDL and carries it back to the liver, where it is broken down and removed from the body. High levels of HDL protect us from heart disease and stroke, while low levels of HDL have been shown to increase risk of heart attack.

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Dr-Schwartz
Although over the past 30 years we have been indoctrinated into believing that high cholesterol levels raise the risk of having a heart attack, things are not as simple as that. First of all, it is important for all of us to know that cholesterol is a very important substance.
cholesterol, hormones, heart attack, DHEA
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2014-37-31
Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 04:37 PM
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