The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
(March 3, 2011)
No, not the movie – cholesterol!
Everyone talks about cholesterol. Everyone is worried about the level. Everyone is afraid of it. Well, maybe not everyone, but most people who has done blood tests would probably also have gotten cholesterol results. Why is there so much talk about cholesterol?
I’ve already told about Ansel Keyes who faked his research. He claimed that high cholesterol and saturated fat are the main causes of heart disease. When he published his theory in the 50s a lot of scientists did not agree with him. But – with a little (a lot of) funding – after ten years suddenly all of the establishment followed his findings. And we were taught that high cholesterol is dangerous, it’s forbidden to eat red meat and butter should be avoided.
Some facts about cholesterol:
- The body needs cholesterol to build cells. Cholesterol is found in both the cell membrane and inside the cell.
- Cholesterol is essential in cell permeability regulation. (I.e. how easily different materials can enter and exit the cell.)
- Cholesterol is essential for the myelin layer of nerve cells.
- Cholesterol participates in the production of hormones such as cortisol and various sex hormones.
- Cholesterol affects the bile production and some vitamins like A, D, E and K.
- The body makes its own cholesterol and the amount produced depends on the amount we eat.
- People with low cholesterol has the same degrees of arterial blockages as people with high cholesterol.
- No correlation has been shown between the amount of cholesterol or saturated fat in food and the blockage of arteries or heart.
- High cholesterol in itself does not constitute an increased risk of heart disease. Other risk factors like smoking, obesity, diabetes type 2 and so on are also required.
- HDL and LDL are in fact the containers which transports the cholesterol in the blood anywhere in the body.
And now the film becomes a series 😉