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A Look at Cholesterol

We have been talking about taking responsibility for our personal health in the past few posts.  Heart Disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity have been shown to be 75 % preventable.  So the burden is on us to do the preventing.  By the time we get a diagnosis of a disease, the prevention part is long past!

Cholesterol is always in the forefront of advertising and on your doctor’s mind.  One reason is that in 2007, it was estimated that between 30 to 36 million Americans were taking statin drugs to control their cholesterol.  Those prescriptions added up to about $34 BILLION per year!  No wonder it is getting so much attention.  $34Billion a year in revenue is a good take.  So the advertising is working.  We are taking those statin drugs.

But we need Cholesterol for our bodies to function properly.  Did you know that!?!  Our bodies manufacture Cholesterol for several important functions.  Did you know that the outer membrane of each of our cells is formed from cholesterol?  Cholesterol also controls the permeability of the cell walls.  This permeability allows various substances to flow into the cells.

Cholesterol is also used to make hormones which carry chemical signals to our bodies. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone as well are the adrenal hormone cortisol are all created from cholesterol.

And, did you know that Cholesterol is also important for the production of bile in the liver?  The bile is used by the liver to break down fats and helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the intestines.  It is used to insulate nerve fibers so the nerve signals travel properly from place to place.

So we need cholesterol! But we need to be careful that we don’t have too much or too little.  There needs to be a proper balance between the different types of cholesterol for our bodies to function at top form.  We will talk more about that balance in our next post!  Stay Well!

One Comment

  1. mal says:

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