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Cholesterol - Why It's NOT the Culprit

Cholesterol has been demonized as if it's the devil in molecular form.  But guess what - it's NOT.  Here's what is...

The Nourishing Company

    Volume V   # 76    Copyright 2014        All Rights Reserved

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Cholesterol numbers are frequently checked as part of routine health care.  That's because high cholesterol statistics and high incidence of heart attacks and strokes were associated together.  Therefore it was thought that the one - high cholesterol - CAUSED the other.  But guess what!  High cholesterol is NOT the culprit.  Here are some essential facts you need to know to protect your health.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is sterol: a waxy lipid (meaning fat) compound.  Whereas fatty acids have a molecular chain structure, sterols such as cholesterol have a molecular ring structure. Found in animal tissues, it performs a variety of essential bodily functions, and is vital to physical well-being.  

For example, it facilitates both the absorption and the transportation of fatty acids. It is essential in bile formation, which in turn is needed to digest fat.

It's also a fundamental building block for a variety of hormones.  All  steroid hormones including adrenal hormones (cortisol, cortisone and aldosterone) and sex hormones (progesterone, estrogens and testosterone) are made downstream from cholesterol.

Additionally, it plays an essential role in the function of your brain, immune system and heart.

What Is "Normal" Cholesterol?

Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. Current standards define desirable total cholesterol levels as less than 200 mg/dL, with 200-239 mg/dL defined as borderline high and 240 mg/dL and above high. 

It is worth noting both that these standards have recently been lowered, and also that they were defined after initial studies which were conducted only on men.   It remains to be seen whether the cholesterol levels defined as normal for the male body are actually best for a woman, and also what cholesterol levels are best at various stages of her hormonal journey. 

Meanwhile, suffice it to say that men's hormone requirements are much different than women's, which have a different biochemistry and metabolism. Women's bodies need to respond to variations in hormonal production requirements, a fact that may seem obvious, but which has not been recognized in many "scientific" studies, particularly earlier ones.  In fact it took considerable political lobbying by women to get the U.S. Congress to require that federally funded studies include women, a law which did not come into being until the 1990's.

It is currently known that women's cholesterol levels vary both with age and with pregnancy and lactation. For example, during pregnancy, total cholesterol levels fall in the first trimester and then rise.  A range between 200 and 325 mg/dl is common.  High cholesterol levels during pregnancy and lactation are considered beneficial and even bothering to have levels checked during these life transitions is not currently recommended.

Then, women under the age of 40 actually have a lower average cholesterol score than men of the same age (183), but that average jumps to a borderline score of 194 between the ages of 40 and 49. By 50-59 years, cholesterol levels for women overtake those of men, coming in at ...[an] average of 219.

Does Lowering Cholesterol  Lower Heart Attacks and Strokes?

In a word, the answer to that question is no!  If that's not true, then what do high cholesterol levels indicate?  Are they pointing to some danger?

The answer to that question is yes!  Here's the essential fact you need to know if you have higher than 'normal' cholesterol levels (and you're not pregnant or nursing).

High cholesterol levels indicate that an inflammatory process is going on. In other words,

       High cholesterol levels are a symptom of a problem and
                                 not the problem itself.

In fact, high cholesterol levels are the body's response to a problem,
and that problem is inflammation. If inflammation is the problem, then how does one proceed?

To Lower Cholesterol Readings, Resolve Causes of Inflammation

A first and most likely place to start is with those pesky refined carbohydrates.  They set up arterial inflammation secondary to the liberation of high insulin levels. The cholesterol then comes rushing in to "stick" to the inflamed arterial walls, attempting to strengthen them and prepare to repair the damage.

Other causes of inflammation include:

     • a food intolerance,
     • heavy metal toxicity,
     • chemical toxicity,
     • immune challenges (including subclinical ones) such as    bacteria, yeast (especially common is systemic Candida), parasites, Lyme  vectors,
     • generalized toxic overload, among others.

Happily, as you address and resolve each inflammation-causing factor, you  will see the results in lowered blood cholesterol numbers.

                     This article was excerpted from Natural Female Hormone Care lessons. 
                          For a free questionnaire to assess  female hormone balance, go to

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Tags: high blood cholesterol blood cholesterol levels how to lower blood cholesterol what is blood cholesterol how to reduce blood cholesterol elevated blood cholesterol


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