Cholesterol has long been accused for causing heart diseases for decades now. But even with so much changes to our diets and medications, the rate of heart disease continues to climb year after year.
What could we be getting wrong?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of your body. Without you could not live. Cholesterol is vital for many functions in your body.
Cholesterol is involved in producing cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. It also vital for your neurological function and helps in the formation of your memories. You body would not be able to make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone, and a host of other vital hormones without cholesterol.
It’s so important in fact that your liver produces Cholesterol!
Many people are still be under the false impression that eating cholesterol-rich foods will cause your cholesterol levels to skyrocket and increase your risk of heart disease. You might even be avoiding butter, grass-fed meat and eggs for fear of consuming too much cholesterol.
But here’s the thing, it has been estimated that only 20 percent of your blood cholesterol levels come from your diet. The rest of the cholesterol in your body is produced by your liver. Which are produced because your body needs them!
According to Chris Masterjohn, who received his PhD in nutritional sciences from the University of Connecticut:
“In 70% of the population, foods rich in cholesterol such as eggs cause only a subtle increase in cholesterol levels or none at all. In the other 30%, these foods do cause a rise in blood cholesterol levels.
Despite this, research has never established any clear relationship between the consumption of dietary cholesterol and the risk for heart disease… Raising cholesterol levels is not necessarily a bad thing either.”
You might find this surprising, but there’s no such thing as good or bad cholesterol. There is only one type of cholesterol.
HDL and LDL are actually lipoproteins that are used to transport cholesterol around your body through the blood.
Ron Rosedale, MD (widely considered to be the leading anti-aging doctor in the US), explains this as such:
“Cholesterol is just cholesterol. It combines with other fats and proteins to be carried through the bloodstream, since fat and our watery blood do not mix very well. Fatty substances therefore must be shuttled to and from our tissues and cells using proteins. LDL and HDL are forms of proteins and are far from being just cholesterol.”
When getting a cholesterol test, you’d get your HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, Triglycerides level and Total Cholesterol level.
What’s missing from these that you should know are the size of your LDL particles and also your LDL particles (LDL-P) numbers.
Why you ask?
Yes, this could get really confusing. So what is the difference between LDL-C and LDL-P.
You might get a better understanding with this analogy:
Imagine your bloodstream is like a river. The lipoproteins are like boats that carry passengers around (your body) and cholesterol and fats are the passengers in the boats. Scientists used to believe that the number of passengers in the boats (i.e. concentration of cholesterol in the LDL particle) is the driving factor in the development of heart disease. More recent studies however, suggest that it’s the number of boats on the river (i.e. LDL particles) that matters most.
Try to get tests that measure your HDL-P and LDL-P (number of boats) as opposed to the usual HDL-C and LDL-C (number of passengers in boats). This is because it is the number of boats that are either beneficial (in the case of HDL) or potentially harmful (in the case of LDL). So it’ll give you a far better assessment of your heart health profile than your total cholesterol.
However if that’s not available, you should look at the following:
Heart diseases result when normal functions in your body goes wrong. Primarily from inflammation, imbalances of insulin and blood sugar, and excess oxidative stress. With inflammation being the key contributor to heart diseases (find out more by clicking HERE).
To reduce the risk of heart disease, you need to keep these key biological functions in balance. There is no doubt that your genetic predisposition plays a role. However it is ultimately the interaction between your genes, lifestyle and the environment that determines your outcome in life.
There is overwhelming evidence that GSH combats oxidative stress and inflammation to your cardiovascular system. These damages when occurred over time sets the stage for a heart attack or stroke.
Your heart is the principal beneficiary of glutathione’s oxidative and anti inflammatory protection.
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