What is cholesterol used for?
Cholesterol is one of the essential constituents of the cell membrane; it is therefore essential for life. Part of the cholesterol is the source of hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, estradiol, testosterone, but also D vitamin. However, paradoxically enough, it has a very bad image among the general public due to a fragmented discourse that has made it the number one public enemy of our health. It is its excess, associated with a series of several phenomena, that can make it a harmful molecule for the body.
Up to 70% of cholesterol is made by the body. It is mainly the liver that synthesizes it in the body. Food provides about 30%.
Cholesterol is not soluble in the blood and therefore cannot really circulate there. That's why it combines with lipoproteins also produced by the liver, which are distinguished on the basis of their density. LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) are among the most well-known lipoproteins.
LDL play a fundamental role in the transport of cholesterol. They carry it from the liver to peripheral tissues such as the blood vessels where its large accumulation contributes to the creation of the atheromatous plaque.
HDL carry cholesterol in the opposite direction, from the peripheral tissues to the liver where its excess will be eliminated by the bile.
When all functions are performed normally, the excess cholesterol is dissolved by the blood serum, endowed with cholesterolytic properties; it is then eliminated. The disruption of certain endocrine functions (notably hepato-pancreatic) leads to the precipitation of cholesterol, resulting in atherosclerosis.
Promoting liver functions helps to regulate the normalization of cholesterol levels. We can suggest for this purpose the consumption of black olives, virgin and organic olive oil, lemon, chicory, dandelion, leek, radish, grape, peach, cherries, strawberry etc. Black or pink radish juice before each meal is favorable. You can also consume a tablespoon of olive oil with the juice of half a lemon on an empty stomach.
There is actually only one cholesterol that is linked to different "carriers" in different cases: HDL, LDL, etc.
Although we have seen that the regulation of cholesterol is done by the liver, among other things, dietary errors can contribute to increased cholesterol:
- Too much consumption of foods high in cholesterol.
- Unbalanced consumption too rich in saturated fatty acids: fatty meats, cold meats, bacon, tallow butter, lard etc.
- Consumption of foods high in cholesterol, fat, calories in the evening rather than in the morning. Indeed, the start of the day is a more favorable period for the regulation of cholesterol according to different metabolisms in the body (chrononutrition).
Polyunsaturated fats like sunflower, walnut, rapeseed help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated olive oil also has a positive effect on lowering blood cholesterol. These oils work primarily on lowering LDL or the so-called “bad cholesterol.” HDL remains virtually unaffected.
The controversial red rice yeast, used sparingly for short periods of time and in combination with other molecules like Q10 coenzyme may help regulate cholesterol really in excess.
Consuming shitake, oats, barley or barley grass powder, which are rich in beta glucan from the polysaccharide family, helps to regulate cholesterol. The action of β-glucans on lipid metabolism is mainly linked to their viscosifying properties as well as their ability to sequester cholesterol and bile salts and then reject them by the body.
The organism intoxication by pollution, the food of poor quality due to the contribution of different molecules (xeno estrogen etc.), the lack of protective molecules, vitamins, trace elements, contribute to oxidize cholesterol, but also to damage the intima or the lining of the arteries which will more easily retain cholesterol. An association between inflammatory process, oxidation of LDL and atherosclerosis has been suggested by various scientific studies.
The regulation of cholesterol is not done by hunting products containing cholesterol. But rather by choosing good fats and first cold pressed virgin and organic vegetable oils. It is also important to ensure good liver function through a balanced and healthy diet, avoiding refined products rich in synthetic additives and various toxicants.
We can observe people consuming a few foods high in cholesterol but whose blood tests indicate a very high cholesterol level and accelerated vascular aging. At the same time, some people eat a good ration of foods high in cholesterol and have no cardiovascular problems with very good blood tests.
The excess of high calorie foods like cookies, cakes, dried fruits, bread etc., despite the lack of cholesterol consumption in the form of eggs, dairy products, meats, fish, etc., can promote cholesterol levels well above reasonable levels in different people. One of the reasons for this is the transformation of excess calories into cholesterol and pathogenic saturated fatty acids, especially when there is a lack of associated physical activity. Several experiments have shown that calorie reduction not only helps reduce weight but also regulates excess cholesterol and cardiovascular symptoms.
Information about the author :
Eric Darche / Hygienist-Naturopath, author of 9 books, lecturer.
Creator of an online naturopathic and hygienic school: ENHED
Office consultations at Auzon, in Auvergne, or by Skype or by phone: 09 50 24 05 34.