Long Term Studies Disprove Cholesterol Myth
Big change: the removal of the cholesterol warning! The US departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are expected to endorse this in 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Source
The Supposed Dangers of Cholesterol
These “dangers” have fallen one by one and now it’s scientifically proven that this substance is actually necessary and helpful to our bodies.
The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz, points out the flaws in the original Ancel Keys study; how saturated fat has been a healthy human staple for thousands of years, and how the low-fat craze has resulted in excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, which has resulted in increased inflammation and disease. Teicholz tells the Wall Street Journal:
“There has never been solid evidence for the idea that these [saturated] fats cause disease.”
The Triple Whammy
- In 2012, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology examined the health and lifestyle habits of more than 52,000 adults ages 20 to 74, concluding that women with “high cholesterol” had a 28 percent lower mortality risk than women with “low cholesterol.”
- Researchers also found that, if you’re a woman, your risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke are higher with lower cholesterol levels.
- In 2013, a prominent London cardiologist, Aseem Malhotra argued in the British Medical Journal that you should ignore advice to reduce your saturated fat intake, because it’s actually increasing your risk for obesity and heart disease.
- Then in March 2014, a new meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, using data from nearly 80 studies and more than a half million people, found that those who consume higher amounts of saturated fat have no more heart disease than those who consume less.
- There was no less heart disease among those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including both olive oil and corn oil.
Sugar Does the Damage
Fat was blamed as the cause of heart disease, when all along it’s been sugar.
A high-sugar diet raises your risk for heart disease by promoting metabolic syndrome—a cluster of health conditions that includes high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, liver dysfunction, and visceral fat accumulation.
Insulin resistance is caused by sugars/fructose, refined flours, and industrial seed oils.
The average American gets inadequate exercise, suffers from chronic stress and sleep deprivation, is exposed to environmental toxins, and has poor gut health – which leads to chronic disease.
Cholesterol Is Both Beneficial and Necessary
Your body needs adequate cholesterol to maintain health. Now there is strong evidence that people have a higher risk for heart attacks by having their cholesterol levels driven too low, as is being done by drugs like statins.
Cholesterol plays many important roles including building your cell membranes, and cell metabolism.
Just as your body has requirements for cholesterol, it also needs saturated fats for proper function. To suggest that saturated fats are suddenly harmful to us makes no sense, especially from an evolutionary perspective.
Cholesterol is necessary to make cell membranes, hormones, to help absorb calcium, carry the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, to convert carotene into vitamin A. It is also the best fuel for the brain, and it acts as an antiviral. Cholesterol helps regulate appetite, and boosts the immune system against invaders such as cancer. Source
Cholesterol is Vital for the Brain
While your brain represents about 2-3% of your total body weight, 25% of the cholesterol in your body is found in your brain, where it plays important roles in such things as membrane function, acts as an antioxidant, and serves as the raw material from which we are able to make things like progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and vitamin D.
In fact, in a recent study available on the NIH Public Access site, researchers showed that in the elderly, the best memory function was observed in those with the highest levels of cholesterol. Low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk for depression and death. Source
Dysregulation of cholesterol homeostasis in the brain is increasingly being linked to chronic neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC) and Smith-Lemli Opitz syndrome (SLOS). Source