Thursday, May 13, 2010
Cholesterol Myth (Part 2)
Cholesterol has a very important function in the body. It acts like Elastoplasts or a Band Aid. When there is an injury, cholesterol rushes to the site of the damage. It coats the injured area in an emergency protective layer. This is the same as when you cut yourself. You apply a Band Aid as a protective covering that keeps dirt and bacteria away from the wound and this protection is the first step in the healing process.
Cholesterol gives a protective covering to the injury and then collagen and other re-building blocks come along and start the healing process. Interestingly, cholesterol is transported to the emergency site by LDL, or low density lipoprotein. In tests to determine cholesterol levels, LDL is labeled as the bad guy. The picture is a little out of focus here! Yes, blood fats can be factor in cardiovascular disease, but to label LDL as villain of the piece is bit like blaming the ambulance for the accident. Conversely, HDL, or high density lipoprotein is put in the role of the hero. HDL is simply transportation medium. It takes the cholesterol back to the liver after it has completed its task at the wound site. When it comes to cholesterol the real issue is the size of the molecule. Both HDL and LDL cholesterol molecules are very large, carbon-hydrogen-oxygen chains containing 27 carbon atoms, 46 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. However, the size of the molecules can vary. This is an artery clogging danger area, but as far as I know there is no test that distinguishes between the two.
As an emergency protection device, cholesterol levels will rise after an injury. If you go to the dentist and have a tooth extracted, your cholesterol levels will increase as it goes off to heal the cavity or if you fall down and cut yourself the same thing will occur. If there is inflammation, a cut or extracted tooth causes inflammation. This is the body’s attempt to heal itself. However, there are cases of chronic inflammation where the body is striving to heal or rid itself of an infection over a protracted period of time. Chronic inflammation can be caused by a host of differing reasons, but the upshot is that cholesterol plays an important part in the healing of inflammation. If the inflammation is not healed, and simply persists, then cholesterol levels will increase. To address the issue you have to go and heal the inflammation once and for all. If an injury is slow to heal, your cholesterol levels will be elevated. It is then a good idea to take supplements to help the immune system do its work properly. The supplementation issue is a thorny one, and one day we will take a look at it, but my suggestion would be to take a powerful anti-oxidant and overall detoxer like Alpha-Lipoic Acid with Co-Enzyme Q10 to give the overloaded liver a helping hand. I would add to this some natural Vitamin C. No ascorbic acid is not natural. It’s made in the lab!
There is, however, a condition that gives rise to continuing inflammation and prevents the body from healing itself. It is this which more often than not is the root cause of elevated cholesterol levels, and that ignored substance is insulin. Yes, elevated insulin levels are the root cause of chronic inflammation. Poor diet, and too little exercise are causing more and more people to become resistant to the storage hormone insulin. This condition causes weight gain, high blood pressure and late onset diabetes. It is blood sugar an insulin levels that are the principal cause of heart disease and not cholesterol. This is where you need to go to answer the thorny question of hypercholesterolemia. That comes in a later blog.
Peace of I