Cholesterol… Let’s Break It Down

burk001 Cholesterol... Lets Break It Down
In 1924 one of the first experiments took place regarding cholesterol. Scientists fed large amounts of cholesterol to bunnies and shortly there after the bunnies arteries got clogged and they died, the result of this: If people eat lots of cholesterol they to will die. Now back then and even today this type or research flies, people hear it, believe it, and practice it.

The problem with this experiment, which people are not aware of, was that the cholesterol fed to the bunnies was already damaged, it was oxidized, and two other important factors to point out is that bunnies have a different digestive system than humans, and secondly, they’re vegetarians which gives them no way of dealing with dietary cholesterol.

So it seems the entire experiment (which people, science and doctors still currently practice from) is in-accurate regarding the consumption of cholesterol into the human body. And this is what people listen to. Well guess who else listened? The vegetable oil industry, so they created a well marketed campaign that did nothing more than scare people like you and I away from animal fat, and in turn sold us all there miracle replacement fat. (This includes: palm oil, corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, to name just a few)

Yes, it again seems it all about the money. Of course many others joined this gala event jumping aboard and widening the gap by saying that to much animal fat in diet would create to much cholesterol, and one would surely get a heart attack and drop dead during the greatest points of there life. This now opened the market up to several more industries including the medical.

They couldn’t have been farther from the truth if you ask me. Did anybody check the facts here? Because if they did, they would have noticed that in the early parts of the twentieth century when heart disease was pretty rare the percentage of animal fat intake was over 83 percent! Now compare that if you will to the 58 percent today. So what’s my fuss? It’s the fact that heart disease is the number one killer today, and they convinced everyone that they were providing a solution. I don’t know about you but I feel a little cheated here.

Let’s now take a look at what cholesterol really is? Do you know? I’ve asked a lot of people that very questions, and do you know what the answer is 9 out of 10 times? They say, I’m not really sure, but I know it’s a bad thing. The fact is cholesterol is not a bad thing, quite the contrary. Cholesterol (an alcohol, not a fat) is needed to keep our cells healthy, to make sure the brain and nervous systems function properly, and to help create among other things, sex hormones, and the truth is, if you don’t get enough cholesterol in your diet your body will create more, in fact three times more than we actually eat.

But here we are, led to believe the mere sight of just an egg alone will raise our cholesterol levels. What most don’t know is that if cholesterol levels are to low in the body then there are other side effects one will begin to suffer such as depression, aggressive behavior, and in some cases, suicide. Further studies also show that people with low levels of cholesterol are at a much great risk of getting cancer!

A study done in Norway actually proved that higher levels of cholesterol appear to protect women from getting breast cancer, and a Harvard 2002 study showed that there was no significant association between intake of meat or dairy products and risk of breast cancer. In terms of heart disease there is no greater risk at cholesterol levels of 300 than at 180. I’m sure by now you’re calling me crazy, your doing your best to de-bunk my write up, and why not I could be getting ready to sell you a cure all, perfect balanced cholesterol solution, but I’m not. Instead I’m going to take you a little further down the rabbit hole and allow you to do something the, hired, on payroll doctors, scientists, researchers and vegetable fat industry haven’t allow you to do your own opinion.

As we dive a little deeper let’s take a closer look at what really clogs the arteries, after all that’s what everyone’s concerned about right?

Here we go & Cholesterol is transported through the blood by a lipoprotein, which is a complex molecule. There are two major types of lipoproteins, (LDL) low density lipoprotein, and (HDL) high density lipoprotein. The high density lipoprotein carries less cholesterol than the low density lipoprotein, and acts like a scavenger by the way it picks up excess cholesterol, and with the help of plenty of fiber and lecithin in the diet, sends it back to the liver for processing and then excretion.

Let’s now look at the low density lipoproteins (LDL) this would be the bad cholesterol some referee to. Low density lipoproteins attract the most attention because they attract the attention of free radicals, those would be those nervy, pesty, cell-damaging particles that attempt to oxidize the cholesterol and fat held by the low density lipoproteins. The high density lipoproteins seem to travel along without being noticed or damaged by free radicals. This would be why it’s better to have a higher concentration of this so-called good cholesterol. With a higher concentration there is less low density lipoproteins around to be oxidized.

Now when cholesterol is oxidized, it among other things, damages the artery wall, which adds to other injuries created by free radicals, pollution, smoke, stress, aluminum, fluoride, and rancid or hydrogenated oils. The immune system now takes note and rushes to the scene and does it’s best to repair the problems by creating a patch of foam that accumulates more cholesterol, calcium, platelets and other debris. This now in turn forms a pathogenic plaque (capable of producing disease) that gets larger and brittle over the years, which thus leads to the restriction of blood flow to the heart, and the ending result is usually a heart attack and in some instances even death. It seems cholesterol just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let me point one thing out again. Cholesterol creates no harm unless is becomes oxidized. Now you know that the cholesterol that our bodies make, and that we get from traditional foods, does not cause heart disease.

PART II on it’s way.
-Burke Bryant

  • Mark O

    Heart disease was more rare 100 years ago because old men were more rare 100 years ago! Heart disease rates go up w/ crappier American diet AND the removal of other causes of disease and death due to better better medical science, such that people live longer and clog more arteries. Sure, manufactured foods arriving after WW2 containing transfats are problems too which implicates processed vs. fresh farm raised beef for example one might eat off their farm in 1910. These kind of articles perpetuate myths that there are single point causes and effects by using "facts" to support already decided upon conclusions and are more dangerous than helpful.

  • http://www.burkebryant.com Burke Bryant

    Mark,
    thanks for the comment, you have inspired me to follow up with an article on the downfalls of modern medicine ;)
    Respectfully,
    -Burke

  • Candace

    Hey Burke,

    Thank you for explaining cholesterol in a way that I can understand. I've heard about cholesterol most of my adult life and really had no idea what it was all about.

    Thanks again and I look forward to future articles.

  • Mark O

    I look forward to your new article! I appreciate people like yourself doing these kinds of analyses. I do get frustrated as I try to create my best strategy when for ex. conclusions seem to be drawn from facts out of context. There are definitely pitfalls of modern medicine, however it must be acknowledged that there’s a bigger market for bypassing old men’s arteries or for cholesterol medicine because there are more old men! I think about statistics that say more people die riding bicycles than flying airplanes. It’s supposed to make you feel better until you dig a layer deeper and realize there are orders of magnitude more people riding bikes than flying, so in relation the first statistic is misleading! People look to articles like yours to make life or death decisions essentially, the information you present could be helpful or it could be dangerous. I am a fan, please keep it coming, just taking exception to some stuff you cited …

  • Suzanne

    Putting the plethora of spelling and grammatical errors aside, your article makes it absolutely clear that you do not have the credentials to back the statements you make. You’ve obviously done your best to make sense of the few studies you’ve seen, but without a strong understanding of nutrition, statistics, and medicine, you will not be able to discern plain old spin from valuable research. Know your limits.

    For your next article, I suggest writing about something you have more knowledge about. You’ll be a lot less likely to accidentally do harm that way.

    -Suzanne

  • http://www.leonardodicaprio.com Green Team

    Suzanne,
    He seems to be dead on in my book… Care to back up your statement?

  • danny

    its interesting that modern medicine makes a big thing of things such as high cholesterol because they have a “cure” for it (unlike other risk factors for heart disease that are as important but for which there is no patented “cure” such as raised CRP or homocysteine levels. i have also seen the recommended cholesterol level become increasingly lower as time goes on. The curve where high cholesterol and heart disease risk rises exponentially at around 5.5mmol/l (sorry dont know the US conversion) but we are told that now 5.0 is optimal (even less if you have heart disease), and i think a certain proportion of people are worse off on cholesterol lowering medication (because of effects on CoQ10 levels and possible nerve defects and muscle pain) than if they stayed off it. however, your article ignores the fact that raised cholesterol DOES increase the risk of heart disease above say 5.5 some of your facts are right, and the comments you have had are valid, some are not

  • http://www.burkebryant.com Burke Bryant

    Danny,
    Thanks for the comment. I could write a book on this subject. It’s an area most now nothing about, and is extremely facinating as well. I did what I could with an article, trying to pack as much as I could into it while also making it a worthy and simplistic for all. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and yes there are many, many things I did not include, perhaps I will follow up with part II soon. Thanks again. -Burke Bryant

  • Alan Martin

    Until you study exactly what you propose, have it validated and checked over, all you are perpetuating an opinion. Caveat emptor.



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