The Truth about Bad and Good Cholesterol

By Adem Lewis / in , , /

This is Dr. Lam from One of the questions we get is that is it
true that we don’t necessarily have to consume cholesterol because the body makes cholesterol
on its own? To answer this question, we really have to
understand what cholesterol is all about and the good and the bad cholesterol. First of all, the body does need cholesterol
in order to make the many, many steroidal hormones. So cholesterol is a necessary precursor and
a building block of hormones including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol among many,
many others, DHEA as well. Now the body has its own ability to make cholesterol. It does not mean that the body does not need
cholesterol from external sources. The reason is because you have to understand
that when you take cholesterol from the food, for example, it doesn’t go straight to the
bloodstream. It actually gets broken down in the body and
then it is stored. Then when cholesterol is necessary, then the
storage is then broken down and then reconstituted into cholesterol and then made into steroidal
hormones. Just because you can make your own hormones
and make your own cholesterol in that respect, does not mean that you don’t need external
cholesterol. Of course, cholesterol is a general term that
actually comprises many, many different types of particles from good cholesterol such as
HDL to bad cholesterol such as LDL. Knowing the kind of cholesterol and what it
is for is critical. In the case of adrenal fatigue and metabolism,
the body needs cholesterol. The older a person gets, the more cholesterol
a person needs in order to serve as the building block of many steroidal hormones including
the sex hormones. That’s one reason that overly low cholesterol,
in other words total cholesterol of under 150 mg/dL, is actually not very healthy. Studies have shown that too low cholesterol
can cause cancer or be associated with certain types of cancer. Of course high cholesterol, when it is not
the right kind of cholesterol, can also be problematic. That includes LDL, for example. Cholesterol is a complex subject. It has many ramifications. For more information, you can go to my site, I’ve written a few articles on this including
one called “Big Fat Lie” and another one called “Cholesterol”. These are very physiological-based articles
that go through with you what cholesterol is all about, the mechanisms of how it’s
broken down and how it’s reconstituted, the importance of having the right balance,
and what does it really say about your cardiovascular system as well as your hormonal structure. Cholesterol is much more than just a plug
in the arteries. In the case of adrenal fatigue, you want to
have the cholesterol because if you don’t have the cholesterol as building block, you’re
not going to be able to make cortisol in sufficient amounts. It’s balance that is important. People that come to us with adrenal fatigue,
we do try our best to have them have a balanced cholesterol picture. Unfortunately, the advance of statin drugs
may have upset this picture because while it is good to prevent atherosclerosis, it
has issues because statin drugs can be harmful to the liver. One has to be cognizant of that. People who have cardiac disease or muscle
problems will find this problematic and you have to be very careful. All in all, cholesterol is a general term. It is good and it is bad. You need it but you want to have good cholesterol. You don’t want to have fat. You want to have cholesterol that is good
such as what you find in eggs. Egg yolk, for example, has high cholesterol
but it’s good cholesterol provided that you don’t overcook it. At the same time, there is fat that can contribute
to the rest of the lipid picture. When you combine all the pieces together,
you will find that cholesterol need not be something you be afraid of. You want to have good cholesterol and good
cholesterol is your friend.

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