Is Low Cholesterol a Blessing or a Curse?
Well, now, see, that may sound like a trick question because nobody ever seems to mention that your cholesterol level can be too low. But the fact is, low cholesterol levels kick your health in the shins (and most other body parts, too), while high cholesterol levels are usually incidental information.
While medicine insists doom is at hand when your cholesterol level exceeds 200, studies have proved that good news starts at 240 and up. That’s where the singing, and the dancing, and carrying on at a great rate, kick in.
Cholesterol levels that are naturally droopy may or may not slow the party down. But when you take cholesterol-lowering drugs, the party slows to a crawl, and your health heads downhill in a hurry.
Cholesterol sets the beat
Cholesterol is the body’s drum major, bandmaster, and provider of the music that sets the beat for strutting, dancing and other keep-the-game-going activities. For example:
• Your brain is mostly cholesterol, so no cholesterol means no brain. At least, not one that works all that well. Low cholesterol causes mental illness, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc. One scare-your-socks-off sign of cholesterol that’s pushed below 200 is “global amnesia, which means you don’t know who you are, where you are, or anything else about what’s going on.
• Your endocrine system, which determines how well you can get through each day, makes all its hormones from cholesterol. Again, no cholesterol, no hormones.
• This means your hypothalamus, the absolute king of both your nervous system and your endocrine system, can’t play its kingly role. For one thing, the essential coordination between your endocrine system and your nervous system goes kaput.
• It also means your pituitary gland, which tells other endocrine glands when to shoot out more juice and when enough is enough, can’t communicate very well. And since other endocrine glands aren’t getting messages about when to take action, they chill out, waiting for messages that rarely, if ever, arrive.
• Which further means your thyroid gland, the keeper of major functions such as metabolism, can’t do all you need it to do. Did you know an all-poochy, all-the-time, belly can be a sign of low cholesterol?
• Not to mention the fact that your thymus gland, boss of your immune system, lets you slide into messes you could avoid if your body had more cholesterol.
• Then there’s the diabetes mess. Medicine says Type 2 means too much cholesterol, although they have no real evidence, so here come the cholesterol-lowering drugs to make things worse. Diet can reverse Type 2, and help Type 1, but only when it’s customized to what your body needs. (Moving to Health talks a lot of using symptoms to figure out how to give the most help to your body.)
• Our endocrine system also includes ovaries and testes, and infertility is a growing problem with both men and women. But here’s some hope. Researchers found that women who ate plenty of whole fat dairy products are more fertile than those on a low-fat diet. So, once again, it’s cholesterol to the rescue.
And I could go on. For one instance, cholesterol provides real oomph to the liver, which creates all the bile you need to digest and absorb fat.
And here’s a secret that few know: A low-fat diet turns weight loss into the battle of the century. Your body needs fat. In fact, if your diet doesn’t include plenty ‘o saturated fat, your body will go on defense and, to keep you alive, hoard all the fat it can find.
On the other hand, eating good saturated fat tells your body that all is well, and it can relax and let the stored fat go. Our really smart bodies figure it all out, and then we’re able to lose weight.
Companies have made huge piles of money persuading us that saturated fat is bad for us, but, no. The fact is, our bodies need saturated fat to stay in business.
Sat fat blesses our socks off, mainly by helping our bodies create cholesterol to keep the lights on.
Cholesterol is our friend.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.