Part of the story is missing. Billions of dollars have been spent marketing cholesterol, HDL and LDL as the cause for cardiovascular disease. The research is quite compelling, and it is easy to get caught up in the statistics that link high cholesterol to atherosclerotic disease, stroke, and hypertension. There is another side to the cholesterol story. There are over 100 genes that control the absorption , transport, and metabolism of cholesterol. Cholesterol is actually the hero in many cases.
Saturated Fat– We know that diets high in saturated fat do not inherently cause an increase in total cholesterol levels or heart disease. So what foods do increase cholesterol production? The answer is actually none, directly.
Cell Membranes-Cholesterol provides rigidity of the phospholipid bilayer of cell membranes. It also allows communication between the cells, increases permeability to hydrogen and sodium ions, and can interrupt normal fatty-acid adhesion.
Vitamin D production– A small shift and cholesterol becomes cholecalciferol when skin is exposed to summer sun.
Cholecalciferol is eventually converted to a form responsible for calcium and phosphate metabolism, as well as neuromuscular functions and immune health.
Sterol Hormones-Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and corticosteroids are produced from cholesterol. As need for those hormones diminishes, the total cholesterol may rise, not because there is an issue, but because it is a resource that the body is no longer using in the same quantities. Stress may also cause an increase in cholesterol.
Vitamin Absorption-Fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, require bile acids from cholesterol to be absorbed.
Brain Impulses– The brain accounts for 25 percent of the total cholesterol in our body, even though it accounts for only 2 percent of our total body mass. Nerve conduction in memory and focus are disrupted when appropriate amounts of cholesterol aren’t there.