As a Fitness and Nutrition Consultant, I’m always on a look out for new research on various health issues to help my clients more effectively. I understand that our bodies react in various ways. There are new studies that help us all to improve our health. One such health concern or rather a misconception for many years has been Cholesterol. The whole world has probably heard this word but not much is known about it. I have been reading up new research on Cholesterol and trying to understand what it exactly is. One of the books that stood out in terms of understanding is the book Called Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore with Eric C. Westman, MD a New York Times best –selling Author. And I would like to share what I’ve learned from this book. But first let me start with a question. Did you stop eating an egg yolk because it has cholesterol? If your answer to this questions is Yes, than you are among many others who believe that Cholesterol is harmful. Now let me ask you one more question; do you know what exactly Cholesterol is? If you know the answer to this question than you wouldn’t really stop eating an egg yolk. For decades health professionals told us that we don’t need cholesterol or that having a lot of it is bad. Many drugs have been manufactured to combat this problem. But what if, somebody told you that your body could not survive without Cholesterol.
So what exactly is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy fatlike substance produced primarily in the liver. It is absolutely essential for our bodies to function. The majority of cholesterol in our blood is made by our own bodies. A lot of people don’t exactly know this concept and think that they get most of their cholesterol from food. If we eat a lot of cholesterol from food, our bodies make less of it and if we eat less cholesterol, our bodies make more of it. You will be surprised to know that Cholesterol is used to make the very important hormones like estrogen and testosterone, is transported into the adrenal gland to support hormone synthesis, repair nerves, and make bile for fat digestion. It plays a very critical role in our body.
The idea of cholesterol being dangerous has become part of our culture. Unless the health professionals take some measures, it will be difficult to convince people that Cholesterol is not exactly what we think and the confusion will go on.
One more question that comes up while discussing Cholesterol is the Drug called Statin. There are a lot of people taking this drug to lower their cholesterol. What is actually does is; it causes the liver cells to die. When enough liver cells die, there’s less Cholesterol in the blood. So naturally the cholesterol level goes down. Elevated Cholesterol can be a symptom of inflammation and it’s the cause of that inflammation that is the root cause of heart disease. Statin drugs unnaturally lowers cholesterol without addressing the underlying cause for what caused the elevation in the first place.
The author in the book says “Humans are inherently lazy. That’s a simple fact of evolution. We would rather take a shortcut when it appears to be the easier way. Of course we know that in vast majority of cases a few nutrition and exercise changes have far more profound effect on heart health risk than could ever be achieved using statins.
What I shared with you above is just an overview of Cholesterol. There’s a lot more to this to learn and discuss. I’m going to continuously learn more about Cholesterol and the side effects of the drug statin on our health. I’m guiding my clients in eating nutritious meals and exercises to ward off health problems that accompanies with bad food habits and being inactive. Before I end this article, I would like to advice all the people taking Statin for their elevated cholesterol to firstly make a lifestyle change by eating nutritious meals and exercising every day. Secondly talk to different doctors about the side effects of taking statin and tell the doctor to give you the latest information on cholesterol. And finally, I would recommend you to read the book.
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TEXT & IMAGES : Macedonio Fernandes