But did you know that:
-cholesterol is so important that your liver produces it.
-One has to take drugs to lower it because otherwise your liver would produce it.
-There is NO evidence that high cholesterol causes atherosclerosis or heart attacks. In fact high cholesterol may protect against atherosclerosis
-Statin drugs that lower cholesterol cause memory loss and lessen brain function
-"Even though the brain only makes up 2% of the body's weight, it contains 25% of its cholesterol" link
Memories and Learning are Directly Dependent on Cholesterol
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, research was pointing to an unknown compound made by glial cells that was responsible for the ability of neurons to form synapses, or connections between each other.
Thoughts, memories, learning, and all mental function is dependent on the formation of synapses, so the ability to form them will directly impact mental functioning and health.
In the absence of this-- as yet unknown-- "glial factor," neurons formed few synapses, and the synapses they formed were inefficient and poorly functioning. In the presence of glial cells, which secrete the unknown factor, neurons formed many, highly efficient synapses.
So what is this "glial factor"?
Research in 2001, by Mauch, et al., published in volume 294 of Science magazine, determined that the unknown glial factor is cholesterol, which is released by the glial cells in a carrier called "apolipoprotein E."5
Initially, the researchers thought that the apolipoprotein E (apoE) may have been the glial factor itself. But it turned out that when neurons were treated with apoE, the beneficial effects on synapse formation were not observed.
The researchers then reasoned that, since apoE fit the bill in some ways, but did not have the desired effect, some of the lipids it carried may have been the elusive glial factor.
As it turned out, treating the neurons with a 10 mcg/mL solution of cholesterol increased synapse formation by 12 times! Other lipids, carried by apoE, such as phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, did not have a significant effect, and were even toxic to the neurons at very high doses.
On the other hand, when low-cholesterol glial secretions were produced by using the cholesterol-lowering drug, mevastatin, the effect of the glial secretion on synapse formation was strongly diminished. When cholesterol was added back to the low-cholesterol secretion, the positive effect on synapse formation was fully restored.
The authors identified cholesterol as a limiting factor of synpase formation. In other words, the need for cholesterol in the brain is large enough relative to the supply of cholesterol that the availability of cholesterol can directly limit the ability to form synapses.
http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/M ... terol.html
It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes and is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity.
In addition to its importance within cells, cholesterol also serves as a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is the principal sterol synthesized by animals; in vertebrates it is formed predominantly in the liver. Small quantities are synthesized in other cellular organisms (eukaryotes) such as plants and fungi. It is almost completely absent among prokaryotes (i.e., bacteria).
Within cells, cholesterol is the precursor molecule in several biochemical pathways. In the liver, cholesterol is converted to bile, which is then stored in the gallbladder. Bile contains bile salts, which solubilize fats in the digestive tract and aid in the intestinal absorption of fat molecules as well as the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Cholesterol is an important precursor molecule for the synthesis of vitamin D and the steroid hormones, including the adrenal gland hormones cortisol and aldosterone, as well as the sex hormones progesterone, estrogens, and testosterone, and their derivatives.
Some research indicates cholesterol may act as an antioxidant
(NaturalNews) Including high-cholesterol foods as part of a healthy diet may not be the poor dietary choice we have all been told it is, suggests a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine. It turns out that cholesterol actually helps increase production of an important component of the nervous system that facilitates proper nerve cell communication, and prevents the onset of brain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease
http://www.naturalnews.com/036258_chole ... imers.html
Here are the facts!
1 Cholesterol is not a deadly poison, but a substance vital to the cells of all mammals. There are no such things as good or bad cholesterol, but mental stress, physical activity and change of body weight may influence the level of blood cholesterol. A high cholesterol is not dangerous by itself, but may reflect an unhealthy condition, or it may be totally innocent.
2 A high blood cholesterol is said to promote atherosclerosis and thus also coronary heart disease. But many studies have shown that people whose blood cholesterol is low become just as atherosclerotic as people whose cholesterol is high.
3 Your body produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat. The production of cholesterol increases when you eat little cholesterol and decreases when you eat much. This explains why the ”prudent” diet cannot lower cholesterol more than on average a few per cent.
4 There is no evidence that too much animal fat and cholesterol in the diet promotes atherosclerosis or heart attacks. For instance, more than twenty studies have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven't eaten more fat of any kind than other people, and degree of atherosclerosis at autopsy is unrelated with the diet.
5 The only effective way to lower cholesterol is with drugs, but neither heart mortality or total mortality have been improved with drugs the effect of which is cholesterol-lowering only. On the contrary, these drugs are dangerous to your health and may shorten your life.
6 The new cholesterol-lowering drugs, the statins, do prevent cardio-vascular disease, but this is due to other mechanisms than cholesterol-lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer in rodents, disturb the functions of the muscles, the heart and the brain and pregnant women taking statins may give birth to children with malformations more severe than those seen after thalidomide.
7 Many of these facts have been presented in scientific journals and books for decades but are rarely told to the public by the proponents of the diet-heart idea.
8 The reason why laymen, doctors and most scientists have been misled is because opposing and disagreeing results are systematically ignored or misquoted in the scientific press.
9 The Benefits Of High Cholesterol