So what does cholesterol do to our brains?
Your brain is 2-3% of your total body weight – or so it is said…
(Hmmm, if I put on weight, would I get brainier?) 🙂
And 25% of your body’s cholesterol is found in your brain.
What’s it doing there, I hear you ask?
- Maintains healthy brain-cell membranes
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Provides the raw materials for the body to make vitamin D and hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, cortisol and testosterone
The best memories in older people occurs in those with the highest levels of cholesterol.
Low cholesterol is associated with depression and death.
Oh, so it’s pretty useful then!
But why are we obsessed with lowering our cholesterol levels with deadly Statins?
Why all the fuss in the first place?
We need cholesterol to:
- Build and sustain cell membranes
- Regulate what is allowed to enter each cell
- To help produce certain hormones
- Help produce bile, in order to digest fats in the diet
- Metabolise the fat soluble vitamins, e.g. A, D, E and K
- Make Vitamin D from sunlight
- Insulate nerve fibres
And this (insulating nerve fibres) is where our brains depend on it.
All that ‘white matter’? That’s insulation, that is!
Imagine the chaos in your brain, if the millions of electro-chemical messages went just everywhere, because their pathways weren’t isolated.
We get about 15% of our cholesterol from our diets – and our livers make the rest! If you cut down on eating it, your liver will produce more!
No wonder we’re so confused!
But if you really want to get to the truth, here are some really useful places for some top quality information.
What’s the difference between LDL, HDL, Triglycerides and drain-cleaner?
What’s ‘high’ and ‘low’ cholesterol? And should you care?
The primary cause of heart disease isn’t cholesterol, but inflammation.
How to combat heart-disease
- Anti-inflammatory diet (avoid process food and sugar)
- Stop eating grains and starches
- Avoid foods high in Omega-6 (processed food)
- Stop smoking – no smoke without fire, of the inflammatory sort, of course!
- Get more antioxidants (veg), turmeric, vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10, Omega-3 fatty acids