Is cholesterol so bad, and should we watch it?
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol (to be more precise, the correct name of this substance is cholesterol) is a fatty compound, insoluble in water, but well soluble in fats. This is a complex organic alcohol, which is contained in the human body. Moreover, it is far from all supplied with food, as many think: food cholesterol in the body accounts for no more than 20% of its total volume, the remaining 80% is synthesized by the human body itself. This fact alone gives reason to think about whether this compound is so harmful that the body itself produces most of it continuously from the first days of life to the last breath?
But with regard to cholesterol, only negative facts can be heard: it provokes atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, it damages blood vessels, forming plaques in them. Half a century ago, no one doubted these statements, but today, when the molecular mechanisms of many processes are discovered, the role of both vegetable oils and animal fats in the genesis of various diseases is radically revised.Including in many issues rehabilitated and cholesterol.
As it was before?
For many years, society was inspired: all the problems of the heart and blood vessels from cholesterol, saturated animal fats. They must be discarded in favor of vegetable unsaturated oils with omega-acids of categories 3 and 6.
How is it now?
The attitude towards cholesterol and saturated fats has been significantly revised: today it is already said that their diet should be at least 10% of the total diet and cannot be completely excluded from the diet, this violates the metabolism. The positive role of omega-acids from vegetable oils has been reviewed: the omega-6 group is recognized as dangerous, but omega-3 is really useful, the body needs them, but in certain quantities.
Today, the fats on the menu no longer scare people with heart problems and obesity and do not offer to give up meat and fish, butter and milk in favor of exclusively vegetable food in order to preserve youth and health. It is important to enter the body and animal and vegetable fats, and be sure to need and cholesterol, otherwise you will be bad.
Cholesterol and fats: special privileges in the body
Body fat is a vital element of metabolism. Moreover, it is so necessary that a separate mechanism has been created for its absorption in the intestines: unlike all other food substances (proteins, carbohydrates, mineral and vitamin supplements, etc.), all nutrients, with the exception of fats, are absorbed by the intestinal wall in general order, getting into the blood plasma and there already sorting out, who needs where.
And fatty compounds are absorbed through the lymphatic capillaries and along the lymphatic channel are delivered to the venous bed, and in the region of the brachial vein. This is important because fats are valuable compounds that are mainly delivered to one of the leading consumers, the lightest. They consume a maximum of fat in order to fully work and actively saturate the blood with oxygen. Without oxygen, the body will not survive for more than five minutes, so the lungs need to ensure an uninterrupted supply of fatty molecules. Due to cholesterol and fatty molecules, pulmonary surfactant is synthesized - a thin fat lash that covers the inside of the alveoli so that they do not stick together during breathing and can actively absorb oxygen, giving off carbon dioxide.
Why else need fats?
The lungs take most of the fat, but not all, so the remaining plasma lipids are distributed throughout the body into those tissues and organs where they are still needed. This is the brain, blood vessels, all cells of the body, since cholesterol forms the basis for the synthesis of the cell wall. That is, without cholesterol, cells can not be updated, and the body ages faster.
Although there was no knowledge about the benefits of fats in antiquity, the experience of traditional medicine indirectly confirms today's discoveries. Lung problems, tuberculosis, pneumonia, colds are treated with badger fat, they drink milk and butter. Such problems as ulcers of the stomach and intestines, ancient healers were treated with cream and fatty milk, because it is the fats that “patch” the holes in the mucous membrane. Plus, milk also contains fat-soluble vitamins that can only be absorbed in the presence of fat.
And cholesterol and body fats help in the absorption of dietary fat, as part of the bile. That is, in order for food to be digested and absorbed better, there was no constipation, you need fats and cholesterol (it is he who is the basis of bile).
Brain and fats!
But that's not all: with problems with memory, nervous excitability, and impaired brain function, cholesterol is needed.If you read the textbooks on biochemistry, you can find out that cholesterol forms the basis of brain cells - it forms the basis of the neurons themselves, glial cells (these are the feeding neurons of the formation), and it is also the basis of the myelin sheaths of the axons - these are the “wires” between which the entire nervous system is connected. That is, without cholesterol, neither the brain, nor the spinal cord, nor the rest of the nerves will work.
Problems in sex? You need cholesterol!
You will not believe, but the early onset of menopause, impotence or infertility is also associated with a deficiency of fats in the body. And especially for cholesterol. And all because he is the basis for the synthesis of steroid hormones, which include sexual female and male hormones. For good sex need egg yolks, butter, fish roe and meat with streaks of fat, and these dishes are needed for both gentlemen and lady.
"You can not do everything. Now you can not even press one time. But if you do something little by little, something will definitely turn out "- such an advertising slogan would sound much more realistic. But only then who will buy those leggings from advertising that perfectly fit the buttocks of a professional athlete?
Atherosclerosis of the arteries, as well as stroke and heart attack, is caused by metabolic problems, which are often hereditary predispositions. But the myths about cholesterol are stable and frightening, they are also supported by manufacturers of drugs that lower cholesterol levels in the blood - statins. And it makes people believe in the myth of "bad" cholesterol.
At the same time, data from studies published in 2017–2018 showed that taking cholesterol-lowering drugs and low cholesterol initially in elderly patients leads to brain damage — Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, memory problems and risks of stroke. Plus, the theory of atherosclerosis itself, provoked by “bad” cholesterol in combination with LDL (low density lipids), is becoming increasingly doubtful.
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