How does cholesterol work in the body?
As we have been discussing the previous weeks , cholesterol is a very important player in health and well being. We have seen it plays a role as an antioxidant when other antioxidants are not present in our diet. We have also seen ways we can keep our arteries from forming dangerous plaques. Let’s look at the other ways the body needs cholesterol for health and repair.
According to Udo Erasmus one very important role of cholesterol is to help each of the 100 trillion cells in the body keep their membrane fluid. This means the cholesterol made by our cells can be “added to stiffen a membrane that is too loose, or removed to fluidize a membrane that is too stiff” Also, cholesterol is used by the body to:
1. Make steroid hormones (testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, among others)
2. Make adrenal corticoesteroid hormones: aldosterone (regulates water balance), cortisone (synthesizes glucose, suppresses inflammation)
3. Make vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin that regulates calcium and phosphorus metabolism.
4. Make bile acids to help in our digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
5. Cholesterol is secreted by our skin glands to protect it from dehydration, (any ladies reading this?…) cracking, wind , water, excess sun, helps skin heal and prevents infections by foreign organisms.
It looks like cholesterol is pretty important in the body. It might interest you to know that our brains are mainly…cholesterol! What could be the results and dangers of indiscrimately lowering cholesterol in the human body? To find the answers please tune in next week as we delve into the polemic side of cholesterol.
Thanks for reading.