This post is the second article in our series The Truth About Cholesterol. Read about why we need cholesterol here.
In this post we’re going to discuss the fallacy of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol aka HDL and LDL.
There is no such thing as good and bad cholesterol. In fact HDL and LDL are not even cholesterol but lipo-proteins which act as transport mechanisms for cholesterol.
The propaganda bus has created an irrational fear that LDL is ‘bad’. However, our bodies cannot function without LDL – it transports 25% of our total cholesterol to our brain (fun fact – our brain’s weight is 20% cholesterol) for neurons to use in the transmission of vital messages between receptors. (Number one side affect of cholesterol lowering statins is memory loss and brain fog!).
HDL, the so called ‘good’ cholesterol, is the lipo-protein which transports cholesterol from the bloodstream back to the liver for reprocessing.
The real problem isn’t the level of LDL, rather the type of LDL particles circulating in the bloodstream. LDL particles can range between small and large – and it’s the small ones that are the problem.
Small LDL particles are more susceptible to oxidisation. When these particles oxidise, they create inflammation in our arteries which supply blood to our organs. This can then lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
So the real question should be: “what is causing LDL to oxidize?”
When there is a high level of oxidation present in the body, there also tends to be free radical activity in the tissues. Consuming adequate amounts of antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E prevents oxidative free radical damage.
Consuming artificial, partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) will not only cause LDL to oxidize, so will a diet high in refined sugars, alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Elevated levels of LDL also may be caused by chemical and heavy metal toxicity, liver toxicity and stress, hypothyroidism and kidney failure.
Calling LDL ‘bad’ is very misleading, especially if you are not identifying causation.
Low levels of HDL reflect a sedentary lifestyle. Doctors and others who push the misinformation about raising HDL as being a good thing, fail to address that HDL levels greater than 75 are actually correlative with autoimmune processes. This is a strong possibility especially if triglyceride levels are low (less than 40). Excess consumption of alcohol, drug use, hypothyroidism, and excess estrogen can also cause HDL levels to become too high.