Total cholesterol is irrelevant when it comes to determining inflammation and risk of heart disease. Numerous studies have shown that total cholesterol is irrelevant when it comes to determining inflammation and risk of heart disease, but it is still a major concern for many people. Cholesterol is our friend. Every cell in the body needs it. Cholesterol works on the membranes so neurotransmitters can work. That is why people with low cholesterol tend to suffer from depression. Deficiencies in cholesterol can also cause violent behavior, cancer, and low libido and can make people more susceptible to strokes. Cholesterol plays a critical role in cell-to-cell communication as well as makes hormones. Cholesterol acts as an antioxidant, prevents cancer, and protects cell membranes. Our friendly cholesterol also protects our skin from sun damage, fights infections, and supports glucose metabolism. So should we be afraid of cholesterol? Absolutely not!
Total cholesterol does not matter. Total cholesterol alone doesn’t determine you risk for heart disease. What matters are the number and size of the particles that carry the cholesterol throughout the body. When you are told that you have a high cholesterol, that means that your particles contain a high amount of cholesterol. If you have low cholesterol, you have a low amount of cholesterol inside the particles. Allow me to explain this with an analogy. Think of a car as the particle and the people inside the car as the cholesterol. In a traffic jam, what matters the most? Is it the number of cars that matter or the number of people inside the cars? It is the number of cars (the number of particles that matter).
Size does matter. The size of the particle does matter. There are large particles and small particles. The small particle causes the most concern, but it is extremely overlooked or not even addressed at all. The small particles get into the arterial walls and oxidize, forming plaque and causing inflammation. This process of oxidation is the main factor in heart disease. The bigger particles do not get into the arterial walls and oxidize. Therefore, it’s the small particles that put you at risk for heart disease. The total number of particles, including large and small, can be an indicator of toxicity. When these numbers are out of balance, sugars, bad fats and toxins are usually the culprits. This is why toxicity and inflammation are the causes of heart disease and not total cholesterol.
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Dr. Leona Allen
Founder of Freedom Wellness Center
Author of A Journey to Healing