Part 1 of 3
Cholesterol plays a vital role in our bodies, promoting overall health by contributing to essential functions such as cellular activities, hormone production, and biliary excretions. However, it appears that not all cholesterol behaves healthfully. This article explores the distinctions between “good” and “bad” cholesterol, shedding light on their crucial roles in bodily functions and heart health.
What does cholesterol make for us?
You may be surprised to hear about the long list of what it makes. Your femininity hinges on it. Why? Because your body produces estrogen and progesterone with it. Your masculinity is fueled by it. Why? Because your body synthesizes testosterone using it. It aids in maintaining your bone health. Why? Because your body produces vitamin D with it. It stops you from bleeding badly. Why? Because it makes vitamin K and that safeguards us against untoward bleeding! You digest essential fatty compounds with its help. Why? Because your body forms bile acids with it. And, most importantly, the integrity of all cells in our bodies rely on it. Why? Because it contributes to the overall structure and function of cell membranes, supporting their stability and promoting their selective permeability! What do we mean by ‘selective permeability’? Well, if you think that our bodily cells are so haphazardly designed that they allow anything to pass in or out without discrimination, all I can say is: ‘think again!’
Let’s set the record straight!
Cholesterol is cholesterol, and its impact, whether beneficial or harmful, depends in part on the carriers transporting it in our bloodstream. The associations formed during its journey from entering into our digestive system significantly affect the character that it develops along the way. While what follows might seem like an oversimplification in categorizing good and bad cholesterol, our innate tendency to simplify complex concepts into contrasting options is evident in almost all aspects of our lives. Just as in theories about good and bad cholesterol, we often choose between extremes—this or that, hot or cold, day or night. Deciding why something is bad or good involves sifting through numerous reasons, yet we often opt for simpler explanations with broad appeal and financial utility. This process is akin to attributing children’s misbehavior to their peers.
Consider this analogy: putting love letters and roses in a bomb harms both good and bad people when it explodes over a city. The natural inclination is to wish for the bad to perish and the good to endure. This analogy extends to cholesterol: if transported by an inherently good carrier, it can mend the heart of anyone it touches. Conversely, if it is associated with a detrimental carrier, it will eventually act harmfully, potentially destroying any organ or tissue it reaches.
Beware: Begin with Yourself!
Before we delve into the tale of bad and good cholesterol, let me stress this: “All the troubles stemming from cholesterol result from our overindulgence… PERIOD!” When we accumulate excess cholesterol, our body strategically deposits it, bit by bit, along the blood vessel highways. This clever process may go unnoticed, creating a growing pile of cholesterol on our vital organs’ vessel walls. Predictably, these piles obstruct our bodily transportation highways! When vessel occlusions surpass about 70%, the pain of insufficient blood flow to vital organs becomes apparent. Some may feel chest pain during daily activities, others unexplained dizziness, and some numbness in limbs. It unfolds so subtly that we may not notice until it’s too late, presenting us with only two ultimate choices.
To be continued…