Cholesterol is a substance that is both nutritional as well as damaging for our bodies and so is full of paradoxes. Professionals in the medical field talk often about the negative effects of cholesterol to our health which at the same time is vital for our health. A report of an increased level in cholesterol can easily prey on the minds of the affected people. However, the cholesterol fright can lead to big bucks for drug companies, laboratories and doctors who can delude patients. Margarine and vegetable oil manufacturers who promote their products as 'cholesterol free', find it a great marketing strategy to boost sales. The general public remains totally confused and unaware about the "health scandal" known as cholesterol.
Cholesterol is essential for our health and that is why the body can manufacture it on its own from simple substances prevalent in our body like 2-carbon acetates. The body derives these substances from the breakdown of fats, sugars and also proteins especially when the intake of calories from these substances exceeds the requirement of our body.
Cholesterol is a lipid substance that liquefies at 149�C. It is a hardy, waxy substance and needs to be controlled for cardiovascular health. However, out of a 1000 people 999 do not know that they do not need doctors to control cholesterol levels as it can be controlled by nutritional means alone. A person trained in nutrition can easily help us achieve that objective, rather than medical professionals.
What we basically need to know is that sugars, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids can pressure the body to make cholesterol if these foods contain excessive calories. The second point to keep in mind is that the more stressed we are the more cholesterol the body will manufacture, leading to cardiovascular problems.
There is about 150 grams of cholesterol in the body, most of which is in the membranes. About 7grams of cholesterol is found in the blood. The figures may change depending on body size, health and diet, though daily only about 1 gram of cholesterol gets changed over and for a vegetarian it can be even less than that. People, who consume excessive meat but less fiber, have a higher turnover of cholesterol.
Cholesterol is made in the body but it can be broken down unlike sugar, amino acids, fatty acids or nucleic acids. These sugars and acids do not only break down but can be converted to water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. The only way cholesterol can be removed is through passing stool when it is deposited in the intestines in the form of cholesterol molecules and bile acid. Dietary fiber is essential to the removal of cholesterol from the body.
Atherosclerotic deposits consist of fats, proteins, cholesterol and minerals. People who suffer from atherosclerotic deposits suffer from narrow arteries and a slow blood flow. In addition saturated fatty acids make blood platelets sticky and clot formation could increase. A person with both these problems could find an artery completely blocked, which could result in the cells dying in the affected area, as nutrients and oxygen to that part of the body could be completely cut off.
Narrow or blocked arteries in various parts of the body can be fatal and will result in the following problems.
North Americans, Europeans and other affluent nations have at least two thirds of the population that is prone to atherosclerotic deposits.