There are multiple causes of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) are one of them. LDLs are a combination of fats (lipids) and proteins. LDL is portrayed in the medical literature as ‘bad’ cholesterol. The liver makes cholesterol. If dietary cholesterol is present, your liver makes less. Conversely, if dietary cholesterol is not present, it will make more. Your body needs cholesterol for several important functions, such as to:
● Maintain healthy cell membranes
● Build hormones (progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone)
● Provide the precursor 7-Dehydrocholesterol for vitamin D creation in the skin
Cholesterol is probably most important in your brain. Twenty-five percent of the cholesterol in your body is in your brain. Statin drugs shut down the body’s production of coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q-10). Co-Q-10 is needed in every cell in your body. It also supports optimal heart muscle function. It can be obtained as a supplement, usually seen as ubiquinone. This form is not used by the body. The body converts ubiquinone to ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is also sold under the name Co-Q-10, usually at much higher prices.
Cholesterol is good for the body. However, oxidized cholesterol is not. LDL cholesterol is oxidized when it comes into contact with free radicals. The oxidized cholesterol becomes harmful to the tissues surrounding it. Vegetable oils are one major source of free radicals that stimulates the oxidation. Trans fats are formed when oxygen mixes with vegetable oil and heated. Canola oil, corn oil, soy oil, etc. should be avoided for cooking. Coconut oil is a better choice. Other sources of free radicals are:
● Trans fats
● Poorly controlled diabetes
● Metabolic syndrome
The oxidized cholesterol travels in the bloodstream. It will eventually adhere to the lining of an artery. This stimulates inflammation and eventually a plaque forms around the molecule of oxidized cholesterol. Over time, these plaque layers can cause coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and/or dementia. What helps to fight off excess oxidized LDL cholesterol?
● Stop smoking
● Eliminate trans fats from your diet
● Minimize eating foods that are fried
● Eat fruits and vegetables
● Vitamin E (all eight tocopherols and tocotrienols)
● Green tea