In his fascinating blog post series, “The Straight Dope on Cholesterol,” Dr. Peter Attia, the co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), addresses a common and incredibly widespread belief – that cholesterol is “bad.”
“One of the biggest misconceptions out there (maybe second only to the idea that eating fat makes you fat) is that cholesterol is “bad.” This could not be further from the truth. Cholesterol is very good! In fact, there are (fortunately rare) genetic disorders in which people cannot properly synthesize cholesterol. Once such disease is Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (also called “SLOS,” or 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase deficiency), which is a metabolic and congenital disorder leading to a number of problems including autism, mental retardation, lack of muscle, and many others. Cholesterol is absolutely vital for our existence. Let me repeat: cholesterol is absolutely vital for our existence. Every cell in our body is surrounded by membrane. These membranes are largely responsible for fluidity and permeability, which essentially control how a cell moves, how it interacts with other cells, and how it transports “important” things in and out. Cholesterol is one of the main building blocks used to make cell membranes (in particular, the ever important “lipid bilayer” of the cell membrane).”
Read Dr. Attia’s entire series (start here: http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-part-i), and you will understand the biochemistry of cholesterol better than 99% of doctors do. It is copiously annotated and illustrated with graphs and diagrams; however, it is not a light read!
In his summary, Dr. Attia drives home another critical point:
“Eating cholesterol has very little impact on the cholesterol levels in your body. This is a fact, not my opinion. Anyone who tells you different is, at best, ignorant of this topic. At worst, they are deliberate charlatans.”
These concepts may seem to fly against the conventional wisdom. If cholesterol isn’t “bad,” then why does our society support a $29 billion a year industry of drugs designed to suppress cholesterol? What is going on?
We will explore these questions in our next post. Get in touch with the Davis & Crump team now at 800-277-0300 for a free consultation about your Lipitor case.