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All About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of the things your doctor looks for when he orders lab tests.

He wants to know what your cholesterol level is. At one time it was one number, now it has been broken down into several categories, and may need to be broken down even further.

The first grouping was HDL and LDL.

They stand for High Density Lipoprotein and Low Density Lipoprotein. HDL has been called the ‘good’ cholesterol, while LDL is called the ‘bad’ cholesterol. Then doctors decided that they need to know the amount of triglycerides floating around in your blood stream. Triglycerides are compounds made up of glycerol and three fatty acids. They are thought to be dangerous, but they are a natural part of the human body. The body makes skin cells out of them.

Evidence shows that the people with the highest cholesterol levels live the longest. How can that be when it is supposed to be so dangerous? Maybe somebody got their information wrong? It is found within every single cell in the human body. It's extremely vital in regard to neurological activity, hormones, and overall cellular maintenance. A cholesterol deficiency has a detrimental impact on virtually every aspect of your health. Cholesterol also plays an essential role in your brain, which contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body. It is critical for synapse formation, i.e. the connections between your neurons, which allow you to think, learn new things, and form memories. In fact, there's reason to believe that low-fat diets and/or cholesterol-lowering drugs may cause or contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Low cholesterol levels have also been linked to violent behavior, due to adverse changes in brain chemistry. There was a study in1994 that showed old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with high cholesterol.

One of the groups of drugs that is used to lower cholesterol are statin drugs. The problem is that these drugs carry side effects that are more dangerous than the cholesterol is. Among them are: Liver damage, Memory loss and confusion, Type 2 diabetes, Muscle weakness (for certain statins), belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer.

There are ways to keep your cholesterol numbers at a level your doctor will be comfortable with.

They include staying away from all High Fructose Corn Syrup. This means staying away from the majority of the processed foods on the market. You will also need to increase your animal based Omega 3 fatty acids. These can come from fish (such as krill) or meat and dairy from pasture raised animals. You will want to optimize your vitamin D levels. This means safe tanning or supplementing with a D3 product. Avoid rancid fats. These include any oil that has been processed using heat or has been hydrogenated. Canola oil is always bad for you no matter how it was processed. Make sure you are getting enough magnesium either through food or supplementation.

Topical magnesium supplements can avoid the gastrointestinal upsets that oral supplementation sometimes causes. Exercise is a great help in controlling cholesterol levels. It only takes a few minutes a day if you are using a high intensity workout.

There is some evidence that dark chocolate can also be helpful.

Combatting cholesterol through natural means does have side effects. They include weight loss, increased energy, a healthier immune system and better overall health.

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