Friday, October 10, 2008

The Vital Role of Cholesterol in Health

Byron Richards, CCN

"A significant new discovery about the importance of cholesterol to nerve and
muscle health has just been made.
The researchers discovered that
cholesterol is vital to the structure of key proteins involved with nerve
transmission. The finding is groundbreaking, its implications in the
context of widespread high doses of statin drugs in the general population
is alarming.

We have known for a very long time that small fragments of cholesterol (not
HDL or LDL, which are large transport vehicles) are required for every cell
in your body to have a three dimensional structure. Scientists estimate
that you have around 6-8 ounces of this structural cholesterol in your
cells, and without it you would be flat as a pancake on the floor.

Nerve cells are known to have higher amounts of this type of cholesterol, as
nerve cells do not split and divide like other cells and so need the extra
cholesterol to liver longer. One of the very adverse side effects of statin
drugs to lower LDL cholesterol, especially when given in the now commonly
used high doses, is that the important cholesterol in cell membranes is
lowered. In the case of nerves this results in early onset nerve death,
poor function, depression, nerve symptoms, and suicide. Such nerve symptoms
will be progressive and worsen as time goes along, especially when the dose
of a statin is raised.

In the case of muscles, various mechanisms of statin toxicity have now been
identified. These factors reduce energy, muscle health, fitness, and
generally make it harder to be healthy.

The new study adds a brand new explanation for nerve and muscle related
problems from taking statins. Researchers studied the structure of a common
and important neurotransmitter receptor called the nicotinic acetylcholine
receptor. Problems with this receptor's function drastically alter nerve
transmission. Such difficulties are found in chronic inflammation,
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and
addiction issues (alcohol, nicotine and cocaine).

The new discovery is that cholesterol fragments are absolutely vital to this
receptor working correctly and are part of the protein structure of this
receptor. This is a sweeping scientific discovery. It immediately offers a
new explanation as to why statins have so many devastating nerve and muscle
side effects. It also adds clarity to the issue as to why low cholestereol
causes cancer and early risk for death.

Cholesterol is vital to the healthy function of your body, actually core to
survival. You want good levels of HDL and LDL because you are healthy, not
because you have drugged them to look better on paper. The idea of
cholesterol fitness, like physical fitness, is a proper way to look at this

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