We all know that eating a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol is bad for us, right? Well that story that we’ve all been told for decades may be far from the truth. Medical researchers at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee are investigating the role of cholesterol and have discovered that some interesting facts about the important role cholesterol plays in our bodies.
Cholesterol and the Myelin Sheaths
Cholesterol, as it turns out, is critical to the nervous system’s ability to reconstruct the myelin sheath in nerve cells. The myelin sheath is extremely important, since it allows the cells to communicate with each other and convey information along nerve pathways. Individuals with compromised myelin sheath abilities develop nervous system conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Aside from the benefits of maintaining the ability to create healthy myelin sheaths in nerve cells, cholesterol also contributes to overall health. It has the amazing function of being a critical building block for all cells in the body, by stabilizing cell membranes. In other words, it serves the body by allowing cells to maintain their structure and form.
Back Away from the Statins!
Statins were lauded as a miracle drug when they were first introduced. However, of late, controversy has arisen about their effectiveness in fighting heart disease. Statins inhibit the effects of cholesterol in the body. However, in the process, the liver is deprived of the ability to naturally produce helpful cholesterol. In the long term, serious nervous system and cognitive function illnesses may arise as a result of statin use.
Does this mean you should run out and start gorging on steaks, french fries and burgers? Not really, since foods high in fat can also contribute to weight gain and other health issues. The best approach to healthy living is moderation in all things and eating a well-balanced diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and a reasonable amount of proteins.
– The Alternative Daily