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Does dietary cholesterol have any effect on blood cholesterol levels?

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  • Does dietary cholesterol have any effect on blood cholesterol levels?

    I thought I remember reading a few times that dietary cholesterol has NO or very very little effect on your blood cholesterol levels.

    I told my dad this and, well, he thought I was an idiot. I eat plenty of eggs and he throws away a yolk each time he eats them.

    Someone tell me the truth!!
    Find me at Cheers!

  • #2
    PT, I think it's generally true that dietary cholesterol from sources like egg yolk (not oxidized, not rancid, not overheated, not processed) will not, as a standalone, affect blood levels in a way that should cause concern. This is a VERY general statement - because other risk factors, dietary and bodily weaknesses, and genetic heritage can play a role in how the body reacts to a myriad of circumstances that could affect cholesterol levels. There ARE "hyper-responders" to dietary cholesterol. For this reason, cholesterol levels (to me) are not irrelevant, but mis-interpreted and ill-used in the medical profession. And it breaks my heart when someone throws away that nutritious, delicious yolk! Especially since egg whites are far more likely to irritate the gut.

    Caveat: supermarket eggs are high in PUFA. More below. Find pastured eggs and ditch the omega-3 eggs.

    IF an individual has high serum cholesterol, it's much more valid to assume that the body has called on cholesterol to heal and protect itself from rancid fats and the affects of a diet high in processed foods. (Are you having a cinnamon roll with those eggs? Wink, wink)

    Chris Kresser has put together an incredible page full of cholesterol-related resources, and is also a wealth of information. You will undoubtedly find what you're looking for:

    Weston A. Price is my favorite source for "myths and truths about cholesterol."

    I think what people often blame on egg yolks, etc. is usually a result of OTHER dietary factors present. Cholesterol is a healing substance, and when blood vessels experience weakness or damage, cholesterol rushes in to repair. There are so many interactive factors here, however, that I think it would be best for you to peruse these resources so you can formulate an answer that's most appropriate for your dad.
    Steve's Original


    • #3
      Thank you for the response Liz! Very informative post and I will dive through the resources you linked to soon.
      Find me at Cheers!


      • #4
        i've come to understand the same thing as cavegirl said...cholesterol is good for you. great for you, even. the real foods that are raising blood cholesterol are the foods that increase blood sugar: sugar, grains, processed foods, etc.

        i've also learned that there is a lot of confusion on what a good cholesterol number really is. my parents and wife have been nagging me like crazy to get my cholesterol checked, and while they keep talking to me about what it should be--and might balk at what it is--they don't really understand it. i've asked each of them to explain cholesterol to me...and they just end up screaming at me about challenging everything.


        • #5
          I understand that cholesterol is good for you. I am just curious as to whether or not dietary cholesterol effects your levels and in what way?
          Find me at Cheers!


          • #6
            The answer is that it depends. There are cholesterol hyperresponders who do increase cholesterol (about 2.5 mg/dl per 100mg of cholesterol) or hyporesponder whose total LDL doesn't change. Most people are hyporesponders.

            But the thing is that in hyper-responders, the change in LDL is a positive one, yielding a less atherogenic profile than the group with the placebo. ubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.SmartSearch&log$=citatio nsensor

            Right, you are the idiot. You got cholesterol on the brain! (which means that you're statistically less likely to suffer from psychological disease )http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogsp...uicide-at.html
            Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

            Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


            • #7
              Don't have reference, but I recall reading that dietary cholesterolis at most 15% of blood cholesterol. Our bodies are very good at synthesising it because we need it, especially our brains. Is it any wonder that statins have such bad side-effects, including reduced mental faculties

              BTW all trials of drugs designed to block the absorption of dietary cholesterol have shown that those drugs increase other causes of mortality. And there is no evidence that margarines etc enhanced with phytosterols to reduce cholesterol absorbtion have a net health benefit
              Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

              Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine