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Is cholesterol good or bad?

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  • Is cholesterol good or bad?



    Excuse me, because I know this has been dealt with many times before, but I'm rather confused. The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol post on this site outlines cholesterol as okay (That's what I take from it anyway, I find it hard to follow; All the termonology!). I read a book called The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr. Malcom Kendrick ( http://www.amazon.com/Great-Choleste.../dp/1844543609 ) which basically says that pretty 'high' cholesterol (I think it's about 5.5 mmol/L) is ideal. But in contrast to these almost everything I've seen (even here) involves people getting worried because of high cholesterol levels.


    So my question (and I'm sorry it took so long to ask!) is this: How do cholesterol levels really matter? Is high cholesterol good or bad?


  • #2
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    "Is high cholesterol good or bad?"


    I think it is kind of the wrong question to ask. It is not cholesterol itself but the quality of the cholesterol. A lot of healthy cholesterol is good, a lot of sick cholesterol is bad. Lumping it into one category - cholesterol - is shortsighted. Of course these categories are being broken down - HDL and LDL - but even this is overly simplistic because LDL isn't "bad", the VLDL of the LDL is the "bad" cholesterol. Looking at only cholesterol levels or only HDL and LDL levels isn't specific enough of information to be interpreted. Triglycerides levels are important to consider as well.

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    • #3
      1



      I'll give my meek opinion.


      From what I understand 1.) cholesterol is absolutely necessary for health on many basic levels 2.) blood cholesterol actually is not a culprit in any health issues of concern 3.) what's important are the types of cholesterol 4.) I would put forth the idea I read probably on westonaprice.org that the body may release more cholesterol as a 'protectant' or antioxidant in response to a deeper, underlying condition - ie, elevated cholesterol wouldn't be the issue in & of itself.


      Some folks have difficulty shaking off what they've been brainwashed with....cholesterol=bad

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      • #4
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        so, what do you do when "normal" cholesterol readings are a requirement for your job (firefighter) and your cholesterol looks "high" because of our diet...?

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        • #5
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          JBraun, that is when you switch around your diet to conform to the standards. I think if you cut down on saturated fats your levels will even out.

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          • #6
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            I've been 60-30-10 P-F-C for four months before my blood panel a few weeks ago. Over the last two months, my fats were 26% saturated, 7 poly, 19 mono.


            My total cholesterol count was 174.


            Your fat sources have almost zilch to do with TC. My HDL and the two LDL's were just fine, too, and my trigs.

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            • #7
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              My total cholesterol is low - 156 at last test. It seems to be an individual quirk because I am eating butter and chicken fat and drinking cream by the pint over here. I am young though and low cholesterol runs in my family.

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              • #8
                1



                So, I just got my cholesterol panel and my total was around 250 with LDL at 169...hmmmm. I'm not doing something right.

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