In this video I discuss Cholesterol, why is cholesterol bad, high cholesterol, bad cholesterol, good cholesterol, ldl, hdl, and what does cholesterol do. I also discuss how to lower cholesterol, and
cholesterol particle size.

Transcript (partial)

So, what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance. Your body, and especially your liver, makes all the cholesterol you need and circulates it through the blood. But cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products.

Cholesterol has some very important functions in our bodies.

The 1st function deals with cells. Cholesterol is an essential structural component of all Cell membranes. Cholesterol helps maintain both membrane structural integrity and fluidity.

The 2nd major function of Cholesterol is that it plays an important role in the absorption and production of vitamin d. vitamin D is created when the ultraviolet rays of the sun act upon a form of cholesterol.

The 3rd function of Cholesterol is that it is used to make bile. Bile breaks down fat into small droplets, so digestive enzymes can come in and do their jobs.

And the 4th major function of cholesterol is that it is a precursor for making some hormones like testosterone in men, and estrogen in women.

So, if cholesterol is a part of all of these important bodily functions, why are we as a society so afraid of it? To answer that we have to look at lipoproteins. Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body: low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins. Having healthy levels of both types of each is important.

Now, we are going to look at 2 different ways cholesterol levels are evaluated. The 1st method is the kind of old school way, which MOST doctors will use to evaluate cholesterol levels. And the 2nd method is based on newer research in the field of cholesterol.

Low-density lipoproteins, or LDL cholesterol sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible.

Some of the LDL’s can stick to small tears in the sides of the arteries, and eventually release cholesterol into the artery wall. As this keeps happening, the plaque starts to build up, and over time, it can get quite large.

This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result. High-density lipoproteins, or HDL cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Experts believe HDL acts as a scavenger, carrying LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where the cholesterol is either recycled or excreted from the body.

Now lets look at the cholesterol evaluation method 2. The main difference between this method and method 1 is that this method focuses on LDL size. Their size is often classified as small dense LDL, or large LDL. .

Lets say that we have a total of nine pieces of cholesterol.100 In example 1, 3 large particles of LDL are carrying 3 pieces of cholesterol each. In example 2, 9 particles of small dense LDL are each carrying 1 piece of Cholesterol. So, as you can see, in example 2 there is the same amount of total cholesterol, but a higher quantity of particles. The small dense LDL particles can more effectively stick to and enter arterial walls, contributing to atherosclerotic plaque.

So, lets say that Kevin has a cholesterol test done. His LDL number comes in at 95, which according to method 1, would be termed “optimal”. Doctors and researchers who use method 2 to do cholesterol evaluations would argue that 95 LDL tells Kevin nothing.

But, research suggests that, in most people diet and exercise can have the most dramatic affect on all 3 of those questions. Increasing whole food consumption, while decreasing the consumption of foods that have been highly processed or contain large amounts of added sugar, can help lower overall LDL, and increase LDL particle size. Eating healthier fats and foods high in antioxidants can help as well.

Timestamps
0:00 Intro
0:27 What is cholesterol?
0:46 Functions of cholesterol in the body
1:54 What are lipoproteins?
2:06 Types of lipoproteins, ldl and hdl
2:22 How are cholesterol levels evaluated?
2:49 What is ldl cholesterol?
3:30 What is hdl cholesterol?
4:21 Total cholesterol formula
4:44 Cholesterol particle size evaluation method explained
6:29 How to change cholesterol levels

Other sources…
http://authoritynutrition.com/diet-cholesterol-and-lipoproteins-explained/
http://www.newhealthguide.org/Function-Of-Cholesterol.html

http://eatingacademy.com/cholesterol-2/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-part-i
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/Good-vs-Bad-Cholesterol_UCM_305561_Article.jsp#.VoZRffkrKM8