The Truth About Cholesterol | Importance, Types And How To Control It Naturally?

Cholesterol is not your enemy. It has an important function in the body. It is a component of the cell and walls, and it is a building block of many hormones and bile acids and in the formation of vitamins.

Performs essential tasks and even play a role in the metabolical process in the brain.

The major causes of death in the world are cardiovascular disease and cancer. And studies have shown that 80 percent of that is preventable by diet and little changes in lifestyle habits.

A decade ago, we were all told that the heart’s health depends on the saturated fat intake.

So you need to decrease your saturated fat intake because it clogs the arteries, and when they rupture, they forme a blood clot.

And we were led to believe that the cholesterol levels and the fat we eat are the only factors that affect heart attacks or strokes.

But now we know that the matter is much more complicated than that. This misconception did more damage because more people started eating trans-fats, which are more dangerous than regular fats. They cause multiple problems and accelerate aging at an alarming rate.

In January 2006, the FDA banned all trans fats to reducing the public’s exposure to unhealthy fats and decrease the risks of heart attack and stroke.

Unfortunately, books and reports also contain misinformation with fatal consequences. So anything we’re going to say here, we’re going to back it up with multiple studies.

In this article, we’re going to explore the different types of cholesterol, the health benefits, dangers, and the role of nutrition, plus other important facts.

Why Is Cholesterol Important For The Body:

Cholesterol has a vital function in the body, and it performs important tasks. It is a component of the cell and walls and a building block of many hormones and vitamins. 

Structure of the cell membrane & brain metabolism:

Cholesterol is significantly involved in the structure of the cell. It makes up about 40 percent of the membrane lipids membrane.  


Cholesterol is an important precursor in the production of bile acids, vitamin D, and may essential hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. 

Where Does Cholesterol Come From?

The body can produce most of the cholesterol itself, mainly in the liver. The rest is absorbed through food. The human body can produce about 90 percent of the daily required cholesterol.

But generally, 75{23a935e40810e147a9f2406802bc54b2b4fd42064446c8b6538bcc40c333c187} is produced internally, and only about 25{23a935e40810e147a9f2406802bc54b2b4fd42064446c8b6538bcc40c333c187} of the cholesterol is taken from food.

Also, because it is an essential fat, all cells can produce it themselves. So the body is not dependent on how much cholesterol is floating around.

Difference Between Saturated And Unsaturated Fats:

High-fat dairy products, cheese, sausage, and meat products and processed foods have a high content of “bad” saturated fat. Food such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and spreads made from them contain predominantly “good” unsaturated fat.

The amount of fat in your diet is important. Especially if you are on a diet, you should pay attention to calories what kind of fat you are eating because there are saturated and unsaturated fats.

The “bad” and “good” fats are found in various foods we eat. There is hardly any food that has only one or the other. It’s a composition, but in general, we should prefer foods that contain as little saturated but plenty of unsaturated fats as possible.

Generally, saturated fatty acids increase the total cholesterol level and especially here the concentration of the “bad” LDL.

And that seems bad because of high cholesterol and associated with heart attacks and stocks. But as we’re going to explain, it’s more complicated than that.

Difference Between LDL And HDL?

The cholesterol cannot travel through the bloodstream alone because it oi poorly soluble in water. So it is linked to various proteins and fats called lipoproteins like HDL and LDL. And these compounds transport it to your liver, kidney, and muscle, and any cell that needs it. 

And the main difference between the two the density. Generally, higher density is associated with higher lipid content, and that makes it more harmful and can carry the risk of deposits in the blood vessels and arteriosclerosis. 

Studies have shown that the risk of heart attack is higher in people with high LDL or low HDL. So lowering LDL cholesterol can reduce the risk of a heart attack. However, increasing HDL doesn’t change anything. Therefore, LDL has a causal effect, and HDL is just a marker.

Over time, the LDL cholesterol deposits constrict the blood vessels flow and even break them open, causing arteriosclerosis and lead to a heart attack or stroke, a local thrombosis, among other things. 

However, the HDL absorbs the excess of cholesterol from body cells and blood and channels it back to the liver. It can even dissolve cholesterol already bound to the vessel walls and prevent arteriosclerosis.

It’s important to understand that despite high cholesterol levels, some people still have functional blood vessels and a low risk of a heart attack. So high cholesterol levels are not always something dangerous. 

When Is Cholesterol Too High?

As we said before, high cholesterol levels are not always a bad sign.
Some people, despite that, have functional blood vessels.

For other people, slightly elevated cholesterol levels are enough to form massive deposits and hardening in the arteries. And that can trigger an inflammatory process that leads to plaque formation, which spreads more and more and impairs the function of the vessels.

All of this is associate with a high risk of a heart attack or stroke. So these people need to reduce cholesterol levels even more.

Recommended values:

Nevertheless, these are the recommended values for individual blood lipids for adults without additional risk factors:

Total cholesterol value by 200 milligrams per deciliter or 5.2 millimoles per liter
LDL cholesterol: less than 115 milligrams per deciliter or three millimoles per liter
Triglycerides: less than 150 milligrams per deciliter or 1.7 millimoles per liter
Lipoprotein(a): less than 30 milligrams per deciliter or less than 45 nanomoles per liter

If you don’t have any other risk factors with an LDL of 130 mg/dl, it is a perfectly normal value.
There are also extreme values: an LDL value of 200 or more is always too high.

What about people with underlying conditions: 

Even though determining the risk of cardiovascular disease is very complicated. But it is necessary, especially for people who already have heart problems.

For example, someone who has already had a heart attack should keep LDL  below 55 mg/dl. 

For people with diabetes, the value would be around 70 mg/dl.  This last value also applies to people with more risk of a fatal cardiovascular case.

High Cholesterol Risk Factors:

Age and gender:

Age also plays a role in the risk evaluation. With age, cholesterol levels and blood pressure tend to rise slightly. Therefore, the overall risk of a heart attack or stroke increases.

Men have a higher overall risk of cardiovascular disease than women. 

Genetic disorders:

Disorders in our fat metabolism like high cholesterol levels can also be congenital and inherited. 

Familial Hypercholesterolemia is one of the most common genetic disorders in the world. According to this study, 1 in 250 people is affected by it. 

The main characteristic of FH is an elevated LDL  level in the blood.

To absorb LDL from your blood, your cells need special receptors. People with genetic defects don’t have these receptors leaving your LDL cholesterol levels are then permanently elevated.

Pre-existing conditions:

Besides genetics, age, and gender, conditions like poor thyroid function, infections like H. pylori, and leaky gut can lead to high cholesterol, especially LDL.

Diabetes, diseases like hypothyroidism, limited kidney function, or liver disease can also increase cholesterol.

Smoking and alcohol:

Smoking is also a factor. According to the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, LDL cholesterol, plasma triglycerides, and VLDL triglycerides were found to be substantially increased, and plasma HDL cholesterol decreased in smokers. 

Alcohol also affects cholesterol. In this study,  the consumption of alcohol in moderation seems to be associated with increased HDLC levels in inactive men but not in men who engage in regular running or jogging.

So alcohol in moderation is not dangerous, but you need to be a little bit active. 


In addition, the regular intake of medication, for example in the case of chronic diseases, can have a negative influence on the cholesterol level.

Causes Of High Cholesterol In A Healthy Person:

This is the most critical part of the article because most people don’t know that the immune system and gut bacteria play an important role in cholesterol levels in the blood.

The highest concentration of immune cells in your gut, because your gut is regularly exposed to the external environment and pathogens.

A gut barrier separates the immune cells and bacteria. If this barrier is compromised, your immune cells start to kill bacteria in your gut, and this releases something that’s part of the bacterial membrane called endotoxin.

Endotoxin then gets into your bloodstream, and it binds to LDL. So if you have an unhealthy gut, you increase your LDL production.

These endotoxins prevent LDL from going back to the liver and get out of your circulation.

Also, they’re considered a foreign invader by your immune cells. So they cause inflammation and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines creating a foam cell attached to the LDL and stuck there in your circulation.

How To Control Cholesterol Levels Naturally?


On the one hand, they always warn the public to carefully monitor their intake of certain substances such as fats, salt, and cholesterol. And the role of cholesterol control in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.

On the other, as we explored in this article, cholesterol is good for the body and essential to perform multiple tasks. So if you’re confused, don’t worry about it, you’re not alone. According to this paper, in the news reports, there a big wave of confusion surrounding cholesterol and diet.    

Generally, People with high cholesterol levels and underline conditions should reduce the consumption of fats such as meat, sausage, and butter. And focus on unsaturated fatty acids like fish, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils like olive oil. 

25{23a935e40810e147a9f2406802bc54b2b4fd42064446c8b6538bcc40c333c187} of the cholesterol is taken from food. So a change in diet can influence cholesterol levels. Also, everything in moderation is a safe way of dealing with the confusion around nutrition.

And keep in mind that high cholesterol levels are not always a bad sign.

Some people, despite that, have functional blood vessels.


Exercise is always a good thing because reducing body weight can also help with too much harmful cholesterol.

But physical activity has little effect on cholesterol levels, especially if you want to reduce the LDL. However, exercise can lower triglycerides and slightly increase ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL).

But of course, regular exercise significantly reduces the overall risk of cardiovascular disease. And the goal here is not to the values of cholesterol per se but on overall health.

Sport has a specific influence there, but to lower the LDL value, sport alone is usually not enough.

Gut microbiome:

When you hear cardiovascular diseases or high cholesterol, most people hardly think of the intestine. But scientists at the Charité have shown that the gut microbiome plays, and they are hoping that this will lead to new, more effective ways to fight cardiovascular diseases.

The American Heart Association recently published a new study that supports the first study. Taking probiotics twice a day and supporting the good kind of bacteria in your gut can lower cholesterol levels. 

Overall, the experimental group showed a 9.1{23a935e40810e147a9f2406802bc54b2b4fd42064446c8b6538bcc40c333c187} lower cholesterol value. The values of the “good” HDL cholesterol and the triglycerides in the blood did not change, 

The results of the study showed that probiotics also could reduce cholesterol absorption in the intestine.

Even for people using medication like a statin to lower their cholesterol, the intestinal microbiome plays an important role. that explains why cholesterol-lowering drugs have no effects on specific individuals.


Sulforaphane is a biologically active phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, and kale.

This compound contains a lot of potassium, which lowers blood pressure. And that’s not all. The sulforaphane causes our cells to produce enzymes that act against free radicals.

Also, new research suggests that sulforaphane can protect against vasoconstriction and inflammatory diseases and even some types of cancer.

Intermittent fasting:

More and more people are trying out intermittent fasting and feel more comfortable with it than ever. Intermittent fasting does not necessarily limit the number of calories. You just change your mealtimes.

Intermittent fasting activates fat burning. So The LDL “the bad kind.”
is used by the organism to produce energy, and the excessive cholesterol level drops.

Researchers at Intermountain Heart Institute Cardiology in Utah explained that after fasting for just 10 to 12 hours, the organism starts looking for alternative energy sources. Glucose reserves are depleted, so the body uses the LDL from the fat cells to produce energy.