Science For Life
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Science For Life

Cholesterol, what it does to your brain?

Do away with cholesterol fiction.

The image on Unsplash by Nico Smit

Cholesterol Myth

Since childhood, we are asked to abandon fatty stuff and have some healthy foods. Fatty things can increase your blood cholesterol levels. Which in turn can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. People around us think that all cholesterol is bad. This is not true because high-density lipoprotein deficiency can cause severe problems. So, this cholesterol isn’t bad in any way.

This is explained by American Health Association as,

“Cholesterol is a waxy substance. It’s not inherently “bad.” Your body needs it to build cells and make vitamins and other hormones. But too much cholesterol can pose a problem.”

So, let us get it straight. We are needing this cholesterol for the brain. Also, it is a key component of all cell membranes. Moreover, it has a share in the better functioning of hormones. 20 percent of the body's cholesterol is in the brain as told by researchers. Its deficiency can cause complications.

The latest researches have shown that Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s disease is more common in people having low cholesterol. Although it is proved that cholesterol can’t penetrate through the blood-brain barrier.

Does eating high cholesterol helps your brain?

The plain answer is yes. But brain cholesterol is not totally dependent on food, the brain has its own ways for this too.

According to researches, some cholesterol can be absorbed into the brain in the form of plasma lipo protein-bound cholesterol. So, eating food with cholesterol can help in brain functioning.

So, eating fatty stuff has it’s a share in proper brain functioning. Statins (cholesterol-lowering medications) are being used by people to reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases. But it surely is resisting the brain’s natural style of working and that’s why people having low cholesterol are developing brain diseases.

In the book Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life by Max Lugavere and Paul Grewal, there is one simple message that clears all the fuss.

“The brain naturally produces all the cholesterol it needs. It’s more important to ensure the body’s cholesterol system stays healthy, and to avoid (as best as possible) medications such as certain statins that might interfere with this synthesis.”

We can add this cholesterol by eating healthy sources of cholesterol including nuts, beans, and my favorite avocados.

So, there is no need to run away from the cholesterol stuff because nothing by nature is a complete waste. All we have to do is keep in mind what statins will do to our brain before starting to use them.

As always, make sure to check with your doctor regarding any health reasons.

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Fiza Ameen

Fiza Ameen

A nyctophile, truth-seeker gravitating towards human nature| Writing is my way of unlearning the patterns.

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