Cholesterol is located in almost every cell in your body and it is critical for optimal functioning. For example, your body needs cholesterol to construct cell membranes and to regulate cell signaling. If you have low cholesterol, it can impact your brain health, increase your risk for heart disease, and dysregulate your hormone levels.
Your body also uses cholesterol to produce vitamin D after you have been in the sun. The food you eat is converted to cholesterol in your liver, which is similar to how animals use cholesterol. This means that the meat in your diet has similar levels of cholesterol as the human body.
Your body absorbs 20-60% of dietary cholesterol, depending on several factors that are unique to you. While many people see cholesterol and saturated fats as being the cause of heart disease, studies have recently found this not to be true.
Science linked trans fats to heart disease in 1957, but this research was later overshadowed with new research that linked saturated fat to heart disease. Later, the new research was shown to be defective, but by that time, the saturated fat myth was already firmly believed. Over recent decades, more studies have disproved the myth of saturated fat.
A recent scientific review identified critical flaws in recent studies that were funded by the industry and presented clear evidence that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are not correlated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The truth is, cholesterol doesn't increase the chances of elderly people developing heart disease, and using statins to try to reduce cholesterol is a waste of time. Research of over 70,000 people found no link between what is considered to be unhealthy cholesterol and premature deaths of people over the age of 60 from heart disease. In fact, a new study found that 92% of people with high cholesterol levels lived longer than those with low cholesterol levels.
This has invited the re-evaluation of guidelines for the prevention of heart disease and atherosclerosis because the benefits that people get from taking statins has been exaggerated.
However, some academics remain skeptical. High cholesterol is often the result of an unhealthy diet, consuming high levels of saturated fat, and smoking. Cholesterol is carried in the blood by attaching itself to proteins and has been directly related to heart disease, stroke, and arterial disease.
Although the findings have led to controversy, the authors of the study defend the results, saying that the evidence was clear and the results were reviewed thoroughly. They clearly found in their study that people with high levels of LDL cholesterol who were aged 60 and older lived longer and experienced fewer incidences of cardiovascular disease. In fact, other experts agree that cholesterol is a vital molecule that the body requires and it helps prevent the body from contracting infections, cancer, muscle pain, and various other health conditions affecting the elderly population.
It is best to alter your lifestyle to improve your health instead of trying to lower your cholesterol with medications such as statins. To achieve an optimal quality of life, people aged 60 and older should engage in regular exercise and eat a healthy diet.
While some professionals are still on the fence about the results, many agree that the best thing you can do for your health and to obtain healthy cholesterol levels is to exercise and eat healthy foods. While this study shows that using drugs does not have an impact on cholesterol or heart disease, other studies also stand by their results that show the opposite.
It is also important to remember that as people age, there are several factors that play into mortality. This means that some people who have passed away during studies that are looking at one particular risk factor for death may actually have other factors that were impacting their health and led to an early death.
No matter which group of studies you tend to believe, it is important to note that living a healthy lifestyle is always the first line of defense against any type of disease. More research is currently being conducted on the effectiveness of statins and the impacts of cholesterol on heart disease and other diseases leading to early death.