Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in nearly every cell of your body and is essential to good health. It plays a role in hormone production, digestion and the manufacture of vitamin D following sun exposure, and helps protect your cell membranes.
As noted by Zoe Harcombe, Ph.D.,1 "It is virtually impossible to explain how vital cholesterol is to the human body. If you had no cholesterol in your body you would be dead."
Your liver manufactures most, about 80 percent, of the cholesterol your body requires, which in and of itself suggests your body cannot survive without it. The remaining 20 percent comes from your diet. However, dietary cholesterol is absorbed at a rate of 20 to 60 percent, depending on the individual,2and if you consume less, your body will compensate by making more and vice versa.
Animals use cholesterol in much the same way, hence beef, pork and chicken have similar levels of cholesterol, averaging 25 milligrams of cholesterol per ounce.3
Cholesterol has long been vilified as a primary cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), yet numerous studies refute this hypothesis, demonstrating that cholesterol has virtually nothing to do with heart disease — at least not in the way conventional medicine presents it.
As noted by Harcombe, the notion that there is good and bad cholesterol is also wrong. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are not actually cholesterol; they're carriers and transporters of cholesterol, triglycerides (fat), phospholipids and proteins.
"LDL would more accurately be called the carrier of fresh cholesterol and HDL would more accurately be called the carrier of recycled cholesterol," she says.4 What's more, dietary cholesterol has no impact on the cholesterol level in your blood, so how could dietary cholesterol pose a health risk?
Does High Cholesterol Cause Cardiovascular Disease?