Updated: Jan 12
Harvard Medical School published this article in 2007. I wrote about why they took this important article down this year. It has some important teaching within it and I used this article to help people understand the importance of cholesterol and the brain.
Here are some quick brain facts:
The brain is VERY vascular. 25% of the oxygenated blood that leaves your heart delivers oxygen to your brain. Since the brain is only about 2.5% the mass of our bodies, that means it consumes 10 times the oxygen compared to average tissue in our bodies.
25% of the free cholesterol in our bodies is found in our brain. Coincidence? Read the Harvard article and you will conclude it is not. Cholesterol, a fat-soluble substance, is extremely important to the cellular makeup of our brains - which are mostly composed of fats.
Your brain has the ability to produce its own free cholesterol. So, even if you don't have cholesterol intake from food or you are on a drug that suppresses cholesterol delivery (statin drugs), your brain will still have cholesterol. Your brain is too smart to depend on just one way to get such an important substance.
What food is highest in cholesterol... I know the answer will surprise many of you. I have asked this question extensively and only one person got it right. I was at an optometry conference in Bermuda and an eye researcher got it right. You see, the eye is an extension of the brain and key fats are important to both the brain and the eye. The answer.... The brain of any other mammal. That's how important cholesterol is to brain health - in essentially all animals - including us.
Here is an excerpt from the Harvard article about cholesterol and the link to the full article. Of course, there are statements demonizing cholesterol in this article. It's part of medical culture. Think about how hard it would be for medicine to say "just kidding, we were wrong about cholesterol."
Max Planck, one of the most prestigious physicists of all time famously said,
"Change in science takes place one funeral at a time."
Despite its well-deserved notoriety as a cause of heart disease, cholesterol is essential for human health. It is the building block of steroid hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol and the male and female sex hormones, including testosterone and the estrogens. Cholesterol is also an essential component of the membranes that surround all human cells. More than simply holding cells together, these membranes have a crucial role in regulating cell function and allowing chemicals to pass into and out of cells.
Because cholesterol is so vital, the body does not rely on diet to provide it. In fact, most of the cholesterol in the blood is manufactured in the liver. Statin drugs reduce the liver's cholesterol production by targeting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase; and by lowering blood cholesterol levels, they protect arteries from damage.
Most of the body's organs get the cholesterol they need from the blood. Similarly, when the body breaks down cholesterol, its components return to the liver for reprocessing. Some of the statin drugs' benefits depend on their ability to trick the liver into removing cholesterol from the blood.
Here is my breakdown of the inconsistencies in this Harvard article.
How can it be a cause of heart disease if so much cholesterol and blood (from oxygen transport) are in the brain?
In paragraph 2 Harvard states that cholesterol is “so vital” and is produced in the liver. Then they state that the statin drugs reduce the liver’s ability to produce this “so vital” substance with no explanation.
They state that organs get cholesterol from the blood yet they promote statins to reduce cholesterol in the blood…..
Do we really need to “trick” the liver? Why would the liver be doing the wrong thing in over half our population? (This is best on my lab testing on 10,000 people. With that standard of care lipid reference ranges, about half of these people have elevated “cholesterol”
My previous blog on this topic: https://www.healthrevivalpartners.com/post/corrupt-harvard
I encourage you to watch the video linked below.
How not to die young - part 3. Please watch this video. All 4 parts, with this being part 3, discuss repair and recovery with focus on how important cholesterol is to your cellular health.
Hint: In youtube you can increase the playback speed by up to 2 times.... to get through it more quickly. You can change the speed under by clicking on the "settings" (gear" menu.
I'm offering 3 months of my services - unlimited - for the price of my 3h offering. You can start this program today to help you through the holidays and it will be good through March.
What you get: Unlimited time with myself or my wife (health and life coach) - or both (we have very different skills).
How it works:
Take or retake the Chronic Disease Assessment
Review your current treatment plan and labs
Schedule weekly sessions (15 minutes or more) (consistency)
Sign up for the Chronic Disease Support program and get 10% off labs and other tests.
Have a healthy longevity!
It's not too late to join the chronic disease support program. I'll send any newbies a link to past presentations....
Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D.