How NOT to Die Young - Part 3

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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,