Cholesterol is bad for you, and good for you, and also has some weird stories to tell.
This little monster of heart disease and high blood pressure is surrounded by interesting facts that might help you gain a better understanding about how cholesterol functions in your body and in your life.
1) Cholesterol Is for Kids – Good cholesterol (HDL) is necessary to having healthy kids. Women take on naturally higher cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
A pregnant woman’s lack of cholesterol has been linked by research from the Human Genome Project to a severe fetal brain defect called HPE, in which the brain does not divide into two halves.
2) Naked Chicken Is Better – Chicken is generally a healthy protein choice, but sometimes its wholesome beauty is only skin deep. Literally. Say goodbye to a low cholesterol meal if you keep the skin on that bird you’re about to cook.
3) What’s In A Name? – The name cholesterol has Greek origins from “khole” (bile) and “sterops” (solid). Cholesterol = solid bile.
4) No Brainer – Were you thinking of eating brains for your next meal? Think again and don’t do it. The nutrition label on one serving of beef brains reads 12,121 mg of cholesterol.
That cholesterol is supposed to help brain and nervous system function, but it won’t help lower your risk for heart disease.
5) It Affects Vision – High cholesterol will not only put you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, but it also puts you at risk for retinal vein occlusion.
This occurs when high cholesterol causes blockage in blood flow to and from the eye, consequently obstructing the connections between your optic nerve and your brain. This can lead to a blood clot which results in sudden vision loss.
6) It’s In Your Head – Some research suggests that the way cholesterol functions in the central nervous system could be linked to violence or suicidal tendencies. Research is still being done on this, but scientists have explored the relationship between low cholesterol levels linked to violence and suicide.
7) In Vino There Is Health – Resveratrol is the ingredient in red wine that could help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and guard arteries from damage. Research indicates that consumption of red wine (in moderation, of course) could help the condition of blood vessels.
8) L-Arginine Helps – Those with high cholesterol might not have enough Nitric Oxide in their bodies. Nitric Oxide works to relax and enlarge blood vessels, increasing blood flow and decreasing build up of plaque in blood vessels.
Nitric Oxide is just the thing that supplements like L-Arginine work to replenish in the body.