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HIgh Cholesterol - Good or Bad?

I have heard time and time again from clients about cholesterol. How important it is to avoid eggs or Saturated fat in order to keep your cholesterol levels low. To keep you at a lower risk for heart disease etc

First of all we have to understand what cholesterol is... 

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body. Most of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced in the liver, though some of it comes from the foods we eat. The body needs some cholesterol, as it is important to the body's cell membranes and to the production of certain hormones, and helps act as insulation for your nerves. Cholesterol also aids in the manufacture of bile (which is stored in the gallbladder and helps digest fats).


The question is, how relevant is it to control your cholestorol levels in your quest for a healthy heart? 


I spent a couple of hours today researching cholesterol and came across this podcast with Sam Feltham and Dr John Biffa. The part I have transcribed below  sums up the general feel for the research surrounding cholesterol.

cholesterol study from Norway looking at cholesterol levels and overall risk of death

The bottom line was this
'The lowest risk of death was sitting in men with cholesterol levels of 5 to 5.9; these are men that have traditionally been told that they have raised cholesterol because the upper limit of normal quoted these days is 5.'

'In women, overall risk of death were lowest in those with cholesterol levels above 7 which would be regarded as very raised but these women appeared to be in the best health and the ones with the lowest risk of death.'

'The idea that cholesterol causes heart disease is shaky....
Listen to the podcast here from 24:23 mins.'