Cholesterol. Does the word scare you? It strikes fear into many of my patients when I bring it up. When too much cholesterol is in the bloodstream we need to be concerned about our heart health.
Cholesterol has important responsibilities in the body. Let’s spend time understanding why cholesterol is essential to our body and how we can create the best balance.
Cholesterol’s Job in the Body
Cholesterol is necessary for the formation of cell membranes and the creation of nerve cell coverings. It is also the backbone for the manufacture of steroid hormones which are necessary for vital functions.
Examples of our steroid hormones are sex hormones (female and male) and our stress hormones. The female hormones are estrogens and progesterone, and the male hormone is testosterone.
Cortisol, a steroid hormone also known as the stress hormone, is responsible for managing stressful events, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation. Finally, cholesterol is needed to produce the steroid hormone aldosterone, which balances water and salt in the body.
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