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What’s cholesterol good for anyway?

Well, for one thing. It is the raw material to make sex hormones – not bad to have actually. It also helps form hormones involved in the stress reaction. Some cholesterols are essential to life because it functions in the transport and communication systems in cell membranes. A lot of cholesterol is converted into bile acids, as much as 90 percent. This is where the plot thickens.


Bile is released by the gallbladder into the small intestine, near where the food leaves your stomach. Bile helps to digest fats. The enzymes that digest fats are water soluble. Since water and grease do not mix, we need some help. Think of bile like detergent cleaning a dirty place or bowl. Just as the detergent enables water to mix with grease, bile helps to mix fatty foods with water-soluble digestive enzymes.


Here is our problem. There is a lot of cholesterol in bile and after bile does its job, cholesterol is reabsorbed into the bloodstream further down the small intestine. Communication is not very good between the liver and the bile in the intestine waiting to be reabsorbed. Consequently, the liver keeps pumping out cholesterol even though a lot is going to be reabsorbed. If we could stop the reabsorption of the bile acids back into the body, we could make a significant impact on the blood cholesterol.


To summarize it, the liver produces cholesterol, as do most other cells in the body. Lipoproteins, which are little 'couriers' in the blood, transport it. A modest level of blood cholesterol is required since it is used by the body to build the structure of cell membranes to generate hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and adrenal hormones that aid in the efficient functioning of our metabolism. Taking an example, cholesterol is required for the production of vitamin D and bile acids, which aid in the digestion of fat and the absorption of key nutrients.



Few ways to reduce cholesterol level :

-Do exercise regularly (better 3 times per week).


-Avoid smoking as it contains tobacco tar & nicotine.


-Eat heart – healthy food.


-Cut down on alcohol intake.


-Consume more soluble fiber (as it can decrease LDL).


-Choose meat with fewer saturated fats like fish & chicken.





[1] Matthew Thorpe , MD ,PhD .( December 11, 2017). 10 natural ways to lower your cholesterol levels. Retrieved from Healthline:

[2]Meredith Goodwin, MD, FAAFP. Kathryn Watson. (March 19,2021). 6 tips to reducing your cholesterol without medication. Retrieved from Healthline:

[3]HealthPartners. (n.d.). How to lower cholesterol naturally: 10 things you can do everyday. Retrieved from HealthPartners:

[4]Griffin, G. and Castelli, W., “How to lower your cholesterol and beat the odds of a heart attack.” Fisher Books, 1993.

[5Brody J., Jane Brody’s Good Food Book. Bantam Books, 1987.