Cholesterol Cholesterol

by Dr. Daamini Shrivastav

April 15, 2016


  • Cholesterol is something that harms the body and we don’t need it
  • Cholesterol in our body comes from the food we eat which are cholesterol rich
  • Cholesterol causes heart attacks


  • Cholesterol is an organic molecule synthesized and is found in every single cell of your body i.e. vital! Cholesterol serves many bodily functions. These include forming an integral component of cellular structure, being an essential precursor to the synthesis of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, aldosterone, Bile acids (necessary for fat digestion) and vitamin D, plays a role in nerve impulse conduction and in memory function and contributes to stabilization of one’s mood and psyche; Cholesterol affects serotonin metabolism and a Canadian study provides evidence for the fact that the lower one’s cholesterol levels, the more like he/she is to commit suicide when in depression. Bottom line – Cholesterol IS essential and NOT evil!
  • Typically the body produces about 1 gram of cholesterol daily and the body’s content of cholesterol at any given time is approximately 35g. A vast majority of the body’s cholesterol requirement is accounted for by self-production. The body titrates the production against that ingested in food. In addition to producing cholesterol the body recycles it as well absorbing it back from the intestine.
  • Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of one’s arteries due the deposition of fat; a common occurrence in the present world. As more fat is deposited, the artery becomes narrower and blood flow is obstructed. When the heart’s own blood supply is completely cut off, one suffers a heart attack! Previously, in surgeries and in autopsies, cholesterol was found to be at these sites of fat deposition and physicians extrapolated that, cholesterol blocks arteries. Cholesterol comes to sites of inflammation in the body in order to replace damaged cells. Its function is to protect and preserve!


  • Cholesterol levels are an indicator of inflammation in the arteries and this is usually due to an excessive consumption of trans fats and sugars, smoking, alcohol excess, a sedentary lifestyle, genetics, increasing age & gender (men are at greater risk). Having high cholesterol gives us information that we need to make necessary changes to our lifestyles in order to bring down the arterial inflammation and insult. Most of the factors can easily be controlled and modified to lower cholesterol levels and manage it effectively. 


  •  Genetics, increasing age and the male gender do playing a significant role in high cholesterol levels and unfortunately these cannot be manipulated or modified in the slightest. What can be done is modification of the inorganic factors like diet, smoking, alcohol, exercise and stress to minimize the inflammation within the cardiovascular system that is resulting in high cholesterol. 

My Take

Cholesterol today is a household word. It has been deemed the root cause for just about every case of heart disease in the last 2 decades. Nearly everyone today is ‘cholesterol fearing’ and vilify it completely ignorant to the fact that without it, they would just not be! Worse still, the half-baked knowledge about Cholesterol has been instrumental in demonizing a variety of foods. “Bacon and eggs anyone?”

 The result was that the Western developed world made radical changes to their diets by cutting out butter, red meats, animal fats, eggs and replacing them with more processed grains, more vegetable oils, and more high-fructose corn syrup, all of which are nutritional disasters. This “low fat diet” became the cause for the epidemic of Obesity and Diabetes in the modern world both of which lead to increased inflammation in the blood vessels and therefore cholesterol increase in the body.

Whilst this article does show that cholesterol isn’t the cause of “bodily evil” it is an extremely helpful indicator of what is going on within and must be taken into account to change one’s lifestyle. Simply put, one needs to be aware of what are the risk factors and take measures accordingly. If your calorie intake exceeds that which you burn then fat and weight gain is inevitable and obesity in turn is the root cause of infinite health disorders and diseases. You should : 


  1. Have regular blood lipid profiles done
  2. Make dietary modifications to consumer healthy fatty foods like olive oil, coconuts and coconut oil, butter, avocados, raw unsalted nuts, seeds and eggs cooked correctly.  Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day. Eating oats and legumes can lower LDL cholesterol by five per cent.
  3. Engage in aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It is important to keep your body weight and body fat percentage within normal ranges
  4. Ensure you’re blood sugar levels are normal. Elevated blood sugar levels are directly linked to plaque formation in blood vessels

5)  NOT overindulge in processed meats and foods

6)  Stop smoking and cut back on the alcohol

Last but not least, try not to let life get to you because believe it or not, the more stressed you are, the more your cholesterol levels skyrocket. Mental stress causes inflammation of the nervous system. So breathe, meditate, take time off from work and travel for your soul … we here like to call it RYE ;-)

Dr. Daamini Shrivastav


Dr. Daamini Shrivastav

Juggling many roles from physician to writer to pilates instructor to Marketing-PR executive, Dr. Daamini is constantly pushed and inspired to get creative on how to encompass a Retreat into her daily life.
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