Cholesterol naturally rises with age and is a leading contributor to heart disease- the number one killer in the United States. While you may have heard the importance of watching your cholesterol levels for a healthy heart, many people do not realized the connection between cholesterol levels and hormones.
Cholesterol is a building material for the following hormones:
These hormones are important in many aspects of our lives, including:
- Mineral balance
- Blood pressure regulation
- Sex hormone balance
- Blood sugar regulation
Statistics indicate that a number of Americans are suffering from hormonal imbalances due to improper diet and ability to handle insulin. These factors can, in turn, affect many other hormones in the body including the sex hormones. If adequate cholesterol levels are not maintained and balanced, these hormones cannot be made in good quantities and symptoms of hormone deficiency may occur.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and is a soft, waxy and fat-like substance. But unlike general thinking, cholesterol is not all bad; it is necessary by the body to strengthen cell membranes, digest fats, make hormones and insulate nerves
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (bad) and HDL (good). LDL cholesterol causes build-up of plaque in arteries that blocks blood flow to the heart and brain. HDL, on the other hand, appears to have the ability to help prevent heart disease by carrying LDL cholesterol away from arteries- making high levels of HDL cholesterol a good thing.
The many benefits of cholesterol include:
- Keeping your cell membranes intact
- Boosting mental performance
- Aiding digestion
- Building strong bones and muscle
- Maintaining your energy, vitality, libido, and fertility
- Regulating your blood sugar
- Repairing damaged tissue
- Protecting against infectious diseases
The American Heart Association says that total cholesterol levels below 200 mg/dL are most desirable; 200-239 mg/dL are borderline high risk for heart disease and strokes. One out of every two Americans have high cholesterol, in fact, more than 106 million Americans have cholesterol levels above 200 and another 46 million have levels about 239. An HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher gives some protection against heart disease.
|Total cholesterol||< 200||200-239||>240|
|HDL Factor- Men||3.5||3.6-5.4||5.5|
|HDL Factor- Women||3.0||3.1-4.1||4.2|
Cholesterol provides the building blocks for you to make your hormones. If your cholesterol levels are too low, your body is not able to make the necessary hormones for proper functioning. Our physicians are experts in bioidentical hormone therapy and using a combination of a customized fitness and nutrition program, you can positively impact your cholesterol levels and provide a stage for your body to function optimally and in balance.
Watch this video on cholesterol from Cholesterol Network.