We know it’s bad when cholesterol gets under the inside skin of our blood vessels that causes atherosclerosis and heart attacks and strokes. We also know that cholesterol is part of the cell membrane of every cell in our bodies and also used to make many hormones and vitamin D. So is it floating in our blood to deliver it to all those cells? No, because every cell has ample machinery to make all the cholesterol it wants from very basic building blocks and cells are doing that constantly. That’s why the cholesterol in the food you eat is not responsible for more than a tiny part of the cholesterol in our bodies and in fact the most important way of getting rid of cholesterol is by passing it out in our poop.
So it seems silly to have it out in the blood causing so much havoc.
But another problem God had to solve was how to get fatty acids from our intestines to our fat storage and everywhere else where they can be burned for energy. Fat cannot dissolve in water, which is what blood is mostly. So fat has to be carried somehow attached to something else in your blood. The most efficient shape of the particles to transport them would be spherical. But fatty acids are long gangly things. Cholesterol on the other hand is short and clumpy and can form a core. Then fatty acids can be arrayed around that core like a spiky Christmas tree bulb. That is how this problem is easily solved with the cholesterol that is already available everywhere in our bodies.
Then the problem of handling cholesterol and getting rid of it from our blood is where things get complicated and hazardous. And now you know the rest of the story. Or if you don’t, then listen to the 7 hours of podcasts in 5 episodes of Dr Peter Attia interviewing the dean of cholesterol-ology – better and more accurately known as lipidology – Dr Tom Dayspring from New Jersey.
1. PODCAST by PETER ATTIA. #22 – Tom Dayspring, M.D., FACP, FNLA – Part III of V: HDL, reverse cholesterol transport, CETP inhibitors, and apolipoproteins. October 17, 2018.
John DiTraglia M.D. is a Pediatrician in Portsmouth. He can be reached by e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (740) 354-6605.