Clarifying Ideas about Cholesterol – Correlation is not proof of causation.
Most blood cholesterol comes from unburned food energy. It is a useful biomarker for excess food energy intake. Current American lifestyles need only 200 Cals per 3 hours. A 1200 Cal meal leaves 1000 Cals during the next 3 postprandial hours to form and release triglycerides and cholesterol into the blood . Food energy toxicity is now a serious health condition. The excess energy causes transient vascular dysfunction. It is amplified by omega-6 eicosanoids into harmful health conditions. The postprandial injury can be lessened by eating fewer calories per meal. Chronic inflammatory damage in atherosclerosis and thrombosis in heart attacks are amplified by n-6 eicosanoids, not by associated elevated blood cholesterol. Cholesterol is a key component for cell membrane stability, and it forms important steroid hormones and bile salts. It is made especially by the liver in a complex 25-step process regulated by negative feed back signals that actually slow the formation of more cholesterol.
Food Energy Toxicity- Omega-6 Amplifies It. (3:46 min.video)
Historically, high food energy density was linked with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and high blood cholesterol levels. This led to a broadly held (but unproved) public view that cholesterol causes CVD deaths. A 2014 review (see Figure 1) shows the association of CVD and cholesterol may occur only to the degree that people have more inflammatory n-6 HUFA than the less inflammatory n-3 HUFA. Normal levels of 220mg/dL cholesterol rise 14 mg/dL with an increase of 5% food energy as saturated fat. It lowers about 7 mg/dL with 5% increased energy as polyunsaturated fat (PUFA). The latter approach of more omega-6 PUFA gave expected lower cholesterol and unexpected higher death rates which falsified the hypothesis that blood cholesterol causes death.
Updated April, 2017