We have a major stress hormone – cortisol, when we are stressed we produce cortisol, it’s a hormone that comes from our adrenal glands. One small catch, we need cholesterol to MAKE that cortisol molecule. If we don’t have enough we are in trouble, this is a coping mechanism.
Now let’s talk about digestion and it’s role. Our gallbladder/liver makes bile (bile acids), this is how we get rid of extra cholesterol. Fasting will effect this of course, your LDL will increase since your body is making a larger amount of cholesterol but it is also eliminating a larger amount.
Vitamin D, another topic to add to the list – this is something most of us are deficient in – cholesterol in the skin is needed for this. We often forget this important factor, without cholesterol in the skin you won’t get the byproduct vitamin D – so all this supplementing isn’t worth a darn if you are not getting adequate cholesterol (and magnesium but again that is a whole other post)
Fasting, something else to discuss – it’s something we have done for centuries, yes your LDL will raise however the IGF levels will dramatically decrease and that is a good thing. Your total cholesterol levels will also increase, that is just how the calculations go. But if you are fasting why is your cholesterol increasing? It’s simple – when you fast your body is eating the fat you have stored. After the first 6- 8 hours you have already burned up that reserve of sugars/carbs so now it’s a fat fasted fuel source for your energy. This has to do with ketones – which the liver is going to make.
The enzymes needed to make ketones are the same as the ones that we use for cholesterol production, this means the higher the ketones the higher the cholesterol. It’s available in a lovely diagram from MEDLINE.com, that’s the database from around the world where we compile data – check it out.
This is another reason you need a healthy gut since the cholesterol is being eliminated through it into our poop.
On our liver we have LDL receptors, they soak up the LDL from the bloodstream, but since the liver is already making most of our LDL and doesn’t need it the LDL receptors will decrease. This means when you are on a low carb diet you see a increase of what is floating around and being excreted, we are getting rid of the extra we don’t need.
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