Cholesterol is a vital substance. It is an essential building block of every cell in your body.
Cholesterol is required in particular to build up and stabilize cell membranes, the surrounding skin to protect all your cells. Cholesterol has the role of all animals. How can a cell membrane look, the purple arrows indicate cholesterol site:
In addition, cholesterol is the building block for all your steroid hormones, such as sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Maybe that explains why cholesterol-lowering medication, on average, been shown to have significantly poorer sex life . Although vitamin D is a steroid hormone produced by cholesterol.
Cholesterol can be transported in the blood, to access the cells that need it. Transported in special "package", with names such as LDL ("bad cholesterol") and HDL ("good cholesterol"). More on different types of cholesterol soon!
A high cholesterol in the blood may statistically have a slightly increased risk of heart disease. But it depends a lot on. A high level of "good" cholesterol, HDL, on the contrary considerably less risk of heart disease. Do you eat a lot of saturated fat usually rises your HDL cholesterol.
"High" cholesterol is extremely common
Here's the problem today: the pharmaceutical industry does not want to sell lipid medication only to those that have proven useful. They want to sell as much as possible.
Then those on the Pfizer website kolesterol.nu , suggesting that everyone should have the 5 in cholesterol. Otherwise, the medicine, Lipitor, to sell. And sell they do. Lipitor is the world's best-selling drug, and sold for about SEK 90,000,000,000 worldwide in 2007. You read that right: 90 billion a year.
The sale becomes understandable when one examines how common it is with a cholesterol above 5. Every healthy thirty year old in Sweden has. And 95% of all 60-year olds.
It looks like cholesterol above 5 is normal. The pharmaceutical industry would argue that it is not. It would be ok if there was evidence that the vast majority of healthy Swedish adults with cholesterol over 5 benefit from medication. Such evidence does not exist. More on that later.