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The Truth Behind The Dangers of Cholesterol
Judging from its history, cholesterol does have a bad record in the medical field. In 1908, experts found that animals used for experiments will have an accumulation of fat in their arterial walls when given meat, fatty milk, and eggs for consumption. That causes the blood vessels to become narrower, which is called as atherosclerosis. The process occurs for a very long time and can be the origin of heart attacks and stroke.
By 1913, some experts have made the hypothesis that the accumulation of fat is cholesterol. In 1916, a Dutch doctor named Cornelius de Langen that was working in Indonesia at the time found that the number of native Indonesian citizens who suffer from heart problems was significantly lower than Dutch people who lived in Indonesia. He speculated that the reason why Indonesians had low cholesterol levels was that their mainly plant-based diet, compared to Dutch people who liked meat and other animal products.
At the end of the World War II, research experts in Scandinavia found the fact that death caused by heart problems drastically decreased during the war. That is caused by the decrease of consumption of meat, milk, and eggs. Today, scientist have found that people who suffer from heart problems generally have higher levels of cholesterol than healthy people.
Knowing the facts above, there is no wonder as to why a lot of people identify cholesterol as something dangerous for health. However, it is not entirely true.
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Cholesterol Is Needed By The Body
Cholesterol itself is synthesized in various parts of the body. Around 17 % of the dry weight of the human brain is composed of cholesterol. If there is no cholesterol, the structure of the brain will not be perfectly formed. Even though it is regarded as dangerous and can be harmful when it is too much, cholesterol is still important for the body. Humans averagely need 1.100 milligrams of cholesterol per day in order to protect cell walls ans also to regulate other physiological reactions. From that amount, around 25 to 40 percent or 200 to 300 mg is normally acquired from foods and the rest is synthesized by the body.
If the body lacks cholesterol, synthesis of cholesterol in the liver and intestines will increase in order to fulfill the needs of tissues and other organs. Oppositely, if the amount of cholesterol in food increases, the synthesis will decrease. Knowing how much cholesterol per day you should consume is important as cholesterol from food have an important role because it is the main sterol in the human body, as well as the component of cell surface and intracellular membranes.