The study focused specifically on patients with a condition known as Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), in which nerve cells are unable to properly manufacture protective myelin sheaths. It is these myelin sheaths, which are composed of lipid fats and proteins, that allow nerves to communicate and send appropriate electrical signals that trigger movement and cognition, and that protect nerves from damage.
Cholesterol, which is commonly dismissed as harmful and something that people should avoid, actually contributes to producing and maintaining myelin sheaths. Without it, as evidenced by the recent studies, individuals with PMD -- and potentially all individuals -- are at a higher risk of developing cognitive illness and brain degradation. And particularly those with PMD, low-cholesterol diets are almost sure to leave them exceptionally prone to nerve damage.
"This six-week-long cholesterol treatment delayed the decline in motor coordination," wrote the scientists in their report. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine in Germany fed a group of mice with PMD a high-cholesterol diet for six weeks, as well as another group of PMD mice a low-cholesterol diet. Those on the high-cholesterol diet stopped experiencing cognitive decline, while the low-cholesterol mice continued to get worse.
Cholesterol appears to be beneficial for everyone
"Cholesterol acts to interlock 'lipid molecules,' which stabilize cell membranes," writes Shane Ellison, M.S., in his book Health Myths Exposed. "[C]holesterol is a vital building block for all bodily tissues. Lowering such a vital molecule is absurdity. To illustrate, imagine that your house represents your body and the nails holding it together cholesterol. Now start pulling each and every nail out of the house. What happens? The house turns to a pile of rubble. The same is true for the human body."
Cholesterol-lowering statins are responsible for destroying health, causing Alzheimer's
The key to promoting healthy cholesterol levels in the body is not to take synthetic drugs, but rather to achieve vibrant health through proper diet and exercise, which includes a diet rich in healthy saturated fats and, yes, even cholesterol.
"Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are not the cause of coronary heart disease," says Dr. George V. Mann, M.D., professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. "That myth is the greatest scientific deception of this century, perhaps of any century."
Sources for this article include: