Cholesterol is a versatile compound that is vital to the function of the human body and just like everything else; cholesterol levels differ greatly among individuals. In humans, cholesterol serves 5 main functions:
1. Cholesterol is used by the body to manufacture steroids, or cortisone-like hormones, including the sex hormones. These hormones include testosterone, estrogen and cortisone.
2. Cholesterol helps the liver produce bile acids. These acids are essential for digestion of fats and ridding the body of waste.
3. Cholesterol acts to interlock “lipid molecules,” which stabilize cell membranes. Therefore, cholesterol is the vital building block for all bodily tissues.
4. Cholesterol is an essential part of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath, similar to the coating on copper wire, ensures that the brain functions properly by aiding the passage of electrical impulses. Without the myelin sheath, it is difficult to focus and we can lose memory.
5. And finally, cholesterol has beneficial effects on the immune system. Men with high cholesterol have stronger immune systems than those with low cholesterol, as can be seen by the fact that they have more lymphocytes, total T-cells, helper T-cells and CD8+ cells. Many strains of bacteria, which cause us to get sick, are almost totally inactivated by LDL cholesterol.
In closing, lowering such a vital molecule might be considered suicide in slow motion. To illustrate, imagine that your house represents your body and the nails holding it together, cholesterol. Now start pulling just a few nails out of the house. What happens? The house turns to a pile of rubble. The same is true for the human body.
Reference: Ellison, Shane. Hidden Truth about Cholesterol Lowering Drugs