How cholesterol and hormone related
Cholesterol is often related to various diseases which can be life-threatening in humans. In fact, this waxy substance is a very good substance required—in moderate amount, for proper digestion and other body functions. While high level of bad cholesterol or the LDL may put us into the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases, maintain moderate amount of it is beneficial for all processes in our body.
Main functions of cholesterol occurring in our body includes:
- Cholesterol helps the liver creating bile acids, which is used by the body to digest consumed food. Without bile acids, foods, especially fats cannot be digested properly.
- Lack of cholesterol will inhibit proper liver function, which may end in undigested fats. This may cause blockage to the arteries and heighten the risk of heart attack.
- Cholesterol is main component of cells, which exists in every cell all over the body.
- Cholesterol provides protective barrier for the cells.
- This is one of the most important functions of cholesterol.
- Vital hormones are produced by the help of cholesterol, which is stored in the adrenal glands.
What hormones related to cholesterol?
Cholesterol occurs in every cell of the body, and since in all human bodies it is stored in the adrenal glands, it has a vital role in synthetizing those steroid hormones, which are produced by the adrenals. Steroid hormones produced in human body include corticoids and androgens. Cholesterol is synthesized in the liver and hence, drugs which inhibit liver’s production also have a very damaging effect upon the proper production of hormones.
Effects of cholesterol deficiency on hormone production
Hormones which are induced by cholesterol have vital roles in our body. Hence, inhibited production—as a result of limited cholesterol amount inside the body will trigger some problems inside the body. Statins—cholesterol-lowering medications have a big impact of cholesterol deregulation in our body. Some of the effects are illustrated as below:
- Glucocorticoids is an important growth hormone which is produced in human adrenal gland with the help of cholesterol. Hence, cholesterol deficiency will cause lower level of this hormone, which may trigger some symptoms of disturbed health status, such as:
- Limited movements
- Lack of growth
- Muscle cramps
- Kidney problems and failures
- Androgenic hormones, such as the DHEA and testosterone are also influenced by cholesterol synthetized in the body. This kind of hormone is essential for libido and also necessary for maintaining bone density and health. Hence, people who are exposed to cholesterol-lowering medications for a long period might experience androgenic hormone deficiency, which may lead to sexual problems, fast aging, and osteoporosis.
- Progestin hormone has a role of regulating women’s menstrual cycles and as a gestation hormone. Deficiency of cholesterol causing limited amount of progestin which increases the risk of having irregular menstrual cycles and miscarriage.
- Estrogens are critical for sexual development and similar to progesterone, have a critical role for brain function.
- Sterol—or vitamin D is converted in the liver and has hundreds if important immune supporting functions. This hormone is also essential for calcium regulation in our blood stream. Decreasing level of cholesterol will occur in deficit of vitamin D level in our body, resulting in bone problems and other growth issues.
How to maintain proper level of cholesterol in our body
- Drink sufficient amount of water every day.
- Limit consumption of caffeine, especially in the morning, since this will inhibit the liver in producing cholesterol.
- Increase your green leafy vegetables consumption every day. Two servings per day should be the minimal amount.
- Consume more healthy fats, such as from raw nuts, and stay away from trans-fats.
- Decrease consumption of sugar in your daily diets.
- Exercise sufficiently every day. Walking, jogging, and cycling are the best exercise for maintaining balanced cholesterol level and thus, prevent cardiovascular diseases risk.
- Have your cholesterol level—the LDL, HDL, and triglycerides checked before the age of 35 if you are male and 45 if you are female. Repeat the test every five years for accurate picture of your cholesterol level.