Cholesterol and Brain Development (know someone suffering with Parkinson’s?)

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Choose your experts carefully.  Run from those who see things as good or bad. Cholesterol came to national, worldwide attention solely because Big Pharma could make billions of dollars selling drugs to lower it.  However, that was only possible after doctors were taught to teach you, in turn, that cholesterol was “bad”.  This began in the 1960s.  Soon, truth poked her nose into the nonsense and “experts” were forced to moderate their stand and teach that, as regards cholesterol, there are “good” and “bad” versions.  The “good” version was the HDL (high density lipo-protein) and “bad” was the LDL (low density lipoprotein).  What was the difference, aside from density? It turns out, that since the LDL carried things from the liver to the blood vessels it was considered “bad” whereas the HDL was “good” because it carried things from the blood vessel to the liver.  And on we swept down the river towards the falls of systemic dyslipidemia: billions per year continued to be spent on cholesterol lowering drugs with statins being introduced to try and effect the “bad” cholesterol more than the “good” cholesterol.        (Aside: the next times your doctor tries to prescribe a statin drug to lower your cholesterol, remind him or her that stains function as anti-inflammatory agents not as cholesterol lowering agents….)

Under the control of (BigPharma funded) experts. many important, life-saving discoveries regarding heart disease failed to make a dent in that money machine: Big Pharma funds research in medical schools and pays MDs to push cholesterol lowering drugs (hmm… Does “MD” stand for marketing director??)  and too many of us opened wide for it.  What discoveries?  Well, Kilmer McCulley, M.D., Ph.D.  showed that homocysteine (a methylation marker totally unrelated to cholesterol levels) is far more indicative of risk of fatal heart disease and the whole heart-disease as an inflammatory illness paradigm which negates the importance of cholesterol lowering drugs has all but been ignored (although statins, as noted above, really are beneficial only to the degree that they function as anti-inflammatory agents and those benefits are better achieved by safer anti-inflammatory agents which don’t destroy your native levels of Co Q 10!) –   Lots of asides here. Just read the following and weap:   Cholesterol lowering is BAD for brains.

We have told you that for decades and here comes the research.   See this link and this link for related important articles on the risks of LOWERING your cholesterol.


1) Cholesterol is not bad for you (it is not even a fat; it is an alcohol molecule)  Aside: just saw the Julia Child movie where Butter is God and she lived well into her 90’s – And I mean really “well”!!

2)  refined sugars are killing your heart (sugar is a potent acidifying and imflamatory agent)

My advice?    Lower your uncritical acceptance of the advice of “experts” and follow the money trail. 

Cholesterol Necessary For Brain Development, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2009) ”” A derivative of cholesterol is necessary for the formation of brain cells, according to a study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet. The results, which are published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, can help scientists to cultivate dopamine-producing cells outside the body.

The study was led by Professor Ernest Arenas and demonstrates that the formation of dopamine-producing neurons during brain development in mice is dependent on the activation of a specific receptor in the brain by an oxidised form of cholesterol called oxysterol. Dopamine-producing nerve cells play an important part in many brain functions and processes, from motor skills to reward systems and dependency. They are also the type of cell that dies in Parkinson’s disease.The scientists have also shown that embryonic stem cells cultivated in the laboratory, form more dopamine-producing nerve cells if they are treated with oxidised cholesterol. The same treatment also reduced the tendency of the stem cells to show uncontrolled growth.

“Oxysterol contributes to a safer and better cultivation of dopamine-producing cells, which is a great advancement since it increases the possibility of developing new treatments for Parkinsons disease,” says Professor Arenas.

It is hoped that one day it will be possible to replace dead cells in the brains of Parkinson’s patients with transplanted cultivated dopamine-producing cells. Such cells can also be used to test new Parkinson’s drugs.

Journal reference:

  1. Paola Sacchetti, Kyle M. Sousa, Anita C. Hall, Isabel Liste, Knut R. Steffensen, Spyridon Theofilopoulos, Clare L. Parish, Carin Hazenberg, Lars Ährlund Richter, Outi Hovatta, Jan-Åke Gustafsson & Ernest Arenas. Liver X Receptors and oxysterols promote ventral midbrain neurogenesis in vivo and in human embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell, 2 October 2009

Adapted from materials provided by Karolinska Institutet.

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