Understanding Fats and oxidation

It is not so much cholesterol that you have to worry about... it is the oxidation of fat (cholesterol) that is a major concern.

According to Dr. Mercola M.D.
"The devil is in the details, as they say, and this is definitely true when it comes to cholesterol, because as Dr. Rowen explains, the cholesterol found in arterial plaque is not just any cholesterol, but oxidized, damaged cholesterol.

"There is an excellent research on animals where they fed animals plenty of cholesterol in their diet and they did just fine. But when they gave them even small amounts of tainted cholesterol, meaning oxidized cholesterol, within weeks it showed up in fatty streaks in their arteries," Dr. Rowen says.

"We know why now. There are receptors in the endothelial cells that are the lining of your arteries. There are receptors there for oxidized cholesterol. It picks it up, and it goes into the endothelial cells. The problem is that oxidized cholesterol does not look native to your macrophages, your immune system. It actually looks like bacteria. The macrophages move in to try and clean up what it thinks is bacteria, which is nothing more than oxidized cholesterol, and it creates a whole bunch of inflammation inside your arterial wall. The real culprit is oxidized cholesterol."

Where Does Oxidized Cholesterol Come From?

Oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system every time you eat something cooked in vegetable oil. As soon as the oil is heated and mixes with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil, and should not be consumed. This is why I constantly recommend avoiding all vegetable cooking oils, such as canola, corn, or soy oil, and replacing them with organic coconut oil, which remains stable and does not oxidize at higher temperatures.

Preventing or correcting oxidation

Lecithin: Fabulous Fat
(by W. Jean Rohrer)

Considering our current preoccupation with dieting, cholesterol levels and fat consumption, it is astonishing to discover one of the best supplements for reducing cholesterol is itself a lipid. Lecithin falls into the category of phospholipid. Like the dreaded cholesterol, lecithin is produced within the liver when adequate nutritional substances are available. Initially discovered in egg yolks, the primary source of lecithin is now soybeans, however this essential dietary nutrient is found abundantly in plant and animal life.


Although the actual functions of lecithin can be divided into such categories as preventive maintenance, communications, security, digestion and waste management, its effects can be seen in all systems of the body. The relative importance of lecithin becomes obvious when one realizes this fatlike substance comprises part of every cell of the body, where, among many other functions, it acts like moisturizer to the skin; keeping the cell walls soft and supple, preventing oxidation (the intracellular version of rust) and thus assuring the cell can perform its functions of reproduction, food intake and waste excretion. Because it is a necessary nutrient for all cells, a lack or depletion of lecithin may cause decreased ability to reproduce new cells, thereby diminishing the body’s ability to regenerate. (That’s what happens with aging.) 

WASTE MANAGEMENT (aka recycling)
Lowering of cholesterol is the function for which lecithin has become famous. Able to emulsify (break up) fats in the bloodstream, lecithin keeps these lipids soluble and capable of passing through the cell walls to be utilized for energy. By dissolving fats and helping them be absorbed for use by the body, lecithin helps reduce the cholesterol level in the blood, a major risk indicator for heart attack and heart disease. Low blood levels of lecithin correlate with high cholesterol levels, as floating fat molecules clump, then stick onto the wall of your arteries and tunnel between the muscle layers of the blood vessels. Voila! you’ve got atherosclerosis. 

But this vital nutrient also has the ability to break down fat plaques already present, effectively reversing atherosclerosis, and reducing the risks of heart attacks and stroke. One nutritional authority went so far as to state atherosclerosis does not occur regardless of fat intake when adequate amounts of lecithin are present in the body.

It is a thoroughly documented fact: Americans are overweight. A vast proportion of those above healthy weight are dieting—with varying degrees of success. Here again, lecithin shines. Since the primary function of lecithin is the emulsification and burning of fats, and since the most efficient means of dropping weight is to increase nutrients that burn fats, supplementation with lecithin would seem a very real help in the endeavor of weight loss and maintenance.