Is cholesterol sometimes “conditionally essential”?

Yes – while still being fully committed to spending resources (more than 30 enzymes) to manufacturing 1 gram of cholesterol a day, the body goes after dietary cholesterol with abandon, trying to absorb and reabsorb every last molecule of cholesterol in the gut, up to an entire gram of cholesterol, including of course the cholesterol the liver added to bile as one of the seed lipids, along with phospholipids, which together help us absorb fat soluble substances when our food contains too little fat.

Cholesterol may be conditionally essential to make more bile when the bile quality is inferior. In other words, for example, when taurine is deficient, the body needs to make more glycine-conjugated bile (and possibly cholesterol sulfate) to make the same quality of emulsion in the duodenum as would have been made with less of the taurine-conjugated bile, and in this case, the 1 gram of cholesterol being made per day will usually be insufficient to make the additional bile to make up for the inferior quality of the bile.

In fact, while unnecessary for the level of health the government thinks of as good, dietary cholesterol may be an essential nutrient for optimal health, just as choline is essential (though until 1998 the government did not consider choline even conditionally essential), and as taurine probably is essential as well. So are many other nutrients. How can lutein be found at such high concentrations in certain tissues of the body without being essential? Etc.

I believe many people have cholesterol deficiency and taurine deficiency, which contribute to overall bile deficiency – that is, the liver produces too little bile, too little of the strongly preferred and more denaturing bile acids (taurine >> glycine). Further, the liver is not releasing enough bile to the gall bladder, not enough bile is being released from the gall bladder (in part from low fat dieting), and consequently there is not enough germ-killing in the intestines and not enough intestinal absorption of essential fats, conditionally essential fats, and the limited fat soluble nutrients in our food supply.

Problems on top of problems on top of problems. Our own mixed up thoughts are to blame: while doctors and their patients focus on excesses like too much fat and cholesterol in our diets, our bodies are trying to shore up deficiencies in fat, cholesterol, bile, and fat soluble nutrients.

Doctors are worried about colon cancer from too much bile, but only one experiment addressing this issue bothered to add a little antioxidant to the high bile acid added to the rodents’ completely synthetic and unnatural food, and surprise, surprise, the problem of increased colon cancer went away. With healthy food, there comes a plethora of antioxidants, a plethora of other nutrients needed to fight cancers of all kinds, and high bile acid secretion in response to the presence of both significant fat and cholesterol in that healthy food is probably not a quick route to colon cancer. Cancer is more the product of unreasonable deficiencies than it is the product of reasonable excesses.


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