Posted by: 2in10 | 01/18/2011

oxysterols

What The Wall Street Journal calls “a new disease culprit,” oxysterols could have a role in Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis (MS), and heart disease. Oxysterols are created when the body breaks down cholesterol. They get turned into bile acids and the body rids itself of them, normally. But patients with cardiovascular disease and MS have been found to have greater than normal levels in their blood. And some researchers believe that oxysterols are toxic to brain neurons and contribute to age-related macular degeneration.

Like cholesterol, oxysterols have positive roles to play. And there are far more of them than the few that have been studied. Scientists hope identifying them can lead to early diagnoses and to identifying carriers of genes that are linked to hereditary diseases such as Niemann-Pick Type C, a fatal cholesterol metabolism disorder.

This sounds exciting and at the same time too detailed to be of real help. We need a more organic way to get well and stay well. Like cholesterol, which has resulted in people modifying their diets in unhealthy ways and taking medications that aren’t good for long-term, whole health, this hunt for the nasty oxysterol could be a way to chew up millions of research dollars and keep scientists busy without finding holistic ways to maintain health.

But I’m glad to hear scientists acknowledging new factors that could contribute to understanding wellness and disease patterns.

Carolyn

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