Composed: Feb 28, 2023
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How Essential Nutrients Positively Impact Brain and Hormonal Vitality
Essential nutrients are vital for the human body as they are not produced internally. Amino acids and fatty acids are crucial for human health, and dietary cholesterol plays a vital role in maintaining overall well-being.
Here are seven noteworthy facts about hormonal health
- The human brain is nearly 60% fat (3).
- Every cell in the body contains cholesterol. The brain contains the highest level of cholesterol in the body; it contains approximately 20% of total body cholesterol (4). Your brain accounts for only 2% of your body's weight, but it contains 20% of your cholesterol.
- Research shows that in the elderly, the best memory function was observed in those with the highest levels of cholesterol. Low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk for depression and even death (5).
- Fat intake and healthy fats are essential for hormone production and maintenance of proper hormone function as certain fats, such as those found in Omega-3 fat sources, will aid in the rebuilding of cells and stabilization of hormones. For males, fat intake, in particular, Omega-3 fatty acids may be positively associated with testicular function, whereas Omega-6 intake may have a negative impact. For females, Omega-3 can assist with balancing Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels and sex hormone, testosterone (6).
- Eating a low-fat diet decreases the body's production of estrogen and progesterone. This is because all hormones are made from protein and fat, while sex hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone) are made from cholesterol. If fat and cholesterol are cut out of the diet, a steady supply of estrogen isn't produced, which may cause symptoms of estrogen deficiency (insomnia, night sweats, heart palpitations, etc.) in women of any age (7).
- Many studies have positively correlated essential fatty acids with reduction of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, infant development, cancer prevention, optimal brain and vision functioning, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders (8).
- And finally, it should be noted that there is a lack of evidence that dietary cholesterol plays a role in cardiovascular disease (9).
While there is ample data to suggest that some forms of dietary fat are not good for human health, there is no medical reason (no research to conclude) that cholesterol or dietary fat are inherently bad for human health. In fact, the data suggests the opposite. Low cholesterol is associated with poor brain health and increased chance for death. The research does not reveal that high cholesterol increases risk for cardiovascular health problems. There is no data that supports the use of statins to decrease the body's ability to produce it's own cholesterol.
A low fat diet is associated with hormonal imbalances in both men and women. Further, consumption of essential fatty acids is associated with a reduction of morbidity associated with cardiovascular health, and has a positive association with infant development, prevention of cancers, brain and vision functioning, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and brain disorders.