The Antioxidant Function of Cholesterol
A little known fact is that cholesterol actually possesses antioxidant function.
In particular, HDL, the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol, can protect LDL, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, from oxidative damage. (1)
LDL particles are also rich in antioxidants, such as α-tocopherol, β-carotene and ubiquinol-10, which protects LDL from free radical attack and oxidation. (2)
This is yet another reason why the quality of the cholesterol consumed in our diet is critical, and why ample fat soluble vitamins and nutrients are a key component.
Also, given that antioxidants are protective, and there is an antioxidant component in cholesterol, could it be that at times, in certain individuals, the presence of high cholesterol may be an intelligent mechanism on the part of the body to protect us in some way?
- Soran H, Schofield JD, Durrington PN. Antioxidant properties of HDL. Front Pharmacol. 2015;6:222. Published 2015 Oct 16. doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00222
- Singh N, Singh N, Kumar Singh S, Kumar Singh A, Kafle D, Agrawal N. Reduced Antioxidant Potential of LDL Is Associated With Increased Susceptibility to LDL Peroxidation in Type II Diabetic Patients. Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;10(4):582-586. doi:10.5812/ijem.5029