We hear it time and time again. We need to keep our cholesterol levels down.
But is low cholesterol a good thing?
Despite the hype that it’s a bad thing, it’s actually needed for:
-optimal brain function
-the synthesis of vitamin D
-the formation or structural component of every cell membrane in our body
-the production of steroid (sex and stress) hormones
Sex hormones include estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Low progesterone can elevate feelings of anxiety (😳🤯) whilst another hormone, DHEA, acts as a precursor to these hormones, and also relies on cholesterol to function.
It’s pretty crazy to think that as recently as the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s we were led to believe that fat was bad for us. But this whole fat-is-bad-for-us theory was actually based on very biased research by the now discredited-researcher, Ancel Keys, as he handpicked data to prove his hypothesis that diets rich in fat raised cholesterol and caused heart disease.
The thing is, our body needs fat and cholesterol to help facilitate a number of important physiological processes in the body such as in the manufacture of sex hormones which are critical not only for fertility, but for energy as well.
Ahh energy. Something that seems to vanish soon after commencing shift work as I’m sure you can relate!
There are also fats that are referred to as “essential” fats, meaning they are essential that we consume every day because the human body cannot create these fats from other substances inside ourselves, or other substances that we might consume. So we must consume these essential fats every day.
Healthy Shift Worker Podcast Episode:
Sleep deprivation undeniably plays havoc on our hormones, so today’s show is all about how shift work, or more specifically how sleep deprivation affects the function of our reproductive hormones.
Dr Nat Kringoudis is a doctor of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist, Author, Speaker and all-round natural fertility expert based in Melbourne, Australia and discusses why sleep deprivation is essentially a form of stress that prevents the body from performing as it should.
This includes producing an excess of the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol, which essentially “turn off” our sex hormones, and why one particular supplement is her ‘go to’ supplement when it comes to improving our ability to cope with stress, along with various other vitamins and dietary inclusions that can support the body in times of stress.
Nat also chats to us about estrogen dominance and gut health, and how certain strains of bacteria can help in the metabolism and clearance of estrogen, along with other conditions such as liver toxicity and inflammation.
Such a fun and informative episode, you won’t want to miss this one!
Links mentioned on the podcast:
Nat’s website – www.natkringoudis.com
To join her community – http://www.natkringoudis.com/subscribe/
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Thanks to our erratic shift schedules and overwhelming levels of fatigue, shift workers inadvertently spend less time in the outdoors.
However it’s not just those of us working 24/7 who are locking ourselves inside or soaking ourselves in sunscreens each time we venture outside in the sun, because there’s actually a world wide epidemic of vitamin D deficiency.
And whilst we may call it a vitamin per se, it’s actually not a vitamin. It’s a steroid hormone, meaning it’s a steroid that acts as a hormone.
This one little hormone has loads of responsibilities including helping to coordinate our metabolism, our digestive and cardio-vascular systems, along with our immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems.
But what about our sleep?
Well considering there are lots of vitamin D receptor sites found in the brain and brainstem (proteins found on the surface of a cell which “listen’ to incoming messages) which are linked to light cues on the retina in the eye helping to trigger the production of melatonin influencingour sleep, one can make the assumption that vitamin D has a very important role in our circadian clock or sleep/wake cycle. (more…)