Cholesterol Biosynthesis! Can Fats Be Converted To Cholesterol?

Cholesterol biosynthesis pathway shows how our body makes cholesterol from simple units like Acetyl Coenzyme A, which can be obtained either from carbohydrates or fats. There is no way that fats be directly converted to good or bad cholesterol. Good or bad cholesterol in blood stream depends upon the nutritional status of the individual.

Cholesterol is complex molecule the structure of which is shown here:Cholesterol is a complex molecule having 27 carbon atoms and a four ring structure. Compare it with the structure of fats. Fats is a triglyceride where three fatty acid molecules are esterified with glycerol.

If saturated fats have to be converted to cholesterol, fat molecule, which is actually a triglyceride, has to be hydrolyzed to fatty acids of different chain length. Fats are catabolized in the body to simple units and ultimately converted into energy.

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The hydrolysis products of fats are different fatty acids of different chain length. The fats enter the intestine from where they are absorbed and hydrolyzed to fatty acids by “Chylomicron pathway”. There is no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood as postulated in “lipid hypothesis”. Our liver regulates the quantity of cholesterol required by our body.

As soon as the requirement is met it stops making cholesterol. In spite of this information being known known the lipid hypothesis states that intake of dietary fats and cholesterol increases LDL cholesterol. Intake of low-fat diet is advocated as a measure to lower cholesterol levels.

Then what is the connection between saturated fats and cholesterol?

Does saturated fat act as a building block for cholesterol? Chylomicron pathway describes very well how the fat is hydrolyzed after it reaches the intestine. There is absolutely no way that you can turn saturated fat (or any other saturated fat) into cholesterol. Human biochemistry is very complicated. There is a particular pathway that our body follows to make cholesterol. This is called as cholesterol biosynthesis pathway.

Cholesterol biosynthesis pathway: The liver can make cholesterol from carbohydrates as well. Even if you do not happen to eat saturated at all or any other unsaturated fat, liver will still make cholesterol. This is because it needs a simple molecule to start building a complex molecule like cholesterol and that simple starting raw material is “Acetyl coenzyme A”.

The flow chart below shows how the body synthesizes cholesterol starting from acetyl co enzyme A. The major steps in the synthesis of cholesterol are:

  • 1.0 Acety-Coenzyme A’s are converted to 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA)
  • 2.0 HMG-CoA is converted to mevalonate.
  • 3.0 Mevalonate is converted to isoprene based molecule, isopyrophosphate (IPP), with the concomitant loss of CO2.
  • 4.0 IPP is converted to squalene
  • 5.0 Squalene is converted to cholesterol.

Biosynthesis pathway

If you look at the structures of the intermediates involved in cholesterol biosynthesis you will not find any saturated fatty acid structure acting as an intermediate of cholesterol synthesis.

From cholesterol biosynthesis pathway shown above we cannot justify that fats are converted to cholesterol. The fundamental building block of cholesterol is a substance called as Acetyl CoA. If fats cannot be converted to cholesterol how does consumption of fats increases LDL cholesterol.

How to lower cholesterol?

The lipid theory proposes that one should avoid eating food containing saturated fats, eat low-fat diet and  low-fat diet recipes but these suggestions do not seem to work in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.

How to lower cholesterol

Recent research shows that our blood plasma contains some emerging risk factors which if we try to control will keep our cholesterol levels under control. The appearance or rise of these emerging risk factors can also be attributed to un optimum nutrition and unbalanced diet.

Treat Acne With Vitamin A

When it comes to treating severe acne, one of the best options out there is vitamin A acne treatment. In fact, treating acne with vitamins like Vitamin A has been proven to be an effective and a fairly safe way that you can treat acne problems today. Unfortunately there are many people out there dealing with nasty acne problems and when they have exhausted many other options, some doctors will decide to try treating them with Vitamin A treatments to get rid of the acne problem.

A Healthy Treatment

The great thing about this type of treatment is that there are many great benefits that are offered to people who use this treatment and one of the benefits is that this treatment for acne is a very healthy treatment. Not only is it great for treating the acne problem that people are dealing with, but the Vitamin A also helps to promote health as well. This vitamin is needed for a healthy body and you’ll find that this treatment will help increase health and it is a treatment that is natural and very healthy.

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Promotion of Healthy Skin

Vitamin A acne treatment is excellent for the promotion of healthy skin as well. This vitamin is well known for helping to promote skin that is very healthy and radiant. Not only does it help to clear up skin problems such as acne, but it is also known for helping to combat skin cancer too. However, it is important to realize that taking too much Vitamin A can lead to some nasty health problems. In fact, if too much is taken, there can be grave consequences.

Treatments Must Be Prescribed

Because too much Vitamin A can be such a problem these treatments must be prescribed by your doctor. Any gels, lotions, or other forms of Vitamin A or retinoids, have to be prescribed by your physician and regulated by him. Make sure that you discuss this with your doctor of it is something that you are interested in. You will also find that doctors can not only prescribe topical solutions, but there are also oral solutions that can be taken as well to help treat acne with Vitamin A.

Eating to Get More Vitamin A

Of course you don’t just have to take Vitamin A treatments to get the great benefits of Vitamin A acne treatment. You can actually eat certain foods to help get more Vitamin A into your diet as well. There are a variety of different foods that contain this Vitamin. Some of the best include romaine lettuce, carrots, leafy greens, and even sweet potatoes. Adding some of these foods to your diet is a wonderful idea if you don’t want to go on a prescription treatment using Vitamin A.