Cholesterol: vitamin C controls its transformation to bile acids
By the use of an animal model (guinea pigs), this study investigated the role of vitamin C in degrading cholesterol. Just like the human body, this model is incapable of producing vitamin C. Thus, if these animals do not receive enough vitamin C through their diet, the blood cholesterol levels increase and cholesterol molecules accumulate in the liver. This process is caused by a reduced transformation of cholesterol into bile acids molecules. A direct correlation between the vitamin C concentration in the liver and the transformation of cholesterol into bile acids was found in this trial. For further details please see the study.
Lipid disorders are characterized by imbalanced levels of fatty substances (i.e. cholesterol and triglycerides) in the bloodstream. These lipids are carried in the blood stream in form of microscopic round particles, called lipoproteins. Thus, these conditions are also called lipoprotein disorders. There are, generally speaking, two types of cholesterol-transporting lipoproteins: a) the “bad cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances to the sites of tissue repair, e.g. in the artery walls; the most common representatives of this group are Low-density-lipoproteins (LDL) and, a newer one, Lipoprotein(a), Lp(a). b) the “good cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances away from the sites of tissue repair and transport it back to the liver where it is biologically “burnt” One of the most frequent causes why “bad cholesterol” particles are elevated in the blood stream is micronutrient deficiency. This can be easily explained: A deficiency of vitamins causes structural damage to the artery walls and other organs and the body (liver) reacts with an increased production of “repair factors” like LDL and Lp(a). Because the elevation of these risk factors in the blood is already a reaction damage of our body tissue caused by vitamin deficiency, they are considered “secondary” risk factors.
Ginter E. Cholesterol: vitamin C controls its transformation to bile acids. Science. 1973 Feb 16;179(4074):702-4.