a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 582.2 

Guest: Wanda Howell, PhD. Assoc. Prof. Nutritional Sciences, Univ. of Arizona 

Topic: Cholesterol is OK? 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Cholesterol's OK?...coming up... 

SPOT: For 15 years, the National Emergency Medicine Association has worked against stroke, heart disease and trauma. Join the effort, call 800-332-6362.  

NEMA: I've been conditioned over the past ten years to avoid cholesterol like the plague...but Wanda Howell, Associate Professor of Nutritional Science at the University of Arizona, says a new study says cholesterol has been misunderstood...  

HOWELL: our bodies will produce cholesterol regardless of what take in in the diet. That's the first important message. The second is that most of us will regulate, quite nicely, our blood cholesterol based on what we take in in the diet. By that I mean most of us are not sensitive to dietary cholesterol. If we eat dietary cholesterol, our bodies make less, so that our blood cholesterol levels stay relatively the same.  

NEMA: And Dr. Howell says it's saturated fat that is the real culprit...  

HOWELL: ...saturated fat does not trigger that mechanism to stop making cholesterol. So, saturated fat will contribute much more to increasing blood cholesterol. 

NEMA: Dr. Howell says about 15% of us are cholesterol sensitive...meaning that the body does not adjust to the cholesterol we eat...and that it runs in families...those people are usually medicated to keep their blood cholesterol down. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.