If you are pregnant, vitamin D and cholesterol are essential to your growing baby.
Fat is so important to a healthy pregnancy that ovulation ceases when body fat falls below 17%. Dietary fat is also important to fertility: a study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that low fat dairy foods increased ovulation problems, but even one daily serving of high fat dairy (whole milk or ice cream) normalized ovulation. Don’t overdo it though – obesity is also a factor in infertility, however as I have explained in other columns, saturated fat is not as significant a factor in obesity as carbohydrates and particularly fructose.
Women should not worry about dietary cholesterol either. The cholesterol you eat has a negligible effect on blood cholesterol levels and, in any case, there is growing evidence that high cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. In fact, when researchers from around the world met in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1990 to compare results on cholesterol studies, they found an inverse correlation between cholesterol levels and mortality in women. Yes that’s right, the lower your cholesterol, the more likely you are to die! And whatever you do, do not take statin drugs in pregnancy. They are now known to cause birth defects reminiscent of the Thalidomide tragedy of the 1950s, only worse as most end in miscarriage.
The reason that fat is so important in pregnancy is that sufficient amounts of both cholesterol and vitamin D are critical to the healthy development of embryonic brain and nerve cells. Vitamin D is of course converted from cholesterol in the skin in the presence of ultraviolet light. The myelin sheath is made of fat and cholesterol, and defects in it are linked with many neurological disorders. For example, a recent study found a correlation between low cholesterol and autism in children.
So it now appears that following the old well-intended advice of staying out of the sun and avoiding dietary fat could be the worst thing you could do for your developing baby.
Source: essay by Dr Stephanie Seneff on Mercola.com
This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.