Cholesterol-Binding Reduces Injurious Effects of Toxins
Besson et al (1989) found that the microbial-derived toxic metabolite (antibiotic) mycosubtilin has a strong lytic action upon fungi and erythrocytes. The erythrocytic membrane lytic effect of mycosubtilin is inhibited by binding to free cholesterol. The binding results in a cholesterol interaction which diminishes the concentration of free cholesterol. The protective benefits of cholesterol binding of the toxic microbial metabolite thus preventing disruption of the cellular membrane provides evidence of a heretofore unrecognized purpose for the presence of cholesterol in the cellular membranes of all living cells; antitoxicity. This observation provides at long last an understandable reason for the finding of excessive amounts of cholesterol crystals in atherosclerosis and in other longstanding inflammatory diseases such as chronic microbial-caused pleural effusions.
Also, the reduction of free cholesterol as binding occurs provides a possible explanation for the lowering of HDL seen in infections and atherosclerosis; its cholesterol is being used to bind toxins.
Cholesterol reduces the toxicity of vitamin D2
Kunitomo et al (1989) have documented that a highcholesterol diet greatly reduced the toxicity of vitamin D2. as a diminished growth rate following anorexia, elevated serum calcium level and calcium deposition in tissues,
Hypocholesterolemia Increases Toxicity of Cyclosporine
Cooper et al (1989) have reported increased cyclosporine-induced central nervous system toxicity associated with low levels of cholesterol in the blood. Apparently, cholesterol reduces the toxicity of the drug.