Other factors such as toxicity, mercury poisoning and fluoride toxicity all contribute to hormone disruption in the body. Mercury particularly can interfere with the conversion of progesterone into cortisol. When there is a cascade of hormonal imbalances, you can almost say with certainty that heavy metal toxicity is a major causative factor. And when the symphony of hormones gets augmented, there are multiple responses and reactions that can ensue. The increased production of cholesterol is one. But realize that the elevation of cholesterol is a response to underlying biochemical imbalances, not a cause of it.
It turns out that vitamin D receptors are present in most if not all cells in the body. Additionally, experiments using cultured cells have demonstrated that vitamin D has potent effects on the growth and differentiation of many types of cells. These findings suggest that vitamin D has physiologic effects much broader that a role in mineral homeostasis and bone function. As one example, many immune cells not only express vitamin D receptors, but are capable of synthesizing active vitamin D, and deficiency in vitamin D has been associated with increased incidence of autoimmune disease and susceptibility to disease.