Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a naturally occurrence of a waxy, fatty-like substance that’s in all parts of the body. Cholesterol is need for your body to work properly. However, too much cholesterol in the blood can combine with other substances and stick to your artery walls. This creates plaque, and plaque can potentially narrow your arteries or even block them completely.

Cholesterol is required in the body as building block for cell membranes and hormones (like estrogen and testosterone). The liver makes most of the body's cholesterol, about 80%. The rest of the cholesterol comes from dietary sources like eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Foods that are plant based do not have cholesterol in them.

High cholesterol in the blood, also known as hypercholesterolemia, increases the risk factor of heart disease or stroke. There are usually no signs or symptoms of high cholesterol in the blood; however, blood tests can detect cholesterol levels in blood. Cholesterol levels rise as you age, and your chances of having high cholesterol increase if it’s hereditary, your overweight, or you consume large amounts of fatty foods.

High cholesterol can be lowered with regular exercise, low-fat diet, fruits and vegetables, and medication such as statins. This will also treat abnormal levels of LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.

Understanding Cholesterol Levels

A lipid profile is developed from a blood test during the usual screening test. It’s recommended that cholesterol levels should be measured every five years if you are over 20yrs years old. Men 35yrs old and over and women 45yrs old and older should be tested more often for lipid disorders.

The Lipoprotein profiles include:

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – “Good” cholesterol
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – “Bad” cholesterol
  • Triglycerides – a type of fat (lipid) that’s found in the blood
  • Total cholesterol

HDL vs LDL 101

Cholesterol Points

Important Points on Cholesterol

The key to an in depth understanding of HDL, LDL, Triglycerides and Total Cholesterol is in the ratios. Otherwise, you have a superficial analysis and perhaps a doctor trying to put you on needless medication! Read more »

See Also

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