What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of fat contained in the blood and plays a vital role in how our cells work. It is naturally produced by the liver, and our body needs it as every cell in our body uses it. It’s also needed for digestion, to make Vitamin D, and to make hormones that keep your bones strong.
There are two forms of cholesterol: one that is healthy and one that is bad. Having too much ‘bad’ cholesterol can lead to health issues like increasing the risk of developing heart diseases like heart attack and stroke. Proteins transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Different types of cholesterol
HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, is called good cholesterol. This is due to the fact that it removes the bad cholesterol from your bloodstream. It returns unnecessary cholesterol to the liver which is then broken down and excreted from the body.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), are called “bad” cholesterol. They are responsible for collecting and distributing cholesterol. However, they are called bad because there is so much of it, it will build up within the blood vessel walls. This clogs them up, narrowing the arteries and raising the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another type of fat circulating in our blood is called triglycerides. A high triglyceride level can be caused by being overweight, consuming a lot of fatty and sugary foods, or drinking too much alcohol. Triglycerides may also lead to artery wall narrowing, which increases the risk of heart problems.
When you have too much cholesterol in your blood, you have high cholesterol.
High cholesterol levels put you at a higher t=risk of heart and circulatory problems like heart attacks and strokes.
It is mainly caused by eating foods high in saturated fat, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking or drinking alcohol, or genetics. High cholesterol can be passed through the family.
It can be lowered through a healthy lifestyle like eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
What are the symptoms associated with high cholesterol?
There are no symptoms involved, your cholesterol levels can only be identified by a doctor using a blood test.« Back to Glossary Index