Cholesterol: An Overview

What is Cholesterol? It is a waxy substance that has a significant role in the building of cell membranes and even sex hormones. Cholesterol, which is found with the lipids or fats of the blood, is also recognized as an important component of the bile. Of course, bile is a product creation of the liver that works in breaking down the fats so that we can digest them.

Cholesterol is not blood soluble and has to be brought to and away from the cells via the lipoproteins. Albeit there are various types of lipoproteins, only two of them are important to know so far as cholesterol is concerned: the low density lipoprotein or LDL and the high density lipoprotein or HDL.

The truth of the matter is that our body system produces all the cholesterol that it requires. However, it is unfortunate that cholesterol is likewise present in certain foods that we eat, specifically the foods that are high in fat content. Eating too much fat laden food, especially those that are concentrated with saturated fat can cause your cholesterol levels to increase dramatically, putting you health at great risk in the process.

lowering cholesterol levels

As it is, high levels of cholesterol greatly increase the chance of developing coronary heart disease and having a sudden heart attack. Heart conditions affect the blood vessels of the heart, restricting them in a way that the blood can not properly flow into and from the heart. Eventually heart attack happens. Coronary heart disease is today’s leading killer of both adult male and female populations in the US and likewise the number one killer of African-American men and women today. Heart attacks have become a more general health occurrence, with at least one million Americans falling as victims to the dreaded heart disease annually.
 
The main reason why cholesterol, specifically the bad cholesterol, plays such a significant role in most of today’s coronary heart problems is because to much of it in the blood eventually ends up in the walls of the arteries, slowing building up on the wall, eventually a thick material known as plaque; such occurrence is called the hardening of the arteries.

The arteries hardened because of the accumulation of plaque, making passageway for the blood to become narrower until blood supply to the heart lessens or completely shut off. The oxygen supply that the blood carries to the heart becomes less, causing various types of health problems such as chest pain. Complete and even just partial blockage of arteries certainly is disastrous to the heart and overall health of the affected individual.
 
Most people do not know they have high cholesterol because there are no clear and visible manifestations of the condition. You will not realize that you have high cholesterol because of the lack of symptoms. Knowing your level of cholesterol is quite simple. It requires a blood test your doctor can perform during your yearly check-up. Or you can do it yourself with some home cholesterol testing kit.

And if you discovered that you have high cholesterol, there are various means that you can take in order to reduce the high levels such as by exercising, maintaining and low-fat diet, taking prescribed medication and avoiding stress.