What is Cholesterol?

Are you diagnosed as having high cholesterol? If so, then do you need to lower your cholesterol? But first and foremost, what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a wax-like, fatty substance that is created by your liver. It is also present in many foods, such as meat from animals, dairy products such as whole milk and poultry products. The human body actually requires some amount of cholesterol for it to be able to properly function. To be specific, the walls or membranes of the human cell need cholesterol for the production of certain hormones, vitamins and bile secretions or acids that aid in the digestion of fat. However, it is imperative that the body produces only the allowable amount of cholesterol. When there is too much cholesterol on the body, health conditions such as heart diseases can develop.
 
How does Cholesterol cause Coronary Heart Disease?

When the body has too much amount of cholesterol, a thick and hardened deposit called plaque will form in the arteries; this narrows the spaces needed for a smooth and regular flow of blood to your heart. Time comes with such buildup of plaque will cause atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries, which ultimately lead to serious heart condition.

lowering cholesterol levels

Narrowed spaces prevent the right amount of blood from bringing oxygen to the heart, thus causing chest pain known as angina. If the supply of oxygen to even just a portion of the human heart is cut off totally because the coronary artery is completely blocked, this may result in a heart attack. Such heart attack is usually caused by a sudden blocking of an artery because of a blood clot that forms about a previous narrowing of the artery.

What are the types of Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is carried via the blood as it is attached to a specific protein; such cholesterol and protein team-up is known as lipoprotein.  There are four classifications of lipoproteins; these are the high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, and the very low density lipoprotein, depending on the amount of protein there is as compared to the amount of fat.

Bad Cholesterol (LDL)

Low density lipoprotein or LDL is likewise known as bad cholesterol, so-called because this kind of lipoprotein can trigger plaque build up on and around the artery walls or membranes. The more amount of low-density lipoprotein present in the human blood, the more risk there is for heart disease to happen.

Good Cholesterol (HDL)

High density lipoproteins or HDL is popularly called the good cholesterol as HDL actually aids the body in getting rid of the bad cholesterol in your blood. The higher the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body, the better it is for your health. On the other had, if you maintain low HDL levels, you have greater risk having heart disease.

Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL)

The third kind of lipoproteins is what is known as the very low density lipoprotein or VLDL, which is actually similar to the low density lipoprotein as it mostly contains fats and little protein.