What You Should Know About Cholestero
What You Should Know About Cholestero
Although cholesterol has a bad reputation and is often referred to as a “bad nutrient” for its role in heart disease and other diseases, the truth is that it’s actually not so bad. It is important to keep our body healthy. This article aims to explain the role of cholesterol and why it is so bad for our health. But to do this, we must start at the beginning.
What is Cholesterol?
It is a substance that looks like wax. Cholesterol is present in the blood plasma as well as all cells of the human body. It is a steroid and an organic compound.
Cholesterol plays a vital role in the body. Cholesterol is required for healthy cells and as the main component of cell membranes. It is a compound that the body uses to synthesize different products, such as bile acids, hormones, and vitamin D. Cholesterol Chemical Formula About 80% of total cholesterol in our bodies is produced by the liver and intestine. The rest of the 20% is derived from food, mainly from animal sources such as meat, poultry, and dairy products. Our body has a mechanism to regulate cholesterol syntheses. When we consume more cholesterol in our diet, the liver will automatically reduce cholesterol synthesis.
Understanding the types of cholesterol is essential to understanding its role.
Due to its fatty composition, cholesterol is not water-soluble. Since our bodies are mostly water, cholesterol must be combined with certain protein complexes known as lipoproteins in order to travel through the bloodstream. Lipoproteins come in two main forms: Low Density (LDL) or High Density (HDL).
Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDLs)
LDL transports the cholesterol from the liver into different parts of the body, where it’s separated from lipoproteins and used by cells. LDL cholesterol (also called bad cholesterol) is the reason cholesterol is a dietary ill. When it becomes too high, the macrophages consume it and it is trapped in the blood vessel walls, causing the formation of plaque and sticky deposits. Atherosclerosis is the name of this condition. This condition can eventually block blood flow to the heart, brain and other organs causing heart attacks and strokes.
High-Density Liposoprotein (HDL).
HDL transports unused and extra cholesterol back to the liver via reverse transport. It is then broken down into bile acid and expelled from the system. HDL levels are linked to lower plaque formation, and this is why HDL cholesterol is considered good.
Cholesterol and Our Body
Although excessive cholesterol is harmful to the body, the body needs it for different functions.
Cholesterol is an antioxidant that the body uses. Free radicals are carried by the wounds on our bodies. To keep disease at bay, it is vital to eliminate these free radicals. Cholesterol neutralizes these excess free radicals, protecting the body against the damage that they can cause.
Immunity: Its role
The cholesterol also helps to boost our immune system. To fight infection, our immune system depends on cholesterol. LDL binds bacterial toxins to deactivate them. LDL, for example, prevents MRSA toxins from affecting red blood cells. Before antibiotics were available, raw egg yolks or fresh cream was used to treat tuberculosis.
Cholesterol also is required for the production of steroid hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone, which are sex-hormones in women. Infertility can occur if you don’t have enough cholesterol. The adrenal gland is also responsible for the production of other hormones, such as aldosterone and cortisol.
Bile is produced by cholesterol and is greenish in color. It is needed for digestion. Bile is produced by the liver, released and stored in gallbladder. It is an emulsifier that helps to digest fats.
Important Building Block
Cholesterol plays a vital role in maintaining healthy cells. It is a component of all cells in the body, along with polar fats.
Vitamin D Production
In the presence of sunlight, cholesterol is converted into vitamin D, which is essential for cell repairs.
Cholesterol and Brain
About 25% of the total cholesterol in our blood is used by the brain. Cholesterol is essential for the connection of brain cells. We would be unable to learn and remember without cholesterol.
Low cholesterol levels can lead to emotional instability, behavioral issues and even violent and aggressive behavior.
The Brain and Eyes Development
For brain and eye development, fetuses and babies need cholesterol.
High Cholesterol: Causes and Treatment
Both lifestyle and genetics play a role in raising cholesterol levels. Certain medical conditions and medication can also affect the body’s levels of cholesterol.
Smoking makes LDL cholesterol (the harmful one) stickier, causing it to clog arteries. Smoking lowers HDL (the good) cholesterol levels, which help remove bad cholesterol from artery walls.
Smoking damages arteries and cholesterol begins to accumulate in damaged areas.
Stress can cause hormonal changes that increase cholesterol production. Stress releases the stress hormone cortisol. It activates (metabolic fuels). It activates the liver, which produces more BAD cholesterol (LDL) in response to higher levels of glucose and fats.
The liver is responsible for the processing of alcohol, and also produces and eliminates cholesterol. Alcohol excess causes the liver to become more focused on eliminating alcohol from the body. It is less effective at managing other tasks such as cholesterol levels.
Alcohol consumption can also negatively affect liver health. It may lead to fatty liver, which affects the liver’s ability to process cholesterol.
Lack of Exercise
Exercise can help control cholesterol levels. It is not known what the real cause of it is. Many researchers believe that it is due to a variety of mechanisms, including: Exercise stimulates the enzymes that help move LDL (low-density lipoprotein) from the blood into the liver where it can be expelled. Exercise increases the size and density of lipoproteins, the proteins that transport cholesterol through the bloodstream. These particles can be small and dense or big and fluffy. The smaller and denser particles are more harmful than the big and fluffy ones. Exercise increases the size of protein particles, which carry both good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
Exercise is important for lowering cholesterol.
Cholesterol is found in some foods, such as liver and kidney. Their consumption has little to no effect on blood levels of cholesterol. Total saturated fat intake in the diet can increase bad cholesterol levels (low-density Lipoprotein, or LDL). It is not healthy to eliminate all fats from your diet. Unsaturated fats have been shown to increase good cholesterol levels.
In some cases genetic factors can increase the cholesterol in our body. In Familial Hypercholesterolemia, a defect in chromosome 19, which makes it difficult for the body remove LDL from blood, is one example. This condition affects about 1 in 250 individuals.
Some medical conditions, including:
Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to convert glucose into fuel. It also prevents fats from being broken down into fatty acids. The metabolism of sugars and fats is affected by insulin resistance or the lack of insulin. The rate of fat breakdown increases, resulting in a variety of changes to body cholesterol.
Increased weight can lead to too much LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
Chronic Kidney Disease
Inflammation is a major factor in chronic kidney disease. It can negatively affect the lipid levels of the body. High triglyceride levels and low HDL are associated with chronic kidney disease.
Thyroid hormones – particularly T3 – play a vital role in helping to remove excess cholesterol and help the liver do so. When the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones, the liver cannot process as much cholesterol normally.
Liver Function Complications
Any liver problems can impact the ability of this organ to produce cholesterol and eliminate it.
Women’s cholesterol levels may also increase during and after menopause. Estrogen helps the liver to metabolize cholesterol. After menopause, estrogen levels in the body decrease, which affects cholesterol levels.
Some medications can also increase cholesterol. Some of these include birth control pills, retinoids and corticosteroids as well as antivirals, diuretics, anticonvulsants and older beta-blockers.
What are the health cholesterol levels?
Adults with healthy cholesterol levels have levels less than 200mg/dl. Anything between 200 and 250 mg/dl can be considered moderately high, while anything over 250 mg/dl will be highly elevated. HDL levels should ideally be 60 mg/dl and above, but it is rare to see this. HDL levels are usually high in people aged 40 and 50. LDL levels should be below 100 mg/dl, but 70 mg/dl or less is best. The triglycerides, or fat content, in the blood are also measured during cholesterol screening. It is ideal to have a level of less than 100mg/dl but anything under 150mg/dl can be considered healthy.
Health Problems Caused By High Cholesterol
High LDL levels can lead to plaque formation in blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is the name of this plaque buildup. This condition will continue to worsen if left untreated. The blood vessels become narrower and more clogged, reducing their ability to supply oxygen-rich blood. High cholesterol can cause other health problems, depending on the blood vessel that is clogged.
Coronary Artery disease
Also known as coronary heart disease. Atherosclerosis can affect coronary arteries.
Carotid Artery Disease
Atherosclerosis can block carotid vessels, causing carotid arterial disease.
Peripheral Artery Disorder
Peripheral artery disease is caused when Atherosclerosis attacks the arteries in the arms and legs.
High Blood Pressure
High cholesterol can also cause high blood pressure, as it narrows and hardens blood vessels. The heart has to pump harder in order to distribute blood throughout the entire body. BP rises as a result.
Prevention and Management
Lifestyle modifications and medication are two of the many options available to reduce high cholesterol levels.
Lifestyle changes are:
Limit the amount of Trans and Saturated fats; switch to a healthier diet.
Keep a healthy BMI.
Stress-free living is possible.
Maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
When lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol, it is important to take medication.
The following classes of drugs are used to lower cholesterol:
Bile acid sequestrants
Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitor
Adenosine Triphosphate Citrate Lyase Inhibitors
Omega 3 fatty acids