What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol: An Introduction
It is important to understand what exactly cholesterol is, and the role it plays for your overall health.
So, what is cholesterol and what does it do?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that comes from two sources. Firstly, about 80% of cholesterol needed for your body is produced by the liver. The liver-produced cholesterol is enough to maintain vital physiological functions such as the synthesis of steroid hormones and vitamin D, as well as bile acids required for the metabolism of lipids and fat-soluble vitamins. The other 20% comes from food derived from animals such as meat, poultry, and dairy products.
Why is Cholesterol Important
Since cholesterol circulates in the blood, the amount of cholesterol in your blood is important to your health. As the overall amount increases, so do the risks to your health. It is important to get tested for your cholesterol, so that you can know your levels.
The two types of cholesterol are: LDL cholesterol, which is bad, and HDL, which is good. Too much of the bad kind, or not enough of the good kind, increases the risk cholesterol will slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.
High cholesterol levels are caused by the consumption of industrial trans fats, a diet with high levels of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and sugars, and a lack of physical activity. When you have too much cholesterol in your blood, this forms plaque that builds up in your arteries, narrowing or even blocking them (atherosclerosis & coronary artery disease).
Also, since cholesterol is minimally soluble in the blood, it is transported by low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Scientific research has shown that excessive amounts of cholesterol transported by low-density lipoproteins, commonly known as “LDL-cholesterol” or “bad cholesterol”, is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
For adults, the recommended levels are as follows:
- Total cholesterol: less than 200mg/dL (below 5.2 mmol/L)
- LDL-cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL (below 2.6 mmol/L)
- HDL-cholesterol: greater or equal to 40 mg/dL (above 1 mmol/L)
Remember, it is important to get tested for your cholesterol levels to make sure that you’re maintaining levels that are considered healthy!
How Can You Lower Cholesterol
Lowering your cholesterol can be done in several ways. The first, being, heart-healthy lifestyle changes. This includes a heart-healthy diet, regular physical activity, and weight management.
However, these lifestyle changes may not be enough for certain individuals with higher, unhealthier levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins may need to be used to lower cholesterol levels. It is important to also try and implement healthy lifestyle changes even while taking statins.
Statins block the normal action of the enzyme responsible for producing cholesterol in the liver. This anti-natural process generates toxicity, inflammation, and damage to the liver. Other side effects include increased muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and an increased risk of diabetes.
Cerabeta, in contrast, promotes a more natural rebalancing process by trapping and eliminating excess of cholesterol.
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