Cholesterol health is something most people never think about until their doctor tells them their cholesterol levels are too high. Your cholesterol health is an indication of your general heart health. Along with high blood pressure, your cholesterol health tells your doctor if you're at risk for heart disease someday. The goal of this website is to offer information about cholesterol health to the general public, not medical professionals.
If you have concerns about cholesterol health, you should always consult your doctor. Cholesterol literally means ‘solid alcohol from bile. ’ It is a soft, fat molecule that cannot be utilized as such for energy production in the body. Cholesterol comes from two sources: the food you eat and natural bodily processes.
Almost all the tissues in the body participate in cholesterol formation, but most of it comes from the liver (50%), intestines (15%), skin, and reproductive organs. If your doctor has told you that you have a cholesterol health problem, it's probably you're getting more of it from the food you eat than your body needs. It's fairly common knowledge that poor cholesterol health from a high cholesterol level puts you at serious risk for heart disease. Population studies have demonstrated a strong association between both total and LDL or "bad" cholesterol concentration and coronary heart risk.
There is strong link between a diet that includes a lot of fat, overall cholesterol health, and the prevalence of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is narrowing of blood vessels characterized by deposition of free-floating cholesterol. Excess cholesterol that cannot be utilized by the body circulates in the blood. It tends to build up plaques on inner walls of the blood vessels, reducing their diameter and restricting the healthy flow of blood to the tissues.
LDL cholesterol also affects the blood-thinning mechanism in the vessels and promotes blood clotting inside the arteries and veins. These clots, or detached plaques, run along the blood flow and can block the smaller vessels, cutting off the supply to the specific area. When this occurs in blood vessels supplying the heart, a heart attack can result. When it blocks the vessels supplying the brain, it may cause a stroke.
HDL or "good" cholesterol protects the arteries against atherosclerosis. HDL cholesterol has the ability to move cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver. HDL particles also prevent blood clotting inside the blood vessels. Cholesterol levels tend to increase with age, so as your age increases, your cholesterol health generally requires closer attention.
Elevated LDL cholesterol is dangerous to the heart, whereas HDL cholesterol is beneficial since it prevents clogging of blood vessels and heart diseases. Cholesterol health articles on this website include is cholesterol fat, lowering cholesterol levels, eating a low cholesterol diet, and cholesterol-free foods.