What is Cholesterol
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What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy and fatty substance found in every cell of your body. Your body needs cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D and substances that help you digest food. Your body produces all the cholesterol it needs. Cholesterol is also present in foods of animal origin, such as egg yolks, meat and cheese.
If your blood contains too much cholesterol, it can combine with other substances in the blood to form a plaque. The plaque adheres to the walls of your arteries. This accumulation of plaque is called atherosclerosis. This can lead to coronary heart disease, where the coronary arteries become narrowed or even blocked.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid. It is a waxy substance similar to the fact that your liver naturally produces. It is vital for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones and vitamin D.
Cholesterol does not dissolve in water, so it cannot travel alone in the blood. To help transport cholesterol, your liver produces lipoproteins.
Lipoproteins are particles made of fat and protein. They carry cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of lipid) in the bloodstream. The two main forms of lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
If your blood contains too much LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), it is called high cholesterol. Untreated high cholesterol can cause many health problems, including a heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol levels generally do not cause any symptoms. That is why it is important to check your cholesterol regularly. Learn what cholesterol levels are recommended for your age.
HDL cholesterol, or “good cholesterol”
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are sometimes referred to as “good cholesterol.” They help LDL cholesterol return to your liver to get rid of your body. This helps prevent the formation of cholesterol plaque in the arteries.
When you have healthy levels of HDL cholesterol, it can help reduce your risk of blood clots, heart disease and stroke. Learn more about HDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol”
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are often referred to as “bad cholesterol.” They carry cholesterol in their arteries. If your LDL cholesterol level is too high, it can build up in the walls of your arteries.
The buildup is also called cholesterol plaque. This plaque can reduce arteries, limit blood circulation and increase the risk of blood clots. If a blood clot blocks an artery in the heart or brain, it can cause a heart attack or stroke.
According to the Source of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of US adults. UU. They have high levels of LDL cholesterol. Find out how to control your LDL cholesterol level.
Getting your cholesterol levels checked
If you are 20 or older, the American Heart Association recommends checking your cholesterol at least once every four to six years. If you have a history of high blood cholesterol or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your doctor may encourage you to analyze your cholesterol more frequently.
Your doctor can use a lipid panel to measure your total cholesterol, as well as your levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Your total cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. It includes LDL and HDL cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol levels are too high, your doctor will diagnose you with high cholesterol. High cholesterol is especially dangerous when your LDL is too high and your HDL is too low. Learn more about your recommended cholesterol level.