What is Cholesterol and What Does It Do?
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What is Cholesterol and What Does It Do?

Cholesterol is a special kind of steroid made up lipids (fat) which is necessary for the synthesis of cell membranes in all the cells of our body. This lipid is responsible for the permeability of cells; in other words, cholesterol allows the cell membranes to permit some molecules to pass through the membrane and blocks other molecules.

Cholesterol is a special kind of steroid made up lipids (fat) which is necessary for the synthesis of cell membranes in all the cells of our body.  This lipid is responsible for the permeability of cells; in other words, cholesterol allows the cell membranes to permit some molecules to pass through the membrane and blocks other molecules.

Aside from cell formation, cholesterol is responsible for creating other corticosteroids in the body. For instance, cholesterol helps to make our estrogens and androgens.  Have you ever wondered how the body converts sunshine into Vitamin D? If you guessed cholesterol, you would be correct.

Cholesterol does a lot more for the body. It creates bile in the liver, and it also is needed for the body to metabolize the fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin K, Vitamin A, the B vitamins and Vitamin C.

If we need cholesterol, why is it a problem for our health?

While cholesterol is needed for life, too much of it is harmful to the body.  Remember, that cholesterol is made up of HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein). The LDL and the HDL have different functions. The LDL (bad cholesterol) is the molecule that carries cholesterol and triglycerides throughout the body.  LDL is the vehicle, so to speak, that carries cholesterol from the liver out to the cells of the body.

Too much LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood causes fatty deposits to form on the inside of the blood vessels.  These fatty deposits are like scales and those fatty scales can restrict the flow of blood to the heart and other major organs.  These fatty deposits can also break off and float around in the blood stream until the particles get stuck and cause an occlusion to block major blood vessels which can cause a heart attack.

Too little HDL (good cholesterol) can predispose people to having coronary artery disease.  HDL is considered good cholesterol because it acts like an anti-inflammatory agent to prevent the conditions which lead to heart attacks and strokes. There needs to be a proper balance of HDL and LDL in order for the body to remain healthy. When the balance of good and bad cholesterol get out of balance, medical professionals usually begin to talk to their patients about making lifestyle changes to lower the bad cholesterol in the body. It is when proper diet and exercise doesn’t work to put the good and bad cholesterol back into proper balance that statin drugs are usually introduced to block the formation of too much bad cholesterol.

Sources:

Medicalnewstoday.com

Zetia.com

Health.am

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Comments (5)

Good straight forward health information.

Well said. Great job!

Well presented valuable health information. Thank you.

Well informative presentation here as usual Charlene.

Useful information about cholesterol. Thank you Charlene. I hope to avail your friendship and support.

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