Monday, May 30, 2011
Basic information about Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that is found in every cell of the body. It is involved in the production of cell membranes, some hormones, vitamin D, bile acids, and other tissues in the body. It also insulates nerves. Cholesterol is produced in the liver, but we also get cholesterol from our diet. The amount of cholesterol in the body depends on factors such as the rate of cholesterol production in the liver, the rate of cholesterol clearance from the body, the amount of dietary fat (particularly saturated fat) and to a lesser extent, cholesterol consumed. The excess cholesterol in our body circulates in the bloodstream. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can clog blood vessels and increase the risk fro heart disease and stroke. Different types of Cholesterol Low-Density Lipoprotein (or LDL) cholesterol is a bad type of cholesterol that is most likely to clog blood vessels, increasing you risk for heart disease. High-Density Lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol is a good type of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps clear the LDL cholesterol out of the blood and reduces your risk for heart disease. Cholesterol & Heart Disease High cholesterol is one of the major contributors to heart disease. Research strongly indicates that lowering of cholesterol leads to a drop in the occurrence of heart disease. The main reason for this is because with less blood cholesterol, there is less plaque formation within the arterial walls. This will reduce the chances or an artery becoming blocked and causing a heart attack or stroke. Also, blood will flow through arteries with greater ease and this can lower blood pressure. Reasons which lead to a Rise in Cholesterol: Poor eating habits Smoking Excess weight or Obesity Heredity factor Daily Stress Over Alcohol consumption Ways to control or lessen Cholesterol: Good eating habits It is very important to follow good eating habits in order to lower your cholesterol. Regular exercising Experts recommend at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week for at least 12 weeks for significant cholesterol reduction. Weight loss and maintaining it You can lower your LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and elevate your HDL (“good cholesterol”) just by dropping some pounds.