Cholesterol is a waxy oil find in small molecules in the human body. It is found in all the cells of the body.
Why is Cholesterol Used?
An important component in the production of cholesterol, hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and nutrients that help digestion.
Cholesterol in the body is also important for cellular structures, nerves, brain, liver and other organs.
Where is Cholesterol Found?
The body can synthesize all the cholesteroll it needs. The liver produces 1,000 mg of cholesterol a day, which can meet the body’s needs. Cholesterol is also found in our diet.
Cholesterol is find in the blood in small molecules and is carry in packages call lipoproteins. Cholesteroll is soluble in the blood and must be deliver to cells with lipoproteins.
Lipoproteins have two components: the “lipid” or fat content and the “protein” component. Lipids are at the center of the molecule and proteins are located outside.
Types of lipoproteins
Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesteroll in the blood. These are: low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL and HDL levels need to be normal to stay healthy.
Bad and good cholesterol
LDL cholesteroll is sometimes call “bad” cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol in the arteries can cause it to accumulate on the walls, causing it to constrict and block. This is call atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis in the major arteries of the heart (coronary arteries), brain and other organs can be serious, fatal. Some of them are angina, heart disease and stroke.
HDL cholesteroll, on the other hand, is call “good” cholesterol. This is because it takes cholesterol from other parts of the body and returns it to the liver to break down, destroy or reuse.
Another type of bad cholesteroll is triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of body fat. These, in turn, cause an increase in arteries. High triglyceride levels are cause by obesity, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and eating with purified carbohydrates.
LP (A) Cholesteroll Genetic modification of LDL (bad) cholesteroll. High LP (A) levels are important for the development of atherosclerosis.
The biggest risk is human LDL and triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol in food
Food does not contain cholesterol. Cholesteroll is very low in food. The main culprits are eggs, vegetables and bark. However, foods high in saturated fat are dangerous because the liver converts these fats into cholesteroll.
Comment by April Cashin-Gerbit, BA Honors (Cantab)
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