What you should know about good vs. bad cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. This cholesterol is required by your body for the production of hormones that help protect your body. It is also used for the production of vitamin D and bile salts used for breaking down carbs, proteins and fats. The brain and nervous system is also dependent on cholesterol for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
Your body produces the cholesterol needed by your body, but it is also gotten from your food. Too much cholesterol in the body can cause atherosclerosins, a hardening of arteries. This high cholesterol levels can cause blood flow issues , causing blood clots and inflammation which can cause strokes and heart attack. Other factors which when combined with high cholesterol levels can cause heart attacks or strokes include: blood pressure, sex, race, age, diabetes etc.
Most people are often unaware of their cholesterol state. This is because there is usually no symptoms. High cholesterol levels may cause accumulation of cholesterol in your arteries thus reducing blood flow to arteries. This can lead to the development of coronary heart disease , chest pain, stroke and heart attack.
Cholesterol is moved through your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins, which are made up of fat on the inside and proteins on the outside. This is done because fats are not water soluble, so they can only be moved by binding with proteins.
Lipoproteins exist it two forms: Low-Density Lipoproteins and Low-Density Lipoproteins. Both types are used to move cholesterol through the body. It also helps in preventing cells and tissues from getting damaged. LDL is often referred to as bad because high levels of it in your blood can increase your risk of developing heart disease. It also increases your risk of peripheral artery disease, caused by plaque buildup in the at=rtery supplying blood to your legs.
HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol however because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver where it’s properly broken down and removed from your body. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol can help lower your chances of developing heart disease. Its better to have higher HDL levels because low HDL cholesterol are more dangerous than high LDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is needed to get rid of the excess cholesterol in your body that may be lead to inflammation, putting you at risk of coronary heart disease and other health conditions.