What is Cholesterol

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A waxy substance, referred to as cholesterol, is released into the blood stream by the liver. Cholesterol is used by the body to develop hormones and cell membranes, convert Vitamin D in the skin and aid in digestion. Cholesterol is measured in terms of lipoproteins – low density proteins (LDL) and high density proteins (HDL). The measurement for total cholesterol is less than 200.

The low density proteins (LDL) are noted as the bad cholesterol. It is required to carry cholesterol through the body but too much of LDL will build up in the artery walls and lead to coronary artery disease.   The measurement for LDL is to keep it as low as possible. It should be less than 100.

The high density proteins (HDL) are the good proteins which removes cholesterol from the blood stream and the artery walls. The idea is to have the HDL levels as high as possible.

A third component are triglycerides. It is a type of fat combined with cholesterol and stored as fat all over the body. Similar to carbohydrates, it is a source of energy. Triglycerides are measured along with cholesterol. A measurement of greater than 150 means that there is a greater risk of CAD.

You need to know this information when taking care of your cardiovascular system.



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