cholesterol

Cholesterol: separating fact from fiction


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(NaturalNews) There has been a great deal written about cholesterol in the media for a number of years now. With so many acronyms and so much information floating around, it can be difficult to keep all the facts straight. With the overwhelming amount of information available, the average person might not know how to tell what facts are important and which can be overlooked. Read on below for some clarification and information that can be applied to help ensure better health today.

Cholesterol is not a bad word

In spite of what many of the media pieces that focus cholesterol highlight, not all cholesterol is bad for the human body. In fact, it might surprise many people to learn that cholesterol is actually a necessary component in good health. Cholesterol, a soft and waxy substance is often referred to its relationship with the bloodstream. This is especially true when the fact that excess amounts of it can lead to clogging of the arteries. This can often lead to heart disease, such as strokes.

Cholesterol is necessary for good health

Not only is cholesterol found in the bloodstream, it is also present in every cell in the human body. It has a myriad of important uses that are crucial for its continued good health. These include producing vitamin D, cell membranes and hormones. Cholesterol also helps produce bile acids that aid in the digestion of fats. Creating memories and smooth neurological functioning is also an important function of cholesterol in the body.

High-density lipoprotein

The liver makes up nearly all of the cholesterol that a body needs. This is about 75 percent of it. The additional cholesterol is typically obtained by the diet, and there is where the problems often begin. Of this cholesterol, there are two types, each with its own specific characteristics. High-density lipoprotein, also known as HDL, or 'good' cholesterol, actually helps to keep the cholesterol out of the arteries where it can often cause problems. In addition, HDL helps to reduce cholesterol from arterial plaque which can cause heart disease.

Low-density lipoprotein

The other type of cholesterol that is often spoken of in the media is low-density lipoprotein. Also known as LDL, or 'bad' cholesterol, this is the type that can build up in the arteries, making them less flexible. In addition to being less flexible, the arteries can also become much narrower, making the possibility of blood clots very dangerous, or even fatal.

Because cholesterol is actually made up of two separate components, the total cholesterol figures often obtained at the doctor's office can be misleading. Instead, it is important to ensure that the two different cholesterol levels are at acceptable levels. This means keeping LDL at levels under 100 mg/dl for people who have low risk while people with high risk factors should have levels under about 70 mg/dl.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.prevention.com

http://www.westonaprice.org

http://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm

About the author:
Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.

More articles from Dr. Sofia:

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