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While most people talk about "cholesterol levels" there is in fact more than one type of cholesterol. In fact, there are several different body functions and several different substances that make up our understanding of "cholesterol."
As with some fats, cholesterol cannot be dissolved in the blood. Instead, molecules called lipoproteins carry cholesterol to and from cells. Molecules are made from an outer layer of protein and an inner core of both cholesterol and triglycerides, which is another form of fat.
Lipoproteins equip the cholesterol to move around the body. The two main types of lipoproteins are:
1) High Density Lipoproteins (HDL.)
• HDL transports cholesterol from cells back to the liver.
• HDL is either reused or converts to bile acids and disposed. This is known as "good" cholesterol.
As you work to lower your "bad cholesterol" it is important to also take steps and to keep your HDL levels normal.
• HDL aids to ensure protection from the risk of heart attack and/or stroke. HDL consists of more protein than triglycerides or cholesterol, and aids to remove LDL from your artery walls.
2) Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL.)
• LDL carries approximately 60_70% of cholesterol around the body and are known as "bad" cholesterol.
• Studies show conclusively that high cholesterol leads to much higher risk of heart attack and/or stroke. Other factors involved in this risk are age, gender, smoking, family history of heart disease, and diabetes mellitus.
Obviously, when we speak of having "cholesterol levels" we mean more than one number. To maintain optimum health, you will need to know your levels of both LDL and HDL and will need to work hard to keep both levels in healthy ranges.
STOP! If you need to lower your cholesterol fast, go to http://www.YourCholesterolSite.com today!
We really do care about your health and happiness and are thrilled you are interested in our articles, but please always check with your doctor before trying something new!
What Is Cholesterol
In order to understand why it is important to lower cholesterol, it is necessary to first understand what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a fatlike waxy substance and is produced by the liver. Although cholesterol has purposes and is important to overall health and body function, too much cholesterol in the body has damaging effects.
Cholesterol forms every cell within the body. When the cholesterol level is appropriate, it plays a life-giving role in many functions of the body. When cholesterol is at a good level it works to build and repair cells, produces hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, and produces bile acids which are proven to aid in the digestion of fat.
When you eat saturated foods such as dairy, meat and eggs your cholesterol elevates. On the other hand when you eat foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains you can maintain optimal health as they do not contain cholesterol.
High cholesterol can be avoided! With a nutritious diet, the 50% of all adult Americans with high cholesterol can regain their health and lower their risk of disease by 2%. This is done simply from reducing cholesterol by 1%.
Cholesterol can be managed for life with success! It is recommended that you visit your physician on a regular basis to keep a keen eye on your levels.
STOP! If you need to lower your cholesterol fast, go to http://www.YourCholesterolSite.com today!
As part of your regular checkup, it is likely that the doctor will order bloodwork that among other things will measure your levels of total cholesterol and also High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). Should the numbers show outside of the normal range, your doctor may ask for a fasting cholesterol test. For this, you won't eat or drink other than water for twelve hours prior to the test. This test will show your Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride levels, in addition to the total cholesterol and HDL.
With too much cholesterol in the body, though, the levels build up and cause damage by clogging your arteries. This puts you at serious risk for disease such as heart and stroke. In fact, the major cause behind heart attacks and strokes is clogged arteries resulting from high levels of cholesterol.
The National Cholesterol Education Program has presented goal cholesterol levels, which are as follows:
Total Cholesterol Level (mg/dl) Desirable: Below 200 Borderline: 200-239 Undesirable: 240 and above
LDL Cholesterol (mg/dl) Desirable: Below 100 Above Average: 100-129 Borderline: 130-159 Undesirable: 160-189 Very Undesirable: 190 and above
HDL Cholesterol (mg/dl) Desirable: Above 60 Borderline: 40-60 Undesirable: Below 40 Serum Triglycerides (mg/dl) Normal: Below 150 Borderline: 150-199 Undesirable: 200-499 Very Undesirable: 500 or above Some laboratories will calculate the cholesterol ratio (total/HDL), but it is far more important to get the individual numbers for the total cholesterol, HDL and LDL. Notice that lower numbers are desirable for everything except HDL. The high density lipoproteins are known as good cholesterol. If your HDL levels are lower than 40 mg/dl, you can increase them by Quitting smoking Losing weight Getting physically active for at least 30-60 minutes per day.
Your cholesterol levels, along with your other risk factors will determine the course of action that your physician will recommend. Some of these risk factors are Obesity Family history Lack of physical activity Age Sex Alcohol consumption Stress Body shape Diabetes Smoking Some of these factors you have no control over, such as age, family history and sex. But you need to take care of business with the others. Quitting smoking is a given. Adding exercise to your daily schedule can help you with multiple factors, including reducing weight, reducing stress and lowering cholesterol levels. Watch your diet by eating less saturated fats and trans fats.
Another alternative treatment method is medication. There are many to choose from, prescription and non-prescription, but there may be side effects or they may react unfavorably with other medicines that you are taking. Be sure to check with your physician before trying any of these.
Make sure to check with your physician before starting any new diet or exercise regimen.
K. MacKenzie http://www.lower-your-cholesterol.net
[ You have permission to publish this article in your web sites, newsletters, ezines or electronic publications, as long as the complete article is used including the resource box, all links (clickable) and copyright information. ]
Ken is a successful writer and online entrepreneur. He has developed Lower Your Cholesterol as a portal for presenting articles, information, resources and links about lowering your cholesterol.
Anti Oxidants: Prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Eaxample ofAnti Oxidants; CoenzymeQ10. Vitamin A. Vitamin C. Vitamin E.
Bad Cholesterol: See LDL.
Blood Cholesterol Report: Getting a report is the only sure way of finding out if you have a high cholesterol level.
Cholesterol: A fatty substance which is produced by the liver. This helps with the building and repairing of cells and produces testosterone and estrogen hormones.
Good Cholesterol: See HDL.
Heart Attack: Research shows that if you lower your cholesterol you can reduce the risk of a heart attack by up to 40%. Cholesterol is the number 1 cause of heart attacks.
HDL: High-Density Lipoprotein. Also referred to as Good Cholesterol. Type of cholesterol that is present in our blood to perform certain functions.
Additionally, there are dietary measures that can be taken in order to maintain both a reasonably high level of HDL (or good cholesterol) and a low level of LDL (or bad cholesterol). A generally healthy diet, high in fruit, vegetables, wholegrain and healthy fats, such as olive oil and nuts is likely to be beneficial.
LDL: Low-Density Lipoprotein. Also referred to as Bad Cholesterol. Type of cholesterol that is present in our blood to perform certain functions.
Linolenic acid: Contained in certain foods and helps to prevent blood clots.
Monounsaturated fat: Contains powerful antioxidants that can lowers LDL cholesterol without affecting the HDL levels.
Omega 3: A fatty acid that is actually good for your heart.
Policosinol: A natural product which may be able to reduce cholesterol.
Saturated fats: Can cause the body to produce to much cholesterol.
Statin: A cholesterol reducing drug.
[You have permission to publish this article in your web sites, ezines or electronic publication, as long as the piece is used in its entirety including the resource box, all hyperlinks (clickable) and references and copyright info.]
Colin Beach is a freelance writer for http://www.cholesterolarterydisease.com Visit http://www.cholesterolarterydisease.com for more detailed information and articles relating to cholesterol. Please note that this article is not a substitute for medical advice.
Along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels are regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of possible serious health problems, particularly in the cardio-vascular field. We are told that we should check our cholesterol levels, as many of us already have high cholesterol without being aware of it. We may then need to take steps to bring about a lowering of our cholesterol to within a more healthy range.
In the past, it was believed that certain foods, particularly those containing animal fats, would cause a rise in cholesterol. We were warned particularly against eating too many eggs, as these were considered to be a major culprit. More significantly, it was considered that all cholesterol was bad cholesterol. Scientific and medical research has more recently revealed that there are in fact two types of cholesterol: good cholesterol, otherwise known as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and bad cholesterol, otherwise known as Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL). We need not only to keep our LDL levels low, but we need also to keep our HDL levels high.
There are now simple tests that can be used to measure levels of both types of cholesterol. Visit Good Cholesterol Level for tips on diagnosing cholesterol. If, having been tested, someone has a cause for concern, there are various measures that can be taken in order to bring about a lowering of "bad" cholesterol. There are many products on the market, including milk products and spreads, that contain substances known as plant sterols. These substances can have a significant impact on levels of LDL, and used for sustained periods will reduce it to a more healthy reading.
Surprisingly, also, eggs are not considered to be a culprit in causing high cholesterol. Of course, anyone who has been found to have a problem with cholesterol needs to consult a doctor and follow whatever advice is given in regard to the best diet to follow. Sometimes, even those who have followed a healthy diet may unknowingly have unhealthy and potentially dangerous cholesterol levels. Regular testing is therefore important in order that effective steps can be taken to regulate it.
Make a good decision; visit our web site Good Cholesterol Level for more essential advice on maintaining a healthy cholesterol level.
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