Cholesterol Good or Bad?

Cholesterol and your heart  health

Cholesterol in it itself is not bad. In fact, this substance is just like the other substances created by your body for its regular functions. It is believe by many that cholesterol is bad for you, but this is not true. The truth is that your body needs cholesterol to maintain a healthy balance and even improve your skin, what you must learn is which cholesterol is bad for you stay way from those ones and continue to use the good ones.

Some quantities of cholesterol are synthesized by our body and the additional quantity accumulates from the food we consume.However, in a normal healthy condition about 75% of the cholesterol comes from the liver cells and remaining 25% from the food we eat. Foods like meat, eggs, and dairy products contain substantial amounts of cholesterol in them. It is only when the cholesterol levels spike above the normal level in the body it becomes a potential health risks to your overall health. It is also alarming that US adults today are suffering from the risks of cholesterol, more than the other countries in the world.The reason for this is the lifestyle practiced and the food consumed by most Americans. The rise of the junk food culture and lack of exercising are the main cause of these issues.
Cholesterol in the medical terms as stated before is a lipid synthesized by the liver that resides on the outer layer of our body cells. It is transported to the various parts of our body through the blood stream. Before coming to any serious conclusion on cholesterol being a potent risk inducer, it is vital to know that cholesterol has both benefits and demerits on the body.

Advantages of cholesterol in the body:

Cholesterol gives a waxy covering over the body cells to provide them the strength and rigidity. The membranes formed on the body cells facilitates signaling and communication between them. As a whole it integrates the collection of cells into a complete human body. As cholesterol has a lower mass than the other contents in the cell membrane it makes up a lesser proportion of 20 percent of the overall content. As a result cholesterol also helps in preserving the important proteins in the cell membrane by providing rigidity and encapsulation.
The body uses cholesterol to produce vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining the immune system. In depth cholesterol produces steroid hormones by its content called cortisol which regulates the blood sugar levels and immunity of the body. The aldosterone part of the cholesterol also helps in retaining the water and salt content in the body.
Cholesterol is also responsible in maintaining the temperature of the body and creates an insulation over the nerve cells. The hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone these are synthesized with the help of cholesterol. It is also used by the liver for the secretion of an enzyme called bile, responsible for breaking the complex fats into amino and fatty acids. 
Cholesterol through the blood transports antioxidant enzymes and vitamins A and E to the different parts of our body. It helps to provide skin protection through its waxy nature against the wind and sun. The high level of cholesterol in the scar tissue suggests that the cholesterol also promotes the healing process of the body.

Disadvantages of cholesterol:

Cholesterol is a non soluble substance attached to the Lipo proteins and transported through the blood. The Lipo proteins are classified into two types, high density (HDL) and low density (LDL) Lipo proteins. The LDL is mostly advantages and is used for the functions that were described above. However, when the LDL levels in the blood increase it exhibits the tendency to stick to the artery walls and leads to thickening of the arteries. The process by itself is called atherosclerosis. The deposit over the artery walls leads to increase in the blood pressure and creates a tension in the flow pumping process. It creates a deficiency of supply of oxygen and blood in the body. This affects the functions of the heart and can even cause blood clots and heart diseases. When there is a blockage in the coronary artery the heart function is restricted and the heart gets less amount of blood and oxygen. Due to this heart becomes weak and plagued. This turns even adverse when the blockage on the lining breaks and directly constrains the blood flow. In this case a blood clot can form on top of the buildup and give rise to serious risks. The plaque buildup also affects the brain functions by reducing the sufficient supply of oxygen and blood. During the advanced stages of the problem with an entire blockage, a surgical procedure such as carotid endarterectomy or heart bypass surgery is performed where the blood vessel is redirected by connecting to another area of the heart. If the problem is neglected the clot has the possibility to completely block the blood flow and lead to a heart attack. 

Cholesterol result in blockage of heart blood flowThe other type of Cholesterol, HDL is responsible to carry the increased amounts of cholesterol back to the liver where it was produced. Based on the functionalities of these two types of cholesterol HDL is commonly known as good cholesterol whereas LDL as a bad cholesterol. The aim of any person must be to reduce the amounts of LDL and increase the levels of HDL.
Well modifying your eating habits can prevent the risks of increasing cholesterol levels. The high intake of cholesterol rich food must be avoided. It is observed that fiber rich foods often contain lesser amounts of cholesterol in them. So consumption of fiber rich foods is an important solution to the problem. Seeking medical help and regular intake of medicines to regulate the levels of cholesterol in the blood is also required for a person with excessively high Cholesterol levels. Regular exercising for converting the excess calories into muscles is also required to reduce the risks of excess cholesterol. The goal is to keep the body away from higher amounts of trans and saturated fats. A normal healthy body must have a LDL level lower than 100mg/dl whereas HDL should be maintain to 60mg/dl or higher. Also another kind of risky fat called Triglycerides must be lower than 150mg/dl.

So cholesterol as a whole is not a foreign substance that creates health risks in the body but adequate amount is very much necessary to maintain normal bodily functions. Therefore you must only take care to keep the cholesterol level in the body to the desired healthy level discuss here.


For more information about cholesterol, you can visit the American Heart Association