WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance gotten from two Primary Sources; your body and food.
The body especially the Liver, produces about 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol a day, which is perfectly enough for the body's metabolism,and circulates it through the blood. But,it's often hard to avoid cholesterol entirely because so many foods we eat contain it.
SOURCES OF CHOLESTEROL
Lipids are fats that are found throughout the body.Cholesterol, a type of lipid, is found in foods from animal sources. This means that eggs, meats, and whole-fat dairy products (including milk, cheese, and ice cream) are loaded with cholesterol — while vegetables, fruits,and grains contain none.
Besides the 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol that your liver produces each day, you probably consume about 150 to 250 milligrams in the foods you eat. The Liver tend to produce more cholesterol when we eat diet high in saturated & Trans fat:
Cholesterol is oil-based and so does not mix with the blood, which is water-based. Because cholesterol can't travel alone through the bloodstream, it has to combine with certain proteins.These proteins act like trucks, picking up the cholesterol and transporting it to different parts of the body. When this happens, the cholesterol and protein form a lipoprotein together.
TYPES OF CHOLESTEROL
The two most important types of lipoproteins are high-density lipoproteins (or HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (or LDL). You've probably heard people call LDL cholesterol "bad cholesterol" and HDL cholesterol "good cholesterol" because of their very different effects on the body:
Too much of one type — or not enough of another — can put you at risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. It's important to know the levels of cholesterol in your blood so that you and your doctor can determine the best strategy to lower your risk.
Most cholesterol is LDL cholesterol, and this is the kind that's most likely to clog the blood vessels, keeping blood from flowing through the body the way it should. HDL cholesterol removes cholesterol from the blood vessels and carries it back to the liver, where it can be processed and sent out of the body.
IMPORTANCE OF CHOLESTEROL
Cholesterol is needed to make vitamin D and some hormones like(cortisol,testosteron and estradiol),build cell walls,and create bile salts that help you digest fat. Every cell membrane in our bodies is loaded with it. Without cholesterol,we would die.
EFFECTS OF EXCESS CHOLESTEROL
Excess cholesterol can form plaque between layers of artery walls, making it harder for your heart to circulate blood. Plaque can break open and cause blood clots. If a clot blocks an artery that feeds the brain, it causes a stroke. If it blocks an artery that feeds the heart, it causes a heart attack.
Making healthy eating choices and increasing exercise are important first steps in improving your cholesterol. For some people, cholesterol-lowering medication may also be needed to reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Use the information provided here to start a conversation with your doctor on how cholesterol could affect your heart attack and your risks of having a stroke and what you can do to lower it.