Cholesterol refers to a kind of fat that is waxy inconsistently. It can either be fat or lipids that move throughout the body and enter the bloodstream. Lipids are substances that are hydrophobic, which means they repel water and thus do not dissolve in water. This is the reason they do not come apart in blood. The body makes cholesterol. Cholesterol can also be added to the body via food. Cholesterol is absent in plants and is found only in animal-based products. Every cell and every tissue in the body requires cholesterol.
Cholesterol aids in the cell membranes to be attached and form layers. The layers are formed to protect the contents within the cell. In other words, cholesterol helps the gatekeepers of the cell to function correctly. Cholesterol is made with the help of the liver and is also utilized by the liver in order to produce bile juice. Bile helps in the digestion of food. Cholesterol is necessary for hormonal balance as well as the production of vitamin D. When there is excess cholesterol in the body, it may pose a problem. Too much of anything is not good. High cholesterol levels are called hypercholesterolemia, and low levels of cholesterol are reached hypocholesterolemia.
What Are the Types of Cholesterol?
Cholesterol swims throughout the body and is carried by lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are found in the blood. There are mainly three kinds of cholesterol, as mentioned below.
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is generally called bad cholesterol.
High-density lipoprotein or HDL, known as the good cholesterol
Very low-density lipoprotein, or VLDL, carries and transports triglycerides.
What Is Low-Density Lipoprotein or LDL?
Low-density lipoprotein can build upon the walls of the arteries of the heart. This will make the coronary arteries narrow and will thus lead to coronary artery disease in the long run. The fatty accumulation forms plaque that piles on the arteries leading to blockages. This blockage in the artery due to plaque lineup is called atherosclerosis. These arteries cannot be damaged because they carry oxygen-rich blood to the body. In diet, saturated fats and trans fats must be minimized in order to keep low-density lipoprotein at bay. Saturated fats are present in meat, milk, butter, and cheese. Trans fats are present in fried food and fast food, and that food that has a long shelf life, for example, cookies, baked foods, and crackers.
What Are the Tests to Measure Cholesterol?
Once a human has reached the age of 20, it is advised to get their cholesterol checked routine; this is due to the change in lifestyle that becomes more sedentary and the inclusion of junk foods in one’s diet. The healthcare provider will request specific tests to indicate the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. A phlebotomist is a professional who does the job of studying cholesterol levels. It is also suggested to fast for a period of nine to twelve hours before the test. The results are generally ready within two days. Mentioned below are some of the tests that can be done to measure cholesterol levels.
Total cholesterol test.
Low-density lipoprotein levels.
High-density lipoprotein levels.
Very low-density lipoprotein levels.
Non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol test.
The ratio between high-density lipoprotein and cholesterol.
What Are the Risks of Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol or LDL?
A high amount of lower-density lipoprotein can make the human body a warehouse of multiple diseases. Mentioned below are the several risks of low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol.
What Are the Normal Levels of Cholesterol?
Standard levels of cholesterol differ and are dependent on factors such as age and gender. Mentioned below are some of the normal levels of the different types of cholesterol.
Individuals younger than 19 should have low-density lipoprotein of less than 110 mg/ dL and high-density lipoprotein of more than 45 mg/ dL. The total cholesterol in such individuals should be of less than 170 mg/ dL. In case they have low-density lipoprotein greater or equal to 130 g/ dL, they are considered to have high cholesterol.
Males above the age of 20 should have low-density lipoprotein less than 100 mg/ dL and high-density lipoprotein of 40 mg/ dL or even higher. The total cholesterol present in them should be within the range of 125 mg/ dL to 200 mg/ dL. In case they have low-density lipoprotein within the scope of 160 mg/ dL to 189 mg/ dL or higher, they are considered to have high cholesterol.
Females above the age of 20 should have low-density lipoprotein of less than 100 mg/ dL and high-density lipoprotein of 50 mg/ dL or even higher. The total cholesterol present in them should be within the range of 125 mg/ dL to 200 mg/ dL. In case they have low-density lipoprotein within the range of 160 mg/ dL to 189 mg/ dL or higher, they are considered to have high cholesterol.
Cholesterol is the amount of fat present in the body. It is produced within the body but can also be increased by our food. Low-density lipoproteins are considered flawed, whereas high-density lipoprotein is deemed good because they do not attach to the walls of the heart arteries and carry any lipoprotein attached to the coronary arteries. This is one of the reasons why LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, is commonly called bad cholesterol. Keeping a healthy weight and controlling blood sugar as well as blood pressure are some ways to keep the cholesterol parameters in the body at an optimum level. Medications along with regular exercise, a weight loss plan, along with a healthy diet are several ways to lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL. The habit of chewing tobacco and smoking should also be cut down for faster results. The addition of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids does not directly affect low-density lipoprotein instead, they have several additional cardiovascular benefits, reducing blood pressure to optimum levels, is one of them.
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