Being aware and understanding heart health, becomes extremely important once growing older. A key component of it is controlling cholesterol, as it’s known to be one of its primary building blocks. Monitoring cholesterol, becomes a vital function that one needs to maintain, along with a good diet. Vices such as smoking or excess drinking, along with genetics all contributes to the state of ones heart. What too much of this fatty substance does, is develops blockages in the blood vessel walls, which increases the risk of heart disease such as stroke. What the body also needs, is a certain amount of cholesterol to function.
What Is Cholesterol
Our bodies naturally produce this fatty substance known as cholesterol, this for hormone production notably testosterone and estrogen, as well as for cellular growth. We also ingest this fat from the foods that we eat, such as from meat, poultry, eggs, and cheese.
The liver stores and secretes cholesterol in our bodies, delivering it to the bloodstream. After eating, the cholesterol found in the food is absorbed by the small intestines, which is then metabolized by the liver, and either stored or secreted. High amounts of cholesterol can clog the arteries causing blockage, which leads to heart disease.
1 – Different Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is classified into three different types. Low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). The combination of these substances, makes up the total cholesterol in the body.
Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream via proteins. Once cholesterol attaches to protein, it becomes known as a lipoprotein. The three types of lipoproteins, are categorized by how much protein versus cholesterol that’s present.
2 – Role Of LDL Cholesterol
LDL is a lipoprotein, that’s characterized by having the highest cholesterol to protein ratio. Most are familiar with LDL as being the “bad” cholesterol, as too much of it, is associated with plaque buildup and formation on the artery walls.
What plaque buildup over time, leads to is the narrowing of the arteries, atherosclerosis, which can result in limited blood flow, resulting in the formation of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or myocardial infarction.
3 – Role Of HDL Cholesterol
HDL is considered the hero, when it comes to cholesterol. HDL earned this reputation as being the “good” cholesterol, because it contains a higher protein versus cholesterol ratio. What HDL cholesterol does is admiral work inside the arteries, as it pulls and cleanses excess cholesterol from the artery walls, allowing the liver to eliminate them.
Ideally, what’s needed is more of the good HDL cholesterol in the body than the LDL cholesterol, this to lower the risk of developing peripheral artery disease, cardiovascular disease, or to avoid a stroke or heart attack.