Cholesterol...What Is It?
We are being made more aware each and everyday of the possible problems that can be caused by cholesterol, it seems that cholesterol is a medical symptom of our modern day way of life.
But what is cholesterol and how can it affect our general state of health.
Well in fact cholesterol is a natural function of the human body and every one of us requires a certain amount of cholesterol to maintain a healthy state of being, the problem only begins when our bodies produce an imbalance.
The problem originates from our bodies requirement for a certain amount of fat intake, some for immediate use and some to be stored for use later on, and this fat intake requires a delivery system to the rest of the body as a whole.
From the initial intake of fat the body starts its processing procedure by absorbing it into the intestines and from thereon into the liver.
While in the liver the fat is split into two different types, one being triglycerides and the other cholesterol.
After this transformation has taken place the triglycerides and cholesterol are packed into vehicles for moving them onwards into the fat cells throughout the body using the bloodstream.
These vehicles are called lipoproteins.
There are three types of lipoproteins:
1. Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDL)
2. Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL)
3. High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)
Under normal circumstances, our bloodstream does a very efficient job of carrying the LDL and HDL Lipoproteins throughout the body.
Cholesterol is a waxy; fat like substance that presents itself naturally in the cell walls and membranes everywhere in our bodies. Cholesterol is used by our bodies to produce many hormones and also uses it to produce vitamin D and the bile acids that help to digest fat.
Where problems can arise is when there is an over abundance of cholesterol in our bloodstream. The cholesterol which is deposited by the LDL can lead to a narrowing of the blood vessels.
If this occurs, the excess can be deposited in the arteries of the heart, which could result in stroke or heart disease. This is called atherosclerosis. This is why LDL is known as ?bad cholesterol.?
HDL usually collects the bad cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. That?s why HDL is known as ?good cholesterol.?
Cholesterol is not of course the only cause of heart disease, but it can be a contributing factor and this of course is why we should consult our doctors on a regular basis for a cholesterol check so that any required attention to this matter can be taken at the earliest possible time.
About the Author: Copywrite 2005 Terry Till http://www.bodyextreme.tv