Everything about cholesterol needs to be known not only to people who suffer from diabetes mellitus – for a healthy person, such knowledge (at least in general terms) will also be very relevant. Understanding what is bad and good cholesterol and how it affects the body, you can avoid many health problems. By the way, they appear in about half of people in old age, if they do not monitor their own diet and do not deny themselves junk food.
Bad and good cholesterol
Cholesterol: what is it all and why is it necessary?
By definition, cholesterol is a natural fatty alcohol. It is part of all cell membranes of all animal organisms (except non-nuclear). In the human body, its amount is quite large, and should be maintained within certain limits. Moreover, both bad and good cholesterol have certain limits that are recommended to be recognized periodically using a blood test in any hospital. A certain deviation in time can save you from more serious problems – so do not spare a couple of hours of extra time once every six months or a year for such a procedure.
The functions of the substance (in addition to entering the cellular composition) are the following points:
- participation in the synthesis of a number of hormones (estrogen, testosterone, progesterone);
- participation in the synthesis of vitamin D;
- participation in the synthesis of bile acids (which are then used to digest fatty acids);
- participation in the process of tissue renewal and growth of the body until complete adulthood.
Good and bad cholesterol
Now we will analyze how exactly bad and good cholesterol differ from each other.
In fact, both options are compounds of cholesterol with other substances (some make it “bad”, the other “good”). In both cases, it circulates through the circulatory system, spreading throughout the body, and then back to the liver.
Bad cholesterol (“correctly” called low-density lipoprotein – LDL) transports the substance from the liver through the body. Forming compounds together with apoproteins and other not very useful substances, LDL begins to settle on the walls of blood vessels. Having a very small diameter, they quickly become clogged (or just start to cope worse with their function) and lose their flexibility. As a result, the load on the circulatory system and cardiac muscle increases sharply, and the body begins to be worse supplied with blood and necessary substances.
Good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, respectively – HDL) is the exact opposite of bad. Transported to the liver, it “flushes” bad cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels, ridding the circulatory system of such dangerous and such harmful blockages.
If the amount of bad cholesterol is too large, and the required amount of “antidote” – good cholesterol – is not enough, the risk of problems increases sharply.
About the level of HDL and LDL
As mentioned above – bad and good cholesterol in the human body must be maintained within the limits of certain norms.
The balance (according to medical standards) is as follows:
- LDL level: not more than 1 gram per 1 liter of blood;
- HDL level: at least 0.45 grams per 1 liter of blood.
The larger the deviation, the more intensively it is necessary to approach the treatment process (and the presence of deviations in this case can be safely called a disease). Moreover, one should worry even if the level of LDL is normal, but the level of HDL is insufficient. A similar combination is also the cause of diseases: it is observed in about half of people who have problems with the cardiovascular system.
What is the danger?
Usually, people learn all the bad things about cholesterol only in old age – nevertheless, the process of clogging of vessels lasts long enough, and only by mature years manages to become a perceptible health hazard. According to existing medical statistics, approximately 90% of patients who had a stroke or heart attack had elevated cholesterol and did not pay attention to this fact on time.
Now we give a list of diseases that can develop, as a result of a deviation from the norm:
- angina pectoris;
- heart attack;
About the content in food
Cholesterol is synthesized in the human body in very small quantities – almost completely it enters precisely with food.
For food containing considerable doses of bad cholesterol, doctors include butter, meat (in particular pork) and lard, liver, and milk.
Useful and necessary cholesterol – HDL – is found in large quantities in fish and vegetable fats, green tea, and garlic.
The list is only approximate – to one degree or another, cholesterol contains a very, very many products. By the way, now on the shelves of supermarkets there are a lot of goods marked with bright labels “WITHOUT CHOLESTEROL” – do not rush to grab them if you strive to eat properly. Very often they contain a number of other negative supplements that “squeezed out” this same cholesterol – the result in this case can be no better (or even worse).
How to be treated?
The conclusion about the need for treatment can only be given to you by a doctor and only after analysis. Usually, everything is solved with the help of the right diet: a changed diet is able to work real miracles with our body. Of course, the result will have to wait – the cholesterol level can stabilize for several weeks (and even months – if the situation is too problematic).
Often, various additives are included in the menu. First of all, it is fish oil, folic acid and vitamin E.