Cholesterol really has a bad reputation among a lot of people. Most people think that cholesterol should be eliminated from their body as much as possible. However, there is more to what some other people might think. There are actually two types of cholesterol. There is the LDL and the HDL.
What is LDL cholesterol?
LDL, also known as the bad cholesterol, can be considered as the villain when it comes to health. High levels of this type can cause various cardiovascular diseases. It can also be associated with other complications such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and peripheral vascular disease. It is also one of the main causes of stroke. Nevertheless, LDL is not entirely bad for the body. After all, it is needed by the blood since it can narrow the arteries. LDL only poses a threat if it is being transported in huge quantities over a specific period of time. LDL also poses as threat if it builds up in the artery walls. Overtime, LDL cholesterol and other cells create a blockage in the arteries known as the plaque. Plaque in the arteries can hamper the flow of blood therefore causing stroke, heart attack, and other complications.
Is lowering LDL cholesterol enough?
A lot of people ask it if lowering the LDL levels is enough for their health. LDL reduction can very make a significant improvement to anyone’s health. However, lowering the LDL levels is just a simple part in the battle against atherosclerosis. Even if a person has a normal or low LDL levels does not mean that he is immune from heart attacks and other complications. The same case is also true for a person that has eliminated cigarette smoking from his lifestyle. Just because someone stopped smoking does not mean that he is safe from diseases. However, lowering the LDL levels is a very important step that should definitely be accomplished. If people really want to have better chances against complications, they also need to raise the HDL cholesterol levels in their bodies.
What determines the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood?
- The liver is the main organ that determines the level of cholesterol in the blood. It manufacturers and introduces LDL into the blood. However, it also has receptors that can eliminate LDL if necessary. These receptors which are located on the surface of the liver cells are very important. Once the number of receptors has decreased, this means that there is already a high level of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
- Heredity is also another factor. Different types of diseases and disorders can be inherited from previous generations. There are disorders where victims have a diminished number of receptors on their liver cells. People who had early ancestors who suffered from heart attacks should definitely keep their guards up. This is because they might have inherited the disorders, therefore making them immune to high LDL cholesterol levels.
- Diet can also determine the level of LDL cholesterol. Foods that are too high in saturated fats are responsible for high LDL levels in the blood. The foods that are high in saturated fats are processed meats, pastries, and other dairy products. These are the ones that people really love to eat. Exposure to such unhealthy diet can be very dangerous for a person.
What is HDL cholesterol?
HDL is the abbreviated term for high-density lipoprotein. Each HDL cell is a very small blob in texture. A rim of lipoprotein surrounds the center. Because of this ability HDL can be very preventive when it comes to cardiovascular diseases. People who have high levels of HDL in their bodies have better chances against heart attacks, coronary diseases, and stroke. Everyone is encouraged to increase his HDL levels and increase his LDL levels at the same time. This particular type of cholesterol should be more than sixty milligrams per deciliter. If in case people have lower HDL levels than sixty milligrams, they might want to start taking action. Aerobic and cardiovascular exercises can help raise the levels of HDL in the body.
How HDL or good cholesterol works?
HDL is known as the good cholesterol for a few reasons. First, it is very effective in preventing arterial diseases. Second, it can take away harmful cholesterol from the blood and into the liver. The liver is the one responsible in eliminating harmful cholesterol and body tissues. The liver breaks it down to pieces and excretes it from the body as fecal matter. The liver can also process cholesterols if they can be re-used for other purposes. As it cruises the bloodstream, it detects any harmful cholesterol where it does not belong. Finally, HDL cholesterol is responsible for the maintenance of the artery walls. It scrubs the wall so that it could be kept clean and safe from destructive organisms. This good cholesterol also keeps the inner walls of these blood vessels from damage. The destruction of these artery walls can lead to stroke and heart attacks. That is how important the HDL cholesterol is.