Saturday, 17 May 2014

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a lipid (fat chemical) that is made in the cells in your body. Many different cells make cholesterol but cells in the liver make about a quarter of the total. Although many foods contain cholesterol, it is poorly absorbed by the gut into the body. Therefore, cholesterol that you eat in food has little effect on your body and blood cholesterol level. A certain amount of cholesterol is present in the bloodstream. You need some cholesterol to keep healthy. Cholesterol is carried in the blood as part of particles called lipoproteins. There are different types of lipoproteins, but the most relevant to cholesterol are:
  • Low-density lipoproteins carrying cholesterol - LDL cholesterol. This is often referred to as bad cholesterol. This is the one mainly involved in forming atheroma. Atheroma is the main underlying cause of various cardiovascular diseases (see below). The majority of cholesterol in the blood is LDL cholesterol, but how much varies from person to person.
  • High-density lipoproteins carrying cholesterol - HDL cholesterol. This is often referred to as good cholesterol. This may prevent atheroma forming.
Ultimate guide to lowering your Cholesterol!


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