Fitness articles

Cholesterol: The Silent Killer

28/01/2011by in

This is not fat, but a waxy, fat like substance found only in food from animal sources. All animal sources contain cholesterol. Egg yolks, organ meats and hard animal fats have particularly high amounts. It is also found in every body cell and part of hormones, such as estrogen. Cholesterol is not found in vegetables or vegetable sources of fat.

The body naturally produces enough cholesterol, predominantly by the liver, for our own needs. However, if the body makes too much, the risk of coronary heart disease increases. Cholesterol is a structural part of every body cell and is the building block for vitamin D, sex hormones, and bile acids, which help in the digestion of dietary fats.

A high blood cholesterol increases the risk of arteriosclerosis (reduction in the diameter of the arteries), the thickening of arteries that can reduce or block blood flow to the heart muscle, brain, eyes, kidneys, sex organs and other body parts. This in turn increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, impotence and other blood circulatory problems.

There are 2 types of cholesterol in the body. A “good” cholesterol (HDL – high density lipoprotein) and a “bad” cholesterol (LDL – low density lipoprotein). About 75% of all cholesterol is carried by LDL. LDL has a tendency to deposit on the artery walls contributing to cardiac artery disease (CAD).

Diet / food intake greatly reduces the rate of both LDL production and removal. Increase of dietary fat (saturated) and cholesterol increase liver production.

HDL plays a protective role in decreasing the role of CAD. HDL protects the arterial walls from arteriosclerosis. Higher levels of HDL are associated with a decrease of the risk of heart disease.

Check your risk level by clicking the following link: Blood Cholesterol: Check Your Risk