Cholesterol is produced within the human body by the liver, but it can also be absorbed from food from animals. Food like egg yolk, meat, poultry, even some types of fish, seafood and whole-milk dairy products. The body by itself makes all the cholesterol it needs.
Cholesterol plays an important role in a healthy body as it is used to form cell membranes, hormones and is also needed for other bodily functions. Cholesterol and other fats cannot dissolve in the body and hence need to be transported by carriers called lipoproteins.
High levels of cholesterol in the blood are indicative of Hypercholesterolemia - and is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which could lead to a heart attack.
HDL, LDL and Triglycerides Defined
Of the various types of cholesterol the ones to be alert about are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
'Bad Cholesterol' or Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the major cholesterol carrier and excess amounts of it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries leading to the heart and brain. Combined with other deposits it tends to form plaque - a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries. This leads to a condition called atherosclerosis. A clot formation near this plaque blocks the blood flow to part of the heart muscle and causes what is generally known as a heart attack.
'Good Cholesterol' or High Density lipoprotein-HDL carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is processed out. It is believed that HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaques and retards plaque formation. High levels of HDL is considered a good sign.
Triglycerides are the main constituents of vegetable oils and animal fats. High levels of triglycerides have been associated with atherosclerosis eventually leading to heart attacks.
It has been observed that high cholesterol often tends to run in families and that genes do play a role in influencing blood cholesterol levels. Clinical trials however, have identified specific genetic causes for high cholesterol levels in only a small fraction of cases. The results are enough to acknowledge the genetic factor when it comes to high cholesterol.
Weight and diet are linked. Saturated fats and cholesterol from animal foods (red meat, egg yolk, dairy products, poultry, etc) are a major cause for excessive LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Heredity, weight gain, lack of exercise, menopausal changes, stress also contribute to high levels of harmful cholesterol.Read more: How they work Ingredients Other Treatments Reviews