Cholesterol: Types And Treatment
Cholesterol is a fat in the blood that circulates. It is essential for health because it intervenes in various mechanisms essential for the proper functioning of the body. Cholesterol is one of the components of bile. Produced by the liver, this green liquid is an indispensable ingredient for digestion of food. By breaking down some fats in your diet, your digestive system can absorb them.
Cholesterol plays an important role in the composition of cell membranes. It allows the membranes of the cells that make up our body to remain more flexible and permeable (that is, not waterproof). Thus, our cells are able to enter and leave not only nutrients necessary for function, but also other substances involved in cellular communication, for example. Thanks to cholesterol, our cells can feed and communicate with each other.
Cholesterol is one of the ingredients our body makes certain hormones. Thus, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, or aldosterone is made from cholesterol. Aldosterone, for example, is useful for controlling blood pressure.
Vitamin D is also produced from cholesterol. Essential for bone strength, immunity, cancer prevention, type 2 diabetes, certain autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and fatigue. Finally, cholesterol is used in the manufacture of coenzyme Q10. The latter is important for the body’s energy production.
If excess cholesterol is unhealthy, you can imagine that too low cholesterol could have a serious effect on digestion, the composition of cell membranes, hormones and vitamin D.
Do you have good and bad cholesterol?
We often hear about good and bad cholesterol. This is not completely accurate. In fact, there is only one cholesterol. In contrast, cholesterol is carried into the blood by two different carriers. The effect of cholesterol depends on whether it is related to either.
LDL and “Bad Cholesterol”
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol from the liver to organs and tissues. When in this carrier, cholesterol becomes what is known as LDL-cholesterol, and is commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol”. Why? This is because cholesterol is likely to sink into the walls of your arteries during this trip. When it accumulates, it eventually forms clusters called “atheroma plaques” that cause many cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, high levels of LDL-cholesterol are associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.
HDL and “Good Cholesterol”
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) carries cholesterol back from the organs to the liver. This is called HDL-cholesterol or “good cholesterol”. This is because HDL-cholesterol sucks excess cholesterol into the cells through blood circulation. Then it is transferred to the liver and removed. Studies have shown that high HDL-cholesterol levels reduce cardiovascular risk. In fact, HDL lipoproteins have the power to protect our blood network because it “cleans” the walls of blood vessels. HDL-cholesterol may also exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.
Treatment of Excess Cholesterol
Management of excess cholesterol is based on lifestyle changes (Mediterranean diet and physical activity) and, if necessary, the use of lipid-lowering drugs. Find out the treatment of excess cholesterol, the thresholds that need to be reached, and the special cases of patients at risk.
There are several types of medications to fight excess LDL cholesterol. It is called a lipid lowering agent. It is used when 3 months of adequate diet (anti-cholesterol diet) is not enough to bring your LDL cholesterol levels back to normal.
The hypolipidemicfactor of the statin family are the latest lipid-lowering drugs and are the first drugs that are prescribed when medication is needed. They can effectively lower cholesterol levels in the blood by blocking enzymes that participate in synthesis in the body. Several studies have shown that statins play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke, arteritis) and reducing the risk of death in patients at high cardiovascular risk. Nevertheless, the benefits of treatment are individual and should be evaluated by your doctor based on the risks involved.
Always take an experts advise any type of treatment.
This views expressed in the article should not be considered as a substitute for a physicians advice. Please consult your trearing physician for more details.