The Science Behind Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that cells can carry throughout your body. This is not necessarily bad. Because some level of cholesterol is essential to your body’s production of hormones, vitamins, and digestive substances. In fact, your body produces cholesterol for all these functions.
Cholesterol is carried throughout your bloodstream in the form of lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are cholesterol attached to proteins and depending on what protein the lipoprotein is made with, the type of cholesterol is determined.
The cholesterol we view to be negative or “bad” cholesterol is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which moves cholesterol throughout the body to build up on artery walls. This buildup makes the arteries narrow and rigid which isn’t ideal for proper circulation.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), on the other hand, is the “good” cholesterol because it picks up the excess fat and cholesterol to take it to your liver. This avoids the buildup of cholesterol to preempt possible complications with circulation problems.
How Does High Cholesterol Affect the Body?
Cholesterol, in excess, allows plaque, a kind of fatty deposit, to build up along the walls of blood vessels. This is especially risky when the plaque builds up in essential veins and arteries like the coronary artery or the carotid arteries. These arteries supply oxygen to your brain and heart, respectively.
These potential complications on circulation then contribute to high cholesterol being a risk factor for coronary heart disease. This puts high cholesterol alongside high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and obesity.
The amount of cholesterol in your body is shown in the lipid profile that measures triglycerides. This reflects how at-risk you could be for heart disease.