In the culture of United States, cholesterol has been regarded an antagonist to every American’s health. This is a very limited understanding of what is cholesterol and the good thing it can offer. It takes a complete paradigm shift in the mindset of each citizen on the real definition of cholesterol.
Understanding the Vitality of Cholesterol
What is cholesterol? According to nutritionists, cholesterol is the elementary component of every membrane of cell in the planet. This is a soft and waxy substance found in the blood and in the cells of your body. If molecules are made up of atoms in chemistry, then, by analogy, cell membranes are made up of cholesterol.
So, no living matter can practically survive without any cholesterol. Believe it or not, the basic hormones of your body such as testosterone, steroid or estrogen cannot exist without cholesterol.
One instance for you to know that cholesterol is working in your body is to observe your absorption of Vitamin D. Before you can absorb Vitamin D from any food supplement, you can best obtain this essential vitamin through sun exposure.
What happens is that the cholesterol present in your skin converts the UV rays to Vitamin D. What is cholesterol to you right now? It is simply the conduit of Vitamin D from the sun rays right to your body.
Now, consider the difference between high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is regarded as “good” cholesterol while LDL is the “bad” one.
The Difference Between HDL and LDL
HDL prevents any person from risks of heart diseases as it drives away cholesterol from blocking the arteries. It also removes excess cholesterol from these arteries. One scenario where cholesterol is helpful is when it absorbs cholesterol from your arteries and tissues and this is brought back to your liver.
The liver, which houses all other cholesterol, reuses this and converts this to tiny pieces of articles which are then distributed to the cells which would need it. In your liver, this good cholesterol helps in the manufacture of bile acids which are significant in digesting the fats in the foods you intake.
On the other hand, LDL flows through the blood. It is said to cause plaque in your arteries when a great number of such cholesterol starts to build up in the arteries. The plaque makes the arteries less flexible. When it becomes narrow, this may cause a blood clot which results to heart attack or stroke, as the case may be.
In the study of LDL, you must also be aware of lipoprotein. This is made up of bad cholesterol coupled with protein. When the number of lipoprotein is increased, the danger of heart diseases is very much possible.
As early as possible, you must get yourself screened to prevent any excessive ‘bad’ cholesterol. There is a recommendation brought about by the American Heart Advisory. The total cholesterol of each person must be less than 200 mg/dL. What is cholesterol to you now? It may be different from your old concept of what it is but importantly, you must be in control of your cholesterol count.