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There is plenty of talk regarding cholesterol in health circles these days. However, many people fail to understand exactly what cholesterol is, and why having too much cholesterol can be harmful to your health. First, cholesterol is a primary element found in every cell of the human body. Cholesterol contributes to many bodily functions and helps the body manufacture hormones, Vitamin D, and bile acids. The body produces cholesterol in various organs such as the liver. However, in addition to the cholesterol that the body produces, cholesterol also enters the bloodstream through various foods. It is when there is too much cholesterol in the blood stream that trouble begins to ensue.


There are no symptoms that will alert you that there is too much cholesterol in your body. The only way to determine if you have high cholesterol is by taking a blood test that measures the amount of cholesterol that you are dealing with. It's important to understand that there are two types of cholesterol. These are called LDL and HDL Cholesterol. LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoprotein where as HDL stands for High – Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol. Lipoprotein is the result of cholesterol and protein joined together. Remember, cholesterol is carried through the blood and attaches itself to cell membranes, when this occurs the result is a Lipoprotein. However, Lipoproteins may be either Low Density or High Density. Low Density Lipoproteins are the cholesterol's known as bad cholesterol. High Density or HDL Cholesterol is good cholesterol. It is important to keep your LDL cholesterol levels low.


LDL Cholesterol can build up in the blood system. When this occurs, the blood can become clogged and plaque may form. Plaque may be described as hard formations or deposits that are the substance that block arteries. The condition of plaque is called Atherosclerosis. The reason that plaque in the arteries is so serious is because the plaque may form a clot, when this happens blood may cease to flow to the heart and the result is a heart attack. Therefore, high cholesterol is in direct correlation to an increase in the risk of a heart attack. By taking the necessary precautions to lower high cholesterol, you can lower your chance of suffering from a heart attack.


Some of the most important steps that you can take to lower your LDL Cholesterol levels includes exercising regularly, eating healthy foods that are low in saturated fats, and losing weight if you are overweight. In addition, you should also quit smoking as cigarette smoking greatly increases the chance of developing high cholesterol. Smoking may also cause the good cholesterol or the HDL cholesterol levels to drop, while causing damage to blood vessels. Also, if you have previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is imperative that you take steps to lower it. High blood pressure is another contributing factor to high cholesterol levels. If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, you must take steps to regulate your blood sugar levels. For those who are Diabetic, taking control of your blood sugar will help lower the risk of developing high cholesterol.




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