What Is Cholesterol?

What is cholesterol? What is the difference between ?good' cholesterol and ?bad' cholesterol?

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is fat-like substance that is produced in the liver and other cells of the body. It is also found naturally in various foods such as meat, eggs, dairy products, and meat. Your membranes need cholesterol to function properly and produce vitamin D, hormones and the bile acid. This function leads to proper digestion of your food. It helps your body to insulate nerves, produce hormones, and build new cells. However, your body needs a fixed amount of cholesterol to carry out its basic function, but when the production of cholesterol crosses its prescribed limits; it gives rise to various heart diseases.

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

When there is excess cholesterol present in your blood, it slowly and steadily builds up on the insides of the walls of your arteries. The buildup is called plaque and it narrows down the diameter of your arteries and hardens it. This process is termed as atherosclerosis, which is a form of a heart disease.

Plaques of cholesterol become small types of tumours that blocks the passageway of your arteries and clog them. Due to this, the supply of blood to your heart is interrupted and less oxygen reaches your heart muscles. This causes angina or chest pain in your body. When the blood supply to a particular portion of your heart is completely cut off, it results in a heart attack.

Types of Cholesterol

An optimal level of cholesterol is needed in your body to carry out many important activities. However, an excess of cholesterol is not good for your body. Cholesterol is a lipid and is similar to wax-like substance making it insoluble in water. As, it cannot dissolve in the blood, it is unable to circulate through your bloodstream on its own. Thus, it needs to attach itself to another fatty protein to move around in the blood. It combines with protein, forming a lipoprotein and eventually moves in your blood circulatory system. Based on this, cholesterol is classified in two categories:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): This cholesterol is referred as ?bad' cholesterol because an excess of LDL in your body is extremely harmful to the health of your heart. LDL becomes oxidized and damages the inner walls of your blood cells. When any LDL remains unutilized by your body, it results in the buildup of plaque and becomes the reason of many heart diseases.

High-density cholesterol: HDL hangs lightly to the cholesterol and transports the cholesterol away from the cells. It does not allow cholesterol to attach to the artery walls. Sometimes, HDL even loosens up additional cholesterol attached on the side of the wall, and helps to reduce the amount of buildup or plaque. It breaks down your cholesterol and evacuates it from the body as a waste product. Due to these reasons, HDL is termed as ?good' cholesterol.

High cholesterol is extremely unhealthy for your body. It is important that you regularly monitor your cholesterol levels to prevent it from increasing at an alarming rate. With several home tests available, it has become fairly easy to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels. Suresign Total Cholesterol Test is one such home kit that may help you to watch your blood cholesterol. Eating a healthy diet, living an active life, and taking cholesterol supplements will help you to maintain a normal level of cholesterol in your body. If you are experiencing a high cholesterol problem, medicines such as ResverMax Pure High Strength Grape Extract may help you to lower your blood cholesterol.