Causes Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease and a cause of heart attacks.
A build-up of cholesterol is part of the process that narrows arteries, called atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, plaques form and cause restriction of blood flow.
Reducing the intake of fat in the diet helps to manage cholesterol levels. In particular, it is helpful to limit foods that contain:
- Cholesterol: This is present in animal foods, meat, and cheese.
- Saturated fat: This occurs in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, deep-fried, and processed foods.
- Trans fats: This occurs in some fried and processed foods.
Excess weight or obesity can also lead to higher blood LDL levels. Genetic factors can contribute to high cholesterol. People with the inherited condition familial hypercholesterolemia have very high LDL levels.
Other conditions that can lead to high cholesterol levels, include:
In adults, total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter are considered healthy.
- A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is borderline high.
- A reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high.
LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.
- 100129 mg/dL is acceptable for people with no health problems but may be a concern for anyone with heart disease or heart disease risk factors.
- 130159 mg/dL is borderline high.
- 160189 mg/dL is high.
- 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high.
- eat a heart-healthy diet
- achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Table 3110percentiles For Plasma Total High
- Increases in dietary cholesterol and fat raise levels of apoprotein E-containing lipoproteins in the plasma of man.Cole TG, Patsch W, Kuisk I, Gonen B, Schonfeld G. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Jun; 56:1108-15.
- Heterogeneous properties of intermediate- and low-density lipoprotein subpopulations.Srisawasdi P, Vanavanan S, Rochanawutanon M, Pornsuriyasak P, Tantrakul V, Kruthkul K, Kotani K. Clin Biochem. 2013 Oct; 46:1509-15. Epub 2013 Jul 2.
- Review .Sandhofer F. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1994; 144:286-90.
- .Bauchart D, Levieux D. Reprod Nutr Dev. 1985; 25:243-50.
- Review .
What Other Lifestyle Interventions Help Lower Cholesterol
Weight loss and exercise are shown to decrease total cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL, the good cholesterol. Smoking cessation decreases LDL levels plus smoking is a primaryrisk factor for heart disease and stroke. One drink of alcohol a day may help increase HDL levels, but too much alcohol can damage the liver and increase the risk of elevated LDL.
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Effects Of High Cholesterol Levels
The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, into our bloodstream.
Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high cholesterol. There is a blood test to measure your cholesterol level. When and how often you should get this test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger:
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older:
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
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Plasma Transport And Regulation Of Absorption
As an isolated molecule, cholesterol is only minimally soluble in water, or hydrophilic. Because of this, it dissolves in blood at exceedingly small concentrations. To be transported effectively, cholesterol is instead packaged within lipoproteins, complex discoidal particles with exterior amphiphilic proteins and lipids, whose outward-facing surfaces are water-soluble and inward-facing surfaces are lipid-soluble. This allows it to travel through the blood via emulsification. Unbound cholesterol, being amphipathic, is transported in the monolayer surface of the lipoprotein particle along with phospholipids and proteins. Cholesterol esters bound to fatty acid, on the other hand, are transported within the fatty hydrophilic core of the lipoprotein, along with triglyceride.
There are several types of lipoproteins in the blood. In order of increasing density, they are chylomicrons, very-low-density lipoprotein , intermediate-density lipoprotein , low-density lipoprotein , and high-density lipoprotein . Lower protein/lipid ratios make for less dense lipoproteins. Cholesterol within different lipoproteins is identical, although some is carried as its native “free” alcohol form , while others as fatty acyl esters, known also as cholesterol esters, within the particles.
Myth: Eating Foods With A Lot Of Cholesterol Will Not Make My Cholesterol Levels Go Up
Fact:;It can be complicated. We know that foods with a lot of cholesterol usually also have a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fats can make your cholesterol numbers higher, so its best to choose foods that are lower in saturated fats. Foods made from animals, including red meat, butter, and cheese, have a lot of saturated fats.
Instead, aim to eat foods with plenty of fiber, such as oatmeal and beans, and healthy unsaturated fats, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDCs nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
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What Treatments Are Available For High Cholesterol
Treatment may include:
Addressing risk factors. Some risk factors that can be changed include lack of exercise and poor eating habits.
Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Medicines are used to lower fats in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol. Statins are a group of medicines that can do this. The two most effective types are atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Other medicines that lower cholesterol levels are ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors.
What Is Acetyl Coenzyme As Function In The Body
Acetyl Coenzyme A is a processor in your liver which converts nutrients. Its function is to carry out the inter-conversions of nutrients from: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals from your diet, for use as energy. Your bodies essential fat-based substances: cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, eicosanoids , are made by this process. The shortened name of Acetyl Coenzyme A is Acetyl Co-A.
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How Is High Cholesterol Treated
There are several ways to lower high blood cholesterol , including lifestyle changes or medication, or both. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which therapy is best for you.
Healthcare providers like to start with the least invasive treatments when possible, such as lifestyle changes. Youll be advised to:
- Avoid tobacco. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for you in many ways, and reducing your level of good cholesterol is one of them.
- Change the way you eat. Limit the amount of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugary products and dairy products made with whole milk.
- Get more exercise. Try to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or about 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about safe ways to do this. Youll see results even before you reach your ideal weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight makes a difference in your cholesterol levels.
- Reduce the effect of negative emotions. Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress or other negative emotions.
- Control blood sugar and blood pressure. Make sure you follow your healthcare providers instructions for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, and for keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.
- Atorvastatin .
- Simvastatin .
- Pitavastatin .
How Much Cholesterol Should You Have
A 2019 update to cholesterol guidelines advises healthcare professionals to look at more than just cholesterol levels.
The update recommends taking into account other risk factors to more effectively treat and manage heart disease risk.
This means that your doctor will consider:
- your activity level
|HDL good cholesterol||>60 mg/dL|
Your doctor will likely still check your HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol levels with a blood test called a lipoprotein panel.
If your cholesterol is high, you can start taking steps to lower it with lifestyle changes and possibly medication.
If your cholesterol level is high, you may be able to successfully manage it with a few lifestyle changes.
Here are some recommendations:
If you try diet and exercise and theyre not enough to lower your cholesterol, your doctor may add medications to your treatment plan.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs include:
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Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet
The body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so people do not need to consume it from foods.
However, according to one 2018 review , consuming cholesterol from animal products does not cause cardiovascular disease. Instead, it seems to be saturated fat that increases LDL and the overall risk of heart disease.
Therefore, although eggs contain cholesterol, they are low in saturated fat and nutrient dense, so people can include them as part of a healthy diet.
Avoiding saturated fat and trans fat
To avoid saturated fat and trans fat, people should try to limit the following foods:
- red, fatty, or processed meat
- full fat dairy products, such as whole milk, cheese, and cream
- cakes, cookies, donuts, and pastries
- solid fats, such as margarine, lard, and shortening
- fried foods
However, people can include moderate amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocados, in their diet.
Avoiding excess sugar
Consuming high sugar foods or beverages can raise someones triglyceride levels. Therefore, a person should avoid consuming too much sugar, such as by avoiding sugary drinks.
Increasing dietary fiber
The AHA notes that dietary fiber can help improve cholesterol levels. Therefore, to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, people should try to focus on including the following foods in their daily diet:
Why Do We Need Cholesterol
Cholesterol plays a vital role in how your body works. There is cholesterol in every cell in your body, and it’s especially important in your brain, nerves and skin.
Cholesterol has three main jobs:
- Its part of the outer layer, or membrane, of all your bodys cells
- Its used to make vitamin D and steroid hormones which keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy
- Its used to make bile, which helps to digest the fats you eat
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Is Lipoprotein A Hereditary
Genetic variation is believed to account for 75 to 95 percent of lipoprotein level variation in the population. Because nongenetic factors, such as diet and physical activity, do not substantially influence lipoprotein concentrations, a genetic test is well positioned to identify high concentrations.
Where Is Cholesterol Made
Some of our cholesterol comes from the food we eat, but most is made in the liver in a complex 37-step process.;
Cholesterol and another type of blood fat called triglycerides cannot circulate loosely in the blood, so the liver packages them into; parcels called lipoproteins.
The lipoproteins are then released into the blood and carried around the body to wherever they’re needed.;
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What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood
The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.
Food Precursors: What Is Cholesterol Made Of In The Body
PRECURSORS are the source ingredients the body uses to make cholesterol.;In the feature diagram above, called Acetyl CoA is a central intermediate in lipid metabolism by James Baggott PH.D. the PRECURSORS are: glucose & pyruvate, amino acids, fatty acids, and ketone bodies.
In the Stages of Metabolism diagram, the PRECURSORS that make cholesterol are: Proteins, Polysaccharides , and Lipids . These are PRECURSOR source ingredients, processed and mixed together, by Acetyl CoA to make cholesterol.
Stages of Metabolism
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Why Is Cholesterol Essential
Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. For example, cholesterol is used to build cell walls and produce some hormones.
About three quarters of the cholesterol in your body is produced by your liver; the rest comes from the food you eat.
Cholesterol is carried in the blood by lipoproteins. The main types of lipoproteins are high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein .
How Do You Prepare For A Cholesterol Test
In most cases, youll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasnt water.
There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.
Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a persons heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.
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What Does Ldl Cholesterol Do
LDL is considered the bad cholesterol. It carries cholesterol to your arteries, where it may collect in the vessel walls and contribute to plaque formation, known as atherosclerosis. This can lead to decreased blood flow to the heart muscle , leg muscles , or abrupt closure of an artery in the heart or brain, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Over a third of the US population has high LDL cholesterol. Diagnosis is made via blood testing, so if you dont check, you wont know.
For LDL, the lower the number the better. A good goal to keep in mind is less than 130 mg/dL if you dont have atherosclerotic disease or diabetes. It should be no more than 100 mg/dL, or even 70mg/dL, if you have any of those conditions or high total cholesterol. Its very important to set your own target cholesterol levels with your doctor. Obesity, a large waist circumference, a sedentary lifestyle, or a diet rich in red meat, full-fat dairy, saturated fat, trans fats, and processed foods can lead to high LDL cholesterol.
Muscle Pain And Weakness
The most common side effect is muscle pain and weakness, a condition called rhabdomyolysis, most likely due to the depletion of Co-Q10, a nutrient that supports muscle function. Dr. Beatrice Golomb of San Diego, California is currently conducting a series of studies on statin side effects. The industry insists that only 2-3 percent of patients get muscle aches and cramps but in one study, Golomb found that 98 percent of patients taking Lipitor and one-third of the patients taking Mevachor suffered from muscle problems.4 A message board devoted to Lipitor at forum.ditonline.com contained more than 800 posts, many detailing severe side effects. The Lipitor board at www.rxlist.com contains more than 2,600 posts .
The test for muscle wasting or rhabdomyolysis is elevated levels of a chemical called creatine kinase . But many people experience pain and fatigue even though they have normal CK levels.5
John Altrocchi took Mevacor for three years without side effects; then he developed calf pain so severe he could hardly walk. He also experienced episodes of temporary memory loss.
Active people are much more likely to develop problems from statin use than those who are sedentary. In a study carried out in Austria, only six out of 22 athletes with familial hypercholesterolemia were able to endure statin treatment.9 The others discontinued treatment because of muscle pain.
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Why Cholesterol Matters
Cholesterol circulates in the blood. As the amount of cholesterol in your blood increases, so does the risk to your health.;High cholesterol contributes to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. Thats why its important to have your cholesterol tested, so you can know your levels.
The two types of cholesterol are: LDL cholesterol, which is bad, and HDL, which is good. Too much of the bad kind, or not enough of the good kind, increases the risk cholesterol will slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.
Learn more about LDL, HDL and triglycerides.
Cholesterol can join with other substances to form a thick, hard deposit on the inside of the arteries. This can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible a condition known as atherosclerosis. If a blood clot forms and blocks one of these narrowed arteries, a heart attack or stroke can result.
When it comes to cholesterol, remember: check, change and control. That is:
- Check your cholesterol levels. Its key to know your numbers and assess your risk.
- Change your diet and lifestyle to help improve your levels.
- Control your cholesterol, with help from your doctor if needed;
High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. If you have other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes, your risk increases even more.