What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood
Factors Affecting Blood Cholesterol Levels
- Heredity — Your genes partly determine the amount of cholesterol your body makes, and high blood cholesterol can run in families.
- Diet — There are two nutrients in the foods you eat that can increase your blood cholesterol level: saturated fat and cholesterol.
Do I Need Treatment For High Cholesterol
including whether you are also diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.Ã Many health care providers recommend treating anyone with CVD with high-dose statin therapy. This includes those with coronary heart disease and who have had a stroke.
For those who do not have CVD, treatment is determined by your individual risk for developing heart disease. Ã That risk can be estimated using calculators which factor your age, sex, medical history, and other characteristics.Ã If your risk is high , your doctor may start you on treatment preventively. They generally keep in mind your preferences towards taking medication in general.Ã For those people whose risk is unclear, a coronary artery calcium score, which is a screening test looking for calcium in the arteries, can help determine the need for statins.
For both those who have CVD and those who do not, when the decision is made to start medication, the first choice is usually a statin.
Other special groups who may need treatment:
- People with high triglyceride levels may benefit if they have other risk factors
- People with diabetes: are at high risk, and a ldl under 100 is recommended for most
- Older adults: a healthy, active older adult may benefit from the reduction you need, and be prescribed a medication accordingly.
Cholesterol In Health And Disease
Department of Medicine, and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Address correspondence to: Ira Tabas, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York, New York 10032, USA. Phone: 305-9430 Fax: 305-4834 E-mail: .
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Plant Sterols Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Plant sterols are found naturally in plant foods including sunflower and canola seeds, vegetable oils and in nuts, legumes, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Some margarine and milks have concentrated plant sterols added to them. Margarines enriched with plant sterolslower LDL cholesterol in most people if the correct amount is eaten .
What Can Raise My Risk Of High Cholesterol
A variety of things can raise your risk for high cholesterol:
- Age. Your cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. Even though it is less common, younger people, including children and teens, can also have high cholesterol.
- Heredity. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
- Weight. Being overweight or having obesity raises your cholesterol level.
- Race. Certain races may have an increased risk of high cholesterol. For example, African Americans typically have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.
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What Is A Healthy Blood Cholesterol Level
For people who have plaque in their arteries or who have other factors that put them at risk for cardiovascular disease, doctors recommend an ideal LDL level well below 70 mg/dl. For those without risk factors who have an LDL level at or above 190 mg/dl, the recommendation is to get this level down to below 100 mg/dl. People age 40 to 75 who are living with diabetes and whose LDL is at 70 or above may need medication.
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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What Numbers Should I Look For
Some recommend that everyone over age 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every 5 years. The test that is performed is a blood test called a lipoprotein profile. That includes:
- Total cholesterol level
What Affects Cholesterol Levels?
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
Digest Fatty Substance Through Bile Production:
Cholesterol is also used in the formation of bile, a greenish fluid that is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. The body requires bile to break up foods that compose fatty substance. Bile performs as an emulsifier, it splits down sizeable globules of fat into smaller molecules so they can mix smoothly with the enzymes that digest fat. Once the fat is completely digested, bile helps the body to absorb it and acts a supportive end. The production of bile in the intestines is needed before cholesterol can be absorbed from nutritious foods. The body also require bile in order to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, the fat-soluble vitamins, derived from healthy nourishment.
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What Are The Functions Of Cholesterol
Although cholesterol has a bad reputation, the body actually needs it. Here are some functions of cholesterol:
- Helps in the formation and maintenance of cell membranes and structures.
- Important for the making of many critical hormones like cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.
- Used by the liver to make bile.
- Nerve cells use cholesterol for insulation.
- Also needed for the production of vitamin D.
Cholesterol: The Diagnosis To Eliminate:
The isolated finding of total hypercholesterolemia is not sufficient to affirm the chronic existence of this metabolic disorder. Some hypercholesterolemia is secondary:
- The use of medication: cortisone, the pill, retinoids, antihypertensives, etc
- To the existence of a disease: hypothyroidism.
In this case, it is sufficient to stop taking the medication responsible or to treat the hypothyroidism for the lipid metabolism disorder to disappear.
Other hypercholesterolemias are genetic and hereditary, and particularly difficult to treat.
It is also important to know that a meal very rich in fat can occasionally increase the cholesterol level. A return to a normal diet is then sufficient to normalize the blood cholesterol.
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Types Of Cholesterol And Their Functions:
There are merely two types of cholesterol, i.e. good and bad. Too much of one type, or not sufficient of another, can lead you to risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack or blood stroke. It is significant to know the proper levels of cholesterol in your blood flow so that you and your doctor can determine the good strategy to reduce the risk.
Consider The Following Cholesterol
- Salmon, trout, albacore tuna, and sardines are examples of fatty fish.
- Legumes, seeds, and nuts
- Oat bran and chia seeds, beans, barley, psyllium, oranges, blueberries, and Brussels sprouts
- Olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, and safflower oil are examples of nontropical natural vegetable oils.
- The fruits skin
Today, the average diet provides about 600 mg of cholesterol per day when it should not exceed 300 mg.
The patient should :
- Consume preferably polyunsaturated and monounsaturated vegetable fats
- Avoid animal fats and saturated fats
- Avoid foods rich in cholesterol: egg yolk, offal , fresh cream, lobster, shellfish, fish eggs including caviar
- Prefer fish, veal, poultry, and horse to fatty meats
- Drink very little alcohol.
When the diet is not sufficient to bring the blood cholesterol level back to normal, lipid-lowering or cholesterol-lowering drugs should be prescribed.
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Functions Of Cholesterol In The Body
1. Producing Hormones
Cholesterol is essential for the bodys creation of steroid hormones. The steroid hormones most people are familiar with are sex hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are needed for reproductive functioning and development of sex characteristics such as facial hair. Other types of steroid hormones related with cholesterol include cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol is needed for blood sugar maintenance and infection prevention while aldosterone plays a part in water retention.
2. Creating Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important because it helps the bodys nervous system function properly. Vitamin D is also critical in other aspects, such as blood sugar regulation, mineral absorption, proper immune response, metabolism and reproduction. Humans can get vitamin D from multiple sources, including foods that are high in cholesterol, such as eggs and fish oil. Cholesterol also helps the body produce vitamin D from sunlight.
3. Aiding Digestion
One function of cholesterol in the body is better digestion. Without cholesterol, the body could not digest fat. When a person consumes food that contains fat, the gallbladder releases bile which breaks down large chunks of fat into much smaller particles that can be effectively digested by the body. Additionally, bile is needed for the body to properly absorb vitamins D, A, E and K. These vitamins are fat-soluble, so it makes sense that bile is required for proper use of vitamins.
Removes Ldl From Blood Vessels
One of the key benefits of having a healthy cholesterol balance is that bad cholesterol or any excess amounts of cholesterol are removed from the arteries by HDL and transported to the liver.
This removal is essential for the maintenance of healthy circulation, preventing conditions such as atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the blood vessels due to plaque build-up. This narrowing effect puts the body in danger of many potentially life-threatening conditions.
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Building Blocks As Supportive Unit Or Component:
As its a structural supportive component of cells and along with polar lipids makes it the structural part of every cell in our body. Cholesterol is there to actually shield a protective barrier. When the responsible amount of cholesterol increases or decreases, the cells may affected. This minute change can affect our capability to metabolise and provide energy, which can ultimately affect other parts of our body and helps in function such as food intake and digestion.
Why Is Cholesterol So Important
Cholesterol is important We need a small amount of blood cholesterol because the body uses it to: build the structure of cell membranes. make hormones like oestrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones. help your metabolism work efficiently, for example, cholesterol is essential for your body to produce vitamin D.
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Safe Blood Cholesterol Levels
Health authorities recommend that cholesterol levels should be no higher than 5.5 mmol per litre if there are no other risk factors present. If there are other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure or pre-existing cardiovascular disease, then the aim for the LDL levels would be less than 2 mmol/l. Approximately half of all adult Australians have a blood cholesterol level above 5 mmol/l. This makes high blood cholesterol a major health concern in Australia.
Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
When talking about cholesterol, two main types of cholesterol often comes up good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein , which is good cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein , which is bad cholesterol. Cholesterol moves in the body with the help of lipoproteins .
HDL helps in getting rid of the cholesterol from the body. It transports it to the liver to be expelled out so that theres no excess cholesterol in the body and none of it gets collected in the arteries. And hence, HDL is called good cholesterol.
On the other hand, LDL takes cholesterol to your arteries. Too much cholesterol in arteries can lead to a buildup of plaque which can block your arteries in your heart and brain and you may suffer from a heart attack or stroke. Plaque buildup can also reduce the flow of oxygen to various organs which also becomes the cause for many diseases.
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How To Control Cholesterol Levels
One way to control cholesterol that is quite effective is to have a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising regularly and eating healthy foods. Here are some foods that can control levels cholesterol, including:
The first way to control cholesterol is to eat soursop fruit. Its sweet and sour taste makes this fruit quite popular with some people. In addition, soursop also has several ingredients that function effectively to control cholesterol.
Reporting from medicalnewstoday, the content of vitamin C, calcium, and carbohydrates in soursop is believed to help lower cholesterol levels. In addition, soursop fruit also functions as an antioxidant that can relieve pain and prevent free radicals.
Dragon fruit is a type of fruit that has roots, spines and stems. This fruit, which has a deep red color, is one type of fruit that is quite popular with the people of Indonesia. The taste is sweet and has a unique shape, which is the hallmark of this fruit from Mexico.
Apart from its sweet taste and unique shape, it turns out that dragon fruit also has an effective function of controlling cholesterol. Eating this fruit regularly and regularly plays an important role in lowering cholesterol levels in the body.
The next way to control cholesterol is to eat pomegranate. This fruit, which has a red color and sweet taste, also has good benefits for the health of the body. Some of the ingredients in it are believed to be able to overcome various diseases.
Causes Of High Cholesterol
Excessive cholesterol levels can lead to various diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and obesity. This condition is usually caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Here are a few causes cholesterol the most common occurrence. Here are some causes of cholesterol that need to be watched out for:
One of the causes of high cholesterol is smoking. This is because cigarettes contain a chemical in the form of acrolein. These chemicals can stop HDL activity to transport fat deposits from the body to the liver for disposal. Resulting in narrowing of the arteries and increasing cholesterol levels.
Many sufferers of high cholesterol are the result of consuming excessive alcohol. Someone who often consumes alcohol can increase levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. So that it can trigger high cholesterol.
Someone who is obese is prone to experiencing conditions with high cholesterol. This is triggered by eating too much unhealthy food. A person can be said to be obese if he has a body mass index above 30 .
Someone who has high blood pressure is also often associated with high cholesterol. As a result, this can lead to other diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. So that if you have high blood pressure you should immediately treat it.
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What Are Healthy Cholesterol Levels
It’s easy to get in the habit of thinking of cholesterol as something that needs to be lowered at all costs. But as you can see, cholesterol is necessary for your body to function properly. The danger is when bad forms of cholesterol skyrocket, as well as when triglycerides are too high.
It’s important, therefore, to know not just your total cholesterol number, but the breakdown of each type of cholesterol in your body. This is measured during a cholesterol test, also referred to as a lipid panel.
Healthy Levels of Cholesterol for Adults
Type of Cholesterol
40 mg/dL or higher for men 50 mg/dl for women
A healthy level of triglycerides, which is typically checked at the same time as cholesterol, is less than 150 mg/dL, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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Cholesterol statistics show high cholesterol typically is not accompanied by any symptoms, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians which is why it’s particularly important to get your cholesterol checked. Fortunately, that’s an easy task. During a cholesterol test, a blood sample is used to check your cholesterol levels, according to the AHA. For some tests, you may need to fast for nine to 12 hours beforehand.
Adults over age 20 should check their cholesterol every four to six years, recommends the AHA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends testing children’s cholesterol once pre-puberty and once post-puberty .
Cholesterol Helps To Produce Vitamin D
Cholesterol plays a role in the bodys production of essential vitamin D. We need a certain amount of cholesterol in our bodies and skin cells to ensure that vitamin D is produced when we are exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D is processed in the liver and kidneys and is then circulated in the body for optimal physiological function.
A cause and effect relationship between cholesterol and vitamin D has been observed as a result of a study which showed that people with low levels of circulating vitamin D in the body tend to have high total cholesterol in the blood.
On the other hand, it has been shown that vitamin D supplements do not have an effect in lowering your cholesterol levels. Read one of our latest articles: 11 Tips To Reduce Cholesterol Without Medication.
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Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
One of the aforementioned life-threatening conditions, what is the role of cholesterol in the body. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America.
When arterial plaque causes blockages in the vessels supplying the heart especially, that can lead to massive tissue death known as myocardial infarction . This leads to a heart attack.
In general, your circulation comes under severe strain due to the build-up of LDL and the associated plaque. Hypertension will ensue as the volume within your blood vessels decreases.
HDL also stimulates the responsive release of nitric oxide, a chemical essential to a healthy cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide stimulates the dilation of the blood vessels, helping increase blood flow and reduce the risk of hypertension.