Checking Your Blood Cholesterol Level
A cholesterol screening is an overall look at the fats in your blood. Screenings help identify your risk for heart disease. It is important to have what is called a full lipid profile to show the actual levels of each type of fat in your blood: LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and others. Talk with your healthcare provider about when to have this test.
Current Drugs For Lowering Ldl And Their Limitations
The primary objective for treating high cholesterol is to lower LDL levels in the blood the goal is for LDL cholesterol to be < 100 mg/dl and for very-high-risk individuals < 70 mg/dl . The current drugs for lowering LDL-C, and their limitations, are listed in table . The first drugs of choice are the statins. Statins are inhibitors of HMG CoA reductase, a rate-limiting enzyme of the mevalonate pathway of cholesterol synthesis. Fibrates, bile acid-binding resins, and nicotinic acid are also used to lower blood cholesterol levels. Fibrates are PPAR agonists, while bile acid-binding resins bind to bile acids in the intestine and prevent their absorption. To compensate for the loss of bile acids, the liver increases the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids. The conversion of cholesterol to bile acids reduces the cholesterol in the body, and the levels of blood cholesterol drop. In addition, ezetimibe, a lipid-lowering compound that selectively inhibits the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and related phytosterols, although it decreases cholesterol levels, has not been shown to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes. However, it has been reported that ezetimibe monotherapy may be associated with a greater reduction in remnant-like particle cholesterol levels in subjects with metabolic syndrome than in those without it.
Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Often, there are no specific symptoms of high cholesterol. You could have high cholesterol and not know it.
If you have high cholesterol, your body may store the extra cholesterol in your arteries. These are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. A buildup of cholesterol in your arteries is known as plaque. Over time, plaque can become hard and make your arteries narrow. Large deposits of plaque can completely block an artery. Cholesterol plaques can also break apart, leading to formation of a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood.
A blocked artery to the heart can cause a heart attack. A blocked artery to your brain can cause a stroke.
Many people dont discover that they have high cholesterol until they suffer one of these life-threatening events. Some people find out through routine check-ups that include blood tests.
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How To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Lifestyle and diet changes are the main ways to prevent or lower high LDL. A trial of eating a low-fat diet, regular aerobic activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and smaller waist circumference is an appropriate first step. It is best to set a timeline to achieve your goals with your doctor. In some cases, if those lifestyle changes are not enough, your physician may suggest a cholesterol lowering medication, such as a statin. If you are considering over-the-counter herbal or ayurvedic medications for cholesterol, please discuss those with your physician first as well.
Rarely, very high LDL is genetic and passed down in families. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia and is caused by a genetic mutation that decreases the livers ability to clear excess cholesterol. This condition can lead to very high LDL levels, and heart attack or stroke at a young age in multiple generations. Those individuals may require special medical treatment for prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Remember, knowledge is the first step. If you dont know your cholesterol levels, get tested. That will give you and your physician a starting point for lifestyle changes and medications if needed. In the meantime, adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, and do it with friends and family no matter their ages. Theres no time like the present to prevent heart disease.
How Often To Get Tested
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , most healthy adults should get their cholesterol checked every four to six years.
Your risk factors also determine how often your cholesterol should be checked. Adults who have a history of high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity need more frequent readings, as do all adults as they age.
Children should have their cholesterol checked at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between 17 and 20 years of age. If a child has a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or is overweight or obese, their pediatrician may recommend getting checked sooner and more often.
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Normal Range Of Hdl Cholesterol Levels
When we say a person has high cholesterol, we mean a higher concentration of bad cholesterol or higher Low-Density Lipoprotein. This increases the fat levels in and around the tissues and organs. This suppresses the activity of those organs and tissues, causing various diseases that can be fatal. The normal range of cholesterol levels is different for each type of cholesterol. For HDL cholesterol, the normal range is 40mg/dl 60mg/dl. For LDL, it is 70mg/dl to 100mg/dl. And for triglycerides, the ideal normal value is less than 100mg/dl. The borderline values of cholesterol levels vary slightly with age and gender.
Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate
The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.
For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits varies.
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Why Age Is A Factor
The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will vary based on age and gender. As people get older, cholesterol levels rise naturally. For example, people who have gone through menopause may have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children’s cholesterol levels be checked between ages 9 and 11.
However, children with certain risk factors, such as those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or been diagnosed with blocked arteries at age 55 or earlier in males or 65 or earlier in females, should be tested for cholesterol between ages 2 and 10.
Lcat As A Therapeutic Target For Dyslipidemia
Overexpression of human LCAT in rabbits and co-overexpression with CETP in mice has shown protection against diet-induced atherogenesis . Conversely, several mutations in apoAI that impair its LCAT activation are strongly correlated with reduced HDL levels . Physiologically, LCAT binds FC and phosphatidylcholine , transferring the acyl chain at the sn-2 position of PC to FC, producing CE and lyso-PC. LCAT, an interfacial enzyme , functions on the surface of HDL particles. Binding to the HDL surface activates the enzyme, but optimal activity is reached only after association with a cofactor. The most potent activator of LCAT is apoAI, and the mechanism of activation is thought to be similar to that of PL by colipase which forms a 1:1 complex with PL . A three-dimensional structure for LCAT is currently unavailable, although a computational model has been proposed . The model suggests that LCAT has an architecture similar to that of the family of / hydrolases . Consistent with this hypothesis, mutational experiments that changed the catalytic residues Ser181 , His377, and Asp345 into Ala resulted in complete loss of, or severe reductions in, enzyme activity.
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Hdl Is A Primary Participant In Rct
The importance of RCT for the removal of cholesterol from peripheral tissue for excretion through the liver is well known . A critical step in RCT, a multistep process, is maturation of the pre-1-HDL formed through the acquisition of free cholesterol and phospholipids by apolipoprotein AI into -migrating HDL. The FC is converted into cholesteryl ester by lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase and migrates into the interior of the HDL particle, thus enabling the transfer of more FC to the cell surface. Plasma pre-1-HDL levels have been reported to be increased in patients with coronary artery disease and dyslipidemia. Elevation of the plasma pre-1-HDL level is associated with the atherosclerotic phase of coronary artery disease and may be useful for the identification of patients with unstable angina pectoris. High pre-1-HDL concentrations and low LCAT activities are strong positive risk markers for ischemic heart disease and are independent of HDL-C.
What Does Hdl Cholesterol Do
HDL clears from the body via the liver. HDL may therefore prevent the buildup of plaque, protect your arteries, and protect you from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It is considered the good cholesterol, and higher levels are better. A good goal to aim for is higher than 55 mg/dL for women and 45 mg/dL for men. The higher your HDL cholesterol numbers, the lower your risk is for heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke.
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Hdl As A Risk Factor For Heart Disease
HDL plays an important role in removing unesterified cholesterol from peripheral cells and delivering it to the liver through the interaction of HDL with the hepatic HDL receptor. This process is known as reverse cholesterol transport . This is in addition to its antiatherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, and endothelial protective effects . Several studies have shown an inverse relationship between HDL blood levels and heart disease . It is estimated that > 40% of coronary events occur in individuals with HDL < 40 mg/dl. These and several other epidemiological studies emphasize that the risk factor associated with low levels of HDL is totally independent of LDL-C, i.e. no matter how low the LDL level is, a decrease in the HDL level would increase the risk of coronary artery disease.
How Is It Different From Bad Cholesterol
The terms good and bad are useful to help explain the functions of cholesterol. Both types of cholesterol serve a purpose in the body when balanced.
Cholesterol helps the body make new cell membranes. It is also important for making vitamin D and some hormones, such as sex hormones and the stress hormone cortisol. The liver also uses cholesterol to make bile, which digests fats.
LDL cholesterol is bad because it collects as plaque inside the arteries, so additional LDL cholesterol is unnecessary. High LDL levels put a person for atherosclerosis, a major risk factor for heart disease.
In contrast, higher levels of good cholesterol may lower a persons risk of developing heart disease.
- vegetable oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil
- oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring
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What Is The Function Of Cholesterol In The Body
Cholesterol is publicized as an antonym to health. However, it is a necessary nutrient for body function. Much of the needed cholesterol is obtained through foods such as meat and dairy, but it can also be made by the liver. Most people think cholesterol is a fat, but rather, it is a high molecular weight sterol. If cholesterol is so vital, what exactly is the function of cholesterol in the body?
Increase Good Cholesterol In Your Body Naturally With These 3 Foods
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Just the mention of cholesterol, is enough to ring the alarm bells. Often, we associate cholesterol with something bad, however, there is also a good kind of cholesterol that the body requires to maintain overall health.
Good cholesterol plays a vital role in many key bodily functions, especially when it comes to the health of the heart. Luckily for us, good cholesterol can be found naturally in various food sources and can help boost your health and wellbeing.
Role of good cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol, whereas low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
HDL helps to remove extra cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries. It facilitates the transfer of this buildup to the liver, which in turn, removes it from the body. This critical function reduces the risk of heart diseases and associated ailments.
HDL levels should ideally be around 60 milligrams/deciliter or above, and should not dip below 40 mg/dL.
Besides medical factors such as obesity, diabetes, and smoking, diet also plays a major role in determining HDL levels.
These foods will help you increase the good cholesterol levels
Start incorporating these HDL friendly foods in your diet to improve your health:
1. Legumes and whole grains
2. Nuts and seeds
So, try these foods, to improve the HDL levels, and lead a healthier life!
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Synthesis And Metabolism Of Cholesterol In Your Body
The importance of cholesterol in our body indicates what threat a total elimination of fat from the diet can pose. This is why a balanced diet is recommended even in an attempt at weight reduction. The question here is what extent of cholesterol consumption is above the safe limit. 80% of the cholesterol found in the body is made in the liver. The lanosterol pathway shunt is the process that makes cholesterol by using isoprene units and Acetyl CoA as a precursor. The whole process is then catalyzed by HMG-CoA enzymes to make cholesterol. Molecules of cholesterol are metabolized in the endoplasmic reticulum from the same enzyme Acetyl CoA and HMG CoA and then broken down into fatty acids, glucose, and certain other amino acids. It is not completely decomposed but remains in the body in the form of other biomolecules.
What Affects My Cholesterol Levels
A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels:
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise. Saturated fat is the main problem, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level. Foods that have high levels of saturated fats include some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
- Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also raises your HDL cholesterol level.
- Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. HDL helps to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries. So a lower HDL can contribute to a higher level of bad cholesterol.
Things outside of your control that can also affect cholesterol levels include:
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Medication May Be Needed
For some people, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. High blood cholesterol levels often have a genetic component. Some people inherit altered genes that cause high cholesterol and this cannot usually be changed sufficiently by lifestyle or diet.
If you are at risk of coronary heart disease and your LDL cholesterol level doesnt drop after scrupulous attention to diet, your doctor may recommend medications to force your blood LDL levels down. Cell cholesterol levels, however, remain normal, so lowering blood cholesterol has no effect on most cell metabolic processes.
Some people get muscle aches from statins, which are the most commonly used medication to lower blood cholesterol. However, diet and exercise will still be important, even if you are taking medication. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats cardiovascular disease.
What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol
There are two types: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein . As a general rule, HDL is considered good cholesterol, while LDL is considered bad. This is because HDL carries cholesterol to your liver, where it can be removed from your bloodstream before it builds up in your arteries. LDL, on the other hand, takes cholesterol directly to your arteries. This can result in atherosclerosis, a plaque buildup that can even cause heart attack and stroke.
Triglycerides make up the third component of cholesterol and act as unused calories that are stored as fat in the blood. Eating more calories than you burn can cause triglycerides to build up in the bloodstream, increasing your risk for heart attacks.
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What Are The Normal Cholesterol Levels For Men And Women
A cholesterol test generally determines 4 distinct numbers: Total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. Cholesterol being fat, it is not soluble in water. So it cannot circulate freely in the blood. But, the fact is that nature has devised a way to make water-soluble cholesterol, and transport it through the blood. This is by lipoproteins. The LDL or Low-density lipoprotein and the HDL or high-density lipoprotein are the 2 fundamental cholesterol carriers but to make things simpler, they are considered as cholesterol types. In addition, the lipid panel appraises the triglycerides . They have an impact on health in the same manners as cholesterol. At last, the total cholesterol is integrated as well in the results. Apart from these 4 general lipid levels, your doctor may want to access your very low-density lipoprotein or VLDL that is considered bad when high.
Cholesterol Comes In Two Types
High-Density Lipoprotein is sometimes referred to as good cholesterol. HDL removes cholesterol from the artery walls and transports it to the liver where it is removed from the body.
Foods containing HDL are nuts, soy, and fish.
Low-Density Lipoprotein is often referred to as bad cholesterol. LDL deposits cholesterol in the artery walls, which can cause buildup that can narrow or block blood vessels and increase the risk of heart and vascular disease.
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