Managing Your Cholesterol - The Best Way To Prevent Hearth Attacks
Cholesterol is one of the most familiar medical words today. Everyone knows
"something" about it , but mostly cholesterol is associated in our mind with
something "bad" and "unwanted" that happens to old and overweight people.
The facts show that about 20 percent of the U.S. population has high blood
cholesterol levels. Actually cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance (lipid)
that your body needs for many important functions, such as producing new cells,
some hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat. It is
present in cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body, including the brain,
nerves, muscle, skin, liver, intestines, and heart. In fact our bodies need
cholesterol to function normally, but too much cholesterol can be bad for our
Cholesterol and other fats can't dissolve in the blood. They have to be
transported to and from the cells by special carriers. Cholesterol travels
through your blood attached to a protein. This cholesterol-protein package is
called a lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are high density or low density depending on
how much protein there is in relation to fat.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood.
If too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in
the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain. Together with other
substances it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries.
When the coronary arteries become narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat
deposits (a process called atherosclerosis) and cannot supply enough blood to
the heart, the result is coronary heart disease. If the blood supply to a
portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary
artery, the result is a heart attack. This is usually due to a sudden closure
from a blood clot forming on top of a previous narrowing.