High Cholesterol

What Is Cholesterol; Everything We Need To Know About Cholesterol

 High Cholesterol Is One Of The Most Common And Underlying Problems Of Cardiovascular Disease, About Which You Will Learn More In The Following Article.

What is Cholesterol?

High Cholesterol is a lipid or waxy fat that travels through the bloodstream throughout the body. Your body makes cholesterol, But it is also present in foods of animal origin.

What is the role of cholesterol, and why is cholesterol important for our body?

Elevated cholesterol levels can lead to health problems, especially heart problems; But it plays an important physiological role in maintaining the health of the body.

In fact, cholesterol production is so important that the liver and intestines produce about 80 percent of the body’s cholesterol. Only about 20 percent of the cholesterol comes from the food you eat. If you consume only 200 to 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day (one egg yolk contains about 200 milligrams of cholesterol), your liver will produce another 800 milligrams of nutrients such as fat, sugar, and protein.

All cells in the body need cholesterol, which helps to form layers in the cell membrane. These layers protect the cell’s content by controlling what can enter the cell and leave it. Cholesterol is made in the liver and is also used by the liver to produce bile, which helps digest food. Cholesterol is needed for the production of vitamin D in the skin. The liver makes enough cholesterol for the body to perform these important functions.

Cholesterol is also required to produced steroid hormones, especially sex hormones such as testosterone and progesterone.

Cholesterol is also needed to produce other hormones, which are mainly produced by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone (a hormone that helps the kidneys retain water) and cortisol an important hormone in suppressing inflammation in the body) are two of these hormones. In addition, triglycerides (fatty acids from food) are an important energy source for the body, especially when glucose is deficient.

Because cholesterol is a type of fat, it cannot circulate in the bloodstream on its own, in which case it eventually becomes useless pellets. The body binds cholesterol and other lipids in small particles coated with a protein that mixes easily with the bloo to solve these problems to solve this problem. These tiny particles, called lipoproteins (lipids plus protein), carry cholesterol and other fats throughout the body (lipids are a large group of micronutrients that play an important role as structural molecules and energy sources.

The main difference between lipids and fats is that Lipids are a broad group of biological molecules, while fats are lipid).

Cholesterol and other lipids circulate in the bloodstream in different ways. Among them, the most notable is low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, known as bad cholesterol. But lipoproteins come in different shapes and sizes, and each has specific functions. They also take on a different form.

Types of cholesterol

Fats do not dissolve in water. Because water is a major component of the body, lipids must be bound to proteins to be transported throughout the body, resulting in lipoproteins. Five different lipoproteins have been identified, each playing a specific role in transporting lipids in the body. Cholesterol is carried throughout the body by lipoproteins in the blood.

These lipoproteins are Chylomicronss.
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol
  • Very low-density lipoprotein VLDL)
  • Medium Density Lipoprotein (IDL)Chylomicronss

Chylomicrons are responsible for packing and transporting fats in food. After formation, they are produced in the intestinal wall, and d, after formation, are absorbed by the intestinal lymphatic system. Chylomicrons are substantial particles that carry mostly triglycerides (fatty acids from your food). They are made in the digestive tract and are therefore influenced by the food you eat.

Chylomicrons are carried by the lymphatic system and eventually enter the bloodstream. They are then transported to the liver, where the cholesterol is taken up by the liver cells. Chylomicrons also travel to the body where triglycerides are absorbed, where triglycerides are used as energy or stored in adipose tissue.

Very low-density lipoproteins

Very low-density lipoprotein VLDL) is produced by the liver and is a transporter of triglycerides and cholesterol produced by the liver. These lipoproteins circulate in the blood and mainly deliver triglycerides to the body’s cells to produce the energy needed for specific cell functions. When the body’s cells take in fatty acids from VLDL, these particles are converted to medium-density lipoproteins, which, when further extracted, eventually become LDL particles.

Medium-density lipoproteins

WhenVLDLs release a significant portion of the triglycerides they carry, they are converted to medium-density lipoproteins (IDLs). Medium-density lipoproteins are transported to the liver, refilled with triglycerides, converted to very-low-density lipoproteins, and then re-circulated in the blood. But if they continue to release the remaining triglycerides, they will eventually turn into low-density lipoproteins.

Low-density lipoproteins

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) proteins are the same vLDLs that release most of the triglyceride loads they originally contained. Their main lipid is now cholesterol. This changes the density of the lipoprotein. LDL becomes the main capsule of cholesterol transport produced by the liver. LDLs circulate in the bloodstream and deliver cholesterol to cells where needed. LDL particles are known as bad cholesterol because they deliver cholesterol to the tissues and are strongly associated with the buildup of plaque blocking the arteries.

High-density lipoproteins

High-density lipoproteins (HDLs), called good cholesterol, play a very different role than other types of lipoproteins. The liver produces HDL and is essentially an empty vehicle when it enters the bloodstream. The role of HDL is to circulate in the blood, collect excessive levels of cholesterol found in peripheral tissues, and transport them to the liver for recycling.

 

High CholesterolIf cholesterol is needed, why worry about how much it is in your body?

Having enough cholesterol is important to meet the body’s needs. But having too much cholesterol can cause problems. If your cholesterol level is high, you are said to have hypercholesterolemia. If your cholesterol level is low, you have hypocholesterolemia. Havingdeficientw cholesterol levels are not common, but it can happen.

Why is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) bad?

When we always hear that our cholesterol should be low, it may seem strange that low-density lipoprotein is called bad cholesterol. However, low-density lipoprotein is bad for what it does.

Low-density lipoproteins can accumulate in the walls of arteries and narrow them. These fatty deposits form plaques that line the walls of the arteries and may cause them to clog. This buildup is called atherosclerosis or atherosclerosis. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

The fats associated with LDL cholesterol levels and those you should minimize in your diet are saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are solid or waxy at room temperature. Saturated fats are mainly found in meat, milk, cheese,e, and butter obtained from animals. Trans fats are the result of a hydrogenation process in which liquid fats are converted to solid fats. Trans fats are found in fast foods and fried foods and extend the shelf life of processed products such as cookies and pastries.

Why is high-density lipoprotein (HDL) good?

High-density lipoprotein is called good cholesterol because it removes other cholesterols (including LDL) from the arteries. This type of cholesterol carries other types of cholesterol to the liver to be eliminated from the body. Higher HDL levels are believed to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Signs and symptoms of high cholesterol

High cholesterol has no symptoms s, and the only way is a blood test. This situation, in most cases, causes emergencies. For example, a heart attack or stroke can occur due to damage caused by high cholesterol.

High Cholesterol

What is a blood cholesterol test?

People over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years. Your healthcare provider will order a blood test that shows how high your blood cholesterol is. You may also have a blood lipid profile test or lipid panel, which gives you the following numbers:

  • Total Cholesterol (Total Cholesterol)
  • LDL level
  • HDL level
  • VLDL and triglyceride levels
  • Non-HDL cholesterol
  • The ratio of total cholesterol to HDLAdvanced tests breaks down cholesterol levels into more components and determines the number of LDL particles, but these tests are not usually ordered. The creators of these tests say that more advanced tests better show who is at risk for heart disease, but most healthcare providers believe that routine tests are enough.

How is total cholesterol or blood cholesterol test done?

This type of blood test is a common test. A phlebotomist, the person in charge of drawing blood, usually collects some blood from a vein in your arm.

In most cases, you should fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. In some cases, such as tests performed for health screening and for people under the age of 20 or those unable to fast, a cholesterol test may be performed without fasting. Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of blood lipid levels. In contrast,e others believe that fasting gives a better idea of ​​a person’s risk of heart disease.

How long does it take for a cholesterol test result to be ready?

Results are often ready within a day or two, and in some cases,s earlier, usually in milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL).

Cholesterol Numbers: What Do They Mean?

Important numbers are total cholesterol, HDL or good cholesterol, LDL or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides.

How much is normal cholesterol?

Normal cholesterol levels vary depending on age and sex. The table below shows the numbers for normal cholesterol levels.

High Cholesterol

Optimal levels of total, non-HDL, LDL, and HDL by age and sex

The table below shows cholesterol levels that are higher than normal.

High Cholesterol

High levels of total, non-HD, L, and LDL cholesterol by age and sex

High cholesterol levels vary by age and sex and may vary for people with heart disease. These guidelines indicate cholesterol levels for those who do not have heart disease.

LDL cholesterol levels

If you do not have heart or blood vessel disease and are not at risk for heart disease, the optimal LDL level is less than 100 mg / dL. If you have heart or vascular disease or have risk factors, your doctor may want your LDL level to be less than 70 mg / dL. Then if you have diabetes, your optimal LDL level should be less than 100 mg / dL or even below 70 mg / dL.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are significant because most of the fat in your body is in the form of triglycerides. These levels are often higher in people with diabetes or obesity. In the case of triglycerides, what you need to know about numbers is:

  • Less than 150 is normal.
  • Between 150 and 199, the border is open.
  • It is high between 200 and 499.
  • 500 or more is very high.

HDL cholesterol levels

The number you want more is HDL (remember, this is the good cholesterol).

  • HDL levels below 40 are low and are considered a risk factor for heart disease in both men and women.
  • HDL is a goal to die 40 and above, and it is good to achieve it.
  • The HDL is a goal for women 50 or older, and it is good to achieve it.
  • An HDL of 60 or higher is considered the optimal level that protects against heart disease.

What is the ratio of good LDL to HDL?

In general, the higher the HDL and the lower the LDL, the better. Optimal cholesterol levels are determined by examining the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol. This ratio is calculated by dividing the amount of total cholesterol by the HDL result. For example, if your total cholesterol is 150 and your HDL is 50, your score will be 3 to 1. In general, the higher the number, the greater the risk of heart problems. Doctors want to see a ratio of less than 5 to 1, and 3.5 to 1 is considered ideal. Lowering LDL lowers total cholesterol and improves this ratio.

Can bad cholesterol levels be too low? Can good cholesterol levels be too high?

Deficient levels of bad cholesterol or very high levels of good cholesterol are not common. Studies are showing that too much and too little of these cholesterol levels are not healthy for anyone. Although there is no definitive figure about how low LDL levels are, levels below 40 mg / dL may be associated with health problems such as depression, anxiety, and hemorrhagic stroke. However, data from clinical trials suggest that harm does not occur when a person is being treated with statins, and LDL levels remain below 40 mg / dL.

In some cases, genetic diseases can cause deficient cholesterol levels. In other cases, nutritional problems, some cancers, hypothyroidism (hypothyroidism,) and some infections can also lower cholesterol levels. Then in each of these cases, the underlying problem must address.

Also, scientists are studying the effects of very high HDL levels, which is good cholesterol, and so far, no definitive conclusion has been reached. But there have been studies on the possible link between very high HDL and cancer and a higher risk of a heart attack in people at high risk.

Factors affecting blood cholesterol

Several factors can affect your cholesterol levels, including:

Diet: Saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the number of saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol levels. Saturated and trans fats have the greatest effect on blood cholesterol.

Weight: Overweight, in addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, can increase triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower triglyceride levels and increase HDL.

Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the greatest effect on lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL. Try to do 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

Age and sex: Cholesterol levels increase with age. Before menopause, women usually have lower total cholesterol than men in the same age group. However, after menopause, women’s LDL levels usually rise, and HDL can decrease.

Heredity: Your genes determine the amount of cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can be familial.

What do you need to know about cholesterol and heart disease?

Prevention and treatment of heart disease is the main reason for checking blood cholesterol levels. Heart disease is a general term that may refer to various diseases, but we are talking about coronary artery disease.

Treatment of high cholesterol

There are several ways to lower blood cholesterol (total cholesterol), including lifestyle changes or medications, or both.

Lifestyle modifications: Doctors usually start with treatments that are not invasive, such as lifestyle changes. Recommended:

Avoid tobacco: If you smoke, quit smoking, as it is harmful to you in many ways s, and one of the consequences of smoking is lowering your good cholesterol levels.

Diet change: Limit trans fats and saturated fats. Eat heart-healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugar, and dairy products made with whole milk.

Exercise: Try to exercise for 150 minutes every week or about 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Maintaining a healthy weight: If you need to lose weight, talk to an expert about safe ways. Even before you reach your ideal weight, you will see the results of losing weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight can change your cholesterol levels.

Reducing the Impact of Negative Emotions: Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress, or other negative emotions.

Blood sugar and blood pressure control: Try to keep your blood sugar and blood pressure within a healthy range according to your doctor’s recommendations.

Blood cholesterol-lowering drugs

Several medications are designed to treat high cholesterol.

Statins: Statins are one of the most well-known classes of cholesterol drugs. The mechanism of action of statins is to reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Statins lower blood cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, which is why they are widely prescribed. Some common statins include atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin, and pitavastatin. Statins are not recommended for everyone with high cholesterol, especially those with liver problems. Although side effects of statins are less common, they can include muscle pain, high blood sugar, and memory problems.

Bile acid-binding drugs: Another group of drugs that are prescribed to treat high cholesterol. These drugs, also called resins, bind to bile acids. Therefore, bile acids cannot be used for digestion. In response, the liver uses cholesterol to make more bile. These drugs include cholestyramine, colestipol, and collar. Resins are not suitable for everyone and also have side effects such as constipation and stomach pain.

Fibrates:  They are also called fabric acid derivatives. These drugs are more effective at lowering triglyceride levels than lowering LDL cholesterol. They may also help raise HDL cholesterol levels. Fenofibrate and gemfibrozil belong to this group of drugs.

Other medications your doctor may prescribe to lower LDL cholesterol levels include:

  • PCSK9 inhibitors include alirocumab and oolucamb
  • Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors such as ezetimibe
  • Citrate lyase triphosphate (ACL) inhibitors such as bumped acid
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and fatty acid esters
  • Nicotinic acid (niacin)

If you have taken statins and this medicine has not been able to bring your LDL to the desired level, these medicines may prescribe for you.

For people who are not helped by lifestyle changes and medications (often those who have a genetic problem), a process called lipoprotein apheresis is used. This procedure involves using equipment to remove lipoproteins from the blood and plasma and then return the blood and plasma to the body. This process may combine with new drug therapies.

What are the side effects of not treating high cholesterol?

Coronary heart disease occurs when the heartcannoto gets enough oxygen-rich blood to function normally and is a major cause of death. Coronary heart disease usually refers to large arteries, but c coronary microvascular disease also ages small blood vessels.

Can you prevent the formation of cholesterol deposits?

Researchers are trying to find ways to remove plaque (cholesterol deposits) from the coronary arteries. One suggested method is to use a combination of drugs (statins and PCSK9 inhibitors) in healthy people aged 25 to 55 years. If the cholesterol level in the arteries is greatly reduced, it will help cleanse and improve them.

Some researchers believe that a plant-based diet is a key to preventing heart disease. Some studies have shown that restricting nutrition to plant-based foods has lower cholesterol and, in some cases, platelet aggregation.

How can you prevent high cholesterol and coronary heart disease?

Prevention methods are similar to treatment methods. Avoid smoking and quit if you are smoking. Find ways to add physical activity to your daily routine. Try to keep your weight in a healthy range. Follow a Mediterranean diet as it has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. If you have another illness, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. Try to relax.

How much cholesterol should you consume per day?

Previously, doctors advised you not to consume more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day according to dietary guidelines (200 mg if you have a high risk of heart disease). But in 2015, those recommendations changed. This change in guidelines is due to research showing that dietary cholesterol is not harmful and has no role in raising blood cholesterol levels.

Now, there is no specific limit to the amount of cholesterol you can get from food. But it is still important to pay attention to the food you eat to keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range.

Doctors now recommend limiting saturated fats, trans fat,s, and added sugars in your diet. Of course, you should also be careful about your cholesterol intake because foods high in cholesterol usually also have high saturated fats.

Cholesterol is a natural substance produced in your body and is also found in foods of animal origin. Your body needs cholesterol to help build cells and produce certain hormones, and it produces the cholesterol it needs by using fats, sugars, and proteins in the liver and intestines. But the problem arises when you consume large amounts of saturated and trans fats.

These types of fats cause your liver to produce a lot of bad cholesterol, which is in the form of deposits that clog the arteries. For this reason, experts recommend that you avoid trans fats altogether and reduce your intake of saturated fats to ten percent or less of your total calories.

According to the above recommendation, a person who consumes 2,000 calories a day should provide 200 calories (22 grams) or less through saturated fats.

Of course, the American Heart Association’s latest recommendation is to limit your intake of saturated fats to 5 to 6 percent of your total daily calories. So for a 2,000-calorie diet a day, that can be around 100 to 120 calories or about 11 to 13 grams.

Studies have also shown a negative effect of added sugars on cholesterol and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume 6 teaspoons (100 calories) and men no more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories) of added sugars per day.

The importance of consuming soluble fiber in lowering cholesterol

Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils s, and whole grains. These nutrient-rich foods contain two types of fiber, one soluble and one insoluble, important for good health. Getting enough fiber from a variety of foods is important for everyone.

Research has shown that soluble fiber, especially from fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils s, and whole grains, may help lower cholesterol. The soluble fiber in the stomach is a thick, jelly-like substance that binds to food cholesterol. Therefore, eat lots of vegetables and fruits: Choose fruits and vegetables that have soluble fiber; For example, figs, Brussels sprouts, peaches, carrots, apricots, mangoes, and oranges.

Move your meal to a more plant-based diet by including beans, lentils,s, and soy foods. Focus on the complete form of the product, which includes fresh, frozen, canned,d or dried. Look for canned fruits that are packaged in plain water or your own water. Choose canned vegetables that are low in salt or have no added salt.

Whole grains are also a good way to get dietary fiber. Make sure your bread’s food label states that 100% whole grains or one of the whole grains are one of the first ingredients. Limit refined carbohydrates, especially products with added sugar, such as sweets and sugary drinks.

 

Cholesterol is found only in foods of animal origin, such as:

  • Meat
  • dairy products
  • Seafood
  • Yolk
  • Butter

Shrimp are high in cholesterol but very low in saturated fat and can be eaten as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Cholesterol-free foods

There is no cholesterol in foods such as the following:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Cereals
  • Plant kernels

These are also part of a healthy balanced diet.

Foods that contain fat

Foods that are high in saturated fat and should be limited include:

  • Red Meat
  • Products such as cakes and cookies
  • Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Ice cream
  • Processed meats such as sausages
  • Fried foods

Foods that contain unhealthy saturated fats should be avoided:

  • Fried foods
  • Packaged foods that use hydrogenated oils
  • Sweets
  • Margarine
  • Popcorn prepared in the microwave
  • Cake and pastry procedures

Foods that contain healthy unsaturated fats that you should consume include:

  • Sunflower, olive, peanut, canola, safflower oils
  • Avocado
  • Most plant kernels, especially walnuts
  • Most seeds, including sunflower seeds, chia, and hemp

Conclusion: High cholesterol is a predisposing factor for cardiovascular disease that usually has no symptoms and can only be diagnosed by a blood test. Lifestyle changes and medications help lower cholesterol and prevent disease.