Cholesterol is a waxy metabolite which can be found in the membranes of cells where it can be transported through the blood plasma in both humans and animals. Cholesterol is an important factor in creating bile acids and steroid hormones. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL notates the bad type of cholesterol and HDL is notated as the good kind of cholesterol.
Cholesterol comes from the foods we ingest but that only accounts for about 25% of the cholesterol in our bodies. The other percentage is produced directly by our bodies. Depending on a family history, your age, and weight, cholesterol amounts produced by your body will vary.
Cholesterol is excreted through the liver but can build up in the blood. Too much buildup of bad cholesterol indicates a person as having high cholesterol which can have significant health repercussions. Those with high levels of LDL are susceptible to heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.
Many diagnosed with high cholesterol can manage their levels with a proper diet and plenty of exercise. Others may need to utilize prescription medication in order to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in their blood stream. The only way to know where your cholesterol levels stand is to undergo a blood test at your doctor’s office. There are no symptoms of high cholesterol, only the symptoms that appear for other conditions that are the result of high cholesterol levels. Your doctor will need to discuss with you your target cholesterol range based on other factors.
In addition to a poor diet, there are other factors that can put you at risk for high levels of bad cholesterol. These factors include smoking, your age, high blood pressure, family histories, and low levels of HDL, the good cholesterol.