Interesting Facts About Cholesterol – Understanding HDL and LDL

Cholesterol - Friend and Foe

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance with waxy appearance. It is present in the body and in all cells. The body manufactures cholesterol itself, the liver makes it, and synthesizes from the food we eat. It is oil-based and thus is insoluble in the blood because the blood is water-based. It is carried throughout the body by the lipoproteins in the blood. There are recommended levels of cholesterol in the body, beyond which problems are likely to occur. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are the two major types of cholesterol. LDL is also known as bad cholesterol, while HDL is known as good cholesterol. Other types include total cholesterol, triglycerides, and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). The normal reference range of cholesterol is 110—130 md/dl for LDL, 40—60 mg/dl for HDL, less than 150 mg/dl for triglycerides, and less than 200 mg/dl for total cholesterol.

The body needs it but in limits. LDL and HDL are both equally essential, as they have specific roles in the body. The major roles played by cholesterol making it necessary for the body are as follows:

1. Maintains membrane structural integrity

2. Act as a precursor in formation of bile acids and steroid hormones

3. Required to build cell membranes and thus maintaining it

4. Maintains membrane fluidity

5. Helps in cell signaling and nerve conduction

6. Act as precursor for various biochemical pathways

7. Eases the speed of transmission along nerve tissues of electrical impulses

8. Aid in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins D,A,K and E)

9. Myelin sheath, rich in cholesterol, facilitates impulses conduction efficiently.

Neither too low nor too high of any cholesterol is good for one’s health. Too less of cholesterol may result in memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, more than normal levels of cholesterol lead to a condition called hypercholesterolemia. This condition of increased cholesterol levels will increase the heart problems like heart attacks, peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis, carotid artery disease, and coronary heart diseases. However, according to research, lower LDL and higher HDL is considered the best as this decreases the chances of getting heart diseases. To note here is that there are no major symptoms for this and this fact calls for a regular checkup at a laboratory. If you have already opted to get a whole body health check up done, then you dont have to get a cholesterol test done explicitly as this test is a part of health check up.

For cholesterol test, blood sample is required. The sample will be collected from your place at no cost. NextDoorLab offers you this opportunity. You can consult free with the doctor by dialing 0124-222-3197. The reports of your test will be generated online and a username and password will be provided to you. This way you can keep a record of your reports. Diagnosis of high cholesterol levels includes first, to follow your doctor; second, brink changes in your lifestyle like regular exercising, cutting down and avoiding the fried foods, junk foods, salt content, and saturated and trans fats. Avoid foods with the label ‘partially hydrogenated oils’. Various factors affect the cholesterol level like age, diet physical activity, and weight. However, age, heredity, and gender are the factors uncontrollable by a person. Quit cigarette smoking and keep your blood pressure (BP) in the normal range (140/90 mmHg). Again, this calls for a regular monitoring of your BP.

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