What is cholesterol?

Cardiosmile explains not only what cholesterol is, but also the different types that exist.

Did you know that there is good and bad cholesterol? What are the normal ranges?

We invite you to learn more about this topic.

The first thing we should know is that cholesterol is a waxy substance, similar to fat, which is present in every cell of the human body. These are intended to build new healthy cells, in addition to some hormones, vitamin D and substances that help digest food, so it is essential for the body.

However, it is important to maintain healthy ranges and not go to the extreme… because, as they say, all extremes are bad, especially if your cholesterol levels rise more than normal.


The origin of cholesterol

Our body is responsible for generating all the cholesterol necessary to carry out its functions properly, which is known as endogenous cholesterol. However, our body also absorbs cholesterol present in the food we eat, which is present in products of animal origin such as egg yolks, cheese and meat. This is called exogenous cholesterol.

The production of cholesterol in humans is regulated based on the concentration of cholesterol in the endoplasmic reticulum of cells. So, if there is a high intake of cholesterol in food, the production of endogenous cholesterol decreases and vice versa, but sometimes our organism is overwhelmed and that is where the levels of cholesterol in the blood begin to rise.

If you have too much cholesterol, it can be combined with other substances present in the blood to form plaque. What is the problem? This plaque sticks to the walls of blood vessels, accumulating with the passage of time. This accumulation is known as “atherosclerosis” and if it is not treated it can narrow the blood vessels and even block them completely, preventing blood circulation.


Types of lipoproteins

Cholesterol is insoluble in water, that’s why most of the circulating cholesterol in the body is transported by lipoproteins that are a mixture of fats and proteins present in the blood. These transport cholesterol, triglycerides and other lipids to various tissues of our body.

Here there are four types of lipoproteins: chylomicrons, high density lipoproteins (HDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL).

LDL carries cholesterol from the liver and releases it into the different cells of the body. It is precisely this cholesterol, which is deposited in the arteries and forms atheromas.

HDL lipoproteins remove cholesterol from the cells and transport it back to the liver, which decreases its availability for the formation and growth of atherosclerotic plaque.

On the other hand, VLDL are macromolecular complexes synthesized by the liver that transport triglycerides, cholesterol esters and phospholipids mainly towards the extrahepatic tissues.

Meanwhile, chylomicrons are lipoproteins that have the function of transporting lipids from the diet to the liver and other tissues.


Risks of having high cholesterol

If blood has a hard time circulating, it increases the risk that it will be late in reaching the oxygen-laden heart and worse, increases the probability of suffering a heart attack.

Also, excess cholesterol can cause less blood to reach the brain, causing a stroke, that is, a “brain attack” or cerebral vascular accident (CVA). The same thing can happen if a piece of the plaque formed in the wall of the vessel is detached because this one travels through the blood to block up the circulation later on.


How to know if you have high cholesterol?

High cholesterol in blood does not present any visible or perceptible symptom for us; It does not hurt, it does not bother, and for that reason the only way to know that it is elevated is with a blood test.

The ideal is to follow up after 20 years old, taking a regular control every five years, approximately. Now, if you have a family history of high cholesterol and/or other risk factors such as diabetes, it is recommended that you do it before.

The first thing you have to do is visit your doctor, so he can give you the order of the exam. Remember tofollow the instructions given so that it does not go out altered. Based on the results, your doctor will indicate how often you should repeat the test and if you must do something to lower your cholesterol levels.


Cholesterol levels

“Cholesterolemia” is the term used to refer to the concentration of cholesterol in the blood plasma. Currently, the concentration accepted as “normal” in healthy people is 120 to 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Thus, when cholesterol levels increase we speak of “hypercholesterolemia”.

According to levels of total cholesterol in the blood and taking into account the medical history it is possible to determine the risk of suffering from certain diseases.

Cholesterolemia below 200 mg/dL: it is the desirable concentration for general population, since it is related to a low risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterolemia between 200 and 239 mg/dL: in this case there is an intermediate risk in general population. However, this risk increases in people who have other risk factors such as diabetes mellitus.

Cholesterolemia higher than 240 mg/dL: can determine a high risk of cardiovascular disease, so it is recommended to initiate a change in lifestyle, especially in terms of food and physical activity.

It is important to remember that the desirable levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and Triglycerides should be defined clinically by a health professional based on individual cardiovascular risk, which is determined by the presence of other factors such as age and sex, family history, smoking, presence of high blood pressure, among others.

Now that you know a bit more about cholesterol, remember that Cardiosmile is a natural and effective solution. Check your results by consuming only 1 sachet a day.